Lately, I’ve been racking up a long list of skills that I would like to learn. Near the top of that list is knitting. It’s a classically hipster activity here in Little Bay Root, but I am totally interested anyway. I bought some needles and yarn a while ago but I keep getting stymied by the pictures when I try to get started by using books. I’ve been told that I should try YouTube videos, but that hasn’t had much allure for me. A couple of weeks ago, I managed to get a friend to come over and show me the ropes.

My friend K has been knitting since she was a little girl, so I asked her to come over and give me a little help getting started. She brought her own knitting and we worked together for a bit. With a bit of trial and error, she managed to show me how to cast on, which creates the first row of loops, a kind of foundation. After that I knitted a couple of rows. Almost immediately, it became clear that I might be a little to tense. Certainly my knitting was much too tense.

After a couple of frustrating rows, I went ahead and unraveled my knitting and put it away. Honestly, I still haven’t picked it up again, but I intend to soon. I think that knitting is one of those things that I am going to have to fuss with until I build enough skill to stop being so uptight. I was talking to a co-worker who knits and she backed up my thought that it’s easier when the knitting is relaxed or even loose.

I know myself though, and certainly one of my failings is that I get tense when I am doing new things that I’m not actually skilled at. One of the whole points of learning to knit is to pick up a skill that is well outside my usual range of activities, but that just makes clench up more as I try to get started. Clenching doesn’t help the cause either.

So, I think that I will resolve to set aside a couple of evening each week to knit. Not big blocks of time, just twenty or thirty minutes. Time to knit a couple of rows and practice moving my hands with the needles. If the actual knitting doesn’t turn out very good, I can easily unravel it and try again. A little repetition should give me the practice that I need to develop my technical skills.

A little practice and I’ll try to make a scarf, one of those simple projects that everyone seems to start with. Then I’ll try something a bit more interesting. Or I might discover that I simply don’t like knitting. Possible. I do like the idea of it though. I’d love to be able to knit sweaters and hats and such. I’ve always enjoyed making things by hand, so the whole experiment is worth the time.

Who knows, I could wind up wiling away my winters drinking whiskey and knitting sweaters. Not a bad way to go.