If you have known me for any length of time, you know that I’m a ‘textile lady’. I have spent a lot of time sewing, dyeing, quilting, weaving, printing, cross stitching, and macraméing. It’s surprising to me that it took 4 solid tries, over many years, for ‘knit and purl’ for it to sink in…and finally my repertoire includes knitting. Whilst at a Green Festival in NYC, I vended directly across from Wool & the Gang and decided to buy some of their chunky yarn and thick needles. I knit myself a Seed Stitch Scarf and received so many compliments that I started to make them to sell.
Fast forward a few years and it seemed like a good time to learn to read knitting patterns. I am not a good beginner. I want to know everything now…however, the process of learning something new is good for one’s brain as well as their soul. I choose to learn because I want to keep my brain active. Here, I want to talk a bit about Patience, Humbleness, and Gratitude.
My knitting journey has been a practice in patience. I am an incredibly slow learner. I have found that I learn best by watching and then taking a video so that I can reference when I am knitting on my own and completely forget the technique. My brain needs a lot of repetition to remember something and I have found myself getting discouraged easily. My daily practice is to notice the feeling, but not attach to it. I know that feelings change, and with more time spent knitting my ability will change as well. Knitting has been a great opportunity for practicing patience, since it’s so fun as well as being challenging. This practice benefits me in so many other areas of life.
“Ripping back” is a term that means ‘oops I made a mistake way back there, so I’m going to take out all of the stitches I just spend the last 5 hours working on’. Admitting to a shortcoming is part of learning. I would profit from meditating on why I think I need to be good at something so quickly. Living in this Instagram-world, where we primarily post our bests, I don’t know where this desire or thought process stems. (hint: I’m being sarcastic.) Unintentionally, I often have thought of comparison. One of my favourite quotes is “Comparison is the thief of joy”. My intention, for better enjoyment of my life, is to cultivate a sense of peace inside my heart. Comparing myself to others interferes with this plan and more humility helps.
I spent the Fall of 2017 in Berlin and when I arrived, right away I joined a knitting group. They took me in immediately and I made some great friends. I am grateful for the tutelage and also for the hangout time. Many bars and cafes in Berlin have couches and cozy armchairs and spending 4 hours in one place isn’t uncommon. It’s the perfect combination for my knitting group friends. I have since then made another knitting friend in Vancouver and she often hosts a weekend knit gathering. I am very thankful for all the people who have helped me on my knitting journey! <3 As it turns out, for me, learning can’t be achieved in isolation…so thank you to all are walking with me!
*To see which patterns and yarns I used, take a peek at my Ravelry page! If you are in Berlin, I highly recommend dropping by 10,000 Loops knitting group. If you are in Vancouver, check out Knit 1 Tea 1. Also, I want to give a shout out to my friends at Spincycle Yarns. We used to vend next to each other at the Bellingham Farmer’s Market and here we are, still kicking around! 😉