Sunday, December 27, 2015

Knit Four, Purl Four

One of Jodie's goals for 2016 is to learn how to knit. She had a head start as a teenager, but had forgotten most of what she learned. So she asked me to teach her while she was visiting over the Christmas holiday.

Funny thing is, I barely know how to knit myself. It was a little like the blind being led by the visually impaired. I couldn't remember all the official vocabulary of knitting, so made up my own terms. On top of that, Jodie is right-handed and I am left-handed. That's always a little hurdle we have to overcome when I teach her a new skill. Luckily, we have experience in working in mirror image, so instead of sitting side-by-side as teacher and pupil, we sit across from each other.

I joggled my memory and taught her a few basics: casting on, the basic knit stitch, the basic purl stitch, then how to put those together to make a stockinette stitch, and how to put them together in another way to make ribbing. I explained how to take a rib stitch and turn it into a basketweave, but we didn't practice that. Out of necessity, Jodie learned to decrease because she somehow kept adding stitches inadvertently. And I showed her how to increase at an edge, because that's the only way I know how to do it. Then she learned to cast off.

I kept invoking the name of our friend Susan, who is a fantastic knitter (and spinner and weaver and baker and dog lover ... but I digress). I also encouraged Jodie to spend some time with online tutorials to get more tips than I have to share - and to learn the proper lingo.

The cool thing was that, after a bit, we were quiet and concentrating, and we began to hear that lovely rhythmic click of the needles begin to happen. It's such a soothing sound. Our little sampler began to grow. Our stitches became more even. The feeling of accomplishment and serenity was palpable.

As a bonus to me, the lesson got me jazzed about knitting again. I grabbed a couple skeins of yarn from my stash, and started (well, started six times due to making mistakes and having to start over) a new scarf for myself. Such pretty colors! Using the rib stitch, it ought to be nice and warm, too.

Let's see if I can get it done before the snow melts.

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