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Today we’re talking about knitting myths, and how they could be affecting your journey.
First, I want to talk to you a little bit about my own knitting journey. Are you sitting comfortably? Good. Then we’ll begin. (Bonus points if you understand that reference…)
I didn’t “pick up” knitting immediately. I tried many, many times before I became “successful”.
Growing up, whenever my Nan would knit, I would ask her to teach me. Pretty often she’d just say no to save herself the hassle, but every now and again she would agree to try. She’d show me the steps, send me away to work on it, then I’d come back an hour later begging her to fix the holy mess I’d made.
This would go on for a while until one (or both) of us would throw down my knitting in frustration, and declare that I would never be able to knit.
It wasn’t until a period of illness in my teenage years when I was bed-bound and seriously bored, that I decided I was going to figure out this knitting malarkey once and for all.
I armed myself with cups of tea, YouTube, and a heavy stack of my Nan’s ancient knitting books.
After hours of research, trying to figure out the first steps, I had successfully cast on some stitches, and not long after that, I was making progress on my first ever knitting project.
It was the most hideous, neon pink, acrylic phone case. I even learnt how to create a buttonhole in my knitting, and added a big lurid button to keep my phone secure. I actually wish I’d taken a photo of the monstrosity, as I threw it away not too long after creating it!
You would expect that after 6 years of knitting, I would class myself as an experienced knitter. You’d be wrong.
I learned to knit in 2008. I went to college and studied and Art and Design, where I specialised in Constructed Textiles (read: knitting) in 2009. I went to University to study Textile Crafts, specialising in Hand Knitting from 2010 – 2013.
After all that… I still didn’t knit my first sweater until 2015.
I still didn’t think I was experienced enough.
I figured to be an “experienced” knitter, you had to spend years and years, honing your craft, like my Nanna had done. At the time, there were a few knitting myths that I believed, and they were holding me back from progressing.
Have a read, and see whether you too have been holding yourself back by believing these same knitting myths!
Knitting is hard
This one is a self-fulfilling prophecy. If you believe that knitting is super hard and you’re always going to struggle, then you’re probably always going to struggle. If you believe that knitting is challenging but achievable, you’re starting out with the right mindset to tackle anything that comes your way.
Knitting is only as hard as you believe it is.
You have to know how to do everything before starting a project
I think we’ve all been guilty of believing this at some point in our lives, whether in regards to knitting or some other skill you’ve learnt. You don’t need to know how to do everything before you start a project. You learn most effectively by doing, so you may as well start and learn as you go along!
You learn best by actually doing!
If you make a mistake, your project is ruined
This belief is enough to put anyone off starting anything! And, it’s simply not true. Every mistake is fixable. Believe me. Putting something off because there’s a chance of failure is a sure fire way to never achieve anything.
Everything is fixable, try not to worry!
You haven’t been knitting long enough
Whether you’ve been knitting 5 weeks or 5 years, it’s never too soon to start improving your skills and your confidence. There is no specified length of time that you have to have been knitting in order to become “experienced”.
Confidence comes from knowledge, not from how many years you’ve spent doing something.
Knitting is “uncool”
Now you may or may not have been held back by this myth. I’m sad to say that as a teenager, although I loved knitting, I was pretty embarrassed by my hobby. My friends would mock me, and even my Nan used to call me Granny Buggins (whoever that is…) The truth of the matter is that it really doesn’t matter whether knitting is cool or not (personally, I think it’s very cool). It is such a valuable skill for so many reasons, and hey… if anyone mocks you… Tell them it’s not a hobby, it’s a post-apocalyptic life skill.
I can honestly say in the past almost decade of knitting, I have believed, and been held back by every one of these myths at some point or other.
In 2015 I made the decision to no longer allow myself to be controlled by these beliefs. I decided that I was going to tackle the hard projects, not without fear, but without letting my fear get in the way.
I knitted and knitted and researched until my eyes went blurry to build my knowledge and my confidence. I learned how to fix my mistakes, and found lots of tips and tricks that would make knitting beautiful things a smoother process. Practice, practice, and practice some more. That’s the key!
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