I love to knit!
I tried unsuccessfully several times to teach myself how to knit from a book or instructional pamphlet. It wasn't until I took a class and had a real, live person demonstrating the techniques that I learned how to knit. Aha! So, that's how it's done!
I became a knitting fan (my husband might say "fanatic!"), and I bought books, magazines and patterns for a myriad of projects. Oh, and the yarn to go with them, of course! Then, I invested in the book shelves and the storage bins to hold it all. And still, things overflowed. I have definitely reached the level where my Stash Amount is Beyond my Life Expectancy. Some fibercrafters refer to that as "SABLE", and I'm there!
Recently, I decided it's time to pass some things along, for I'm no longer interested in afghan patterns and in crochet projects the way I used to be. While I felt quite happy with myself after letting go of those resources, that still left me with lots of cables, socks, colorwork, children's wear and shawls to peruse to my heart's content.
I'm really a process knitter more than a project knitter even though my library might indicate otherwise. I love the feel of the yarn, and the motion of making each stitch. There's a rhythm to knitting that I find soothing. Sometimes I prefer the mindless knitting of stockinette stitch, and sometimes I go for the focused attention of a lace or cable pattern. I enjoy seeing the design develop as I go along. I think often of the person who will receive the end product, knitting my love and delight into each inch. For, I knit only for those whom I dearly value.
Elizabeth Zimmermann ("EZ") is one of my knitting heroes. I have almost every book she wrote and video she produced, and I revisit them periodically because I enjoy her practical and relaxed approach to an artform that has had me uptight and anxious on several occasions. Her "It's only knitting" attitude has helped me chill out and review whatever challenge has me upset. I appreciate both her "pithy version" of a project as well as her detailed, step-by-step version of the same. She injects quiet humor into her instruction which lets me lighten up, too, in an area I tend to take very seriously as I focus on the desired end product. Her daughter, Meg Swansen, is a wonderful teacher and designer, and someday I hope to meet her in person.
YouTube has a delightful library of knitting podcasts and tutorials. I spend a lot of time viewing videos there, on a wide array of topics. I find I knit better when I have a video playing, don't you?