Fearful Knitting

In life, I am a fearless warrior. But in knitting, I admit, I am a scaredy cat. There are two techniques of knitting that I have never tried. Now, what in my past could be so bad that I am afraid of a knitting technique? What, did someone come at me with a sharp pointy stick? Did nuns smack my knuckles with a ruler for knitting in class? What could be so bad that after 46 years of knitting (I started early), I still haven’t done two things. I am ashamed to say that I am I total newbie at mosaic and intarsia.

Oh, here it comes – heaps of abuse. ‘But that is so easy’, yeah, yeah. Do you remember how awkward your were when you first learned to knit? And at that point, all you could think was ‘this is too hard, I will never be able to do that’. The first thing you said when you learned is ‘But that is so easy’, right?

Ok, ok, I give up; I did too. Well, not with intarsia, that still scared the pants off me. But mosaic – that is so easy. I have been doing complex two color knits for over 20 years. Mosaic really IS so easy. You only carry one color per row. Why the hell didn’t anyone tell me this? It makes great fabric.

Since I waited 46 years to try this, perhaps my enthusiasm at having the gift of learning something new within something so familiar is too great. Yes, I will probably spend years going after this simple technique and go way off the deep edge about it. But when was the last time you learned something new in knitting? It is so fun to tickle that area of the brain. Kind of a peaceful joy. I wish you joy too – learn something new.

"The best thing for being sad," replied Merlyn, beginning to puff and blow, "is to learn some-thing." That is the only thing that never fails. You may grow old and trembling in your anatomies, you may lie awake at night listening to the disorder of your veins, you may miss your only love, you may see the world about you devastated by evil lunatics, or know your honour trampled in the sewers of baser minds. There is only one thing for it then—to learn. Learn why the world wags and what wags it. That is the only thing which the mind can never exhaust, never alienate, never be tortured by, never fear or distrust, and never dream of regretting. Look at what a lot of things there are to learn—pure science, the only purity there is. You can learn astronomy in a lifetime, natural history in three, literature in six. And then, after you have exhausted a milliard lifetimes in biology and medicine and theocriticism and geography and history and economics—why, you can start to make a cartwheel out of the appropriate wood, or spend fifty years learning to begin to learn to beat your adversary at fencing. After that you can start again on mathematics, until it is time to learn to plough.

T.H. White, The Once and Future King, 1939

One place for swoonworthy swatches to get you started is
Nona Swatches. This woman is an inspiration to us all. I admire you from afar for your real and serious work for us knitters. Thank you, thank you, thank you. Every day’s entry is like a little present waiting for us all.

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