Last Tuesday I did something I've been wanting to do for a while. I learnt to knit! Actually, I think my use of the past tense there might be a bit presumptuous. I am learning to knit. The more I've looked into it, the more I've realised how complex it can be. I met up with some other ladies I met through La Leche League who very kindly showed me how to do the basic stitch. Until then, I had no idea there were more than one type of stitch. I came home , eager to continue my new found skill, and discovered I'd lost a knitting needle. Not the best of starts.
No matter, I bought another pair (much to amusement of the lady who had sold me my first set 24 hours previously,) and headed home to try again. Then I realised that I didn't know how to cast on. As a child of the modern age, I turned to the Internet to help. After I had looked at about four hundred videos all telling me 'the easiest' way to cast on, and failing miserably at all of them, I finally found one slow enough and simple enough to get me started. I don't think it's the best one as looks go, but I can work up to some of the trickier ones. I was pleased to find that I hadn't forgotten hat the lovely ladies had taught me, and I now am the proud owner of a holey, ragged, uneven piece of knitting. despite its shabby appearance, I am very pleased with myself.
I realised that it has been a long time since I learnt a genuinely new skill. I might have tried a new recipe or read up on growing potatoes, but apart from a doomed attempt aged 8, I have never tried to knit. The ladies who taught me couldn't have been more patient, but I still felt nervous, watching them carefully, trying to make sense of what their nimble fingers were doing, then, horror of horrors, trying it myself. It made me think about the times I have taught children skills that were familiar to me, and the feelings they must have experienced. Learning something new is exciting, but can be intimidating too. The rush of finally getting it right and improving was wonderful, and has encouraged me to keep searching out new experiences.
Here, for your amusement, is the fruit of my labours: