Last month we all trekked up to College Park for my son Johnny's college graduation. Thousands of fresh young faces looking forward to their bright futures take me back to my own just-out-of-school experience. I think about what I had planned versus where my choices and experiences actually took me. I wonder sometimes whether I would go back and do it all again. Do you ever think about that? For me, and probably you too, I suppose, it depends on whether we could go back knowing what we know now, or would it just be the opportunity to stumble through the same mistakes all over again.
Mistakes are painful, but they provide important learning opportunities. As my daughter, Katie says, "Good judgment comes from experience, and experience comes from bad judgment." Whether it's in our life or in our knitting, we've all had our share of lessons learned the hard way. Here are a few knitting lessons I've learned the hard way.
Always work ribbing in a needle two sizes smaller than the stockinette portion
"...at each end" does not mean in the first and last two stitches
No amount of blocking can fix a too-tight cast on or bind off
Just because you can get gauge with a yarn doesn't mean you should
Certainly, these have been meaningful lessons, but given the choice, I think I'd probably choose a less painful and frustrating learning method. As humans, blessed with memory, reason, and, skill, we can learn perfectly well without the painful experience. That's what classes are about.
Classes at Crazy for Ewe are not just not painful, they're fun. You get to hang out with other friendly knitters and have the difficult parts explained to you by a professional. You work through a project or a technique with the safety net of an instructor thoroughly familiar with the process. You can ask questions and get just the information you need. You'll hear answers to questions you hadn't even thought to ask too, because there's collective intelligence in a class setting.
Classes increase your confidence by building skills and providing contextual learning which is as effective as "hard-way" learning and substantially less stressful. Lots of great classes on the calendar at the shop - take a look and sign up. You'll be glad you did.