There I go again, trying something that isn’t normal for a guy in his mid-twenties to do. Knitting.
Spare me the shock and excitement that I’m doing it, I don’t do it because I want to break barriers of some sort. I try new things all the time because I’m a self-professed learner or trier or explorer or investigator of new hobbies. I don’t know what to call it.
I believe that we as people have lost our way slightly when it comes to very primitive tasks. We are fortunate that there are those who make us clothing, make us ready to eat meals and build things to make our lives easier but as we progress I see we’re starting to lose some of those very basic skills. These skills are often the things I get obsessed about. Be it carpentry, welding, bread baking and, now, knitting.
When I was in Iceland in October of 2016 I became obsessed with the idea of their Icelandic Wool being used to make their clothing, especially sweaters. I was told that most Icelanders have at least two sweaters. One formal and one casual. And as I drove through the Westfjords of Iceland I noted multiple farmers walking their pastures wearing the wool sweaters.
Iceland has an abundance of lamb. It’s their thing. So it is only natural that they weave the wool into yarn and make clothing. It is not only an easy product to come by but it is also ridiculously warm and resilient product. So amazing that I bought two sweaters and haven’t gone through a day without wearing one of them since getting back.
All this new information I had learned while in Iceland spiked my interest on how this clothing is made. Enter knitting.
In a very half-hearted way, I asked my mom to show me how to knit one day while visiting at my parent’s house.
She pulled out a set of needles, showed me how to cast onto the needle, how to do a stitch, and within five minutes I was working away are my first scarf?, cloth?, rag?, sheet? I don’t actually know what it is.
My first several rows were horrible. The stitch was too tight, I would miss a stitch, it got bigger randomly. Then, as if remembering to ride a bike for the first time in years, I got into the right rhythm and now have gone several rows without missing a beat.
Sadly, I’m going to unravel what I have done. Now that I know how to knit comfortably I’m going to start over. Make a proper scarf, fix my errors and see what I can do.
The goal you ask?
I’m learning this skill, not to master it and be the best, but to put in the arsenal of skills I’ve tried and attempted.
I can see how knitting is very therapeutic. It is a rhythm. A pattern on repeat. Funnily enough, I can draw many parallels between knitting and welding. Two skills typically performed by very different people. And thus I find it even more facinating, and this fascination is what drives me to learn more and see where skills of one particular trade are actually used in another trade altogether without anyone really talking about it.
I wonder what will be next.