Thursday, March 15, 2012


"Lazy Girl Shawl"

Knitting. It's doing something to my brain. Affecting how I think and even dream. Could it be the mathematical nature of the craft? Or the patterns and colors?
Whatever is happening, it is powerful, in a good way. Dreams have turned to technicolor-wonder productions, and I'm counting everything.... Maybe it's the synergy between the left and right hands, working together to coax the yarn into a new loop.

Sometimes, an undoing of the loops happens, which is called tinking, or to tink (which is clever because tink is knit spelled backwards). When the tinking becomes ridiculous, I whine, check the pattern, count stitches and attack with renewed conviction. And tink again.

A kind-hearted friend listened to my story of tinking woe. She suggested that I hold my finger on the wrapped stitches (some stitches don't get "looped" they simply wrap themselves around the knitting needle and ride along). It worked. The tinking stopped. Everyone was getting looped, and those that weren't, were riding along. My kind-hearted friend was confident in her diagnosis and gentle with her prescription for a solution. It was a textbook teachable moment. The right questions were asked, she figured out what I didn't know and offered a strategy for understanding the problem.

It was interesting, in a clinical sense, to be on the don't-know-what-I-don't-know side of learning. It was also frustrating. There are a couple of lessons about learning, frustration, not knowing and teachable moments that I can pull from my current knitting experiences. Applying them with an overlay of gentle, kind-hearted confidence is what I hope to do as the student's spring research papers reach their conclusions.

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