Thursday, December 1, 2011

Mastery...not so much.

I consider myself a confident, not cocky, but confident knitter. I have been a published designer for over 20 years and have taught knitting about that long. Malcom Gladwell in his wonderful book  Outliers defines mastery of a task occurring after 10,000 hours of practice. I am pretty sure I reached 10,000 hours of knitting in my late 20's. Hey, I learned very young and grew up on an island with no movie theater for 9 months of the year, back in the days when you only got three TV channels. Do the math, it was that or drink.

My husband asked me recently if I had ever had a student at the yarn shop where I teach stump me in three years of teaching. I answered honestly,  no, I had never been stumped. I do not consider myself a knitting know it all but I knit for hours every day and like most knitters I know have an extensive knitting library. All that reading eventually sticks.

But this week it is all gone. I have completely lost my knitting mojo and to the most inconsequential of knitting projects.  I regularly cast on 500 stitches for very complex multicolor Fair Isle sweaters and then cut them open with barely a fair thee well. This little cowl I designed kicking me in the butt is humilitating on many levels. It is due in two weeks, (rather than two days) which is wonderful because I spent 10 hours casting on and ripping back 5 times in one day. It is a simple cabled cowl, in bulky weight yarn. I knock these things out in a day, usually.  Hubris gave me a smack down. Apparently I can't count. I thought I had counting mastered pretty young too. But I have seen the errors of my thinking and now know that counting to 130 is beyond my capabilities. I can't know that I can't count until I knit 9 rounds of ribbing (each of the five times) on those 130 stitches and then set up for the cable pattern. Then it is blaringly obvious I can't count.

So let this be a lesson...don't count your cables before they are set. Or you'll be tempted to start drinking, ask me how I know.

Now just because I think every post should include pictures... some gratuitous Thanksgiving photos.


 There were pies, apple and pumpkin...but man do those pans look beyond dingy. Yikes!
 There was a boat load of stuffing, really a boat load, that bowl is massive...
 There was a monster bird...
 There were handsome men and cute young women...they would like you to know that he came in 4th in his age group and 39th overall out of 630 runners, and Caty came in 6th in her age group in the Turkey Trot!!! (Macy very sweetly walked with her old mom and kept me company).
 A groaning board of food and family...
 And perhaps best of all... a husband who cleaned up my awful mess.
Oh, and Charlie was home!!!!




1 comment:

puffthemagicrabbit said...

i hate those days when the knitting insists on showing us it is the boss. it's like a freaking teenager. my spinning is acting like that today. i'm going to blame it on cramps and a headache... dinner looked awesome! and charlie looks sweet.