I touched on this in my G is for Growth post but I want to continue it on here. In Marked, there's a place where one of her friends asks Aisling why she's willing to do so much, to spend so much of her time doing new things. Aisling's response is something she attributed to her father: “If you're not learning you're stagnant. If you're stagnant you're not going anywhere. Learn so you can go somewhere.”
I had crochet hooks and yarn, but didn't know how to use them together. I wanted to learn since I wanted to make some afghans like my mother and grandmother had. I went to a friend and she taught me how to crochet a chain and attempted to teach me how to make rows. I struggled with it because her teaching style didn't fit my needs.
So what did I do? I went to YouTube. I watched I don't know how many videos before finding a series that fit what I needed. I watched them over and over again until I got it right. After that, I went on to make a small lap afghan. After that I started reading patterns and making plans to make an even more elaborate afghan. I didn't have the right sized crochet hook and never got around to getting one, but the information was there and I learned it.
I started knitting when I was 8. My grandmother taught me and my mom kept it up. They only taught me to knit and purl, teaching me the stockinette pattern but that was it. I could experiment with both types of stitches and make my own patterns but I wanted to know more. I wanted to make hats and gloves and socks.
I got a set of DPNs. DPNs are double pointed needles. They came in a set of five. Once again I was on my own because no one I knew could use them. So I read patterns on Ravelry, I asked questions in forums, and once again I turned to YouTube to teach me how to use them. I never got to finish my projects having lost one of my DPNs somehow. But I still learned. I still know how to do it too. When I get around to it again, I'll get new DPNs and start over. I may need a refresher course but the knowledge is there.
Learning is such an integral part of every day life that we don't even realize we're doing it. You're always learning something new. The trick is knowing that and paying attention. If you don't think you have an opportunity to learn something new, find one. Ask questions. Watch a video. Read an article in your newspaper or one of the many online news sources. Keep an open mind.