To Knit or to Unknit…does that have to be the question?

I am learning to knit. A scarf. A beautiful orchid purple yarn is going to become something I can wear. Or….keep just to laugh at. Or…throw away. All depends on how this goes.

This isn’t my first attempt at that ancient craft. I remember on my 18th birthday…I discovered that if I ever need a good, hard knot for anything I just need to practice knitting, and voila! It will be a knot to outlast all others. Though it made me think I could have a future in sailing or rock climbing, it discouraged me from knitting, crocheting, cross-stitching, embroidering….yeah. Any of it.

But since I’m spending so much time with one of the world’s greatest knitters, I thought I’d better take advantage of the opportunity. I’m older now…and wiser…and possibly a little less clumsy. Maybe.

Grandma makes it look so easy.

“Like this, Sage.” As her skillful fingers expertly work the pattern.

 Clumsily, I give it a try.

 “No, Like this.” And quicker than I can unravel the colorful fibers, she does it again.

 “Slow down, Grandma. Please do this one very, very slowly… SLLLLOOOOWWWLLLLYYYY. Ah. Okay!  I think I have it! Let me try!”


 “Let me show you again. It is SO easy!”

 “For YOU it is!!!”

 “Well, sometimes when people first start, they are all fingers. Like this, Sage. Just do it like this.”

 And then after tying my tongue in knots as I laboriously twist the yarn around the needles….

 “Yes! There! You’ve got it! You’re a fast learner!”

 She goes to bed…I mess up terribly…unravel it all and try unsuccessfully for half an hour to start over. But I can’t remember how to cast on.

 So we do it all over again the next day. And I ‘learned’ even faster. Until I took it all out again.

I’ve got a few inches going now. They aren’t perfect. There are holes where I dropped a stitch here and there. Strangely enough, I cast on 24 stitches and now have 30. When I showed that to Grandma she laughed and said, “How did you do that???” Followed by a, “Don’t do that anymore, Sage.” But I don’t know HOW I did it. And if I don’t know how….how do I know how NOT to?

 As soon as I took up the needles and yarn I had a fierce desire to listen to an Agatha Christie story or two while I was being so industrious. It seemed my knitting needles SHOULD be clicking away, as any proper knitting needles would. Only…the needles I am using are not metal. They don’t click. They’re very quiet. If they did make noise though, it would be sporadic, unsure clicking…not the confident, measured rhythm that I am sure Miss Marple produces.

 The pattern I am making is very simple. One row knit. One row purl. One row knit. One row purl. I think I have that down now….but starting each row is a disaster. Every time I turn the project, I hope that it will make sense to me by some miracle. Not so.

It’s not perfect…but I’m in for the long haul. Well…not too long. I think I’ll make a short scarf. A very short one. Or….maybe a pot holder.

But someday….someday I will knit beautifully and evenly. I will knit sweaters, and baby clothes for my multitude of nieces and nephews who I KNOW are coming someday. I will knit a hideous afghan…just to say I did it. And hats and scarves and mittens and….Someday.

Someday I’m going to be JUST LIKE Miss Marple. Someday.


12 thoughts on “To Knit or to Unknit…does that have to be the question?

  1. 🙂 The snowflakes falling added the perfect touch to this post! Even if you just make a tiny potholder or tea coaster you will have me in awe!! Knitting is so extremely confusing…

    1. SO happy to know I’m not the only one who thinks it’s confusing, Rachel! Thank you for that! And the snowflakes…I LOVE them. Did you see that they follow your cursor a bit? I’ve spent far too much time sitting here making them fall to the left and then to the right and then to the left and then…yep. I love ’em!

  2. I loved reading this! I’m so glad you are learning! And I can hear Grandma’s accent and tone in your conversation…almost makes me feel like I was there.
    You can do it!!!

  3. I love this…And then after tying my tongue in knots as I laboriously twist the yarn around the needles….

    Well, this is just about what I feel like when I’m trying to follow the instructions on this writer program you sent. But if you can stick to the knitting…I can stick to the program…

    Great post!

  4. You ARE making progress! Just talk to Sue about knitting. She can tell you all about having the number of stitches grow unaccountably. Lately, though, she has tried adding a second color to may scarf. I’m impressed. The scarf, of course, will not be ready for this Christmas. . . . I think next year could even be pushing it.

    1. Sue and I can compare notes…or cry on each others shoulders…or whatever…when you two come over. Two colors! Very impressive! Well…I guess this gives you something to look forward to, Jeff!

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