Monday, January 14, 2013

Knitty Gritty

For the past few days I've been wrestling with a new knitting project. It's one of those patterns that assumes you know things, which I don't.

My grandmother taught me how to knit when I was about seven. On one of those Barranquilla afternoons when then rain comes and turns streets into rivers forcing everyone to stay indoors until it's done dragging buses to the ocean, she helped me make a hot pink sweater with silver flecks for my favorite doll. That was all the knitting I'd done until a couple of years ago when I thought I'd give it another try.

With the help of a couple of friends and countless of patient youtube grandmas, I was able to learn how to make a wide range of things. This year I even made hand knit gifts for all of Colter's family (three cowls, four hats, one scarf) and got really good at subway surf knitting (the key is using a sturdy paper bag - will try to post a detailed how to soon).

One of the things I love best about knitting is that you start with a ball of yarn, an idea, and a set of instructions. Since I like challenging myself and learning new things, I often chose patterns that include techniques I've never tried before. The pattern as a whole tends to be overwhelming, but if I go row by row and consult with my youtube grandmas whenever I get stuck, slowly something comes out of it.

Modeling one of my creations. This is Jayne Cobb's Cunning Hat, which I made for Colter.

If things get confusing, I can always go back to the instructions and figure it out.  Which seems to be the case with pretty much anything. What seems impossible becomes manageable when it's broken down to pieces. If instructions are not available, you just make them up.

It works for running and it works for pretty much everything else. That's where I am. Making things up as I go.

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