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 Do You Have Confidence in Your Knitting Knowledge?
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GFTC
Permanent Resident

USA
6331 Posts

Posted - 10/26/2004 :  05:23:32 AM  Show Profile  Visit GFTC's Homepage Send GFTC a Private Message
quote:
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Originally posted by calmmom
I am learning that my opinion seems to be as valid as the LYS owner


------------------------------------------------------------------------
I've taken the above quote from another thread - I hope that is allowed.

So many of us have been knitting almost our whole lives which can mean we have 30 or 40 years of knitting experience. Others have been knitting for a shorter period but have really latched onto the concepts as well as the enjoyment. On the other hand some of the LYSO don't have much experience yet they are often expected to know it all. I had one LYSO tell me that she never bothers with gauge!!! I later found out that she only makes scarves.

So the question is, do you know more than the LYSO and do you admit it to yourself?



celia
Permanent Resident

Australia
2454 Posts

Posted - 10/26/2004 :  05:45:00 AM  Show Profile  Visit celia's Homepage Send celia a Private Message
I don't have a LYS and so no LYSO either. I learnt a lot of what I know from forums, websites, books, etc. Having nobody to compare my work with, I guess I am confident in what I know. I don't have anyone tell me that soemthing is too difficult. But I guess that is also the reason why I am afraid to go to the knitting group in my city. I am afraid to know that my work isn't 'as good'.

celia

View my completed items here
http://img65.photobucket.com/albums/v197/celiang/
and my blog here
http://celiaknits.blogspot.com
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Molly C
Seriously Hooked

USA
884 Posts

Posted - 10/26/2004 :  05:55:14 AM  Show Profile  Visit Molly C's Homepage Send Molly C a Private Message
I don't seek too much advice when I go to the LYS; I'm usually just after yarn or needles. Occassionally I'll ask for opinions on yarn for a specific project. Typically if I do have an actual knitting question I ask it here since I can get answer relatively quickly without having to leave my house.

That said, my one year anniversary of taking up knitting is coming up at Thanksgiving, which is when my mom re-showed me knitting last year and it all finally sunk in and took hold of me. So in the grand scheme of things, I'm a new knitter; those with the 30-40 years of experience would even put me in the very new category.

I really don't think I knit like a new knitter, though, and I think I know that most 1-year-knitters. One of my best friends took up knitting a few years ago, and just now is starting to develop her skills. I have given her email tutorial lessons because she has no one to ask nearby, and only one LYS with a very kooky owner. I have been surprised by how much I can offer in the way of teaching. Even when people post questions here on KR I can generally offer an opinion or solution.

There are still things I haven't quite worked through yet, like short row wrapping and seaming, mostly because I haven't really finished any projects with those techniques yet; I am not avoiding them, however, they just haven't come up yet.

So, yes, I have confidence in my knitting ability, and I do admit it. I would ask my LYSO his opinion on something and take his suggestion, but if I didn't agree with it, I would not hold it to be gospel just because it came from him. I'd come here to validate my own opinion! (And, yes, my LYSO is a man. Actually a man and his wife, but the wife is a crocheter, and has stated she knows little about knitting, so I definitely know more than she does.)

Molly
http://knittingmolly.blogspot.com

Have a blog? Join the KR Webring and share your blog with the rest of the group! Click here.
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klfrazier
Permanent Resident

1745 Posts

Posted - 10/26/2004 :  05:57:30 AM  Show Profile  Visit klfrazier's Homepage Send klfrazier a Private Message
I have complete confidence in my knitting - and actually in my handwork in general. I've known since early on that handwork comes easy to me. Consequently, every time I'm faced with a new challenge, technique, etc, I have no doubt that I'll be able to figure it out and do well. I appreciate that this is a natural talent.

As to my LYSO's, well I've been knitting for much longer than one and the other is good - but somewhat set in her opinions of some things. We all get along well, and I occasionally ask for advice or alternative ideas.

I will say that one thing that both LYSO's have mentioned recently is that they have a lot of new or returning knitters who seem to have no confidence at all in their abilities. I think that's frustrating for them at times.

