Monday, March 15, 2010

I'm a Beginner!

I think it's good for people to be beginners at something from time to time. I don't mean just "trying it out", though that's fine, too, but to begin learning something with the intent to become skilled at it. Cooking, origami, knife-throwing, whatever. It keeps one's mind open and spirit humble to be a student at the feet of an expert. I think it's good for the ego to mess up the perfect attempt.

Six years ago I began knitting in earnest. Apart from learning the basic knit and purl stitch, learning to be a Knitter involves a lot of beginnings. Fair Isle, sweaters, socks, short rows, lace, cables--you name it, there is always a new aspect to explore and new places to 'begin'. To develop a skill you always need to start from the beginning.

This weekend, however, I became a true beginner again and started from square one in a whole new area. At the same time, I kept a promise to myself that I would learn this new skill before I grow old. This weekend I learned to spin. On a spindle.

I remembered what it is like to be an absolute beginner at something. All of one's movements are awkward, pre-planned, and inept. It is a truly humbling experience to start down the road towards one day, hopefully, knowing something. I know that there is going to be a lot of mangled merino between here and my future skeins of glory. Luckily, after so many years of knitted patience, I know my own determination and I know how to learn.

It doesn't look great. I know it looks like something one might pull out of the bathtub drain. But it's a beginning!

Now, what do you guys know about spinning on a wheel vs spinning on a spindle? Because when I get some money together, that could be the next step!

Of course, when one is in the weak, clumsy stages of learning something new, it helps to be reminded of something you're good at.

Pattern: Lyalya Hoodie
Yarn: A bit of this, a bit of that. Mostly Knit Picks, Wool of the Andes in assorted Rainbow Colors

If you're looking for me over on Ravelry, my user name is sarahgraceknits. I'd love to see you over there! I waste waaaaay too much time on that website. Luckily I'm afraid of Facebook so Ravelry gets to be my only big time-suck.


astera said...

Fun!!! How long did it take you to spin that?

Bethany from Confessions of an Organized Homeschool Mom said...

It's a good thing to keep your mind active & I see your new skill will be useful with your old skill!

I'm glad you found my blog post today to be helpful. Let me know if you have any more questions. I'm not sure if I'll more classical ed. posts or not. Probably!

Personally, I prefer to start grammar in 1st grade. Kids can learn the parts of the sentence easily with fun jingles, and gradually add to their knowledge through the years. I think Susan Bauer's First Start in Language (or whatever it is) is a more relaxed approach, although I haven't actually seen it. It came out after my kids were too old for it!

I like to wait until 3rd to start Latin just because in 1st, they're still learning English. If you've worked on basic grammar for 2 years, then you've got some idea of grammatical structure that can be transferred over to a foreign language. Of course, if you want to do conversational Spanish with no grammar or vocab. memorization, that's a whole different story!

Knittymama said...

Yay! You started!!! It looks great!

Funny, I was actually trying to spin on my spindle last night, since I was visiting at my mom's and didn't have my wheel. What a challenge! Personally, I've always had better luck at my wheel than my spindle. But I know others feel the opposite way....

Hennepin County Library has "Respect the Spindle" on the shelves. Have you read that one yet? Best one out there for spindle spinning.

One thing I gleamed from it is that the heavier your spindle, the heavier your yarn should be. A lighter spindle should be the opposite. What are you using to spin with?