Thursday, 27 September 2007

The right way, don't you know...................

So the kids and I took ourselves off to a knitting class at our local library a couple of days ago. It was arranged and run by the local knitting guild for kids and I wanted to support them.

Now let it be said I have always thought this whole "it is not your Grandma's knitting" is just total crap but I also think it needs to be said that many of the old guard need a good boot up the bum.

While we were there a young new knitter was struggling and it was decided that because she was left-handed she was having an extra tough time. I then piped up with "perhaps she should have a go at Continental". Apparently not. Apparently she needs to learn the "right" way and then she can go on to try the other (less valuable) ways of knitting. I of course argued a little. I was very firmly put in my place that it was extra important that she was taught the right way and no other way at present. The long and short of it was that I started to teach her Continental but too late the damage was done. She struggled with that also. She lamented that she should go back to the right way and perhaps she wasn't good enough to knit. She stopped.

Another woman spoke up (she was a parent) and said that she knits completely differently from everyone here and because of that and all of the comments she receives she doesn't knit much and she didn't think she should be the one to teach her kids. I asked if the end result looked the same. The answer was yes. Well then it is the right way isn't it. No.

I wanted to scream. but here is the thing all of these women were really lovely, really helpful, they bought yarn and needles to give away to the kids and they truly believed in what they were doing. And maybe there is something to passing on the local knitting style but at what cost? How many knitters do you lose and still feel like you have won? Do they have the right to discriminate against other artists and crafters? Why is this so different from other forms of discrimination?
(I won't tell you what they thought about crochet). Am I wrong to feel so cranky about all of this still? They are doing the class again next week. Is it wrong to be daydreaming about a massive sit in of rebel continental knitters?

5 comments:

Donna said...

That would have driven me mad, too. And what makes me laugh is that it's the same women who look at the knitting we do now and say "Oh, I couldn't do that!". We have an exhibition every year for our SnB group. Last ear, one little old lady very knowledgeably told her friend that my Feather and Fan shawl was machine knitted.
Lucky I didn't hear her ;)

Kathleen said...

Distressing to hear that people, especially those with children, don't understand that there are different modes of learning and different ways to achieve the same results. It's supposed to be fun for goodness' sake!

Ali said...

That's really sad. It was also my experience - I was taught to knit at school, and hated it because it never came out right and I dropped stitched all the time. I now realise that I was taught, the first time round, to do everything in the backs of the loops, not the fronts. Heaven knows why - I've never seen anyone knit that way since. So as a result I hated it at school and didn't rediscover it for another 20 years. Oh, the wasted years!

Stell said...

ok, make a complaint to the dpag, what they don't know leads them to believe its ok and they will book those ladies again.
They were just doing what they have been taught, imagine how good they would be if they didn't blindly follow rules?
and ok - approach the art gallery, you and I can do the next learn to knit session in the holidays? are you up for it? we will limit it to ages 10 and over, and you will have some ideas from watching this time.

Esther said...

My mother-in-law was lefthanded and had learn by herself to crochet with left hand...And she did very well for years !
I have friends in France knitting the continental way, I think this manner is rather usual for many Scandinavians also...
The point is the result, not the position of the wool on the hands...