Tuesday, September 22, 2009

NCFF 2009- Part 2, All-Day Fair Isle Class, and The Proper Headgear for a Knitting Booksigning

It may not show on the surface, but I get stage fright before every appearance or workshop. I am always afraid that I've overestimated my skill as a speaker or teacher, and that the audience/students will go away disappointed (and in the case of those who actually paid to learn something from me: angry and demanding a refund). I was even more apprehensive about this year's NCFF because it was the first time that I'd attempted an all-day workshop, so it was a new time-frame and a completely new class.

I need not have worried. I was blessed with seven brilliant students who not only worked hard, laughed often, and were great company for a full day of class work- they all got it (I can't begin to tell you how rare that is). Everyone had a Lightbulb Moment, which is what makes teaching such a worthwhile adventure.

Carole, Michelle, Kathy

Martha, Molly, Bobbie, Gloria

We all started out at the same place (everyone completed their homework, which is also something of a rarity), and we spent the rest of the day discussing Fair Isle techniques, decreases, knitting back backwards, bobbles (the last two weren't part of the project at hand, but Digression is my middle name. You can look it up), weather, books, writing, spinning, and how much we enjoy snack time (okay, so it was how much I enjoy snack time). The day went extremely quickly, and while no one finished their hat in class (it takes me 5 hours from start to finish, and I've knitted that hat pattern several times now. We didn't expect to finish), almost everyone made it to the decreases, which was the crux of the class: reading a Fair Isle chart without having to refer to a written pattern.

And they all did wonderfully- with nary an excess pucker in the bunch (can we hear a round of applause for good tension?). And best of all, I got some excellent feedback that I will incorporate into the handout, for the next time I teach the class (next month in North Carolina).

I finished my sample hat on Sunday, during the booksigning for The Big Book of Socks, which was less a booksigning (owing to the fact that all 36 copies of the book that Kelly and Marie brought, sold out before the signing!) (talkaboutcher rarities), and more of a sit-and-knit-and-talk-and-laugh, which is every bit as much fun. I think I have the perfect headgear for that sort of signing.


Geek Knitter said...

Congratulations on a successful class. When I was TA-ing, I always got the shakes before my first session, I know how you feel.

That headgear never fails to make me giggle!

RuthieJ said...

Those hats are beautiful! Of course, the results of a successful class point directly back to a great teacher. Glad you had such a fun day.
P.S. Is that headgear available commercially or was it custom-made just for you? I could have a lot of fun with something like that!

Kathleen Taylor said...

Ruthie: the knitting needles headband came from Spoonman Ihttp://spoonman.com/ ). I bought them at Saturday Market, in Portland, this summer. They're a hoot.