Slave Driver

View from my room at the Hampton Inn at 8:30. I swam this morning, I feel good and it’s sunny – beautiful day!

Yesterday I taught two classes at Stitches & Scones and was lucky enough to have lunch again at Kelties (same exact thing, I have NO food imagination!) and it was a wonderful day!

The first class was cabling (Cable Mania, er, Sanity) and we had a blast. I must say that the students in Indiana have been among the best I’ve taught, and I was very impressed with their ability to speak, chorus-like, in unison. (You haven’t lived until you’ve heard a class of women proclaim, “You Start Every Cable The Same Way!”) It’s the small things that make life worthwhile.

The second class was knitting with wire – and it was a big class! After the initial kit selection phase, and pieces from Twist & Loop were passed around for everyone’s edification, we all settled in to knit a little swatch with wire, just to get the feel of the new (to them) fiber.

I sometimes feel a little like Simon Legree in my knitting with wire class – I try to encourage folks to toss away the need to see good looking knitting while they’re learning something (losing this expectation of perfection is the best way to get a beautiful end result – counter intuitive, but true!) and at times my encouragement can be – well – firm. Sergeant Carter in a velvet glove.

Most folks completed their pieces, I felt terrible for the two who didn’t get finished, and I knew that if the class had been smaller I would have been able to spend more time with each one – therefore assuring at least a moderate success. It’s so hard when you’re learning something new, and you’ve just about got it, but you feel a million miles away from comprehension. That old saw about it always being darkest before the dawn is absolutely true, and you never feel more lost than right before you discover you’re on the right path.

Today I’m speaking at a fundraising luncheon at the Oak Hill Mansion, doing some color commentary on a few of my designs from Romantic Hand Knits, Twist & Loop and Men Who Knit.

Knit Sophisticates
I have to laugh sometimes when I’ll read a blog or a thread on a knitting chat board where some authority bemoans the lack of taste in a certain garment, the [gasp] gauche-ness of a color combination or choice of project. It’s knitting. Say it with me – K N I T T I N G.

We don’t knit to make things, we knit to make ourselves happy. If you’re standing in the way of someone else feeling good about their knitting, you need to examine your motivations.

My own take on this is that when one feels a need to denigrate others, it’s usually a deep seated discomfort, sadness or insecurity. It’s like the teenager who’s embarrassed by their mom. She hasn’t changed, but the kid’s become painfully aware that there are levels of cool, and his mom isn’t in the level that his friends admire.

I have such respect for the grandma who continues to wear lipstick and rouge, even when her kids try to get her to stop – and I have the same level of admiration for the go-to-hell grandma who NEVER wears makeup, and can’t be charmed or cajoled into it by her kids.

I’m perverse enough that when I read comments alluding to the un-coolness of a knitting event, book, project or fiber, it makes me want to get to know it better. (But then, I never sat with the cool kids in high school, either…)

Arbitrary rules of taste – of coolness – is a type of water-on-a-stone dictatorship. It wears away our confidence, little by little, in our own personal style choices.

Learn to question “Cool” – “In” can be an insidious form of authoritarianism.

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