Friday, August 15, 2003


No, no. Not that blackout. I'm talking about the one where black is out. I spent most of yesterday afternoon working with a new knitter whose first project is a pullover from one of the Rowan Biggy Yarn mags. It's black and worked on size 17 needles. I've shown her a couple of times how to mattress stitch the side seams. Well that just didn't work out. She had some problems figuring out where the bar between the stitches was. And so I took it out a couple of times and helped her get one seam done. Between the black yarn and the loose, irregular stitches it was a major hassle. We both agreed that she would never make anything else in black.

Sometimes I could just shake Ann Mary. I realize that she's trying to run a business and that sales are essential. But I do think she should be a little more careful about what she sells to first time knitters. And hardly anyone wants to make a plain old Encore scarf when there are all those fantastic scarves on display. But if you can't tell a stitch from a sideboard it's just asking for trouble, and frustration. But selling $45 worth of glitzy versus $10 of worsted weight is too tempting. I spend hours undoing some of the disasters. And many of those potential knitters will not be back. There are, of course, exceptions.

I am not tyrannical about fixing errors unless they affect the durability of the piece. But just because it's fluffy and shimmery doesn't mean it's okay to ignore a dropped stitch, or an increase for that matter. (Man! I'm cranky today.)

We are still in the clutches of a heatwave although it's supposed to only be 96 today. Surprisingly we've been pretty busy all week at Skein. Yesterday was particularly frantic. Four students all at the same time, each with her own confusion. But everyone was patient and it all worked out. We finally got the newest Rowan magazine so they all had something to distract them while they waited their turn. (I thought one of the slugs on the front cover was amusing. "Over thirty designs" can be read two ways but I don't think they meant age.)

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