From beginner to expert

October 06, 2014 3 min read 2 Comments

I was chatting with a man the other day, and he asked me, "How do you go from beginning knitter to expert knitter?"  I laughed a little and said it was kind of like how you get to Carnegie Hall.  Practice, of course!  But his question really made me think.  It's not that simple - it's not just practice, and what is an expert knitter anyway?  Does it mean that you've been knitting a long time?  Maybe, but not necessarily.  You can have been knitting the same garter stitch scarf or top down sweater for 50 years and still not be an expert.  In my humble opinion, a knitting expert is someone whose experiences allow her (or him) to handle any knitting situation and solve any knitting problem that might come up. 

So, back to the original question.  How do you get there from here?  It's about experience - it's about trying and doing lots of different things in your knitting.  When I was first starting out, I made it my mission to stretch myself a bit with every project.  That tends to be my advice for most knitters who ask what their next project should be.  I admit that it's very relaxing and comfortable to knit things that are simple and mindless, and I believe you should always have a project on your needles that serves simply as a relief from the stresses of the day.  However, if you're looking to really improve your overall knitting expertise, you've got to have a project that gives you an appropriate level of challenge and teaches you something new and interesting.  That's the first part.

The second part is that you need to knit a wide variety of projects.  If you only ever knit washcloths, you may know every stitch under the sun, but you won't understand garment construction, or fabric shaping.  If you only ever knit sweaters, you won't understand turning the heel of a sock or creating a crescent-shaped shawl. Both depth and breadth of knitting experience are essential in building your knitting expertise. 

The third part is that you need some good mentoring to guide and support you as you take on those new and different challenges.  It's one thing to look in a book, and even better to watch YouTube, but YouTube can't watch you knit or look your fabric and say, "Oh, here's the problem."  For that, you need a real live expert who can see where you're struggling and teach you the right way. 

Our Knitting Safari is designed to help you achieve your knitting goals with exactly this kind of mentoring.  In this 3-week class, one of Crazy for Ewe's knitting experts will guide you through the project of your choosing, going over new skills and helping you with the tricky bits. You'll learn the techniques for your own project, but you'll also have the benefit of learning from the projects of all the other students in the class. You'll be exposed to a wide variety of topics, and each question will be a teachable moment for the entire group. 

Just like with an animal safari, you're not sure exactly what you'll see, but we're pretty sure you'll learn something cool, we know you'll make new friends, and we guarantee you'll have fun.  We offer the Safari every three weeks so you can jump in when it works for your. 

2 Responses

Ellen Lewis
Ellen Lewis

May 11, 2015

Yes, Janice, we have it all year round. Is July the best for you? Keep your eye on the newsletter, as we announce all upcoming classes there. I look forward to seeing you soon! ~Ellen

Janice Anderson
Janice Anderson

May 08, 2015

Hi – I really really need this class to get me over the fear of knitting something other than scarves and socks. Will you have classes in July also? Thanks

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