So far, I've been finding my patterns for free online - and with miraculous results. I only choose things I can figure out, or that YouTube can teach me. It's insane, that YouTube. I actually watched AnneB knit (continental style) at least 30 times on my iPod trying desperately to see how her hands moved so efficiently. http://http//www.youtube.com/watch?v=78_pwiudOl4 I would, before this, hopelessly twist my yarn and constantly have to stop and let it unwind, much the way a yo-yo needs to be unspun. I wished so much that I had had this urge to knit years ago when my Grandmother could have taught me, and I could have watched human hands. But AnneB did prove to be a great help. After my serial watchings, and then lots of repetitive practice, I was able to master it and not twist my yarn anymore.
All the while I grew up in the the Northwoods of Wisconsin, my Gram would knit. Not just knit - that is too casual a word for the amazing art that she produced. She raised sheep (and even angora rabbits), and purely as a hobby she sheared them, washed, dyed and carded the wool, then spun the wool and THEN knit. Pure perfection. I have several things that I cherish that she has made, and many skeins of beautiful wool, expertly spun as fine as any machine. I admit, I felt guilt ordering online from Canada, when not so long ago, my Gram would have be able to produce any whim I could have come up with. Last Christmas, I took up needle felting with the abundance of wool that she has given me. For a short time, I was addicted to making little animals that I gave away as gifts. She has also given me a spinning wheel, and I'm sure soon it will be a natural curiosity that will lead me blindly into figuring that out as well.
So now I am without my amazing Gram to teach me hands on, and I somehow am managing to limp on with my computer's support...but every time I pick up my needles (all of which came from her) I can feel connected to part of my past, and part of my Grandmother's past. I'm glad it allows me to feel so much like her, and lets me remember the happy days of my childhood watching her knit in the background.