One small step for knitters, one big step into Knittingkind
Thursday December 08th 2011, 11:28 pm
Filed under: Knit,Life

Medical week, round three: I had to go in for an ultrasound. You know, just to make sure I didn’t need an ultrasound.

Drink 40 oz and come in an hour later. Did. Used the facilities apparently a little too close to the time; came in, and–nope, you need to drink more and we’ll call for you in twenty minutes.

(Cool! More knitting time!)

So I’m sitting there in the waiting room and someone I hadn’t seen earlier who works there appears from around the corner and nods at me with a smile. I smile and nod back; doing 2×2 ribbing, I don’t have to look much at what’s in my hands, my eyes are free to notice what’s going on around me. I’m knitting a hat at the center of the Venn diagram of two circular needles, the tips not in use waggling a bit as I work. In retrospect it must have looked complicated.

It isn’t.

She disappears back into the hallway behind the door.

I apparently had been verified as friendly: and so, two minutes later, she reappears through the door with another woman who immediately sits down next to me (as the first stays standing, smiling and nodding some more) and tells me that they’d taken knitting classes together at such-and-such LYS in Los Gatos and they didn’t get it! Why does it do this when you do that, and, and… They were in agreement that they were both about to chuck it. They clearly were both also in agreement that they didn’t want to.

“If you do stockinette stitch for your scarf the edges will curl. If you do some knit/purl combination at the edges it’ll be okay.”

“That’s what the lady on the plane said!” she confirmed eagerly to the one standing.

Then she said something about practicing with garbage yarn–her phrase–and I told her, “If you knit garbage yarn you end up with garbage. And it’s not fun. I use really nice yarns and it makes me want to knit.” And here–I had her feel the baby alpaca in my hands.


The standing one stayed shy and a little apart but the smile was getting bigger.

They had great enthusiasm, they loved being able to talk about it with no pressure of being in a yarn store where everybody else was better at it than they, and they just seemed to need to know that knitting really is something one can stay passionate about even if one has to start at it by being a beginner.

Is there anyone who was never a beginner?

9 Comments so far
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I think that’s what a lot of people forget – everyone, including them, was once a beginner, at everything! If you can remember what it was like to be that entry-level person, there would be much less attitude when working with someone who is just learning.

Glad you could encourage the knitters taking their baby steps and gaining confidence!

Comment by Kathy in San Jose 12.09.11 @ 1:18 am

That 20 minute wait was put to good missionary work! You encouraged a soul who was beginning to doubt.

Comment by LynnM 12.09.11 @ 2:19 am

I remember those that were good to me when I started. The second time. The first time didn’t stick – there weren’t any helpers around – and the yarn got longer and loooooooonger and loooooooooooooooooger between the needles and I chucked it. I am more than happy to help anyone now.

Comment by afton 12.09.11 @ 7:53 am

Garbage yarn. Ick. Not inspiring at all… Blessed be the stitches that bind…

Comment by Channon 12.09.11 @ 8:31 am

Some of us are still trying to get past the practically a new beginner stage.

Comment by Sherry in Idaho 12.09.11 @ 8:57 am

Yes, everyone starts at the beginning. I don’t know anyone who sprung from the head of Zeus fully grown.

How fortunate for those ladies who stumbled onto an expert who would treat them kindly.

Comment by Don Meyer 12.09.11 @ 9:57 am

Recently I’ve joined a knitting group with beginners who wonder out loud how some of the rest of us just move right along as though knitting were second nature (which it is, of course).

I’ve heard talk of how maybe it’s not so important to teach grade school children to write in cursive after all. Now I sometimes ask the beginning knitters whether they remember how difficult cursive seemed at first. I do remember; I was amazed at the thought of it.


Comment by RobinM 12.09.11 @ 4:42 pm

not only have I been a beginner, but I absolutely identify with that feeling of being intimidated (although I bluff well and a lot of folks wouldn’t know that)

you are a great knitting ambassador!

Comment by Bev 12.10.11 @ 10:32 am

I often remind people how hard it is to learn to tie a shoe, yet we all do it now and don’t even have to look at it while we do it.

And the garbage yarn advice is worth its weight in Malabrigo!

Comment by twinsetellen 12.13.11 @ 4:14 am

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