An open letter to beginning knitters

Dear Students of Knitting:

Greetings. You have begun studying a craft that will, should you decide to pursue it, expose you to a world of animals, color, art and lovely people. This is a decision you should make lightly. Knitting should be fun and not a burden, something you do to enjoy not prove something.

Keep in mind that as with everything, the journey to competence is exactly that, a journey. If you started piano lessons tomorrow, you wouldn't expect to perform a Chopin nocturne next week. The same is true of knitting, which, I can assue you, is far easier to master than the piano-forte.

That said, do you see the hot mess pictured above? This is a sweater I'm starting, Norah Gaughan's Aeneas, though you wouldn't know it now. Currently it's a tangle of cursing, missteps, gauge swatches, aborted beginnings and $150 in yarn that doesn't get gauge.

And, I've been knitting longer than most of you have been alive.

Knitters, this is what love is: A tangle of cursing, misteps, false starts and expense on the way to becoming more fully realized.

Consider this:

This corpulent tabby has me wrapped around his furry paw. That doesn't mean I don't want to put his tail in the juicer when he shreds magazines, baits Stanley or scratches the sofa. Likewise when the knitting goes awry, I want to toss it to Antone to have his way with it.

The point is: Mistakes will be made. By me, by you, by the kitty, by me toward the kitty, by everyone knitting. You don't get out of knitting class without making mistakes.

Perfectionism has no place at the start, in love or knitting. Perfectionism will keep you from the adventure before it's  begun. There is a place for care and quality as you progress; attention to detail makes beautiful garments. But allow yourself the pain and pleasure of being young in a task.

I promise, you will improve. But in the meantime, recognize that this is one of the rare times in your life where it's OK to suck.

Hugs and kisses,

A Beginning Knitting Teacher


Comments (2) -

April 26. 2012 19:14


Caused me to smile! I have to remind my students that  mistakes are good in knitting. Thanks for making my day!

Ann |

May 3. 2012 10:35


Love this post and love Antone. It always helps to have a cat to "help" with your knitting ;)

Kelly |

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