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This week I have been working on what I am finding to be a necessary skill: knitting in the dark (aka knitting while not looking at my hands … though I have found myself actually knitting in the dark this week). My grandma and mom taught me to knit when I was young but I didn’t really start knitting in earnest until a decade or so ago. One of the things I remember about my grandma was her ability to hold a conversation and knit a baby hat while only occasionally looking down at her hands. My knitting at the time was sloppy and uneven and my stitches were always so tight on the needle that they never slid with ease, rather they grew more and more welded to the needle with each row until finally it became an effort to even get the knitting off the needles to rip it out.

I have since become much more fluid in my knitting, and I have enjoyed  knitting everything from a parrot to Christmas stockings to baby hats, of course. This week I made a concerted effort to knit by feel and it is incredibly fun to do. Sure, I occasionally knit into the wrong part of the stitch, split the yarn, or some other correctable mistake, but it is amazing how knitting by feel allows me to focus on aspects of knitting I never have before. It reminds me of a rowing drill we used to do; rowing with our eyes closed. All eight rowers rowing with eyes closed has the potential to do great things for the togetherness of the boat (or occasionally someone gets an oar handle in the back) because you are no longer focusing with just your eyes but you are forced to use all other senses to stay together.

I have been working on some simple kid-sized (they weren’t supposed to be kid sized but even when you knit a gauge swatch sometimes patterns are just like that) fingerless mittens in a bulky weight yarn with large needles. Next, maybe a hat knit in the round with worsted.

What skill have you worked on this week?

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