I have always liked learning how to do new things—crafts, cooking, games, reading, types of math. My first year of teaching 8th grade (1980-1981) I decided I wanted to learn how to knit a sweater. I had knit slippers before and simple things like that, but I’d never tackled something as complicated as a sweater. At that time there was no google and no YouTube, so I couldn’t just look up how to make one. I bought a book and pattern with the explanation on how to do each kind of stitch, several skeins of pink yarn, and the right sized knitting needles. And I began. I made several false starts—stitches too large or too small and trying to figure out how to add and subtract stitches so they looked nice. But finally, the sweater started to look like a sweater. It had ribbed neck, cuffs, and bottom, and a cable pattern down the front.
Some days I took the sweater to school to work on after school. One day one of my coworkers was in my room. She said, “You are the type of person who will do anything once just to prove to yourself that you can do it.” Her comment rang true to me. I could think of many things I’d done just to be able to see if I could. The sweater was a project like that. I finished the sweater and wore it frequently. But I never made another one. (Although I have kept on knitting and every now and then get in a binge knitting mode.)