A Knack For Knitting?


Never stop learning, right? Years ago, I taught myself basic knitting, but other than my sample swatch, I never pursued it, and it’s now thoroughly forgotten.

I crochet. In fact, I’d go so far as to call myself an expert. If I can find a pattern, I can crochet it. I’ve made countless afghans, hats, bags, doilies, decorative items, even a 62-inch lace tablecloth. I love taking a ball of yarn and turning it into something useful or beautiful.

I decided I needed a new skill, another hobby, preferably something I can do on the couch while watching Netflix, so rock-climbing or paddle-boarding were immediately ruled out. I’m 53, out of shape, and my bones are probably as brittle as stale bread sticks, so knitting is really more my speed.


I should’ve decided this five years ago when I still lived in Minnesota, because my friend Jess is an excellent knitter, and having someone show me and help point out flaws in my technique would be valuable. My daughter-in-law was here a few months ago and knows how to knit, but she’s a leftie, and I suspect that could present difficulties in teaching me. Besides, I didn’t know I wanted to learn to knit at the time.

I don’t really know anyone in North Carolina well enough to do the “hey, teach me to knit and I will reward you with rum and puppy snuggles” thing. I don’t even know if any of my acquaintances know how to knit, which tells you how well I don’t know people.

Enter the internet. You can learn anything online, often things you’d be better off not knowing. I started watching tutorials, but most of them are extremely annoying.

First, it’s too much like interacting with a human, which I avoid. I don’t even watch people’s video posts on Facebook.

Second, even when they’re going slowly, they can be hard to follow. Every time I need to pause or rewind to play again, I have to put down the needles and then try to get them positioned correctly again, which is still hard.

And third, every single damned knitter seems to have a unique way of holding the needles and guiding the yarn. Seriously, Google “how to hold knitting needles and yarn,” and you’ll see 145,990 different ways.

Yes, the result is the same. This needle has to go here, in this way, and the yarn has to go around here and through there, but everyone has a different method of achieving this. My crochet style is technically incorrect by some standards, the way I hold the hook and maneuver the yarn, but I’ve made it work, and I know I’ll have to do the same for knitting. I have a feeling if I had someone to show me, though, I could make changes to my technique that would make this a hell of a lot easier.

I know how to cast on, knit, purl, and cast off, but so far I’m only practicing the knit stitch. I want to be able to produce neat, uniform rows of stitches, and then I’ll move on to something else.


I clearly have a long way to go, possibly several light-years. I think I should watch some more videos (grumble) and instead of trying to follow along, just observe how the instructor works, how they hold the needles and manage the yarn.

I’ve been crocheting for around 40 years, and I know it’s unreasonable to expect to be knitting lacy wraps or complex cable work in a day. But I hate not being great at something, and I want to be able to download everything there is to know about knitting directly into my head right this minute.

lace knitting stitch 55 - Copy

I could make this by this weekend, right?

I feel like I need an extra hand or three extra fingers. I also know if when I finally get a grip on this, I’ll spend a stupid amount of money on knitting needles and knitting accessories, because I never do anything by half. Maybe I should go ahead and start shopping–online, of course–because even if the whole Queen of Knitting thing never pans out, the needles would be handy in the apocalypse.

Do you knit? When did you learn? Do you have any favorite resources for beginning knitters?

So far, my biggest accomplishment is not poking myself in the eyeball with one of the needles, but it’s been close a couple of times, and it’s a good thing I wear glasses.

3 thoughts on “A Knack For Knitting?

  1. I don’t knit. However, my mother, who recently passed away, was an avid knitter. I treasure everything she made me. May she rest in peace, but I’ll tell you one thing I’ve learned since her death: Knitters are Knuts! (I think I made that up and want to sell it on a T-shirt). My mother must have had a dozen giant rubbermaid storage tins full of wool. Eight thousand needles, forty thousand patterns, at least a hundred measuring tapes, knitting bowls, baskets, weird notebooks with crazy knitting numbers on each page. We donated it all to Project Linus, who made hats for preemies from her supplies. Made us happy. 🙂 I heard that Knitters are hoarders, because they see a wool sale and lose their minds haha. You do beautiful handy work, Lori! Keep it up- my mom always said it was great to relax her nerves.

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  2. Pingback: Perpetually Pursuing Perfection | Furwood Forest

  3. haha, sorry. I had to laugh at the poking your eyeballs out part ;D

    My grandmother taught me how to knit when I was a child. But as far as I can remember, only the knit stitch. I also enjoyed watching her knit. But eventually my grandmother couldn’t knit anymore, and I grew up and forgot all about it.
    Then, when I was about 24, a friend I had at the time, wanted to take up knitting. She was my best friend and I wanted to do what she did, so I learned too! I made 2 scarves, in only knit stitch, for myself and my mom. But you can’t tell they’re only knit stitch, because it was super fluffy yarn.
    Years went by again, before I had an inkling of interest again. It started with crochet. When I was 30, in 2013, I decided I wanted to learn crochet. I did this with the help of youtube tutorials. I know, I just read it wasn’t your cuppa tea, but it really worked for me.
    After I mastered this, after a lot of crocheting, I got… Bored??? I wanted to try knitting again. I already knew the basics. So I decided to just pick a pattern that didn’t seem too difficult and just had a go. Every time I came across techniques or terms I didn’t know, I went to google of youtube.

    You can also try picture books maybe? I have a few books on knitting, and they show a variety of lovely stitches / stitch patterns, that can be achieved with just the knit/purl combination.
    I hope this was any help for you. Feel free to ask me anything, if you want to know more about knitting.
    *thinks* …. Isn’t there maybe a yarnshop nearby that has a knitting group? Maybe they could help you as well. Or place an advertisement somewhere, to start a knitting group yourself, and state that you’d also like to get to know someone who can teach you?
    Just some thoughts that come to mind.
    Good luck with it. And just keep trying. You’ll manage it eventually ^_^

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