Are Outside Forces Keeping You from Your Knitting?
In college, I was the youngest member of my knitting group. I was just beginning to pick up knitting again after a long hiatus and was mesmerized by the beautiful things the other women were making: lace shawls, cabled sweaters, and my favorite, Fair Isle (or stranded) cowls. After many Friday nights of rebuilding my skills, looking on while my friends patiently fixed my dropped stitches, I felt ready to tackle basic stranded knitting.
Luckily for me, a big knitting convention was coming to Atlanta—just a few hours from my university in Florida. I signed up for a basic colorwork class and got all my supplies and homework ready to go. I was nervous, though; what if the other students understood the concepts more quickly than me? What if everyone stared at me because I was the youngest? What if somehow they all already knew how to knit perfect colorwork and were just there to embarrass me?
The day of my class, I woke up when it was still dark to get a head start on the 5-hour drive. About an hour into southern Georgia, I was stopped at a drunk driving checkpoint. The officer asked many questions while shining a bright flashlight into my face and my car. It was a little jarring, to say the least.
“Why are you on the road this early? Where are you going?” I replied that I was going to a knitting convention in Atlanta and needed to be there early for my first class. He was puzzled.
“A what convention?” Squinting in the light, I replied, “Sir, I’m going to a knitting convention. Knitting, like sweaters.”
I held up my current project, complete with yarn and needles sticking out, for him to see. There was an awkward pause.
“Uhh, okay. Drive safely.” I’m pretty sure he hadn’t heard that one before.
To my relief, the class went great and I successfully created a small tube of knitted colorwork. My hotel roommate and I became fast friends, and she even presented me with a beautiful scissor fob as a parting gift.
Leaning toward the precipice of trying something new is always daunting, just like the first time I decided to take a stranded knitting class. With the added bonus of a police checkpoint, I thought the universe might be against my decision to embark upon this new technique. Up to that point, I may have even been trying to think of a reason to turn around. Yet, I pressed forward and got myself to that class. I haven’t looked back.
It’s okay to be a little apprehensive when trying new things, but don’t let that fear stop you. Remember that we are often more patient with others than we are with ourselves, particularly when teaching new skills. If you’re interested in trying out basic colorwork knitting, check out Kyle Kunnecke’s online course, Introduction to Stranded Knitting. You’ll even have a chance to learn Armenian knitting (or locked floats), a fun and useful technique I didn’t try until much later in my colorwork journey.
By taking Kyle’s Intro course, you’ll learn all the basics: managing two colors at once, swatching flat and in the round, reading and managing charts, color theory principles, and much more. With easy streaming, you won’t even have to navigate a police checkpoint to gain those stranded knitting skills!
Never Stop Learning!