Nana's Knitting Shop

Knitting tales of a lifelong knitter
and yarn shop owner.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Delegation Knitting

I teach a felted bag class using the Booga Bag pattern by Black Sheep Bags.
This darling little bag is the best first project I’ve found so far. I know it’s downloadable for free on the internet, but I buy the patterns and give them to my students. The original patterns are on heavy paper and there’s a photograph of the Booga on the front.

This is, after all, the beginner knitter’s entrance into the intoxicating world of actually making something after the pain and anguish of learning how to cast on (are you playing cat’s cradle?), how to knit (you’re baby finger is controlling the yarn how?), and how to purl (I give up). Six hours of instruction and regular recommended practice and everyone, I mean, everyone is ready for the Booga Bag.

And so ready was Melanie. She graduated from Knitting 101 in June and immediately signed up for the Felted Bag Class. She chose her favorite Kureyon and left the shop a happy woman. Everyone is to knit the bottom of their bag prior to the first class – cast on 34 stitches and knit for 34 rows.

Melanie came to class. I asked, “So how did you make out with your homework?”

She said, “Do you want to know the truth?”

I said, “I most certainly do!”

Melanie said, “Well, I had my friend, who by the way only knits mittens and we call her the ‘Mittener,’ do my homework for me. Since she only knits mittens, she didn’t know how long it would take to knit my homework so she took the day off yesterday to do it. I only had her do it because I’ve been so busy at work and I really wanted to come to this class.”

I taught Melanie how to pick up stitches – there were 66 to pick up in all. When I instructed that after all stitches were picked up, 64 rows were to be knit, Melanie looked at me and said, “You’ve got to be kidding me! That’s a lot of knitting! It’s taken me forever just to knit once around.”

We did another round or so and moved on to I-Cord. Everyone got the hang of I-Cord and knit quietly for 6 or 7 rows of 5 stitch I-Cord.

“See how it turns in on itself to make a cord,” I said.

Melanie said, “I do see that!”

I said, “So you have to do the I-Cord for….”

The shop was silent; everyone was hanging on my every word. I glanced at Melanie cautiously and then said,

“Six feet!”

The pin dropped and it sounded like an atomic bomb.

“Six feet! You’ve got to be kidding me,” she said, “Six feet! You’ve got to be kidding me!”

I said, “It’s only 5 stitches! I know it’s mind-numbingly boring, but it’s such good practice! It will go quick, I promise!

We sat in silence again making I-Cord for several minutes. The rows continued to curl in on themselves and Melanie said,

“This looks like what we used to make as kids using that wooden tube with the nails on the top.”

“I said, “You’re right, it was a ‘Knitting Dolly’ or a ‘French Knitter’.” Every kid had one and it does make I-Cord.”

She said, “Yup, my niece has one, and I’m going to have her do the six feet!”


Anonymous lauren said...

Six feet of I-Cord, huh?
Tricia, you should market that as a alternative to prescription sleep aids.
Crap, I thought about it too long. Now I needs a nap.

3:12 PM  
Blogger Cynthia said...

Tricia - just found your blog and it's great to read. I'm also a recent customer with your shop but I've already had several very fruitful visits there. Love this story about the new student.

6:02 PM  

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