Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Back to School: Knit a Hat

About this time of year I always get nostalgic for the good ol' days. The days of new clothes, new paper and pencils, new crayons, new teachers. Back to school. Okay, I get it, it's November, but c'mon, with climate change and everything it's still 80 degrees in eastern USA and that's summer weather in my book.

I loved the promise of learning new things. That promise wasn't often broken, but let's not get bogged down in the public school system of the USA. Blah.

I still get excited by learning new things. It's the constant expanding of my mind, making the mental connections between A and B, that I find so intriguing. YouTube is an amazing resource for someone like me that wants to constantly find new hobbies or new ideas. If I can make a suggestion for a YouTube channel that's really exciting to me right now, I'd suggest Corning Museum of Glass because they have all these long demonstrations of people working with hot molten glass and it's fascinating and perfect for marathon knitting sessions.

When I first started designing patterns, they were simple scarf patterns. And I'm sure they were terrible and full of errors. I had never even heard of the concept of a tech editor back then. Frankly, it was even before Ravelry, so I'm sure I didn't even know there were people that were designing patterns independently. I just knew that I was teaching a scarf-of-the-month class and needed patterns. I wanted patterns that actually taught something--lace, fair isle, texture, cables, etc.

And then I was introduced to the rush you get from teaching. Well, maybe not "you" you, but teachers. Not just school teachers. Anyone that passes information along to someone else in a way that helps them learn and grow. A teacher. It's incredible. And addictive.

I developed a cadence and a language to pass ideas along. I learned when to encourage and when to push. I learned more from my students than they did from me (cliché alert). But it's true. I learned how to fix more mistakes than I'd make in 10 lifetimes of knitting. And mostly I learned that I love to teach.

So when a local librarian reached out to me on Twitter and asked if I'd be interested in teaching a knitting class at her library, I jumped at the chance. We hashed out the details and tomorrow, I'm going back into the "classroom" for the first time in several years to lead a class in a beginner's hat. It's actually the best kind of project to get back into teaching or back into knitting. The mistakes that can be made are few (though I'm sure I'll be surprised) and every hat will be a success. They may not be the same size, but they'll be hats!