Friday, December 5, 2008

Someone will eventually find comfort in my knitting struggles...

After writing that post a few weeks ago about my volunteer work, I realized that I wasn't doing anything current for my church. I spent so many hours as the VBS director earlier this year that I needed a big ol' break. It felt like break time was up, though, so I prayerfully considered what I should do.

Pretty quickly came an offer to teach Sunday School. Nope. Nuh-uh. No way. Not going to do it. I felt guilty about saying no, but I *really* don't feel like it's my calling right now.

I was considering joining the Prayer Shawl Ministry, but hadn't made a decision yet. Well... the big guy upstairs made up my mind for me. He put me right in front of the coordinator minutes after she announced that she was looking for additional volunteers. I heard myself tell her I'd be there that next Thursday morning.

Now there's something you have to understand. The only things I know about knitting are that you use two needles and there's something about "purl". I have never once felt the need to learn which, on thinking about it, is kind of odd for me. I love creating things -- stories, clothes, decorations, scrapbooks, crafts, blogs (!), etc. So why has the knitting bug never hit me? Who knows?

I actually looked forward all week to that prayer shawl meeting and was excited to learn to knit. The wonderful ladies there, about eight in all, gave me the needles and yarn and got me started. It was really fun, I thought, and I so enjoyed getting to know my fellow knitters better.

By the end of the meeting, I had cast on my first row of 57 stiches. I came home excited to start the next row. But, um... I had no idea how. I spend days trying to figure it out. Going online, looking at books at the bookstore, asking people if they knew how to knit. I didn't want to put the whole thing down until the next meeting. After all, they only meet once a month!

I ended up finding a knitting shop in the area and going in to ask for advice. The owner looked at what I was doing, showed me how to start the next row and then looked at me kind of oddly. "You know," she said, "You're making this way too hard on yourself." Huh? "These needles are huge and metal and way to slippery. And this is the wrong kind of yarn." I repeat: huh? She explained herself, got me sorted out, gave me my receipt for the new needles and yarn I bought and sent me on my way.

After practicing and practicing on smaller needles and wool yarn, I felt ready to go back to the prayer shawl materials. The going was great for about a week! Then I ran into a problem I didn't know how to fix, so I decided to go to the open class night at the knitting shop.

The verdict? I suck at knitting.

She made me pull out the six inches of two foot wide shawl I'd accomplished. I was ok with that, actually. Apparently, it was mistake-ridden. I tried and tried and tried for the next hour plus to understand what she was saying to me. It didn't work so well.

At one point, she laughed and said, "Are you nervous?" I didn't think so, but sure enough, I was shaking and sweating. Actually, I think I was just concentrating really hard. By the end of the class, I felt totally dejected. No praise. No encouragement. Nothing but do-overs.

Who even came up with such a convoluted mess as knitting? I'm not giving up or anything. I don't give up that easily. I will most likely find another knitting shop to frequent, though. And if any of you, my trusty readers, have knitting advice, I would love to hear it!

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