It's been a long time in coming. I first tried teaching Tera to knit about a year ago. We didn't get past "But, Mom, I don't want to have to roll my yarn in a ball first." I tried to explain the whys of that little pre-knitting ritual, but she became so despondent over that thought that I figured casting on would be a real nightmare.
On our next effort, several months later, she dug her heels in on having to hold the needle with finished rows in her left hand. "That's going to be awkward for me," she said. "I'm right-handed." As if I, her mother, didn't know that. We decided in the interest of maintaining a pleasant mother-daughter relationship to shelve the needles for a day when she felt less resistant.
Today was that day. Although she made it clear that the slightly more complicated casting on method I favor was not going to work for her, she took immediately to the regular thumb-loop cast on. And before either of us knew what was happening, my daughter was knitting. I shot this picture when the rhythm of the thing had finally settled in her bones. If you can't tell from the photo, her tongue is firmly planted in the corner of her mouth. She's knitting with intensity ... but she's knitting.
"How many rows will it be?" she asked of the scarf she decided to knit for Boo, her Build-A-Bear bunny.
"I don't know yet. We'll know when it's finished." This exchange highlighted our contrary personality types: Tera, the Beaver, likes to know today--this minute--what we're having for lunch on May 3rd, 2008. I, the Otter, prefer to just wing most everything I do.
She dropped a stitch. I showed her how to fix it. While I was out of the room, she then gained a stitch and decided that the best way to correct that blip was to just slip it off the needle. I didn't discover this little plan of hers until that extra loop was sticking out one side about four rows down from where she was now knitting.
"Can I help you fix that?"
She handed me her work and I saw her eyes widen as she watched me rip out those four rows.
"It's okay," I said. "You learn to knit by making a lot of mistakes and then fixing them."
She brightened. "Kinda like life, right?"
Yes, O Wise One. Kinda like life.
Some of you know that I started a blog, Chicks With Stix, for the women knitters of my church. Well, we've now spun off a blog for the knitting girls of Calvary Chapel Marysville. When you get a minute, why don't you run over and say hi to Tera, Jessica, Arielle, and Jaimey at their very happenin' site: Chicklets With Sticklets.