June 24, 2019 2 min read 10 Comments
Over the years we've has lots of people in the shop wanting to learn to knit. Some of them are actually beginners, but most are not, and the conversation usually starts with something like, "Well, I know how to knit, but I'm doing it all wrong. I want to learn the right way. The right way. In my universe, there is no right way to knit. And, the converse is also true: there is no wrong way to knit. Some people hold their yarn in left hand, others in their right. Picking, throwing, left-hand,.right-handed, whatever, it's all good.
In our last Cocoknits class, we had a student who said she knit backwards. She worked from her right needle to her left, and her stitches sat with their right leg over the back. I must admit, I was a little uncomfortable. All my talk about how it's all good and whatever you want to do is fine went right out the window. What If I couldn't teach this student? This class included a fairly complicated set of terms and techniques that relied on the students' understanding of conventional stitch placement. Simple words like before and after take on subtle new meaning when you're working in a different direction. I I'm embarrassed to admit that my first response was perhaps not my finest moment. In my fear about being able to teach this lovely student, I warned, You're going to have a little trouble in this class." She replied happily "No, I'll just flip everything around. And so she did. And she was fine.
It is always a challenge when we are presented with things that are very different from our experience, from our expectations. The greater the difference, the greater the challenge. I believe, it is more important to focus on how we are alike than how we are different -- on what brings us together rather than what drives us apart. To quote journalist, Geraldine Brooks,
There are always a few who stand up in times of communal madness and have the courage to say that what unites us is greater than what divides us".
Let us come together as knitters, as yarn lovers, as artists and artisans. Let us focus on our love of craft, respect for one another, and the community we share. You, whoever you are, whoever you are becoming, whoever you love, and however you choose to love them, are always welcome here. ~Ellen