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was a lesson to stick to what I’m good at. Last week, I attended a workshop my company hosted on knitting. Knitting 101 was the title of the workshop, which meant the basics were being taught. Basics. I showed up with a positive attitude. I had a good feeling about this. “If I can sew a bra, an undie, and model it on the Interwebs, I got this,” is what I thought. Being my usual seamstress self, I coyly introduced the fact that I was a devoted and passionate seamstress. I’ve always been a teacher’s pet and there was no reason to stray from my character flaw trait.

Briefly put, I was horrible. One hundred percent terrible. A complete failure. Casting on caused unsightly finger manipulations in my hand. If you need a visual, I looked like the child from this Diane Arbus photograph. That look didn’t go well with my J. Crew sequin skirt. “Casting on is hard” is what the teacher said, “if I cast on for you, I’m sure you will be able to purl stitch.” Negative, I failed miserably at that one too. It just cause more awkward finger manipulation on my part. I couldn’t help my chuckle silently.”How could I be this bad?”

I left the workshop with nothing accomplished. Not a single stitch. Oh well, I can’t win them all. Luckily, I’m not like Napoleon – I’ll accept defeat and stay with sewing.



  1. Reply

    Natasha Estrada

    No. Don’t give up on knitting so easily. Can I tempt you to try again with some handspun yarn?

    • Reply

      Maddie Flanigan

      okay, you’ve tempted me πŸ™‚ Now where do I get this handspun yarn you talk about?

      • Reply

        Natasha Estrada

        Open mailbox and look inside. Repeat QD until yarn actually arrives πŸ˜‰

  2. Reply


    It took me multiple tries over several years to get the hang of it- or even just to understand what was going on! Maybe try again if the opportunity arises?

  3. Reply

    Renewed Upon a Dream

    Haha this is funny! I can’t knit either, but I’m pretty good at crochet. I think crocheting is soo much easier than knitting πŸ™‚ Maybe you should give that a try instead?

  4. Reply


    It took me several attempts over the course of about 2 decades to pick up knitting, too. I guess sheer stubbornness helped with the last one, because I’m really tired of all the cute sweaters having wool and me not being able to wear them as a result! (Also, knit stitch is easier to get the hang of than purl stitch, IMO.)

  5. Reply


    When I started to knit as a youngster (at school) and watched my mother create umpteen beautiful items through my childhood, it did lead me to think that knitting was easy-ish, but over the years of trying I realise although I can do it i am not really patient enough (still not finished a sweater started two years ago, the body is done but no sleeves). Anyways, in knitting and crochet there is a bit of fine dexterity involving smaller muscles in the fingers which take longer to train (according to my drummer partner) and it really is a different kettle of fish to sewing, so don’t be too hard on yourself. Left handers struggle more than most,i once tried to teach a lefty friend to crochet, it took her weeks to crack. I would say have another go and perhaps use big needles and big yarn to start!

  6. Reply


    Nahhh, everybody sucks at first! It’s a strange motion, but after you try it a few times (really, after you knit your first lumpy, bad scarf) you’ll have the whole thing down and you’ll see VAST improvement! And really, once you have a few basic stitches down, you can make anything! You’ll be a kick-ass knitter! Life is too boring if you always stick to what you know! πŸ™‚

  7. Reply

    Meg the Grand

    I was SO BAD at first. So bad. Then my teacher said I should try knitting continental and I was like Hey! I can do things. I require people to stand over my shoulders when I am starting a craft, and knitting was no different. I ask lots of questions – I like clarity. You totally rock at the sewing thing, so if you never get into knitting, that is a-okay. You keep making your fabulous lingerie and outfits and awesomeness πŸ™‚

  8. Reply

    Lindsay Snyder

    I too was horrendous at knitting the first time. My teacher had me switch from aluminum to bamboo needles and that helped A LOT with the yarn that I was using. What a beautiful shot from Drexel Park! I’ve always loved that view of the city. My office is only two blocks from there!

