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So I'm working on my first project - a scarf (keeping it simple) - and I feel like such a klutz with the needles, I just can't quite manage to find a balance. How do you guys who knit a lot do it?

Be prepared to keep ripping it out, and ripping it out, and ripping it out. Consider this a practice project.

If you keep going, and keep trying, there will come a point when you fall into a rhythm. It becomes a habit; a kind of second nature.

Years and years ago I was making an afghan. My mother and I then lived on Long Island, and we had decided to go into NYC for the day. So she drove, and I sat in the passenger seat working on this afghan.

Three days later someone came up to me in church.

"A group of us had to go into New York on a business trip, and we were on the LIE (Long Island Expressway) and we drove beside you for twenty minutes while I waved and waved. And your mother kept driving and you kept knitting. And neither of you paid a bit of attention to me. I was making faces, and waving, and neither of you ever blinked."

But it was a very pretty afghan.

There comes a point where it becomes automatic. You know the pattern, you know what to do, and you just keep going with it. Eventually you'll be able to hold a conversation. I sat through weeks of therapy working on that afghan. I would discuss all sorts of personal matters and blithely keep working away.

And my therapist insisted on seeing the finished project, too.

It's just a matter of keeping it up. Eventually it will seem so easy that you'll wonder why you were confused.

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