That very night when I got my first knitting loot, I started a knitted scarf project which to me was a good way to practice knitting basics such as cast on, knit and purl stitches, garter and seed stitch patterns. Each stitch venture was accompanied by a very helpful step by step guide from Simple-Knitting.com and a lot of youtube tutorials.
It was rough. Had to decide on which way to hold the needle, what color combination to use, how much yarn to use, how many rows to knit, where to do my knitting, what to do while I knit… decisions, decisions. But the story of my first knit project is not a story of meaningful struggle, overcoming odds and finding victory in the end. Rather it is a story of humble acceptance, the courage to change ones mind and claiming unexpected joy.
I just couldn’t finish the scarf. I tried for almost two weeks. Every so often, when I change my decision about something I restart the project from the very beginning. Every time I made a mistake or someone would point out one, I would also restart. I unravelled the scarf so often I even found out that in knitting unravellng your work (which was a worst case scenario) was called defrogging. I got as far as 150 yards of yarn equivalent to 30 inches of unfinished scarf.
It hit me. While there were many imperfect aspects of the would be scarf – the yarns were of the wrong color and thickness, the stitch patterns were ordinary, tightness of the stitches weren’t perfectly consistent, there was one very important fact that made me stop and defrog for one last time. All other imperfections were forgiveable except for the fact that no one will use the scarf I can eventually finish, not even me. It made finishing the scarf unnecessary and wasteful. I just couldn’t.
The alternative first project re-used all unravelled yarn from the would be scarf. It was a granted request from my first ever knitting fan (my gay uncle). The house help wanted it as an accessory to her next vacation. My daughter wanted a cooler version of it. And my sister who lives in Hawaii ordered one just like it. I took on a knitted beanie hat project (KPH-001) as my first attempt to re-acquaint myself to knitting.
Knitting the beanie hat came with a familiar sense of calm and quiet. Finishing it gave me the usual sense of accomplishment but more significantly that simple joy of knowing you can now move forward. I decided to keep the hat.