Like a lot of girls, I was taught how to knit by my mom, when I was in my early teens. My recollection is that she didn't knit much herself, but knew how to cast on, and do the basic stitches. I may have made a scarf when I was younger, but I don't recall making anything else. My mom didn't actually knit much either, but was working on a vest when she got sick, and a friend of theirs ended up finishing it. So, I guess my early experience with it was glancing at best.
Fast forward to around 2007, when I'm out of school, have a full time job that doesn't require me to work outside of work, and want to develop a hobby. I think it also may have had something to do with wanting to make a pair of socks for the guy I was dating. I wonder if he threw those away, or kept them... Anyway, at the time, I had recently become friends with D, who is a good knitter. A real knitter. And I remember us meeting for coffee once, and she showed me just a couple of things, like how to decrease stitches properly for a sock, and that did it. That gave me the oomph I needed to go ahead and consider myself a knitter and take on other projects (besides scarves!). You know how you can watch videos, or see books about something, and it just doesn't click until someone is sitting next to you and does it a couple of times? That's how it was.
Well, yesterday I got to return the favor, and I showed my friend C some basics. It just strikes me as ever so cool that this is how this craft is passed along. That a skill that is both practical and an expression of creativity is often perpetuated in this way. It was fun to see her first few tight, weird stitches turn into a declaration of "Yes, I think I've got it". Because we all do tight weird stitches when we start anything new, and it's just practice that leads us to be better at it. Does that sound like something I tell my kid? It is.