Meghan Faszholz

How to Knit

The Knitting Room by Hubert Vos

  1. Grow up looking at all the amazing things your grandmother has been able to knit. Blankets, gloves, hats, dolls. Admire the tightness of the stitches, the clean transitions of colors.
  2. Be gentle and careful while handling these creations. Be careful not to pull and stretch the threads, making the edges look tattered and frayed. These disfigurements will surely haunt you later, when you visit her. You’ll notice the blemishes made by your careless, rough childhood fingers. So, handle all of her works with considerate hands.
  3. When you want to start practicing to knit, so you can make beautiful objects out of yarn and string like your grandma, no needles are required. You can play with strings, wrapping them around your fingers, gnarling different knots and formations with your hands.
  4. Don’t get too excited with these experimentations and always keep a pair of scissors nearby. You many wrap the yarn around your wrist or joints too many times and it may be too difficult to unravel. The tips of your fingers may turn a brutal violet, and the numbness can take a while to go away, once you’ve started regaining circulation.
  5. After all this practice, then you can acquire a pair of knitting needles. While they are fun to use as drumsticks, remember their actual purpose.
  6. You can teach yourself to cast on, as it’s not that hard. Tying a knot at the end of one needle, push the other through, loop around, form the stitch around the needle. Over and over, into a neat row.
  7. It’s when you have to actually start the process, when it finally dawns that the task is not so simple. Be wary of dropping stitches, as this will happen a lot. Holes will form in throughout the piece. Gaps in your knowledge of the subject.
  8. Decide on making a scarf, for your first endeavor, as it should be pretty simple. Just straight rows, all one color. It does get quite time consuming. And there are holes.
  9. Once you’ve finished, show your grandmother right away. She will hold the scarf in her small, shaking hands, tender with your project in a way that you failed to be with hers. She will smile her gummy smile encouragingly at you and stick her fingers through the gaps.
  10. Finally, you can ask her for help while she’s still here.



About the writer:
Meghan Faszholz is a junior at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater. She is majoring in Creative Writing and minoring in Electronic Media. She is from Racine, Wisconsin.

Image: The Knitting Room by Hubert Vos (1855-1935). Pastels on canvas. 32  x 59.4 inches. 1889. Public domain.