Like The Queen
Whatever happens to strike my fancy, but surely some sort of fiber content.


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Tuesday, September 09, 2003  

Heh. Well. I was successful in tempting LD to stay one more day. Or rather, packing took enough time Sunday that he decided to spend one more night. Sweet, sweet moments in the company of one of my favorite people. In the late afternoon we took a hike through the woods, east and west, and along the mosquito infested drainage ditches, across the stubble strewn bean field and back home again. A final cold plunge in the river kissed summer good-bye. It’s amazing how quickly the water temperature drops after 2 nights of 60 degree weather. It was a breathtakingly beautiful late afternoon. We were three heads, bobbing within a ring of forest, fringed with saltbush, ironweed and the wild autumn clematis, that hugged blue water reflecting the dome of the heavens. The dogs love it when we go swimming and frolicked among the aquatic grasses that dip their toes in the shallow water. A fitting good-bye to summer.

At yesterday’s fiber guild meeting the lesson was how to knit 2 socks on 2 circulars. It’s a cool technique and it certainly is efficient to knit more than one object at a time on your needles. I’ve done it, but I hate it. I forget if the yarn should be draped over the needle when finishing the first sock, or under, and so it gets trapped between the needles and when I come to it again on the other side I have to reach through the needles and pull out the yarn. The time and irritation factor of this negates any efficiency I might have effected by having 2 socks when I finish knitting. I had a pair hanging on my good Addi turbo #3 needles for months before I finally said “bah! enough!” and put one of the socks on threads so I could knit one sock at a time. Of course, I still haven’t knit them. I think my interest in the stupid things has been tainted.

Anyway - about the class - it was a reminder that teaching something you understand well is not the same thing as doing it. (remember this in Nov., Bess - practice your lecture before you give it.) I remember the first few times I tried to teach the EZ seamless circular yoke sweater. I completely understood how it is done. I completely utterly knew what I wanted to convey - and the blank stares and miserable suffering on the faces of my students assured me that I had failed.

Well. What an egotist I am. Let me try again.

About the class - the teacher had not worked out a step by step verbal presentation, with physical examples, for casting on. This is a tricky bit anyway, but it’s more tricky when the students don’t even know the technique of knitting with 2 circular needles. With 20+ people in the audience she couldn’t give individual instructions and the longer folk sat in frustrated silence, the more flustered she became. It’s very, very difficult to teach to a crowd. Well, heck, it’s difficult to teach period. When we learn something via the Jack Horner method - sitting in a corner, finally pulling out a plum - it is doubly difficult to teach.

In another lifetime I was a musician. Violin came so naturally to me that I thought everybody could make music. I didn’t really learn to read music till I got a job in a symphony and had to play it the first time, correctly - or get fired! Always before I just listened to the music and then played it back. I was a good violinist - but I was a HORRIBLE teacher. I had no idea how I did what I did and I couldn’t tell anybody else how to do it either.

(Gad, it always comes back to me. Well, that’s because I don’t want to sound nasty or critical about yesterday’s very pleasant teacher. It’s easier to criticize myself. She tried, but she failed and that’s too bad. Probably turned off more folk than she turned on.)

It was fun to be among knitters though and I got in a few more rounds on the SGV. Also promised to be the roving assistant for my library friend when she teaches the steek class in the spring. Both of us are determined to do the crocheted steek before then so it can be taught, as well as a sewn steek.

And now I am determined to finish the body of the SGV by the end of the weekend. I want to enter this in the Montpelier Fall Fiber Festival first weekend in October and I know it has to be in the show organizer's hands by 9/27!! The knitting is not show quality but the vest is pretty and I think it will excite new knitters with its vivid color contrasts. But it must be finished first. I have a series of meetings the end of this week and I intend to knit through them. This will tell you what I think of the meeting topics, since I am usually a participatory type of audience member and only knit in meetings when I think I have an obligation to be present.

Tonight is WW followed by the Tuesday Night Knitters group. It will likely be a small group because lots of folk are dealing with back-to-school start-up issues. But I am going to issue reminder invitations for the October meeting so I can practice my color workshop lecture on them.

Ahh. Is that a pair of knitting needles calling me? Best be off.

posted by Bess | 5:49 AM