Wednesday, March 04, 2020–
I wonder why a single sit-in with a group of knitters somehow has helped to uplift my needle actions. Indeed, this morning, after starting work on my ragged excuse for a project, my brain and hands seem to have changed. For the first time, pattern guidelines made sense for each row; I could keep in my mind stitch types and counts. I didn’t refer constantly to pattern instructions.
Yesterday, to this outsider, the knitters were a friendly bunch, about fifteen sitting in a circle and quietly chattering, their needles busy. Many have been knitting together for quite awhile and know one another well, using these gatherings to catch up on personal matters. I tried to listen while practicing my knitting and became confused. I began having trouble remembering the last type of stitch I had made, how many, and if I had skipped a change in sequence.
Finally, I set my project aside and simply chatted with folks about their beautiful projects and what brought them to knitting. During the processes of looking closely at well-knitted stitches and listening to their makers’ comments, my brain must have clicked into a learning mode. I didn’t realize this until early today when I picked up my knitting.
For starters, recalling yesterday’s confused knitting while I tried to listen, I wasn’t eager today to take up my needles. But contrary to my expectations, those tools began moving as if I knew how to handle them. Moreover, my memory for stitch sequence had improved and I created rows more quickly.
I’m a lifelong student of learning, but today, at a loss to understand why my comprehension and handling skills have improved. Yesterday had no intense studying to learn, and instead the experience was abstract. I saw fine work and listened to experts at knitting. What I’m deciding is that a large element of assurance opens learning capabilities. Experts who looked over my project didn’t seem closed-off or judgmental, and at some deep level, I must have found that reassuring.
Finally now, I’ll be able to finish this neck-warmer although the rows already done show many mistakes. There’s no pressing need to unravel and start over, for it’s me who’ll wear this garment. The wool yarn regardless of stitching mistakes will provide warmth and finishing it will offer more knitting experience. There’ll be plenty of wood left in the skein and I’ll start over, next time to create a more pleasing version.
Dear Friends: Interests may be accomplished better with a group than in a vacuum. Diana