Knitting is a sport. So is crochet.  When people ask me to teach them how to knit or crochet, the first thing I find out is if they are athletic in amy way. The sport itself doesn’t matter. What matters if they have the hand eye coordination. Along with the patience and curiosity.  Coordination, patience and curiosity are all things athletes must have as well. As someone who played tennis and volleyball, I know of what I speak.

The Sport of Knitting

I picked up the knit stitch fairly quickly and that lulled me into a confident sense of knowing what I was doing. The first knitting pattern I attempted was from Good Housekeeping where they had squares with the four playing card symbols knit in. Yes, my first pattern was intarsia. I was certain I could do it because I knew the knit stitch.

I had no idea about the purl stitch or how to change colors. I thought I could just do it – long before Nike ever thought of the slogan. Needless to say, it wasn’t long before that dream fell through and I decided knitting a scarf was just as noble. Didn’t need a purl for that. I figured out how to change colors though it took me a minute to figure out changing colors on the same side got rid of the delineation line. Or at least kept them all on the same side so it looked better. It has been more than 50 years since I learned that lesson.

And I still continue to learn. The sport of knittng evolves just as traditional sports do. When I was growing up, Chris Evert and Evonne Goolagong (my personal favorite) were at the top of the field. Evert began to dominate. She didn’t hit particularly hard and she wasn’t a volleyer but she had precision. And a two handed backhand. All of a sudden, two handed backhands ruled the court. I fought my tennis coach about it when she insisted everyonego one handed. 

Evert was on top of the world. Until Martina Navratilova came along. She had the coordination and she might have been patient. But she wasn’t very curious. She had strength and that was enough to shake Evert’s world. But when she became curious enough to add discipline and fitness to her game. Well. It wouldn’t be until Serena that tennis paid that kind of attention. (No offense, Stephie Graf.)

The Gift Comes Later

Knitting and crochet are definite blessings to me. Knitting,especially, kept me from losing it several times over. It has been a balm to my mind and spirit. But it wasn’t always like that. It came after I learned a few things so I didn’t have to watch the technique so closely. The big breakthrough for me was learning how to increase so my crochet didn’t form a cup after the first few rounds. That led me to learning the granhy square and once that door unlocked, the future was knit and crochet bright.

There have been challenges along the way. I can’t always get a pattern to work out. I sometimes have trouble understanding other folks’ patterns. Don’t get me started on crochet charts – never will I ever get the hang of those. I don’t want to, either.

Overall, this craft is a blessing and a spiritual gift for which I am continually grateful. I honestly don’t know what I would do if I didn’t have it. I shudder to think someone should kidnap Mr. Honey and say the ransom is that I could not knit  or crochet. I think I would pray his kidnappers were nice and that they fed him well.