I’ve been meaning to write about learning to purl for quite a while now, but due to my slow progress, there had been nothing much to say about it (and nothing to show for it) until recently.

About 3 weeks ago, I FINALLY figured out how to purl. After 20 years, I finally figured out the rest of the important basics of knitting on my own. My mom taught me a couple things when I was a kid, but it wasn’t enough to get very far. In my many attempts to learn over the years, I have picked up the needles only to put them down after a few days, because I was so easily discouraged from making mistakes that I didn’t know how to avoid or fix. I simply didn’t know what I was doing. While embarassed at having taken so long to get to the current state of things (i.e. it shouldn’t have been THIS difficut to learn), I chalk my unstrategic and frustrating experiences up to using unsuitable tools for the beginner and not being more resourceful.

So what was different this time around?

First, I was more determined. And inspired. I REALLY wanted to do something with my hands.

Also, after much research, I found a book on knitting that I could actually understand and made knitting quite doable. It introduced to me a few basics that ended up being the missing links to my hodge-podge knowledge of knitting. Once I grapsed these foundational bits, everything just came together!

Thirdly, because I started to understand the anatomy of a stitch, I became more comfortable with making mistakes. Because I had a good idea of how to fix them, there was hope yet in finishing a project that I could be proud of.

And lastly, I bought myself some good quality yarn and a pair of bamboo knitting needles suitable for newbies. Having the right tools made a very big difference. Previously, I was trying to learn using thin yarn and thin, slippery needles.

Feeling empowered and fuelled by a curiosity about what I might accomplish, I’ve been knitting like crazy in the past couple weeks, wherever I can, whenever I can. To date, I’ve knitted up a scarf in a lovely poppy colour with a ribbed stitch pattern. I was planning to give it to Dot, but I’m tempted to keep this first project for myself.

So beware! I might impose one of my hand-knit creations on you some time in the future!

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