Teaching Dilemna

I taught three knitting classes last week. Two of them left me faced with some knitting instruction puzzles.

One woman took the learn to knit class a couple of weeks ago. She came back Saturday for another class. Supposedly she wanted to knit the most advanced scarf we have in a class. But her real issue was “how do I correct mistakes?” Her focus was almost solely on making mistakes. I did my best to change her focus to following the pattern. When we took it row by row, she really didn’t make many mistakes. There was the occasional dropped stitch and I showed her how to correct that.

But I’m puzzled by why she was so convinced she’d be making lots of mistakes. Sometimes I think the students don’t listen to me or else I’m bad at explaining things. I think perhaps part of her problem was that she’s a long-time crocheter where you can just pull on your yarn and rip out great swaths of your work very easily. That’s not quite true with knitting.

A woman from Monday’s class called to sign up for another class. She wants to learn to knit on circular needles and do two-color knitting. The circular needles are not an issue but the two-color work she mentioned is an advanced technique. Without a pattern to follow, a demonstration of how to do it is, in my opinion, meaningless. I feel like it’s a case of running before you’ve learned to walk.

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One Response to Teaching Dilemna

  1. fillyjonk says:

    Speaking as someone who teaches (not knitting, but other stuff) day in and day out: there are an awful lot of people who don’t listen to instructions or pay attention to written instructions. I have had to change how I do some of my labs because there does seem to have been a decline in the past 15 years over willingness or ability to follow instructions.

    I dunno. I’m chalking it up to the fact that I had a different background: learned to cook from scratch at an early age (following recipes, especially with baking, where mismeasuring can be very bad) and learning to sew/knit/crochet from patterns at an early age. I got good at following instructions but also good at figuring out when the instructions were wrong…

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