Tuesday, November 20, 2007
I repeat I finished! Brother Amos is off the needles! Today the obligatory front porch photo with snooty concrete cat (never happy with any sock that cat!), and I'll compare the sytk and the sytk with a twist the row after, and the ssk, a bit of musing and explaining why I am so 'fussy', and I'll save the stash enhancement until next time!
Here is a closer look at the brimstone pattern on Brother Amos, I knit the womens size on 2.25mm but used the mens 'lace' pattern.
And here is a fairly quick and ready comparison of the sytk and the sytk+ (my nickname for twisting the resultant decrease stitch clockwise on the next row), and good old ssk. What do you think? First is the SYTK+, 2nd is the SYTK, last is good old SSK.
Not much in it is there? The SYTK+ might be a little teeny bit straighter, but not much difference at all, and these have not been blocked yet. Once the knit has done a few rounds with a wet wash - well you probably wouldn't even say any were different. What I should do is compare these in a swatch in a a high twist, smooth, stitch defining yarn. Plus in this sample, as I trialled the left leaning variations on the leg section, each one was worked in a different sized needle. Ok - I am a trained scientist, I can spot the flaws in this rough and ready pretest, but hey its knitting, as my friend JH says - 'no body dies'.
Just to compare - here is good old ssk done early in the sock, on the toe, which actually looks fine to, a little wobbly, but perfectly acceptable. Whats a knitter to do? any of them, but test first, results may vary by yarn and guage.
And KathyR, here is a little bit of a response to your observation that I notice the little things about my knitting, I wasn't always that way, and your comment got me thinking so - The theory post: A Theory of thinking knitters.
But before we start I am not an educational theorist, I have done some work on the edges of educational theory, but feel a complete newbie in that area, so forgive any mistakes please, and correct my gaps with good grace please?
The thinking knitter or perhaps the fussy knitter in me has only come recently, and perhaps is a result of my teaching, and learning. Once I as a fabric clothes maker, and I was happy if it fitted and looked like I expected. Then I taught that stuff. Once I was a teacher I had to think about about control and quality, and things like that. Before I was a teacher, working on my higher degree, the methodology requirements meant I had to think quite clearly and cleanly about what choices I made and why was it best. That critical thinking flowed naturally on to how to make better garments, some how this thinking has also spilled into my knit life
In teaching you do the same, especially in the 'arts' of pattern making and garment construction, where you are always encouraging students to spot little control things that lift the quality, or that can lessen the price whilst they keep the quality intact. I had to assess them, to do that I had to some how quantify what made 'this' better than 'that'. Not easy when the question is 2+2=4 you know it is right, when a collar is perfect but the pocket lumpy - how right is it as a whole?
This thinking and judging and balancing has also crept into my knitting and is also part of designing pieces for all knitters. By that I mean you have to choose, to use this decrease or that one, this increase or that one and in doing so you control the end result. I think that this in part comes with proficiency and time and thinking, and comfort with a variety of skills, but I know beginner knitters who are stressed when their decreases don't match, and experienced life time knitters who don't notice. Neither is wrong, I am just in the first camp, and I moved over from the second camp. I will let you work out where you are.
In my resent study I learned about the solo taxonomy, a theory of increasing sophistication in understanding that is used to explain steps/stages or leaps in student learning.
If we adopt the solo taxonomy, then you can see the knitters at different stages, and beyond that the different levels we are at in a range of things in our lives. Laundry - -I'm just processing, knitting - I'm thinking I'm up around the top, Tv watching - again processing, mostly but occassionally I make links.
The other theory I became aware of is the Communities of Practice, initially with assessment, but lately i see it all around me. Basically in any community, the theory supposes that experts teach tacit knowledge, that is things that are unspoken. If you have ever taught some one something, you will have discovered Tacit knowledge, the other day I watched Toby set the table, he carried the forks and spoons by the 'eating ends', I had to tell him we carry them by the handles so we don't touch the eating end with our hands. It is not polite, When I taught him to set the table, the arrangement and number of cutlery was taught, but I missed the tacit bit - where we know how to carry stuff. Tacit is all the little things you do and reccognise are 'wrong' or 'right' but wouldn't think to explain when teaching.
The initial work was on tailors in africa, which I like. The apprentices didn't learn maths separately in a isolated subject form, but in working with the master tailor learned all the maths skill they needed as they worked. They aced maths tests even though they had never had a 'maths lesson'. I see the on line knit community as a community of practice, we see those around us and become aware of things like sock knitting, and the popular socks, and we become aware also of little traditions or ways of working. The Frog pond, the frog for which this blog was named, arise totally out of the community of on line knitters, who blog about frogging and so I learned, not from any book, or specific place, that we aim for good knitting, and successful fitting, for good matches between pattern and yarn. I learned again from the community of knitters out there that it was not only ok but almost expected for Knitters not to tolerate mistakes in their work. I learned to frog. To do that I had to work out when to frog. The books only taught me how to frog. The Tacit knowledge I absorbed from the on-line community was WHEN to frog.
Once i became aware of the frogging aspect of knitting, I had to examine my work anew and work out when to frog. So recently a knitter on Ravelry left a comment about how she was loving the SYTK, and I had to ask what is a SYTK?, once I knew, it made me aware and then being me - I had to play and play now, in the middle of Brother Amos.
Of course this applies only to me, to my knitting, I admire all other knitters work, and am always impressed by any knitter who has made anything, the act of knitting takes planning and thinking and time, lots of time, so any knitted object deserves credit for all of that.
In the meantime if any one needs light entertainment, here are the photos of my students graduate show, although all 3 years of the degree get to participate. The 3rd years are my main teaching focus, so I'm proudest of them.
oh - down off soap box, but if any one wonders why I am a fussy knitter - you all out there in the interknit world made me one! And I had a little bit of an obsessive streak coming thru from my work.
next time- well, it will be after the weekend, and back to standard knitting photos, Grandad insists we visit Waimate, home of no internet at his house, but I promise to show some lovely stash enhancement a good friend supplied me with.
Posted by Stell at 7:31 PM