Wednesday, April 18, 2012

On learning...

Sticks and String
I cast-on my Hemlock Ring blanket yesterday and I'm loving it. The yarn was quite a bear to wind... I almost threw a major fit about it, but was able to keep it together and finish it. For some reason, the skein was quite tangled (even though it looked fine on the swift) and I thought I was going to have to hand wind it. Which made me want to freak out. The reason I own a swift and ball winder is that I do not have the time or the patience to wind things by hand. At all. I hate that chore. I always get things all knotted up and it is a mess. I had heard complaints about Malabrigo being tough to wind before, but I had never used it.... hopefully the other skeins are less fussy, otherwise this may be my one and only Malabrigo project. I don't think I love it that much.

I love to learn. I think anyone who follows this blog, or knows me in "real" life, is probably well aware of that. It is a rare month that goes by that I don't take a class of some sort, wether it be fiber related or some other interest. I am ok at learning on my own, but if someone can show me the right way to do things, I thrive and I am quick to catch on.

Seeing as how my job is also to teach, I love to watch people learn.  Sometimes, working with adults is frustrating in this sense. Kids are used to learning. We expect them to do it every day. Adults feel like they should already be good at something.... they are grown ups... instantly that should make them great at everything! I find that adults tend to be less confident and get frustrated easily when learning. I also encounter a lot of people who say they "don't know how to do that" or "can't do that". Personally, I don't care for that attitude if it is keeping you from something you want to do. I can look at wood working and leather work and think, "Wow that is amazing... I can't do that"... but I have no interest in doing that. I think it is cool, but I have no desire to learn to do that. Who knows, in five years I may be a leather working fool, but not today....

Anyway, my point being, don't let the fact that you have never done something or don't know how to do something stop you from doing what you want to do! LEARN. TRY. You might not get it right the first time, but I bet you will learn from your mistakes and be able to do better the next time. Or you might learn that it is something you don't care for and you can move on....

In knitting, I most often run into knitters who "can't" knit from a chart. This really limits your pattern options if you want to knit anything with cables, colorwork, or lace... I don't think I've ever seen a colorwork pattern that wasn't charted. Personally, I love charts. I can quickly glance at a chart and tell where I am in my knitting and not have to wade through lines of a pattern that read K1, P4, YO, K2TOG, K14 etc.... I realize that not everyone will love knitting from charts, but it is a valuable skill and at the very least I feel like every knitter should try. If you find you hate charts, you can convert the chart to a written pattern (which would make me want to poke my eyes out... but maybe that is your thing....) and still knit what you want. If nothing you want to knit has a chart, fine, you don't need to know how to read a chart. But, if you are dying to knit that lace shawl and the chart is the only thing standing in your way, give it a shot. Look up some chart reading tips online, ask around.... The worst thing that happens is you lose a bit of time and you might have to rip out some knitting... but we do love to knit, right?!


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