Perseverance

I have almost finished knitting a jumper for Eric.  I’ve made the front, back and two sleeves and I’ve joined it at one shoulder and knitted the turtle neckline.  For the past week or so I’ve been stitching lions and as this post goes to press I have two more lion bodies and four manes to stitch.  Then I need to do 14 eyes (colonial knots with embroidery thread) and 14 tails – plaited wool the same colour as the manes.  Then I have to stitch the whole thing together.

It has been a long slow process but another learning process.  I’ve learned how to do a slip stitch pattern (which looks like little bunny ears) and it was much easier than I thought it would be – that was a lesson at Threads and More with Ann.  I’ve learned that sometimes a knitting pattern doesn’t tell you every single thing you need to know to complete it and how to join on a neckline – that was a Sunday afternoon session with Rian.  The hardest lesson was that if you miss just one tiny part of an instruction you can make a very big mess.  In my case it was something about decreasing at both ends of each alternate row to finish shaping the sleeves.  I had blissfully decreased on only one side – seriously what was I thinking?  However I was rescued from this mess by Cheryl (a home ec teacher) who was at Knit and Knatter last Thursday night.  I had a funny feeling that something was wrong but after three days of high energy work with a couple of Year 2 classes I wasn’t sure if I was ready to deal with it.  Cheryl wasn’t having any of my hesitation and under her guidance and while being plied with coffee and encouragement from the other ladies we ripped out half of each sleeve – yes, I said half! and by the end of the evening I was well on the way to having one sleeve re-constructed.  By the end of the weekend I had both sleeves finished again and was able to move on to stitching the lions.  It took me a little while to get the hang of the knit stitch embroidery technique and due to some exciting television I’ve painstakingly unpicked and re-stitched some of them but I seem to have mastered it now.

As a teacher we should be lifelong learners and I would go so far as to say we should seek out new learning experiences.  It would be very dangerous to ever forget what it is like to be in the learner’s shoes.  I don’t want to forget my mistakes because I’ve learned from all of them.  They have made the whole process longer but infinitely more worthwhile.  When I finish this project I will be equipped with several new skills to apply to future knitting projects.  The most important thing I’ve learned is that there is always something that can be done about mistakes.  They aren’t the end of the world.  Facing my mistakes and dealing with them has been an area of some difficulty in my life but through this big knitting adventure I am learning to do things wrong and then fix them by doing things right.

This positive attitude towards making mistakes and then fixing them is something that I would like to pass on to every learner I come in contact with.

There are no photos with this post but I promise there will be plenty when this project is completed.

Then the next knitting adventure will be Daniel’s cowboy jacket complete with fringing and sheriff’s badge according to his very important specifications!

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