3 Reasons to Learn Something New

Filed in Skill Building by on December 3, 2015 2 Comments

When we started EduKnit we decided that we would use the month of December to discuss something non-knitting, but yarn related. Last year it was crochet. This year it is where yarn comes from.

3 reasons to learn something new

No surprise, spinning is a key element of the creation of yarn. Whether done by machine or by hand, many of the yarns we use are created through a spinning process. As such, many knitters also spin. Or to look at it another way, many spinners also knit. Both Kellie and Jess are examples these types of people; I am not.

When I first started this business over 14 years ago, I decided that I should at least have a rudimentary knowledge of the processes that go into yarn creation. As such, I took beginning classes in both spinning and dyeing. As we were preparing this month’s content for EduKnit, I thought back to my class on spinning and it reminded me why it is so important to regularly go about the task of learning something new.

Besides giving us the obvious result of new knowledge, going through the process of learning is useful for three critical reasons:

  1. The process of learning helps develop patience and understanding. Whether we like it or not, patience is a life skill that is needed by everyone. Patience with others is often easier to have than patience with ourselves. Learning something new reminds us to have patience (with ourselves) and take the time needed to gain skills, knowledge and understanding. Change is going to happen whether we want it to or not. The skills needed for adaptability are the same ones needed for learning. By learning something that interests us, we will ultimately be more functional in our daily lives.
  2. Remember, we don’t have to like everything. Spinning was this way for me. I understand the concept and I am confident that with practice I could become proficient. But it didn’t get me excited or bring me any sort of real joy. Many times I have crocheters apologize for not liking to knit, but that is just crazy. Our uniqueness comes from the variety that is us. How boring would it be if we all liked doing the same thing?! But that also means that I don’t have to like doing everything, either. It seems obvious when I type the sentence, but how easy it is for us to forget when we are in the moment.
  3. Learning something new reminds us of what it is like to be a beginner. This I find particularly useful as an instructor, but it applies in other areas as well. The “curse of expertise” is that you can’t unlearn what you know. As such, it is impossible to think like a beginner in your areas of experience. But you can gain empathy to the process when you go through the process of being a beginner yourself. The empathetic understanding of the frustration and confusion as well as the excitement of accomplishment will make you better at sharing your knowledge with others (personally or professionally).

So although learning to spin did not create a new hobby for me, I don’t regret the time I invested in the process. The basic knowledge has been very valuable over the years even though no yardage has ever been created by these fingers.

However, if spinning is something you are interested in learning, our generous EduKnit sponsor, Louet North America, has provided a wonderful package of a drop spindle and spinning fiber for one of our lucky readers.

Leave us a comment below before Dec 11, 2015 about why you are interested in learning to spin and we will enter your name in a random drawing for some introductory spinning supplies. Make sure you leave us a way to contact you (e-mail address, Ravelry ID, etc.) if you win!

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Comments (2)

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  1. Karen says:

    I love wool — why not try spinning?

  2. Jane says:

    I learned to spindle spin last January and I’m in love with spinning. I now have a borrowed wheel and I’m learning to spin with it. Just like with the spindle, being a beginner is hard, but I’m enjoying the discovery of a new passion that perfectly aligns with my knitting passion.

    RavID: janeo

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