It's been a long while since I worked with the ol' knitting needles, so the other evening I figured I'd start by practicing my knits and pearls with a basic basket weave pattern. Then I moved on to more practice with other simple patterns.
Satisfied with my practice, I pulled them apart, wrapped the yarn back into balls to make ready for learning a new method of knitting.
My mom taught me to knit, English method, when I was something like eleven years old. A couple years back I discovered another method, called continental, and I want to learn it.
In many ways it's like learning to knit all over again. Aside from
mastering getting the basic logistics of holding the needles, controlling the yarn, finger placements and motion, I'm finding the damned tension to be my biggest struggle … and this experience hurled me back in time and space to that eleven-year-old struggling with the same challenge. I wonder if that's the key hurdle for most beginners - the tension - be it with knitting or anything else?
When we're brave enough to learn something new it seems that an element of tension is usually involved, and it feels important, vital even. It keeps us focused on the challenge, on the desire, on the process … on the journey. We may feel some fleeting pride in an outcome, but it's the process of learning, of doing that nourishes and sustains us over the long haul.
In any event, I've made - and destroyed - several practice patches these past few days and find the process smoothing out a little, the stitches are looking a little better and the tension is finding its balance.