Knitting with the nuns

ball of red yarn and knitting needles on top of blue blanket

I crocheted 3 baby blankets, 3 hot pads, 2 children’s scarves, and 1 shawl.

My teacher said I am a machine. There was one pattern that I learned on youtube at which the nuns marveled. “You will have to teach us how to do this!” So there I sat, teaching the ones who had taught me.

For a few weeks, I became the crochet poster child. “How it cost her to learn a chain! And now look!” “And she’s left-handed!”

My goal was not only to learn crochet but to learn it well.

But my teacher had other plans. “Now that you know how to crochet, you can do everything on your own. It’s time to learn how to knit.” She was no longer content to have me happily stay within the safety of crochet. Every class, she would remind me, “You must learn to knit.”

One day, she caught me rather defenseless and handed me a ball of practice yarn and two mismatched knitting needles. And there I was, getting angry with the “arriba”s and “abajo”s and deciding I would have to pore over youtube videos at home before I really understood it at all. But even that didn’t help. I made lumpy little rows with missed stitches. Nothing helped.

In short, I was exactly where I had begun with crochet. And my teacher was in the same depth of despair with my work. Classes passed, me with my knitting needles, glaring at the uncooperative yarn.

Until I learned that to get out of knitting, all I had to do was leave my needles at home and bring along a crochet project.

I’m currently crocheting myself a sweater.

I wouldn’t say I’m giving up on knitting, exactly. Someday, when I feel more confident in crochet, I will pull out those malevolent knitting needles again. And I will probably finally understand it. After all, one day my despairing teacher told another nun,

“She learns well what she wants to learn.”

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