February 5, 2008

Weekend excursion

I left Saturday morning at 8 for a day with my mom and a night with my friend Noob. Normally I am a very condensed packer for trips, not this time.

It apparently takes me six bags for one overnight trip. But I will grant myself that I was taking not one, but two hobbies with me. One of them was scrapbooking which requires a lot of stuff. Yes, that's the technical scrapbookers term for all the paper, stickers, cutting tools, pens, photos, albums, and pages they need. Stuff. Three bags of stuff. The others include a bag for overnighting, my purse and one bag for knitting. Knitting it would seem is more ready for travel. That's six bags.

Anyway, since this is not a scrapbookers blog, and it is a knitting blog I will just skip over to the knitting parts.

Noob and I try to visit each other at least 4 times a year. Neither of us have kids yet, and we live about 4 to 5 hours apart (round trip depending on traffic). It was my turn to go see Noob at her joint, since she had come down twice last fall. Once for a visit and once for SAFF. Plus, she got new living room furniture last August and I still hadn't seen it.

I arrived at Noob's and was greeted with this:

Doesn't Charlie look like he owns that chair? What a lucky dog. My dog would pee her pants if she was let up on the couch.

It gets better, Samantha decided that she would get in on the action:

So I got a snuggle buddy while we knitted on the new couch. Isn't it lovely, by the way? It was deliciously new couch soft.

Noob and I wasted no time as you can tell mincing words and frivolities. We both knew what this trip meant. Our own personal k2tog time. I plopped down and drew out my knitting. Noob already had hers out. She was ready to learn the bind off for this baby.

Her first ever knitted object the infamous garter stitch scarf. We picked out those turtles and sewed them on for interest. Noob added the fringe herself once she discovered the joys of the the crochet hook. Shhhh, don't tell her that those camps are rivals. I am inducting her as if everything is harmonious and easy.

Because, Knitter's Truth, when you are learning to knit on your own, you don't think anything is hard until someone tells you it's hard. Changing colors? Not a big deal. Stop knitting with one and start knitting with another. The hole can be closed when you weave in ends, but sit in a group and hear someone moan about the woes of intarsia and you'll never touch it with a ten foot pole.

I believe in empowering the newbie knitter by explaining things in the simplest terms and letting them come to their own conclusion about the difficulty of knitting. That might be why Noob loved her sock, but hated the ssk in the gusset. Her idiotic instructor (me) explained the ssk as, "slipping two stitches from the left needle to the right needle one at a time as if to knit and then simply knitting those two together as one, like you would do for the k2tog."

The idiotic instructor thinking she was very clever, because the student already knows how a k2tog is constructed and knit, so it will be rather easy to switch gears into a ssk. The more experience knitting teachers reading this have already notice the glaring mistake in those instructions. The idiotic instructor did not mention that the rearranging of the stitches in a ssk requires you to knit behind your left needle. Poor Noob was slipping her stitches and then coming in from the left side of the front and grabbing the stitches that way. Very fiddly and without much room.

So when the instructor saw the error in her own explanation and demonstrated the picking up of the right side of the stitches, Noob enjoyed the ssk much more during the toe decreases than she ever did during the gussett. Moral of the story? Simplification for Simplification's sake makes for some sloppy instructions.

Don't you agree Charlie?

Charlie just wants more knitting to happen because that woman comes over and feeds him all those treats at breakfast.


Anonymous said...

And then you call him fat!! No wonder with such good friends like yourself feeding him, how did you put it?, treats at breakfast. :) I had the best time!!! you didn't tell them that next we plan to yarn-over. Oh the excitement.


elizabeth said...

You're totally right - new knitters are fearless! I mean, your first socks were Potamanmunus-whatever!