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Archive for September 25th, 2007

Angie’s First Hat: Victory!

Tuesday, September 25th, 2007

angiesfirsthatfeathered.jpgI am teaching a sort of knitting study-hall at Rae’s these days. People can come to me if they want to learn to knit from scratch, or want to learn to knit further than they have been knitting on their own.

They purchase four sessions up front, then they tell me when they will be there (I have times set aside for this but do not go to the shop if nobody makes a date with me). I walk them through new things. It is very rewarding.

Angie is one of my study-hall students. She came to me after knitting many garter-stitch scarves. She had purchased the book about knitting for Peace and wanted to try something new. She thought the next step would be a more complex scarf, then she figured she would make a hat. It was the hats she really wanted to do.

After getting clear that she really wanted to make hats, I convinced her that making a hat could be easy and that making a scarf would not get her directly to her goal (and honestly, making a roll-brim hat in stockinette did not require her to learn purling right away… just using circular and double-pointed needles).

So in just a few weeks, Angie completed this beautiful roll-brimmed hat. She learned other needles, but she also learned how to decrease with a Knit Two Together. She learned methods of working in ends, too.

I will be seeing her again this week. She will be learning how to purl and how to rib, which is what she wants to learn next. She is doing just great. It amazes me how people often limit themselves, thinking that if they don’t know how to do it, it must be very hard to learn. And the power of getting through that, and doing the things they thought were hard… well, that is why I teach.

(For the record, I knit garter-stitch scarves for 20 years. I knew how to backward-loop cast on and knit. I did not know how to bind off but figured out how to make them not unravel by putting the yarn end through the live stitches. I put fringe on both ends to hide the fact that they did not match. I learned to purl more than 20 years after I learned to knit. So I totally understand the inner workings of the thought process… I just think it’s great when people find their way out of it somehow.)

Go, Angie! I can’t wait to see your next project.


Tuesday, September 25th, 2007

I’ve been waiting to get into the online knitting community called Ravelry since mid-July. I’m #17481 on the list, whew, with 18,145 people behind me. It has been in a testing phase for a long time, during which they have added just a few people at a time, slowly. Just recently they have started adding more people each week.
Last night there were about 350 people in front of me waiting to be invited in. Today I’m number 55.

Even though I don’t have much time to get heavily involved right now, I’m very excited. Some people are knitting my patterns right now and I can be available for Q&A to those folks as soon as I’m in. I look forward to exploring the community aspects of the system.

Ravelry started as an idea where people could sort of get organized with their knitting things (yarn, needles, patterns) online. That idea did not appeal to me much, I would not spend time doing an inventory. I’d rather dive in and knit more. But now they have places where you can go and see photos of other folks’ finished projects in this or that yarn, or this or that pattern, before you decide what to do yourself. Brilliant. Once I looked at Rae’s Ravelry screen and there were photos of my Fast Florida Footies pattern posted, for example. I think this feature is brilliant.

And now they also have communities/groups where folks can interact on the site. You can find groups of folks from the same town, the same occupation, same hobbies other than knitting. For example, music teachers who knit might be one group.

This creates a connection between folks online. This is the strength of the internet, in my opinion. Real connections and friendships do grow between people who share common interests. I’ve met some very important people in my life this way, particularly in a self-employed group I was on before I even met Brian, so a dozen years ago almost. One of the folks I met in that group, I spent a day with in Dallas last April.

With all the bad press about the internet out there, I’m here to tell you that humankind is mostly good and there are many wonderful friendships available to those willing to be authentically themselves online. Now, if you go to a chat room called “hey baby!” you will get what you might expect. If you are inclined to make bad decisions in other parts of your life, you might just make bad decisions online as well. If you are young and inexperienced, you need guidance from more experienced folks in your life whether online or not.

But as in the world, where more people are good than bad… so is it with the Internet. Much good is available if you look for it. I’m excited to try out this new opportunity. Very soon, or so it seems.