January 15, 2007

Review and Realization.

I learned something really interesting this weekend.
Lucy Neatby has secret mind powers that she can use to control my knitting through the medium of a DVD. That...or I may lack some focus. One of the two. For a while now I've had the Knitters Companion: Knitting Essentials DVDs that Lucy made and I thought they were pretty darned good. (If you scroll down there's a couple of clips to watch.) I've been knitting fairly adventurously for 34 years. I've read lots of books I've tried lots of patterns, I've investigated interesting techniques...I thought that it was pretty likely that I was going to be entertained by Lucy, but not taught. Not me. Not knitting essentials. If it was "advanced techniques" I would expect to pick up something, for sure. Essentials though? No way.

Well, pride goeth before a fall because dudes I learned something HUGE in the first couple of minutes. HUGE. The woman has a cast off on there that I can't even begin to use words for. It's humane. It's life changing. It's one movement instead of two it's ...well. Juno and Cassie have seen it. They know. (Can I get an Amen for the cast off?). The rest of the DVD was clever and helpful, but that Cast Off? Life changing. Worth the price of admission right there. The DVD's are well filmed, of a good quality and Lucy knows her business in these re-windable workshops. There's a list of what appears on the first movie here, and there's a great index at the beginning of the disc so that you just just jump to the Cast-off bit (or the cast-on bit or the thing about decreases) over and over again. It's sort of like having a live knitting book. You can look up what you need to know, watch Lucy imbue it with grace and wisdom and move on. (This might be especially neat for knitters like Wendy who like to see things live and in person to understand them.) Personally, what I liked was that Lucy Neatby will never know the exact number of times I rewound a part to watch it again, where it a classroom my exact mental density would have been revealed to her each time I said "What?" or "Show me again."

When the new ones arrived from Lucy I sat down to watch them. I settled down with some seriously boring knitting

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The 75cm (30 inch) strap for the yoga bag. The first 47 cm were intriguing. I'm pretty done with it now. I figured that "Sock Techniques 1" would be a good distraction from the limp to the finish line.

Here's the part where I learn something other than the Latvian Twist Cuff. (Very interesting, by the way.) I had to put down the yoga strap and cast on a garter stitch hat because I cannot listen to Lucy talk about knitting and not do what she tells me.

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I'm trying to work linen stitch and Lucy's describing a how to work decreases for a ruffle on the top of your sock and suddenly I've got fewer stitches on my strap. It's like I'm helpless to defy her. I switched to the Scarf Rescue hat (from my book, though if you think about it I bet you could figure it out without buying it.) because it's just straight garter stitch and still...

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Lucy spoke. I listened. I'd be chugging along knitting every stitch every row and Lucy would tell me about tubular casting on and I'd nod, listening to her speak, her using every ounce of her teaching experience and me listening carefully because every so often she says something like "snuggle your stitches" and it makes me laugh and I'd look down and Wham. Some monstrosity of knitting happening on the needles because I cannot defy Lucy. I cannot listen to one knitting instruction and execute another. I listen, and my hands obey.

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This garter stitch hat has actual mistakes. Knitting 34 years, all I have to do is knit every stitch on every row...there aren't even any decreases, and there are mistakes. I could have sworn that I could work garter stitch in the late phases of labour or while parachuting, but lo' in the face of the dulcet instructive tones of Lucy Neatby I have no control over my hands. Lucy has the Voodoo. I'm going to try stockinette and the second video today.

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I am not optimistic. Lucy Neatby is my puppet master.

PS. Lene? Thank you for the snow. It arrived last night.

PPS. New total for Knitters Without Borders coming tomorrow.

Posted by Stephanie at January 15, 2007 2:15 PM