My favorite confidence story - One new knitter was so insecure that she would come in every time she made a mistake - or thought she did - to have the LYSO fix her knitting. The LYSO would patiently show her every time how to pick up the dropped stitch. Then the LYSO took a few days off and closed the store. When she came back, the woman came in to tell her that because the store had been closed she had been forced to figure it out on her own - and was very pleased with her new skill. The LYSO was relieved that she had finally found the confidence to try it herself.

Kristin
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fmarrs
Guardian angel

USA
9776 Posts

Posted - 10/26/2004 :  07:19:47 AM  Show Profile Send fmarrs a Private Message
Yes, I know more than the average LYS and I will admit it. I used to sometimes dread going into knitting and/or sewing shops because I would spend most of my time answerring questions. I didn't mind helping but it frustrated my children who were my transportation. Now that I have moved to a city instead of a small town, I don't expect to have that problem. I have learned over the years that I can learn something from every knitter (and person) that I meet. I know a lot about knitting but I don't know everything. All of us have areas where we are expert and others where we are beginners. I find the biggest thing new knitters need to know is that they can do it "their" way and to trust their instincts.

fran
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Roxanne
Seriously Hooked

Canada
714 Posts

Posted - 10/26/2004 :  07:33:45 AM  Show Profile  Visit Roxanne's Homepage Send Roxanne a Private Message
I'm a new knitter and I find my confidence in my skills is growing as I take on new projects. For instance, when I started, scarves were all I did...when I got more comfortable with the ability to handle the needles I have now branched out into garments, having made a sleeveless turtleneck already and am now making a sleeved sweater since seaming doesn't freak me out near as much anymore either....LOL!

Any skill needs time and trials and tribulations to develop it and as we get through these different stages I think our confidence grows with it. One year ago I'd never dream of even trying a cable, this year I am feeling "confident" enough that I could probably give a cable a try... I'm not afraid to make "mistakes" anymore because frogging isn't that scarey either...LOL

As for how "good" we are, that's going to vary widely too I'm sure and most likely doesn't depend on experience. Like any art, for some, it will come naturally and for others not so naturally...LOL

Anyways, my 2 cents worth for a person who hasn't even knitted for a year yet...LOL

"Success is a Journey; not a Destination"
Finished Projects: http://photos.yahoo.com/roxanne_delorme
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ErLeCa
Chatty Knitter

102 Posts

Posted - 10/26/2004 :  07:45:59 AM  Show Profile  Visit ErLeCa's Homepage Send ErLeCa a Private Message
I feel completely confident in my skills. I have been knitting for seven years and I don't by any means pretend to know everything there is to know about it, but I do think that if there is something I want to try I will work on it knowing that it will turn out just fine. And if it doesn't I'll work on it until it does. That's the curse of the perfectionist. We don't stop till we absolutely feel confident in the outcome.

I just started a pair of mittens that just weren't looking right to me. (At least they didn't look like the picture!) So I ripped it out about three times until I finally got it right. But that's just it, I don't get scared by mistakes. They're a fact of life, and of knitting. You're going to make mistakes but it's not the end of the world! You just have to accept it an move through it.

My friend sometimes look at me like I'm insane when I say I'm going to pull it out...again... But I'm not going to accept second-rate work. I take great pride in my work, especially if it's a present.

Anyway, my point is you have to accept that mistakes will be made, frogging will be done and if there's something you don't know, you ask (our wonderful KR buddies will be glad to help!)

ErLeCa

www.skeinstreet.blogspot.com
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RoseByAny
Permanent Resident

USA
12598 Posts

Posted - 10/26/2004 :  08:08:46 AM  Show Profile  Visit RoseByAny's Homepage Send RoseByAny a Private Message
I'm 100% confident in my knitting - for myself. There's never been anything that I wanted to do that I couldn't, and I'm happy with what I've done. But I've started to think that I would really like to get into teaching, and I'm not sure I'm solid enough in my technique to explain it, so I'm taking more and more classes, and just treated myself (early birthday gift) to the TKGA Master Knitters course. To give myself that confidence, and to become more solid on the things I tend to fudge anyway.

