A new skill means seeing new things

Something amazing happened to me recently! I started knitting again, something that I have not done for years! I used to really love knitting as a kid and a teenager even. I knitted sweaters for my neighbor’s baby and even sweaters, hats and scarfs for myself. Just asked my mom to find a picture of creations of my younger self. I knitted a little bit in college, but I was too busy with other things I guess and I forgot about it entirely.

It all started in Cambridge when I attended an arts and crafts market where they sell knitted stuffed animals. I was inspired! I could do something like that! Looking back, I think one of the reason I did not stick with it in college was that knitting a whole jumper takes a long time and I am a person that likes starting but not necessarily finishing things. But a small pig, that is an achievable goal even for someone with a gold fish’s attention span 🙂 So I googled a knitting shop and bought needles and wool and went for it. I am now already at my fourth creation (a Cheshire cat) and I am still enjoying it a lot. Here is my third one, it was supposed to be a caterpillar but it looks more like a mole 🙂


But I am not writing this post to show of my skills (okay I am, haha!), but also I found that a two really interesting things happened to me when I started, because my world grew bigger in two distinct ways:

1) I am seeing things I did not see before

I see knitted stuff everywhere. All boring sweaters and hats are now a source of interest and inspiration to me. I could nearly resist the temptation to start stroking one of my colleague’s vest because the fabric looked so nice and I wondered how elastic it would be. With every knitted item I see, I wonder: could I make that? What needles and wool would I need. It is really quite cool. I can’t remember having this as a kid, but maybe I did.

2) I am identifying with people I thought I have nothing in common with

I found myself hanging around on pinterest and knitting websites and watching youtube videos of old Dutch ladies. One of my best friends has another friend which I could describe as the person in my social circle I have least in common with. She did not go to university, and is a stay at home mom with two kids. Not that there is anything wrong with that, but I could just not imagine myself chatting with her about anything. Turns out she knits amazing stuffed animals too. Suddenly I could relate to someone with a life so different! This also helped see myself in a different light. I can be a programmer _and_ a knitter! I can like chatting with people about compilers and stitches, this really does fit in one identity.

So yeah, it is really like my world grew bigger, just by (re)learning a little bit of a skill!

Okay, if you came here to learn about programming, yes, it is in here! People something ask me why I think all kids should learn a little bit of programming and this experience has helped me vocalize it. By being able to do a little bit of something—again let me stress despite my impressive mole-pillar :), how little of knitting I can really do!—you see the world, others and yourself in a new light. You suddenly have ideas for jumpers or website, and you suddenly see yourself alike to very different people.



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1 Comment

  1. andrej

    that part about “least in common person” becoming usable for chat is nice

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