Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Chart reading Class Report

When exactly do you shut down when you take a new class? I lasted more than 2/3 of the class at Stitches before Al leaned over and whispered, "You are shutting down, Mom. C'mon you aren't even trying anymore." This was after the Stitches post it I passed to her that said, "are you getting all of this?" (Al will dispute this post. She will say I shut down 1/3 of the way through. That is not correct. Don't believe her....)

I think perhaps Yarn Store classes suit me better in this arena. I am not good at a 3 hour class. I am intimidated when the newest knitter in the group wears an FBI shirt and is catching on enough to be asking questions that make sense.

Some of those classes need (for me) to have descriptions that are simple: Not for the easily confused. OR This is meant for spacial folks, the rest of you wordy folk will only hold the group back.

Since I was sitting next to Al who
a)already reads charts just fine and stated her class goal as learning to write her own charts (I nearly rolled my eyes at my own child!)
b)was not schooled in a system where most of the teachers themselves struggled with New Math
c)is pretty darn good at determining when her mothers shuts down....
(what tipped her off?)

I was feeling very much like when I tee off at the golf course and everyone is watching you...a little pressured.

This chart reading business seems to have its merits IF YOU CAN DO IT.
I like the thought of seeing my mistakes earlier. Mistakes WILL be made, so the sooner I discover the better. I like the part where the chart, if you squint just right the teacher says, actually looks like the knitting.

I dont like the reading left to right and right to left although I certainly can do that part. The part that is ummm, shutting me down, is the part where few of the charts use the same keys. The other part is where you have to reverse what the symbols mean as you look at them, IN YOUR HEAD, while you are knitting. So if the chart says, knit, pearl, yo, knit, pearl
the second line read the WRONG direction of course, says knit pearl yo knit pearl, but you have to learn it MEANS pearl, knit, yo, pearl, knit.

This is akin to saying one thing and doing another. Except it is the RULE here. Who made this up? Some poor woman in a straight jacket years ago? Someone who was put away in the first place because she was obsessed with knitting no doubt.

Apparently the only way to expect consistency in charts is to buy yourself a good Japanese Knitting book. I am not kidding.

I am going to try a simple chart ....someday....if I feel like it....maybe

but then I wont have anything else to think about in that straight jacket will I?

Post pictures: llama from stitches goes to the Chicago Botanic Gardens. I am using him as a pin cushion. He likes it.

AND If you squint JUST RIGHT at the Garden shot, you can see the face of ....
my chart reading instructor......but you must be looking backwards and reversing the whole thing at the same time. See it? Neither do I..
Please leave me your email or blog so I can thank you for your comment.


Dave said...

I hear you about charts :-) The only way I can keep it straight is to think of it all in stockinette. Knit on the front, purl on the back. If there's something different in the chart, then it's opposite of plain stockinette. Mental gymnastics, I say !!

Alyssa said...

I'm sorry the class didn't work out for you:( I'm a big fan of charts, but I know they aren't for everyone.

Hope to see you at group tonight.

opportunityknits said...

hilarious! I'm a chart reader myself, and reading knitting instructions in endless words cause my eyes to glaze over and things start to get overwhelmimg and before I know it, I'm lost. So I can totally commiserate when it is the exact opposite for you. But isn't it wonderful that we're all different, but we cope somehow :)

Karen said...

Okay, three hours is a long time to stay focused on charts!!! But you can, can, can read charts. I mean, I'm no pro, but I'm working on my first charted project now - the never ending Embossed Leaves socks. So my little advice it this - SOCKS ARE A GREAT FIRST CHART PROJECT. Because you are knitting in the round, you always read in one direction only (right to left) and there is no reversing of symbol meanings because you are always knitting on the right side. Try it . . you can do it!!

Allison said...

I like Karen's idea, socks would be a great first chart project because you don't have to reverse anything in your head. But you've made it this far without charts, so I guess you can do whatever you want. Sorry I was a knitting nazi at Stitches, next year you can pick the class.

Birdsong said...

As a knitter who started before hardly anything WAS charted here in the US, I agree with Karen, don't give up yet... you can get this. Keep in mind that we all have different learning styles and the teaching just might not have been reaching you. That is the main reason people shut down. Just sayin'

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