There’s something thrilling about being a beginner. As a classic ENTP personality type I’m always looking for new things to do, but it’s only recently that I realised that a big part of the reason for that is that I really enjoy being a beginner, starting with absolutely no idea of how something works and facing a steep learning curve.
Sure, it’s gratifying to be intermediate or advanced at a craft, honing your skills and able to produce things which people swoon over. But as a beginner, there’s so much potential to get excited about, and so many new ways to think about the world that rarely come up when you’re experienced. Every time I do an art class I find myself quite literally seeing the world differently. When I’ve moved to a new country (9 times!) I’ve found it’s so exciting discovering a new neighbourhood, and knowing you have tons of exploration and surprise to come. Perhaps this reflects my optimistic nature, and the fact I tend to relish change rather than resist it (for the most part), but nothing fires me up quite as much.
And so, to knitting. After my triumphant but massively chunky purple scarf, I asked for advice here and was thrilled by all the suggestions pouring out of my knitting compadres. The general consensus was that I should make a hat, on smaller needles, so I pootled over to basically the only other knitting company I know, Brooklyn Tweed, and found the Fjord.
It seemed EXTREMELY HARD but everyone reassured me it was actually easy (p’shaw!), and thus it was decided. Pattern downloaded, I got my supplies over at the all-new Gather Here (just round the corner from my studio – so convenient! so dangerous for the wallet!) – I chose some Quince & Co worsted wool in cream, and picked up the various needles. Which makes it sound like I actually knew what I was doing – no, the kindly assistant in GH did it for me. Needles attached with plastic tubing, no less – all very high tech.
Carrie started me off with the long-tail cast on – so wondrous! Like a cat’s cradle in the playground. I then proceeded to knit, rip out, knit, rip out and knit a good two dozen times. Ah, learning. By the time I got to using Double Pointed Needles I was ready for a panic attack, but I watched a variety of Midwestern ladies on YouTube demonstrating the technique and just went for it. I adopted the very sophisticated approach of randomly doing decreases when I had too many stitches; I am led to believe that this might account for why my hat is slightly wonky. But there you go. I also had to learn to crochet for the top bit! How delightful.
And here we are, my lovely Brooklyn Tweed Fjord hat with tons of dropped stitches, wonky decreases and a bit of a hole at the top. But you know what? I’ve been wearing it nonstop. And there’s yet another joy of the beginner: even though you know that what you’ve made is pretty shoddy, quality wise, there’s an irrepressible joy at creating something for the first time. I love my amateur hat! And I look forward to being a knitting beginner for quite a bit more.
What are you a beginner at? Do you enjoy it as much as me? Also, now I have made A Scarf and A Hat, what should I do next?!