But it's not always the instructions that deserve our faith. Sometimes, it's ourselves or even just parts of ourselves that will surprisingly prevail in the end, even overcoming other parts of ourselves. I learned to knit from a how-to book I had picked up at one of the chain craft stores. By the way, I don't recommend beginners start with a ribbed-all-over V-neck sweater that calls for eased-in sleeves. Though by then, I had easing in and sewing sleeves down pat: see above. But the actual forming of the knit stitches was a real bear for me at first, because that author only showed the reader one way of doing it: English style knitting. I didn't know there were other ways. So I struggled with that, as it calls for the yarn to be manipulated in the right hand, and I had a life-long muscle-memory kind of thing for handling yarn with my left, since I had crocheted since forever. My hands knew what they wanted to do, despite my brain and that book's author telling them to do it some other way. Several times during those first attempts, as I tried holding the right needle like a pencil and using it to flick the yarn from the left one like the photos showed to do, I muttered, "You gotta be shittin' me!"
So I put the knitting down for nearly a year. Actually, I threw it in the back of the closet.
Then one day, I wanted to beat that monster, and learn that damned knitting thing once and for all. So I took that half a sweater and that book back out into the daylight again. But this time, I approached it differently. I ignored how the yarn was supposed to go on my hands, and how the needles were supposed to be held. Instead, I paid attention to the end result - where the yarn was supposed to go, and how it was supposed to move to get there. I focused both visually and mentally on the yarn's movement itself, and totally didn't even see what my hands were doing to make it happen. They just made it happen. There! I knit a stitch, by golly!
And so I had learned to knit, though holding the needles and yarn a bit odd, compared to that book. Years later, I heard about the continental style of knitting, and realized that that was what I've been doing. Huh, there's a name for it? Reckon my hands knew what to do, once I left them alone to do it.
The dabbing was what worried me. The whole time, these little loose fibers kept sticking to the brush, as I pounced the color into the wool. I thought that maybe I should've went with already spun yarn, for my first time - I already have some undyed yarn and should've used it instead. Maybe I shouldn't be pouncing so much, 'cause it might be felting. But I didn't stop, 'cause it was so much fun to see the color spread with each pounce of the brush. The tint would change too, as it seeped across the roving. That the colors moved across the cream wool fascinated me! And I just couldn't stop. While part of me worried, another part was urging me on.
how to braid roving at this lady's blog right here. Faith, baby, faith. Besides, it's only wool - how wrong could it go?
But the sharing of this has led me to a question: is it still faith when you've learned to trust based on experience? Maybe what was faith becomes something else? I dunno either, just pondering it a bit is all.