Knitting Journey part 1: Being a Self-Taught Knitter

Being a Self-Taught Knitter; The Important Things Knitting Gave Me

How I taught myself to knit back when I live in a non-sweater-weather-friendly country.

I don’t remember exactly when did l have the desire of knitting something. All I can remember is it was around the mid of 2017.

I didn’t get any influence from people around me, and knitting was never an activity favoured by anyone around me. Perhaps, it’s because we’re tropical people, and we don’t wear wool or any thick materials as clothes.

A bit of context here. I’m an Indonesian who lived in Jakarta at that time. And as you might not yet know, Indonesia is a tropical country, where the sun shines half the day all year long. So we don’t get to taste the sweater weather there.

And also, a lot of people around me have this stereotype of someone who knits or crochets as GRANDMA because only the older women are doing it. And since younger people don’t want to be associated with older people, they despise this activity so bad. 😢

First Encounter

One night, my husband and I drove to IKEA and we passed by a shopping arcade. In one of the stores, there was a yarn shop. I was so intrigued and wondered “Why would there be a yarn shop? Is it really a thing now that someone is willing to build a business to provide a hobby despised by many?” But then, l never visit that store until some few weeks later when I felt so bored and just want to do something that doesn’t directly involve a laptop/computer or reading any kind of book.

My hand holding knitted red yarn on circular needles
Not my first project, but this is an old photo that I have on my old phone. Yep, I was never been a good documenter.

My wandering minds instantly remember that yarn store we passed by that night. But I was too self-conscious and a bit shy. I overthink too much about visiting that store, to the point that I don’t want to go there yet. After endlessly reading many blogs and watching videos, I decided to purchase a super chunky yarn and 20 mm circular needles from an online store.

A few days later, the package arrived and l start to knit it with the help of a tutorial video. I made a beanie hat from that super chunky yarn. Since I only bought one skein of yarn, I finished my first project in less than 2 hours. I regret my decision of buying only a small amount because my boredom is not yet disappeared. And since the quality of the yarn was so bad, the colour bleeds to my fingers and wooden needles. Double disappointment led me to never wear the hat that l made myself. Such a waste.

Of course, my mind would instantly remember that yarn shop. I thought, “Well, I should just visit them and ask what kind of yarn I could use as a beginner. They might have some recommendations for me.”

The store name was Craft Studio 11, and as l expected, some middle-aged ladies were knitting together around a big table in the centre of the store, looking so focused on their projects while occasionally chatting and laughing. The store itself sold not only yarns. It was a craft store, so they provide many things related to handcrafting hobbies. But yarns took almost 80% of their offerings.

Craft Store Eleven at South Tangerang, Indonesia
The famous big table in the centre of Craft Store 11, South Tangerang, Indonesia.

Weeks went by so fast, and I found myself visiting that store regularly, at least 2 times a week. I get along so well with the regular ladies and the owners. They taught me so many things about knitting while chatting about mundane kinds of stuff while unit along together at the shop’s famous big table.

Best Things Knitting Gives Me

Now I realised, the thing I’m longing for the most is the sense of belonging to a community, the warmth of the people doing the same thing together, sharing bits of knowledge and ideas, or even just rambling about daily stuff or the things that make their heads were so full that they need something as an escape.

Crafting is a productive way where we can fill our mundane life, and we also get to have beautiful things to wear or decorate our house with. Yes, crafting can be pretty expensive when it comes to cost, but there are so many ways that we can do to make it work, creatively.

My husband and I wore knitted shawls and hats in the flight to Helsinki in 2017
I knitted all of the shawls and hats we wore on our Winter Europe Trip, back in 2017.

And now, since my husband and I are living in Estonia where we can taste the sweater weather and knee-deep snow, I feel so grateful that I have the skills needed to make warm clothes. I never had the thought of living in cold places back then in 2017. I just want to make something and feel belong to a community of warm and welcoming people.

This feels so aligned with our values. Before coming here, we decided to live a slow life and learn how to be self-sufficient ourselves. We were frugal back then and are still now. And we intended and make sure that this will continue for the rest of our lives.

Through crafting, I found my joy and one source of happiness. I found it calming and meditative.

And I’m sure you feel that way too.

Let’s continue this for the rest of our lives…


Give a Nice Comment Here