Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Never say always

OK. I try not to channel Andy Rooney very often, because life's too short. But I'm grumpy about a couple of (knitting) things and I have to share.

  1. Why do people, when teaching or talking about knitting, say "always do..." or "never do..."? Knitting, as in life, carries very few alwayses or nevers. For every "always slip as if to knit" there's an equally justifiable "slip as if to purl."
    And, believe me, as a teacher of young people I GET that sometimes people need VERY SPECIFIC DIRECTIONS before they can spread their wings and fly. Maybe those people need the nevers and alwayses, but I find them condescending. Is it too much to ask to say "The best way I know is..." or "I prefer..." instead of "Always..."? At least the learner knows that there are other options.

  2. Why do people say they are afraid of certain types of knitting? "I'm afraid of socks." "I'm afraid of an afghan." "I'm afraid of lace." It's OK to dislike or not be interested in or think a certain type of knitting is for the birds...but afraid? Give me a break. Be afraid of alligators, or car accidents, or global warming...but knitting?

  3. Why does a certain magazine, we'll call it Mogue Spitting, not seem to tech edit its patterns? I actually picked up this magazine, which I usually find too fashion-y and impractical, this quarter because of the mitten patterns, and to my surprise I also discovered two (or more!) sweater patterns I might actually consider. But why, o why, when I turned to the instructions for one lovely sweater, one that was clearly constructed in the round and even SAID SO IN THE CAPTION IN THE GALLERY PAGES, did I clearly see directions for a FRONT and a BACK that were not in the round, not even one little bit roundy? It immediately made me suspicious of every other pattern in the entire issue as well as retroactively even more suspicious of any other pattern produced by said magazine in its long and illustrious lifespan.
OK, I'm done. This is Andy Rooney, signing out.


Toni said...

Great minds think alike!!!!! This has been driving me crazy for some time now. I learned to knit when I was very young--maybe 9--and basically taught myself a lot of stuff through trial & error. There were mistakes or things that didn't work, but nothing fatal. What drives me crazy are the "designers" selling a "design" that is basically a scarf with a garter stitch border and a pattern ripped from Barbara Walker in the middle. Drives me crazy!!! I've started leading a group on Yahoo groups based on Elizabeth Zimmermann's knitting, but I try to add in little bits here & there to get people to think through their own knitting. Impaling yourself on knitting needles--now THAT would be wrong. Everything else could eventually be useful.


Lavender A said...

Hear hear! Especially the one about being afraid of knitting. Knitting is not scary, they just haven't found the right teacher yet.

Mrs. J. said...

Okay. OKAY! I will never say I'm afraid of cables again! :))