Most people use a pattern when they knit. I’m not sure whether I can’t or I just won’t knit with a pattern. I say that I’m not sure because no one has ever held a gun over my head and said, “Your life or some well knitted puffy slippers using this here pattern!” The problem is that when I look at the list of instructions the lines seem to be duplicating in length and in complexity as I scan the document. I immediately feel overwhelmed and after the second or third line well, everything is a blur. Even if I start it seems almost impossible to finish. I start to think about other issues and ideas and off I go to another project without cleaning up the mess I made getting all the supplies for the first one.
Do I have ADD?..I don’t want to talk about it. Time is ticking and I might loose your attention, or my own. Let’s talk knitting and how I’ve done it even when it’s difficult to focus; for what ever the impeding reason.
I devised a formula that helps me. I’m not a medical professional of any sort – and this may not be of any help to you or for who ever you are reading this article. But if one person can knit because I shared this information then it was worth it. So here it is…
My Fab Five Formula: I use Video Tutorials, Simple Project Instructions instead of Patterns , Coins to Count, Looms Instead of Needles and I Change the Colors of the Pegs on my Looms depending on the project.
Let me explain each in detail:
I find that I retain and absorb more information by looking at moving objects, this includes people The person teaching the lesson is in motion, talking (to me) and creating. I can see the project progress layer by layer right before my eyes. I don’t have to imagine it. I’m not looking down at a monochromatic page, a stall, stagnant object that I have to focus on.
I can be a step-by-step copy cat, following every command on demand. If necessary I can pause my teacher and force him or her to repeat the process many times over. I can let the whole project go and come back next winter or not at all. No one will get mad. The pressure is off.
Is there pressure in reading and following a pattern, you ask. Pressure doesn’t have to be actual for me to feel it. Certain tasks give me a sense of anxiousness just because I feel that I’m capable of starting but possibly not finishing. In fact given this scenario the odds are I won’t start or I will delay it for as long as I can.
While researching loom knitting projects I found so many that just seemed like the impossible dream. Even some video tutorials would sometimes loose me when the instructions seemed endless or the instructor would mention to many different stitches, I couldn’t keep up.
I learned to look for written patterns that have a short list of instructions – I don’t bother to use that pattern, I just want to find out what the items are, like baby booties, then I go looking for a video that will teach me how to make those simple items. I adjust the instructions to fit my method. My purpose is to get a base knowledge and then tweak it.
In doing this exercise I have figured out how to make other loom knitting projects on my own with out help. My own creations. One of those projects is The Ball Dolly. I worked her out in my own head after watching a couple of videos about loom knitting hats. This was odd for me since I have a hard time getting a good image of something in my head. That’s why I don’t rearrange furniture or pick-out new wall color I leave that to my husband with the color deficiency issue.
One thing for sure, creating The Ball Dolly was encouraging and it gave me confidence that I could do it again… and I have.
When it was time to make the Baby Booties project for this site I needed 2 of the exact same thing so I couldn’t just eyeball my project and decide I had knitted enough. Oh noooooo… it was time to count. I knew that if I had to put the work down and write a line or an X or what ever I was either going to get bored or frustrated.
I knew the project needed 9 complete rows for the front of the foot and 7 incomplete rows for the heel. My solution, I got 9 pennies and 7 dimes. Every time I finished a row I pulled a coin off my stack. I didn’t count. Mid-way through that project my daughter “had to” tell me something . When I turned back to my project I didn’t need to count lines on a paper or go back to the pattern to find out how many lines I needed for the heel. I just needed to know that I still had dimes left. I didn’t even need to know how many dimes I had left because that information wasn’t necessary.
I had tried to crochet as a little girl and had managed to make a big weird shaped square I called a blanket. That was as far as I got. I couldn’t even imagine anything else. It had taken me for ever and I wasn’t happy with the end result.
I discovered looms a few years ago at a Joann’s Fabric demonstration. I didn’t see the girl start or finish but I got enough information to get me hooked. Since then I have made so many hats I can’t even count. I have taught many people the ease of knitting with a loom. It’s is the closest thing to fail-proof you’ll ever get. I can knit while I listen to music, watch TV, or talk with my family.
Change Pegs on Looms
If I have a project that only needs say 8 pegs on the loom then I change the color of the 8th peg. That way every time I need to stop and reverse I don’t need to count my pegs, when I see the one with a different color I know it’s time to reverse .
I bought the Knifty Knitter replacement pegs to help me with this technique. I didn’t want to break down a good loom just to change colors. They have worked out really well I must say.
Special Note: I Celebrate Who I Am
Very often I hear people say “I can’t finish a project or I keep 2 or 3 unfinished projects. I do too. This is what I have done to accommodate this element of my person. I made room in my closet for my unfinished projects and gave myself the artistic freedom to wonder into new adventures. Just knowing that I don’t HAVE TO finish means that I am more likely to come back and do just that, finish it, just not right now. But if make a final decision that I won’t , I come to terms with that fact and act accordingly. I brake the project down and use the material for something else. No guilt. Before I know it in my quest to reuse those materials because I’m also a hoarder , I’ll create something new I had not thought of before.
I Know this because if i had nit made a mistake with one of my loom knit hats i would have never created my Flat Hat Flower. this was a “Mistake”. I have learned that God doesn’t make mistakes. I’m like this for a reason.. I will celebrate who I am.
These five practices have made it possible for me to make many loom knit treasures for friends, family and charity. It’s the reason I started this website. To help people who find it difficult to follow complicated patterns a place to find projects they can complete, enjoy and share. I thank God for this opportunity and I hope not to let him or you down in my endevours.