Most people learned how to knit or crochet from a relative or from a class at a local yarn shop(LYS). Today I hear about a lot of crafters who are learning online – either with YouTube or any of the online crafting websites like Craftsy.
I love the online videos – see earlier post about New Stitch A Day – and I’m happy so many people are finding a way to learn at their own speed and in their own place.
My transition from only knitting in solitude to being part of several knitting circles was certainly slow. I originally only started knitting as a way to get a large rectangular shawl. My mother knits but would only make me scarves and basic knit caps. The argument that a rectangular shawl was just a large scarf didn’t work on her. Once she digs her needles in, she won’t be moved. So she taught me the basics while I was recovering from foot surgery. My first piece, made of fluffy pinky chunky yarn, was knit when I was still on pain killers. the 15 stitches she cast on for me zigzagged to 32 and back to 15. But I didn’t care, or maybe the painkillers helped take away the need for perfection over the fun of practice.
When I finally started my shawl, I only did it in the privacy of my own home. I couldn’t fathom the knitters who would bring their project bag on the Metro or to lunch meetings. I didn’t feel confident enough to join a knitting circle but my mom convinced me to just visit her group. They meet on Wednesday at a local Panera and I found myself looking forward to going. It was nice to have other crafters ask about my project or volunteer a different way to fix a problem.
Slowly I added another knitting circle to my calendar. Where the Panera Group is an easy knitting group, with most of the charity projects being whipped using simple patterns, the next group meets at our LYS and is made up of a mix of beginner to advanced knitters. I have learned a lot from them and through those connections have really been able feel confident about my knitting. I’ve recently been invited to join one on Saturday mornings. There isn’t much that will roust me on the weekends, but I rise and shine on Saturday.
I still enjoy knitting at home on the sofa, especially when everyone else has gone to bed and it is just me & my needles. But I wouldn’t give up any of my knitting groups. Even for an extra snooze.
To read more about the benefits of knitting and knitting groups, see the link.