One of my goals for 2015 was to learn how to knit. I’ve been wanting to do this for ages. It seems like the perfect addition to sewing. My first project was this simple hat. And just five rows in, I felt like Harry Potter during his first magic lesson. I mean: It really started to look like the ribbing of a hat! How crazy is that? (a fact I pointed out to everyone I saw that week …)
Do I like it?
Definitely! The beauty of the material, the relaxing motion of my hands, the fact that it is affordable and requires few tools to get started. So far, knitting also seems a lot simpler than sewing: No prewashing, no cutting, no interfacing. You just start and then you stop. It is also easier to knit in trains, subways and cars than it is to sew (believe me, I’ve tried …).
The worst learning experience
To be honest, my first encounter with knitting started out rather unpleasant. I initially signed up for a beginner’s knitting class at a local yarn shop. A quite popular one even, with a skandi-style cafe and all . Sadly, the class turned out to be a desaster. Not only was I the slowest of all people there but I also made every mistake possible while knitting. And when I say every mistake, I mean every. single. mistake. Think bringing the wrong needles AND yarn, f*cking up while casting one (thrice!), the most basic things really. The worst part, though, was that the teacher – an old yarn shop lady (who was super rude to begin with) – only got more mean, even bullyish, with every mistake I made. Which, obviously, didn’t help at all.
I mean, I kind of get it: There’s this idiot in your class who can’t even bring the right material. But also: It’s a beginner’s class. Be annoyed, but at least show some respect. And maybe don’t teach a knitting class if you lack the most basic interpersonal skills and have to bully a beginner for being exactly that: a beginner. Sorry for the rant.
Looking back, I wish I had just stood up for myself and told her off, but I was in a vulnerable place that evening, so her words and behaviour just hurt me deeply. After an hour of the most condescending treatment, I was so close to tears that I packed my stuff (and the remains of my dignity) and left. Once I was out of the shop and around the first corner, I immediately started crying so heavily that I couldn’t stop for a while. I felt like an absolute failure, for my knitting mistakes and for not being able to defend myself. But also: How on earth do such people teach classes?
That night, I thought about quitting the whole knitting thing altogether. But somehow, the next day, I was even more determined to learn it. I just wanted to prove to myself (and to that disgusting old yarn shop lady) that I could do it. I wanted to kick her butt (even though I will never EVER set foot in that shop again) by making that freaking hat!
So I took the pattern from the class, an old knitting book and the internet and I did it. I made my first hat. Ha! Up Yours, mean old yarn shop lady! And thank you, YouTube, knitting blogs and small-but-oh-so-well-explained-knitting-instructions-brochure-a-(nice!)-yarn-shop-lady-handed-me-5-years-ago.
Okay, I am off to knit another hat and satisfy my inner mad hatter. If I continue at this pace, I will probably have one hat for every day of the week by the end of winter. Any fellow knitters out there who can recommend interesting knitting blogs and patterns?
If so, let me know on instagram
|“Sloppy Beanie Hat” from my knitting class
in the rudest shop in town (read story above)
|Austermann Irish Tweed, 50g/110m,
70% virgin wool, 30% mohair
|50 cm circular needles in size 5 (UK 6, US 8)
|around 60g / 1.2 skeins
|Yes! Yes! Yes! This is such a great basic pattern. Hat Nr. 2 is in the making.