Mr, Cupcake at Craters of the Moon

Mr, Cupcake at Craters of the Moon
Mr. Cupcake at Craters of the Moon

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

dreaming of dpns

For those of you who are not knitters, 'dpns' refers to double-pointed needles. They are used for knitting things in the round, such as hats or mittens or sleeves or, in this case, socks.

Last night was the first of my two sock knitting classes. There were four students, each armed with five dpns. Including myself that made five women with five dpns = 25 wee pointy sticks. It's no wonder I couldn't sleep last night and all these needles kept floating around in my mind.

It was good, I enjoyed the class. When teaching knitting like this, I am discovering, there is quite a range in skill level. In this case, the most advanced knitter knew how to read patterns and has knit several sweaters, but this was her first foray into knitting in the round. The newest knitter learned only a month ago and barely has a grasp on purling, but we mucked through.

I assigned homework. We are all knitting wee socks on 2.5mm needles at 40 st per round. I have knit a sample sock but am knitting one with the class as well so as to demonstrate the techniques I'm teaching. In this way, I am learning to teach. What works? What doesn't? I have taught before so (I like to think) I have a good teaching ethic. I am told that I am very patient with students, which is very important when learning to knit. The homework I assigned is to get to the end of the first set of instructions so that we can pick-up-and-knit the heel flap next week.

As I'm learning to teach sock knitting, I realize that this assumes a number of things. I assume that the people in the class know the following techniques:
knit
purl
slip 1
slip, slip, knit
purl 2 together

and given that the newest knitter is having difficulty with purling, even these simple techniques may elude her. Now to be fair, in the advertisement for the class, it did say something like 'must be comfortable with knitting and purling' so we can't turn people away if they think they have the skill set. I just hope she is not discouraged by being so far behind everyone else. We were all on the heel flap while she was still on her second row. I applaud her enthusiasm in any case.

I made the drive home just after 9pm. Tofino is about 35 minutes away from Ucluelet, and there are often hitchhikers on the way. Being one person in my truck I feel a bit silly driving by, since it is absolutely safe to pick people up around here. Mostly it has been native males, last night I picked up Mark the Carver. Lovely fellow, very interesting. I dropped him at the turnoff to Port Albion.

When I turned on to Bay street (a block from my house), I saw these two young fellows carrying three pallets. In my pick-up truck I pulled over and offered help, which they greatly accepted. They weren't going far, just to the campground at the other side of the pub (about .5km), but pallets are heavy (and were intended for firewood).

Got home and went to bed soon after. But I couldn't get comfortable, couldn't let my mind rest. I supposed I could blame it on the snack I had when I got home. Eating right before bed usually does not bode well for my sleep, but I hadn't eaten in six hours so was a bit grumbly. Well, I'll go to my offload today (should be short), take a nap this afternoon, and then teach some beginners how to make a slip knot, cast on, and knit tonight.

Then, hopefully, early to bed.

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