    • Reply

      Natasha Estrada

      Metal needles for a begginer. Terrible idea. When I was teaching my students would use the short bamboo straights then switch to circular. I’m technically a scottish pit knitter though I mainly use my stomach now to brace my right needle so I don’t actually have to hold it for support meaning I can take my hand off the needle to wrap. One less thing to worry about.

  9. Reply

    Alisha Schultze

    When I started to knit, I thought casting on was so hard to do. It just takes practice and patience. Don’t give up πŸ™‚
    From one fellow sewer to another πŸ˜‰

    • Reply

      Maddie Flanigan

      casting on is the worst!

  10. Reply


    Awww, I could so see you turning into a knitting fool. I just haven’t gotten into it yet. I’m with Meg, I needed someone over my shoulder & continental style was easier for me mechanically. I’m left-handed so just about 99% of knitting instructions look like gobbledy-gook!

    Beautiful light in that studio….

  11. Reply

    Holly Crawford

    haha aw, keep trying! I’ll come & teach you some day! πŸ˜‰ hahaha. Knitting is addicting! You should have seen the first thing I knit… haha! It started out 20 stitches wide, then got to 30-something, then down to 16 or so, then back to 20ish, haha.

  12. Reply


    I am sure you can be a good knitter, it probably just takes practice! Don’t give up! I really want to learn too. Have a great weekend!

  13. Reply

    Truly Myrtle

    Oh do try again!!! It is so much fun once you get the hang of it – and so terribly addictive πŸ™‚

    • Reply

      Maddie Flanigan

      if it’s addicting like Pinterest, then I’m scared πŸ™‚

  14. Reply

    Kat Sultanie

    Knitting can be a bit difficult at first but with a little practice it is actually super easy. You just need to push through those first few times. We all had them. Trust me no in is a perfect knitter first go around.

  15. Reply

    What's Up, Cupcake?

    hahaha give it time! I had to revisit knitting after a first failed attempt at it.

  16. Reply


    I could not agree more with everybody. Keep trying and you will notice yourself getting better at it with time. This aspect of blogging is great – the fact that we are all here to encourage each other to try new things or to keep working on things that we love. /Ok, I’m done with my mushy moment. haha

  17. Reply


    This reminds me of my first attempt at knitting! I was HORRENDOUS!! I keep blaming it on me being in highschool or something, and I tell myself that I should really revisit it – because surely adulthood would mean I’ve improved…? We can’t all be good at everything! But I do feel like it’s my duty to tell you that if you try again you’ll probably get better. But even saying that makes me feel like a crazy hypocrite!

    • Reply

      Maddie Flanigan

      You and I Sallie – HORRENDOUS!

  18. Reply


    Learning to manipulate a needle in each hand, keep the tension and also wrap the yarn around the needles is a skill unlike any other and thus not at all easy to master. It’s just a matter of repetition until your hands figure it out. I love knitting, but if you really hate it there is no reason you have to do it ! How about some embroidery?

  19. Reply

    tors (girl meets wolf)

    People spent years trying to teach me how to knit, it turned out they were trying to teach me left handed knitting (I’m a leftie) when they’d learnt right handed, as you can imagine it didn’t go well. I finally taught myself to knit using youtube last year, the right handed way (mostly because I couldn’t be bothered to go through knitting something back to front), but discovered I just do not have the patience for it. The fine motor control needed didn’t help, nor my inability to focus on just one thing at a time. I know the skill will come in time, but my patience and focus won’t! You, on the other hand, appear to have oodles of patience and focus if your sewing abilities are anything to go by, so if knitting is really something you want to do then I agree with everyone else, keep at it and it’ll come in time (and probably quicker than you think)

    • Reply

      Maddie Flanigan

      I will keep at it but I might have to make a pit stop at YouTube for knitting 101 tutorials!

  20. Reply

    Barn icles

    keep at it πŸ™‚ or find a good book you like! best of all find something simple you WANT to knit. scarves take forever something small!

    my flatmate learnt to knit so she could knit totorro. it gave her alot of motivation!

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