In the spring of 2012 I was unemployed. And what better to do than pick up a new hobby! Since I had only ever half-assedly tried to learn when I was a child I thought I'd take up the yarnning past time and learn to knit.
My first experience with knitting had been at my Oma's house when my sister and I had attempted to knit skirts for our barbie dolls. Needless to say, I took the knitting project home, promptly forgot about it, and some many years later I found a foggy plastic bag filled with old knitting at the back of a desk drawer. This second attempt, I promised myself, would be a lot better (and hopefully I wouldn't find any projects stuffed in the back of a drawer in a decade).
So I went to the craft-iest place I could think of, Michaels. I bought some sized 7 single-ended needles, some dishcloth yarn, and a booklet for beginners.
Firstly, if you're trying to learn to knit via cartoon pictures of needles and yarn it's very hard to know where your hands go. Secondly, Youtube is a knitting beginners salvation. And thirdly, it helps to have someone straighten you out who knows how to knit. In the last case, my Oma helped me out.
So between all these sources I learned haphazardly how to knit. Even if the booklet was rather useless it did provide lessons on the lingo, knit and purl and yarn-over, etc. Youtube provided visuals that a book can't convey (which even to this day I check out when I run into a new stitch). And Oma was there to teach me the basics of hand placement and the difference between knit and purl (even though she taught me the 'european backwards way', said another lady who saw me knitting in waiting room, who also told me I was knitting wrong). Since I really don't do things the way they're supposed to be done anyway it didn't matter much. And I still get the exact same results.
Honestly though, I was horrible at knitting. Seriously. The tension was off or I forgot what side was 'wrong'. If knitting were breathing I would be very very dead. But if there is a hobby where you can erase your mistakes like it never happened, it's knitting (unfortunately my breathing analogy falls short here...). Practice was it and since I was unemployed at the time, I had lots of availability in my schedule to do just that.
Eventually I got better. Except at reading patterns... which I'm still horrible at. But I half-assed my way through lots of projects. My favourite was probably a multicoloured scarf whose pattern I made up because the pattern I tried to follow was hard. I even upped the difficulty to making gloves in a round with 4 double-ended needles (which sounds more impressive than it really is, but shhhhhh).
My escapade into the old-ish art of looping yarn was a relative success. And I really only had half-assed the hand positions, the pattern reading and learning the differences between different yarns.... So basically I'm a professional now. Obviously.
The Half-Assed Hobbyist