A comment by Sueeeus on my last post raised an immediate response from me.
Hey, knitting is not hard.
The vast majority of knitting utilises a very few moves, it involves no split second timing, no real time danger, no challenging physical manipulations. Kids can do it. Uncoordinated adults unable to conquer auto mobile driving can do it.
So why do I so often hear people sigh and say stuff about how they wish they could knit? I know I'm not alone, many knitters will tell you they hear the same thing all the time too.
I suspect it is all about expectations. Hey if it isn't hard why can't I pick up sticks and make a beautiful lace shawl straight away? Where is the knitted trench coat I expected would fall from my needles in mere days? Why do these needles make me feel like I'm all thumbs AND stupid?
Knitting isn't hard like brain surgery or prize winning sponge cake or fine carpentry. Knitting is practice. If you ever learned to touch type you know what I'm talking about. For weeks you feel like you are writing an essay backwards with your left hand in another language on a topic you know nothing about, and then one day you realise your hand knows where the keys are before your mind is even involved. You don't look, you don't think, you just do it.
Sure you still make a few mistakes, you need to go back every now and then to check, but the more you do, the more automatic it becomes. Your muscles have grasped something your thinking brain could not and now what once seemed really hard is easy.
Now driving a car is not like this. There is traffic and finding your way and controlling your vehicle and not losing it at kids in the back seat driving you wild. No amount of practice will change the fact there are multiple real time events taking place simultaneously and your brain needs to see them, prioritise them and respond to them. And hey, the stakes are high!
So of course some knitting is harder than others, and some people can produce an overall finer result than others, and beginners will make more mistakes and have wonky tension and make simpler things, but really, it's just practice.
On a totally unrelated note I'd like some advice. I'm new to the podcast thing (I know, so last century...). I see the itunes store has tonnes of free podcasts for download - including whole novels. And there's probably around a zillion other places you can get great free podcasts and talking books to listen to whilst riding trams and walking the streets. So tell me, what should I listen to and where do I get it?