learn-ed

#26 on my list of 101 things is “learn to knit”.

I have, since the end of December, been doing just that. I’ve been to several local yarn shops. I’ve joined two separate knitting groups. I’ve read two Stitch and Bitch books nearly cover to cover. I’ve used bamboo straight needles andScarves Laying About have just started using circulars. I learned how to use double pointed needles last weekend. I’ve done up four scarves with another on the way, and the beginnings of an alpaca silk wrap working up. I’ve even flagged a pullover pattern and a hat for my next two projects, dreaming of the yarn I shall purchase and the needles I shall use. For gosh sakes, I dragged my non-knitting mom to not one but TWO local yarn stores to pet wool (it worked out well – she liked the purty colors and even picked up a pullover pattern all special for me. She may have been buying her freedom to get me out of the store)

So – since the purpose was to learn this skill without any guarantee that I would become devout, when I will be able to mark this item as complete? I can cast on, knit, purl, bind off. I can follow a simple pattern. But have I really learned to knit? I haven’t increased, decreased, seamed, cabled, aran’d, and all the other multitude of fun things one can do with “knit”. I know the basics, but are the basics really enough to define one as learn-ed? Is it counted by stitches knit, finished objects, variety of patterns? I have come to believe it’s a lifelong learning item, much like painting or pottery or programming where one can learn new things daily about the craft – and it’s not that I’m obsessed with the list or anything. No, not me at all. Although, have you noticed that I’m up to 6/101? That’s, ya know, 6% if you round up. And, you know, if #26 doesn’t get completed right away, I’m sure I can find something else to bring me up to 7%.

I am a keener. Which again brings me to the question – when can I declare #26 “complete”? Please send suggestions, Great Knitting Ones.

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10 thoughts on “learn-ed

  1. I’m not a knitter, so from that perspective you’d have to take my opinion with a grain of salt. However, I am an Expert List Maker, so I do carry some clout. I say check it off! It definitely sounds like a life-time learning endeavor, but if you’ve made things that can actually be worn (scarves count!), I’d say you’ve officially learned to knit. Congratulations!

  2. Look at it this way: if you don’t know how to knit, who knit those scarves? Knitting is definitely a life-long learning experience, but that doesn’t mean that those who aren’t professional-level knitters aren’t knitters at all. That’s like saying that only the symphony violinists know how to play the violin, or you only know how to play hockey if you’re in the NHL. There are different levels of everything, and the same is true of knitting. Sure, you might not be steeking fair isle sweaters (don’t worry if you don’t know what that means), but you’re knitting!

    Besides, I firmly believe that being a Knitter is more of a state of mind than a skill.

    (Your friend Denton sent me an email asking me to weigh in. Apparently he thinks of me as a Great Knitting One.)

  3. Once you have learned the knit stitch, the purl stitch, the casting on and the binding off, you have officially learned to knit. All that other crap is just gravy.

    If no one on the face of the planet ever did intarsia, cables, or fair isle again, you’d still be able to make yourself a decent covering for the coming apocalypse.

  4. I’m clearing you even though I only crochet so I have no clue about knitting.

    Wheelbarrow is in place and we’ve taken away your keys for safe measure 🙂 If you want to vent in great detail, you know where to find me–thetowncriers@gmail.com. I’m sorry about the what could have beens. They suck.

  5. Of course you’re having trouble trying to reduce something like this to a binary yes/no!

    If you need a yardstick, maybe check out the curriculum of a typical “Learn to Knit” class. Do you already know how to do everything they’re teaching? If yes, then I’d say “learn to knit” can be checked off with an absolutely clear conscience.

    After a quick and informal Google of these type of classes, I’d say that if you do something with increases and decreases (and this is *not* difficult) then you are bullet-proof safe in checking off your list item (try one of those Grandmother’s Dishcloths – http://www.jimsyldesign.com/~dishbout/kpatterns/grfavorite.html)

    However, at your discretion you may then have about twenty *more* list items like “learn to cable,” “work with two colours,” “reduce/organise my yarn stash” “make a lace tablecloth” etc. etc. etc. Maybe those should go on the next list. 🙂

  6. I’m sooo making another list and it will be 101 things to knit in 1001 days. This is a sickness that I really quite like.

    Thanks everyone – although I think I can cross #26 off now, I am going to do a dishcloth with increases and decreases, test it on some dishes, then cross it off.

    I’m 90ish rows away from VICTORY!

  7. You’re so done with the learning part. Knit and purl – everything else is just variations on that theme.

    I just this morning started a new blog of only knitting stuff, because it doesn’t really fit with either of my other two (family photos or rampant bitching). http://knittingnattering.blogspot.com . You could join and post, too, if you wanted… hmm.

  8. I am looking for the kniting pattern – “cornerstone”. I have a copy but there seems to be a printing error. anyone have that pattern – help would be appreciated
    Thank you.

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