Wednesday, November 05, 2003

She done you wrong!

There used to be another knit shop in Arcadia or maybe it was Monrovia, but anyway it used to be just east of where Skein is presently located. I never went there. Didn't even know it was there.

From what I've been told, the owner, Catherine, was in her nineties before she decided to close up shop. I've talked to a few people who knew her and used to shop there frequently. One of the things they liked so much about her was that she would do their cast ons for them. And if they made a mistake she would rip or fix as needed.

I have a couple of students right now that used to get their yarn from Catherine. One of these students is quite proud of the fact that she never learned how to cast on or fix her errors.

I taught her to cast on a few weeks ago. She still fumes about it but does it fairly well now. Yesterday she came in with her current project. She had managed to add about four stitches that she shouldn't have. Hadn't a clue as to how it happened or what to do about it. She wanted me to fix it for her. Catherine always did.

So I explained how to rip or tink. "But I'm afraid I'll mess it up and I don't know how to get the stitches back on the needle in the right direction," she pleaded. So I said I'd show her how. I fixed a few stitches that were badly mutilated and eliminated a couple of the extra stitches. The other two were about two inches further down. So I handed the work back to her and told her she should do the rest herself. She decided to just knit a couple of stitches together at each end and keep going.

A little while later she was ready to bind off for the armholes, except she had worked about two inches beyond the bind off point. She asked me to rip it for her and I told her no. "But Catherine always did."

"Well, she didn't do you any favors, did she?" I replied. I went over the steps again and she got started. I think she's going to be much better now.

Oddly enough another of Catherine's mignons was in yesterday. She needed to know how to do a two color cast on. So I showed her, following the instructions in her pattern. I ended up doing the whole 140 stitches while she carried on about how hard it was.

She's been saying she wanted to learn fair isle, which she needs for this project. Spent some time showing her a couple of alternatives, carrying and weaving. So I got her started on the next row which required changing color every stitch passing the right hand yarn over to create the beginning of a herringbone border. I did maybe twenty stitches and handed her the needle.

She worked most of the rest of the round before she realized that something was wrong. Seems she had reversed the direction of her knitting. I told her she'd have to take it out one stitch at a time. "Could you do it for me? I have to go pick up my son. I could pick it up tomorrow."

I told her no. She could do it and she'd learn a lot from it. I was really cranky yesterday. And I'm not much better today.

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