When you learn to knit you learn more than just how to manipulate sticks and string into useful/beautiful/warm objects. If you pay attention, knitting has many things to teach.
Patience. Non-knitters tell me, "Oh, I would never have the patience to just sit and knit." Knitting has taught me a lot of patience--to see a project through, to not start a new project until I finish the one I'm working on, and to teach people to knit. Also, the patience not to take it personally when a non-knitter is clearly implying that I am lazy.
Persistence. At the time it didn't seem important, but I really wish I had kept a record of how many times I ripped out that first scarf--my first knitting project. Knitting didn't come easy to me and starting over was admitting defeat in some small way. Nevertheless, I got those stitches cast back on and tried again. Because I stuck with it, the course of history was changed forever. *
Trying new things. I've never been a daredevil. I'm not big on taking chances. I kind of like to play it safe. When I learned to knit I got more daring and took on new techniques and new ventures like it was no big deal. It's funny to look back and think I was once afraid to try cable stitches!
Acceptance. Sometimes you have to accept that you really aren't interested in being the World's Fastest Knitter, or the knitter of the most complicated pattern in the universe, or that you're not ever ever going to collect your cat's hair and spin it in to yarn. And it's not only OK that you haven't chosen those things, it's OK that others around you have. Also, they can come comb my long-haired tuxedo cat anytime.
Perspective. As I drove home last week from a lovely meeting of Monday Morning Knitters, I reflected that, last year at this time, things were different. I had put MMK on an indefinite hiatus. I was still using Blogger and in general I think I was still trying to define who I was as an instructor and designer. Knitting can offer ample time for reflection on life and direction and goals. I'm excited about this year and the opportunities that await. While I can't claim to have "arrived" I feel pretty good about the direction I'm headed and the path I'm on. After all, it's lined with knitwear!
How about you? What has knitting taught you?
*Well, the course of history really WAS changed for myself and for those I've had the honor of teaching to knit in the last 10 years. Besides, you KNOW how much I like dramatic effect!