Two Girls, One Story: How we learned to knit, gave up and started again

basket with yarn - Blossoms and Posies

We have a story for you today.
It’s a story that played out in each of our lives at different times.
It’s the story of two girls who couldn’t knit.
And how we stopped knitting because of it.
But that’s not the end.

Abbie’s Story – Sometimes It’s Just Hard

When I was six I learned how to knit. And I kind of did it for a little bit, but I wasn’t very interested. I think I thought it was too hard. So I threw it to the side.

But then, a couple years later, I took a ball of yarn, and two popsicle sticks, and did what I remembered closest to knitting. When I showed my mom she said “Wow! Look! You just purled!” or something like that. And that’s when I realized, this actually IS fun! Then, since I didn’t have any needles, I took two unsharpened pencils, so as not to color on the yarn. And in three hours I made a gift that I gave to someone at church the next day. It was just kind of like a washcloth for a baby. She liked the texture.

Then my mom gave me some real needles and I kept knitting more and more but I couldn’t really use a pattern. I found a pattern for a baby hat that I thought was so cute. My mom helped me through it, teaching me the basics of following patterns, and I made the hat, and then I made another hat, and then I made another hat… and I loved it! I thought it was really fun!

Berry Hat - Blossoms and Posies

The hat that changed everything, on the baby who inspired perseverance

I still knit and I enjoy it, but I didn’t always!

So if you have tried something and gave up because it was too hard, remember this: if you try again and persevere you may realize it’s not as hard as you think, and as the saying goes “Practice makes perfect!

Mrs. Brown’s Story – Sometimes Life Gets Too Busy

I learned to knit for Abbie.

I was seven months pregnant with her and I just wanted to make something for the sweet baby I couldn’t wait to hold. So I sat on the couch with my big round belly and my friend Terri taught me how to knit. I enjoyed it, so being ambitious, I decided my first big project would be a lace blanket for the baby.

That was not a very good idea. Lace is not for beginners.

When Abbie was born I had not gotten very far. I became very busy with my new baby and her big brother, so I left the little bit of a blanket in the cupboard unfinished. It stayed there for a year and a half. Then I packed it into a box and moved it into storage because we moved. Fifteen months later, when we finally got to our new house, I unpacked it and put it on a shelf. It was still a little bit of a blanket with needles in it, attached to a big ball of yarn.

When Abbie was almost five I had another baby. The bit of a blanket was still on a shelf.

I don’t really know what came over me, but one day I decided that it was time. It was time to finish that blanket.

I picked it up and saw all the mistakes I’d made. I realized it was going to take me forrrrreeeeever to knit lace. So I changed the pattern. I just knit. Nothing fancy, just knit knit knit. And I made the most important decision I have ever made regarding arts or crafts:

I decided not to give up.

I decided that however it came out, I was going to finish that blanket.

And that is how I started being a real knitter.

First Blanket - Blossoms and Posies

See, I didn't even worry about holes and mistakes!

Now lace isn’t hard for me. Now I can make things that aren’t flat and I even know what sl1 psso means (it means slip one, pass slipped stitch over). All because I didn’t give up.

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Sometimes it’s hard to learn new things.

Sometimes we just don’t have the energy to keep at it. And that’s okay. It’s okay to stop, to take a break… even if the break lasts for years and years.

But don’t give up. If you are trying to learn something new and are struggling, remember this: today you are probably an excellent talker, reader and walker. We’ll bet you can sit up with the best of ‘em. But when you were born? You couldn’t do any of those things. You had to learn… by watching other people, and trying and trying and trying again. You had to build certain muscles, you had to fall down, you had to do it messily and not quite right. And now? You are an expert.

At the beginning of a new year grown ups and kids alike will often make resolutions. Things they’re going to change, things they’re going to learn, ways they are going to make themselves better. We’d like to suggest you pick one thing, just one thing, and determine not to give up on it.

Give yourself time, give yourself breaks, give yourself pats on the back.

But don’t give up.

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We want to cheer you on! What are you going to not give up on this year? Is there something crafty or in the home arts that you want to learn for the first time? Or pick up again? Leave a comment here!

About Abbie and Mrs. Brown

2 Responses to “Two Girls, One Story: How we learned to knit, gave up and started again”

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  1. sandy says:

    I’m glad you ladies didn’t give up on your knitting! (Partially because I love sitting with Mrs. Brown and knitting!) Sewing is something I’ve taken on, given up, taken on, given up, etc. This year I’d like to really hone my skills to the point where sewing is fun and not frustrating.

    • Abbie says:

      Good for you Ms. sandy! I had the opposite of your experience. I loved sewing from the beginning; it was knitting that gave me trouble.
      Now however, (even though I’m not very good at it) I enjoy knitting very much!

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