Converting The Masses

"He who can, does. He who cannot, teaches."
  - George Bernard Shaw, Maxims for Revolutionists: Education. Man and Superman, 1903

This quote is taken out of context a lot and used, regularly, to imply that teachers are somehow lesser beings for being teachers instead of doers. Setting aside the current state of our education system and the fact that teachers are regularly treated as second-class citizens (even though they're tasked with educating the next generation of people who will contribute to our society), I open today's post with this quote because I want to proudly claim "teaching" as a new-found skill.

I believe I mentioned that I was teaching a couple of knitting classes here in Madison, in support of the release of What (else) Would Madame Defarge Knit?. The first was a week and a half ago - a beginner knitting class of 17 people, most of whom had never touched needles or yarn. Thankfully, Cassandra was there to help because trying to provide one-on-one instruction to brand-new knitters proved intense. I believe it was successful as I know that at least two of the people have stuck with it and now consider themselves knitters. :)

The reason I mention this today is because one of my "students" from the first class was my friend, Kristine. She's also one of the people who not only stuck with it but jumped in with both feet. Within a week of the class, she'd gone out and bought some KnitPicks Harmony needles (because she loves beautiful things) and some new yarn. She started using YouTube, as I advised, to help her when she'd get lost or forget how to do something. And, she called me when it was time to cast-off.

She had tried casting off on her own but - as we all do in the beginning - had gotten discombobulated. So, she came over last night and we had a little impromptu class in my living room, where (I'm proud to say) she successfully cast-off her first dishcloth. We also covered "unknitting" and how to change/add yarn in the middle of a project.

The most satisfying thing was seeing her work. She'd obviously practiced and her finished object showed it. Her tension was great and she had nary a dropped or twisted stitch. I'd like to take a small amount of credit for that although it probably has more to do with the fact that she's a bit of a perfectionist. LOL  Either way, I'm bursting with pride at her accomplishment and my small role in it.

My next class is on June 23. It will be an intermediate class or, probably more accurately, an advanced-beginner class. I am, surprisingly, really looking forward to it. I'm amazed at how much I enjoy teaching knitting and watching people "get it".

I guess we can consider it my contribution to Knitting World Domination. ;)

- Alex (taking over the world, one stitch at a time)

PS - While most don't know it, I have an unreasonable dislike of variegated yarn.  There's no explanation for it other than it tends to fall into the "whimsical" category in my brain and I really hate whimsy. (Cassandra and I bond over our dislike of variegated yarn.) I would like to show the world that I'm trying to get over my ridiculous judgement of this category of yarn... I found this cotton (Sugar & Cream) in a melange of colors that really appealed to me. Unfortunately, I'm not thrilled with what it looks like knit up but I'll muck around with it for a while and see if there isn't anything I can make that I'll actually like. Who knows... maybe I'll be a convert.

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