"Choose your friends by their character and your socks by their color. Choosing your socks by their character makes no sense, and choosing your friends by their color is unthinkable."
http://RoseByAny.BlogSpot.Com
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kimkrafty
Permanent Resident

USA
2145 Posts

Posted - 10/26/2004 :  08:45:02 AM  Show Profile  Visit kimkrafty's Homepage Send kimkrafty a Private Message
My LYSO is a wealth of knowledge! I'm not sure if I'd be comfortable in a yarn shop where the owner didn't have decent knowledge of knitting or crocheting.

If there were employees who took up the slack, I'd be okay, I think.

I'm an intermediate knitter. I'm learning more every day. I've not asked for much help from the owner or employees in terms of technique but I have asked for opinions of yarns and books.

Interesting question...

Kimberly, kniting in VA
http://kimberlyskorner.blogspot.com
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Cameellie
Honorary Angel

USA
900 Posts

Posted - 10/26/2004 :  08:58:44 AM  Show Profile  Visit Cameellie's Homepage Send Cameellie a Private Message
I have learned 95% of my knitting knowledge from books and figuring it out after making many, many mistakes, so I am confident in my knowledge. Where I lack confidence is that some of the techniques that I've learned I've never seen done by another person, and I don't know as much about new yarns and their performance. So off I go to my LYS for those things and they do a great job in helping me out. :)

Cameellie
Remember, everybody is somebody else's weirdo.
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RachelKnitter
Permanent Resident

USA
2995 Posts

Posted - 10/26/2004 :  09:17:23 AM  Show Profile Send RachelKnitter a Private Message
I'm also entirely self-taught, so I'm confident that if I don't already have the knowledge, I can learn it!
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Wovenflame
Seriously Hooked

Canada
812 Posts

Posted - 10/26/2004 :  09:39:09 AM  Show Profile  Visit Wovenflame's Homepage Send Wovenflame a Private Message
There are two LYS in my general area. One of them has a knowledgable owner who's opinion I respect. Unfortunately she has opened a store in another community and is rarely available at the one here. Her employees are fun to chat with, but I have more knowledge about knitting than they do. My confidence in my own skills is very high though and I rarely need ask questions other than perhaps about a new, trendy fiber.

The other LYS....well....suffice it to say, the shop is a yarn/chocolate shop and the owner is more interested and knowledgable about the chocolate. Her employees are inexperienced knitters with very little knowledge. They have an annoying habit of following me around shoving inappropriate yarn choices at me and making ridiculous suggestions. Fuzzy novelty yarn for an elaborate cable anyone? It IS the right gauge after all. (good grief!) If they didn't have the best yarn selection around I would never set foot in the door. As it is I just wish they would leave me alone so I could THINK.

-Marlene-
Come visit me at:http://wovenflame.blogspot.com/
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Lanea
Permanent Resident

USA
5189 Posts

Posted - 10/26/2004 :  09:57:23 AM  Show Profile  Visit Lanea's Homepage Send Lanea a Private Message
I am confident in the aspects of knitting that I am good at--I am very meticulous, maintian good tension, have a good sense of color, etc. I am also able to admit what I don't know yet and I don't feel shame about what I have yet to learn. I think that's important in all aspects of life. It's a mistake to think you are less of a knitter/sewer/reader/thinker because something is new to you. Recognize your strengths and embrace your opinions and loves and all will be well.
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HoJo
Permanent Resident

USA
1474 Posts

Posted - 10/26/2004 :  10:32:34 AM  Show Profile  Visit HoJo's Homepage Send HoJo a Private Message
I am very confident in my knitting skills and am often the "go to" person for anyone (including the local knitting shop) for questions. Many of the local new knitters come to me for questions because the lys has a reputation of not being helpful or friendly.

It's not that I know weverything its that I'm not intimated to try almost anything and help figure it out. In fact, I love that challenge.

HoJo

"Ginger Rogers did everything Fred Astaire did, only backwards and in high heels." Faith Whittesley
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ChristinaP
Permanent Resident

USA
1089 Posts

Posted - 10/26/2004 :  10:41:52 AM  Show Profile  Visit ChristinaP's Homepage Send ChristinaP a Private Message
I would say I'm more confident in my knowledge than my skills... meaning I approach knitting like I do a lot of other things -- I research and I read up and I follow instructions till I get confident and then experiment. My hands aren't as dexterous (don't show dexterity, can do @#$% with them) as I would like.

