Last week, my daughter Katie, said that in December she will have been with her current company for a year and a half. I asked her if it felt like a long time or a short time, and she laughed and said, "Both!" She knows it's not a really long time in the grand scheme of things, but she said it has been a long time in terms of what she's learned. She said, "When I first got there, I just did whatever Katina told me to do without a sense of the big picture. You know, kinda fake it till you make it. But now I get it. I know what to do when, and I see how what I do fits into the organization as a whole. It all makes sense, and I like that I can really contribute."
As a mom, I was super proud, of course, and her concept of fake it till you make it rattled around in my brain for a while. I thought about how much we do that with our knitting. As a newer knitter, we usually have to be shown again and again. And we have to have someone check often, asking, "Is this right?" Then all of a sudden, it clicks. We can tell the difference between knits and purls, and work them without another thought. As we move into making our first sweaters, we need the pattern to tell us when to work an ssk, and when to work a k2tog, and more. That's okay. it's what patterns are for. Then one day we just know when to do which, and we realize that we're not faking it anymore -- we've made it!
There's no way to skip the faking step, because our brains take a while to form the pathways of learning. But there are ways to shorten the faking. Katie admitted that she would not have gotten it so quickly if it were not for her boss, Katina. Katina took the time, from day one, to explain the why behind the directions she gave Katie. She created an open and trusting environment where Katie was free to ask questions, and received honest and thoughtful responses. Katina invested in Katie, and created a competent and confident employee. In return, Katie loves her job and would walk over hot coals for Katina. Brava, Katie and Brava, Katina!
It's a brilliant approach, and in classes, and even just around the table, I try to do the same. I want you to understand not only the words of the pattern, but why things are done in a particular way. I certainly don't need anyone to walk over hot coals in the shop, but I do hope that we're creating competent and confident knitters, learning and growing with each project. Whether we're faking it or making it, or somewhere in between we're all learning every day, and the more we know, the better we knit. Brava, you!
I look forward to seeing you in the shop and around the table. You are always welcome here. ~Ellen