Thursday, March 29, 2007

Knitting Knewbies

At my Chix group we get occasional newbies. I like them. They’re usually mostly clueless, which is why they’re newbies, but they’re so easily impressed it makes me feel like Steve Martin in “The Jerk” when he got so excited about being in the phone book.

Last night we got three newbies, and that was a lot of fun. They were impressed by knitting on circular needles, knitting without watching the needles, knitting on four needles, cabling, and following charts. Some of which I was doing, and some of which the other regulars were doing. It was kind of charming and sweet – we old-timers get so accustomed to knitting mindlessly that we forget what it’s like to be new and worried about every single stitch.

It’s also nice to be of assistance, particularly when the assistance is really simple. One knewbie has some problems getting her circular needle to stop coiling up on her, which a simple twist fixed. She also got confused as to the knit and purl stitches, also an easy fix. Sometimes we get a knewbie who is dogged and therefore creates wonderful things, but at great expenditures of time and effort – she’s working on a children’s sweater for a granddaughter, which incorporates cables, intarsia, textured stitches, and shoulder shaping. I think she’s pulled some parts of it out 8 times, but she just keeps clicking away, coming in for help, and to show us what she’s done.

I also admire these gals. I can be really self-critical and not want to show my own ineptitude in public sometimes. It used to be a leap of faith for me to walk into what could be an artesian well of snooty experts and admit I’m clueless. I found out the bonding and social potential of being in need of help some years ago, and it’s really an eye-opener to realize that asking for help is not only socially acceptable, it’s a good way of opening up a dialogue and being accessible to potential friendships and a wider circle of interaction.

Anyway, as for knitting, I have no pictures at present, but I’m making headway on the Charlotte’s Web shawl and a pair of self-striping socks. Maybe next week I’ll remember to take some pix.

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