On socks and being a beginner

“You can learn new things at any time in your life if you’re willing to be a beginner. If you actually learn to like being a beginner, the whole world opens up to you.” –Barbara Sher


Look! I made a sock!

Those of you who aren’t knitters can appreciate the magnitude of this accomplishment. I’m not a knitter. I still have to watch a YouTube video to remember how to cast on. But the idea of knitting socks has been nibbling at me for a couple of years now.

Usually when I start to think about knitting socks, I take one look at a pattern, remember that you mostly have to use 4 double-pointed needles and I run screaming. That is some scary stuff. But when the sock idea floated to the front of my brain in February, I stumbled upon a sock lesson that seemed sorta manageable. Lots of pictures and step-by-step explanations. I decided to give it a try. When I bought the yarn the cashier asked if I was a knitter. I told her no, but I believe it’s important to try new things.

I’ll be 44 next week and I’ve reached that comfortable point in life where I know how to do a lot of stuff. Gardening, cooking, quilting, preparing legal pleadings. I’m even pretty good at some of it. And it’s a lovely feeling to attack a project with confidence, knowing what to do, how to do it and that it will turn out reasonably well. It’s very easy to stick to what you know. But there is also a lot of satisfaction to be found in stretching, challenging yourself, being a beginner. Learning something new exercises your brain.

So I started knitting my sock with my beginner’s mind. And I loved it. It was like solving a puzzle. A few short months later I have a sock and I have greatly improved knitting skills. And I watched the video and cast on my second sock. Someday I might be able to wear them!

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