I've been knitting since I was 8, but the biggest expansion in my knitting knowledge has come since I joined KR and started reading more at the library.

That said, I think I do know more about various aspects of knitting than most of the people at our LYS-es, but they are definitely better at colors! I will be teaching my first class on knitting the basic sweater.

In Maryland
Blog: http://christinasknitting.blogspot.com
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Momma78239
Permanent Resident

USA
4859 Posts

Posted - 10/26/2004 :  12:38:53 PM  Show Profile  Visit Momma78239's Homepage  Send Momma78239 a Yahoo! Message Send Momma78239 a Private Message
I'm very confident as a knitter, and as a craftsperson as a whole. Like Kristen, I have been making things my whole life and if I don't know how to do something, I know I can figure it out!

Confidence comes from success, and success often comes from failures that have been overcome. So, to become truly confident, you may have to screw up a lot!
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graciebell
Gabber Extraordinaire

377 Posts

Posted - 10/26/2004 :  2:28:05 PM  Show Profile Send graciebell a Private Message
I am also a mostly self taught knitter - I live in a small town and there isn't an LYS here. I have to go about 45 minutes away to get to one. I have been there several times and while it is a great store, I don't really know how much she knows. She told me once never to make a sweater because you can buy one cheaper than you can knit one. Yes, sweaters can be expensive, but I enjoy knitting them more than the cost. She also doesn't offer classes but she says she will teach you if you want. I haven't really ask her for too much advice - I can get it here much faster!

I think everyone's confidence builds as they begin to challenge themselves and take on more complicated projects.

My knitting blog!
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mokey
Permanent Resident

15375 Posts

Posted - 10/26/2004 :  2:56:39 PM  Show Profile Send mokey a Private Message
Yes. At knit nights people always seem to look to me for answers. I think the most important part of confidence in one's knowledge means that your way is not THE only way.

"There is no beauty in the finest cloth if it makes hunger and unhappiness." Gandhi
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Tam
Permanent Resident

Australia
2810 Posts

Posted - 10/26/2004 :  4:07:18 PM  Show Profile Send Tam a Private Message
I don't have an LYS either, and I have been knitting for about 30 years. I have never thought that I couldn't do something, so I just jump in a do it and ask questions later! That is not to say I know everything, just that I don't let the thought of doing something new daunt me. I am not afraid to ask questions, and am not afraid to help others if I can; I think we are all constantly learning through out our lives.

Happy Knitting,
Tam in Melbourne

http://photos.yahoo.com/lillysmum2002

2004 Stats: 19 FOs, 2 WIPs, 1 frog, 1 on hold

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Wen
Permanent Resident

Australia
3244 Posts

Posted - 10/26/2004 :  6:58:07 PM  Show Profile  Visit Wen's Homepage Send Wen a Private Message
Over the past 20 years I have had LYS staff tell me I can't use this with that etc. Generally I rang Mum when I went home to find out how to go about it. Answer was virtually always 'yes you can, just ...." and it was always an easy fix.

I listen to what they say so that I know what problems I may run into so I can fix them; I never avoid trying something because someone suggested it wouldn't work.

I've never run into an LYS person who is not conservative in their suggestions. Most are quite negative if you want to try substitution etc. I expect it is so they don't get people coming back saying you said I could do this but its not working...

Wen

2004 stats: 20 FO, 10 WIP, 29 wool purchased, 4 frogpond.
http://photos.yahoo.com/whdayus
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Jane
SustaYning Member

USA
4368 Posts

Posted - 10/27/2004 :  03:18:28 AM  Show Profile  Visit Jane's Homepage Send Jane a Private Message
I have always used this advice from Bette Hochberg, a spinner and teacher, from her book Fibre Facts:
quote:
"Three basic things are necessary for an artisan to be competent in any craft; a vision of the purpose for which the piece of work is intended; skill in the technique needed to make the piece; and a knowledge of the possibilities and limitations of the materials which can be chosen and used in making that piece."


For me, confidence leads to competence.

From what I am reading here, we are a tribe of daring, inquisitive, and creative knitters -- and I'm proud to be in our company!

Jane

My album: http://jane.c.home.mindspring.com/
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