Mid-life has brought with it the usual changes in my physical and mental state, but the most surprising has been in the way my brain works. Last summer, I decided to make my daughter an iconic garment worn by a certain British science fiction hero from my own youth. Authenticity required the garment to be knit, so I found a copy of Knitting for Dummies and taught myself. Sounds simple enough, but it verges on the miraculous.
Behold the miracle!
I’ve been crocheting since the age of eight, when my grandmother showed me how to both crochet and knit. I readily took to the former but completely failed to grasp the latter. In the intervening decades, four other people have tried to teach me to knit — two of them more than once — without success. Something about my brain simply did not get knitting.
But this time I have had no trouble figuring out on my own — from diagrams, no less! — something that years of wonderful personal tutoring couldn’t get my brain to comprehend. The process wasn’t without setbacks; I unraveled and redid portions of the first foot several times, but the remaining thirteen (it’s a very long scarf) went along rather nicely.
With several hundred rows under my belt, I feel so confident that I’ve since undertaken two additional knitting projects and figured out how to purl. And I still get a ridiculous thrill every time I think about the fact that I’m knitting. So what if my middle-aged brain can’t recall where I left the car keys or the name of my first-born child? It finally gets how to knit!