Another Masters Class
|It was an early start to make a 9am Saturday am class|
A few months ago I signed up to volunteer. It was - as often the case - a much bigger commitment than I intended, but rewarding nonetheless- as volunteering usually is. I spent the better part of 10 hours (spread over three days) winding yarn. It is a tricky thing - if you haven't seen it before - yarn sometimes comes in a hank (not in a ball). Strands get pulled around a "swift" then over to a "winder" to be wound into neat and manageable balls. If you think I'm doing a poor job explaining the process, it's OK. I felt like a fish out of water using these machines to do something that I have been doing by hand for many years. But... after many hours' practice, I seem to have the knack of it. If you scroll down to the bottom of my friend Pam's knitting blog, you'll see a picture of me at work. In fact, lots of people stopped to take pictures and I'm afraid that I may be on yarn blogs all over the place... on a days when I didn't even remember to wear lipstick.
Other than helping out, I was a very good girl - I didn't buy anything, despite the fact that there were booths full of beautiful yarns and needles, books, and accessories much of which I can't buy locally. Why not? Well, to be honest, I haven't finished (or started) most of the yarn I bought last year. And as I said in an earlier blog, I'm trying to live a bit more simply. I did treat myself to take an expensive knitting class. Vogue Knitting Live classes are taught by "knitterati" (famous folks in the knitting world but people who can walk the streets otherwise unnoticed) and I took a class from a teacher as well known as knitters get.
|Here is the jacket to the swatch below |
(Image from http://unicornbooksandcrafts.blogspot.com/2011/09/back-to-school.htm)
As class began on an early Saturday morning, I was embarrassed that my homework wasn't done. (Insert excuses, none good). But I finished it as she made her opening remarks, and I used it for a technique she taught in class. (Insert sigh of relief).
|She advocates knitting swatches that tell it all|
For many people finishing means the final work (such as sewing the last strands). I learned that finishing really is about planning. That lesson can be transferred to many aspects of life: proper planning, clear directions, prep work all make for a stronger results.
|It's about the prep. (Recipe from Julia Child's Baking with Julia)|
The first time you make something new, a special meal comes from a good recipe, well-picked raw ingredients, combined with plenty of prep work: cutting veggies, trimming fat, simmering without burning, etc.
In both cooking and knitting, you can sometimes wing it, but without a guarantee of good results.
My favorite kinds of experiences are just like this class. I go in thinking I am learning one thing. In this case, it's knitting. Then finding that new perspective on something else. Deborah's advice is so easily transferable: planning a trip, taking a class or anything else you do for the first time. She has knit a 1,000 sweaters - just as I've made 1,000 meals (over time). Planning and patience produce the finest results. Both Deborah Newton and Julia Child encourage their followers to learn from their mistakes, if necessary/possible fix them, and to carry on. Good advice for everyone, really!