How many articles/ stories/ headlines have you read telling you how relaxing and zen knitting is?
More than you can remember I'm sure.
While I know that established knitters find the rhythm of knitting to be peaceful and relaxing (myself included) I do feel that these constant articles are a little unfair to the wanna-be knitter.
A someone who has taught knitting to people of all ages and competencies.. knitting is really not the magical stress relieving craft that most people imagine!
To begin with, simply tying a slip knot can get people confused for at least 15 minutes.
Then wrangling the knitting needles, trying to make sure the cast on stitches don't fall off or simply disappear.
Once you have some stitches on your needles your initial knitting is more likely to look like random macrame than knitting. With holes and weird strings across gaps the norm.
If you manage to persist with knitting and get a few rows on your needles, you may find that scarf you endeavored to make is looking very triangular. No doubt the edges of your knitting are not straight and are likely to be shrugged in!
A the joys of knitting... at this stage you may wish to pull out your knitting.
Don't give up! With just a little perseverance you can get the hang of knitting fairly quickly. It really is about expectations.
If you accept that you may not knit like a pro within the hour you are more prepared to make mistakes and not be as frustrated. See your first attempts at knitting as an opportunity to practice. So if you can cast on and make a stitch - just keep going until you feel you have the hang of it.
Once you feel you are making fewer mistakes, then start again and this time try to make the edges neat. Tension is very tricky and something you will learn over time.
Part of the meditation aspect of knitting is that it makes you focus on the now. You can stop fretting about your existing problems or plans and pay attention to learning a new skill. This clears your mind so that it can be entirely present... and just like yoga you must remember to breathe!
I have 2 main tips for beginners and knitting:
1. Start on a small project - don't be too ambitious. A pair of handwarmers or washcloth is a great starting place for the novice knitter.
2. You Tube is your friend. I have a great collection of Tutorial videos that slowly and clearly take you through the basics of knitting.
Pretty soon you will get the hang of knitting. Of course finishing your first project will be really exciting and you can go on to bigger and better things from there! Just remember the process is often just as important as the result.
My beginner kits are designed to be as pain free as possible! For small easy to achieve projects...have a look here!