In Which I Learn to Knit
The weekend with Arne and Carlos in Nashville continues to resonate for me. It was great. The conversations were memorable and full of surprise. What a group! Massive end-of-camp feeling.
Here’s the thing. As much as you and I talk about the way that knitting is about community, it is also a skill. A thing to learn. A craft and a practice where we can refine our technique.
I had this amazing experience at the workshop, when I sat down and listened to Arne and Carlos get into Norwegian purling.
I’ve been a resolute English knitter, a thrower, right hand working eternally like a Trojan, happy to chug along at 14 miles per hour, each stitch an event. Not curious in the least about upending my knitting style.
But everything Arne said about the benefits and elegance of Norwegian purling made sense to me. So when I started my halting attempts at this different way to work a purl stitch, I began to think that maybe this wasn’t just a little experiment in fooling around with another way to knit. Maybe this was the new way for me to knit.
I felt the way I did back in 1986, when I sat down in an empty New York City public school classroom and took my first knitting lesson from some unknown, kind lady.
On Saturday, I was a beginner. It was a surprise to feel so new at knitting, after decades of this stuff.
Hard won, this ribbing. Every stitch a victory. The finger must be down—the left finger! WUT? I’m Norwegian purling, and I’m knitting Continental, and it’s a wild new frontier for me. I love being not very good at this. I love the way I’m finding the rhythm. It’s all such a surprise.
In case you’re a thrower in the mood to shake up your life, here is the YouTube lesson where Arne and Carlos teach Norwegian purl. Their YouTube channel is a wonderland of all sorts of fun, and we encourage you to become a regular over there.
PS The hat pattern is one that Arne and Carlos provide at their workshops. The yarn is Rowan Norwegian Wool, and you’ll be hearing more about it in late January when Field Guide No. 23 launches.
The big news? Arne and Carlos are the stars of this upcoming knitting joyride.
To be the first to receive your copy, go ahead and subscribe now to the MDK Field Guides for 2023.
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