Well, I can’t even remember when I’ve learnt to knit, but I really put my thought into it and started taking it seriously in 2010. What keeps you going when you start and struggle whit something totally new? Isabel from FrivolousGirl is sharing her experience with knits:
Learning and falling in love with knitting and crocheting has taken me over a decade. My first encounter with knitting was when I was about 7 years old, I went to my mom and asked her to teach me how to knit for my stuffed monkey bear. We made a pink scarf in garther stitch, well actually, my mom took mostly over and finished it because I kept on screwing up something as simple as gather stitch! I didn’t keep on going much after that. My mom’s years of knitting were over long ago, so she wasn’t there encouraging or inspiring me to keep on knitting.
Knitting isn’t like learning how to bike, though I knew it was easy, my brain felt it was overwhelming.
I don’t remember taking up the needles until later at the beginning of my teens. I’m usually a very fast learner, but at the time my growing brain couldn’t grasp the science behind knits and purls. I don’t know if anyone can relate? Knitting isn’t like learning how to bike, though I knew it was easy, my brain felt it was overwhelming. My mom’s patience ran dry, and my own frustration at myself grew. I’ve always quit things that made me feel stupid, like math, and so I gave up on knitting once again.
Then at age 19 my lust surfaced when circular scarfs were in fashion. I turned back to my mom to re-learn the basics. I was still having trouble with knitting and favored crocheting more, so much that I took on the BIG project of crocheting a big circular scarf in single crochet that you can wrap around twice. My mom told me I was mad and that I should knit it instead, but I feared knitting so much that I was willing to take the (in my eyes) easier but longer way. Anyone who’s crocheted a scarf knows the amount of time and yarn spent, and that you don’t make it in single crochet at least.
Towards the end, my hands started to hurt but I did manage to complete the scarf within a month and realize what a mistake I’ve made and that I should’ve listen to my mom, as the scarf ended up being thick and just uncomfortably stiff. However, after all that work I put in, I never dared to frog it. It’s still warm and wearable, but I left it for my mom when I moved out.
Right after my big crochet project, I made another try on the knitting and finally started to understand it a little bit, and made another circular scarf in rib stitch for my boyfriend. That’s when my love started to grow and considered learning more about knitting. Though, as the winter season passed, I never found myself going back to the yarn store to continue my newfound passion.
Having set the theme “Capable” for the year, I was open to learn new skills.
Fast forward five years later to semi-present day, when I stepped into my local grocery store last February and saw a sale on yarn. Having set the theme “Capable” for the year, I was open to learn new skills. When I saw the soft yarn and beautiful colors, I got this instant feeling of picking up my needles again. I’ve always loved working with my hands and I work towards being as independent as possible. Being able to make my own clothing felt like something I should make a priority to pursue. With that said, because I had let so many years pass by without touching the hook or the needles – I had literally no clue on how to even do a crochet cast on – I was once again in beginners phase. So I bought a bulk and walked home without having any real idea on what to do with them, other than using them in my practice.
Remembering how I felt crocheting was much easier to learn, I set the goal for March to learn the basics of how to crochet, to then learn how to knit in April.
Because I had moved out of the house, my mom wasn’t there to teach me for the fourth time… So instead, I got a library card, borrowed a bunch of books and scrolled through YouTube tutorials for the visuals. This type of self-taught learning was actually more fun and informative for me, as I wasn’t limited to one persons knowledge on how to knit, but a whole library on different techniques that my mom didn’t even know of.
I cut the learning process into different parts: first I practiced making foundation stitches, I then moved forward into how to read patterns. The best way to learn is by doing, so I went through different patterns, most of them I frogged, in order to get a feel in how to be able to freestyle.
What I love about crochet is that you can look at a garment and see almost exactly what that person has done. My first real and finished garments were not made by following a specific pattern, but from inspiration taken from the different crochet tops I saw on Pinterest and Etsy, and so I started designing quite early in the learning-process. And with a little help from YouTube tutorials, I was making my own bohemian crochet tops that took about 1-2 days to finish.
I fell in love with crocheting so much that I postponed my plan to learn knitting to do it at the end of the summer instead. I wanted to go deeper into crocheting and become as advanced as I could before I decided to pick up the needles. I admit, a part of me still felt like knitting was too hard and overwhelming, and every time I read through a knitting pattern my stomach turned. Nevertheless, crocheting is quite limiting, so I knew I had to learn knitting someday if I wanted to advance in my garment-making.
But then something in me just switched for the very first time, I finally could wrap my head around the science behind how the knits and purls work together.
At the end of the summer I picked up my needles with some resistance, and I did all of the same steps I did when learning how to crochet, through books and YouTube. At times I felt like giving up and that it was too hard, but having in mind all the amazing things I’ll be able to make on my own gave me the persistence to keep learning. But during the first few months, I kept complaining how much easier and simpler crocheting is. But then something in me just switched for the very first time, I finally could wrap my head around the science behind how the knits and purls work together. I know, ground breaking… Soon as I figured it out, knitting became less like a chore but something very fun and exciting to explore! While knitting is more mysterious, where a garment doesn’t always tell you of its composition of knits and purls and how it is made, I’ve now come to enjoy knitting more than crocheting – never did I think I’d say that at the beginning of the year!
Stay tuned for Part 2 to find out what kept me up with knitting!