Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Class with Cookie A

My classmate was finally able to send me the photo of me and Cookie A, but since I was waiting for a very slow process to finish at work, I figured I should take this time to write it up, before Saturday became a completely faded memory. So, this post was photo-less for a while. But, now here it is, all fixed. Look, it's me and her. I am labeled so you can tell it's me.

So, Cookie (aurhor of a recent knitting book, designer of some of the most popular socks ever, Monkey, and at one time a blogger, though I don't know if she still is doing that) taught a whole bunch of classes at Austin LYS Hill Country Weavers last week, and I wanted to meet her, but knew how to do all the stuff she was teaching (toe-up socks, etc.). Of course, I figured she would have tips and tidbits I'd find useful in all of the classes, just because she knows so much about socks and knitting in general. But I picked the class on Intuitive Chart Reading, because I'd hoped it would help me learn to make my own charts for things.

It did not help that I was late to the class, through no fault of my own, and I totally missed the part on reading lace charts. That's OK, I am already an intuitive lace chart reader--I am way more comfortable with charts than with written instructions, and I no longer think what I am doing, just do what the picture says (YO, K2tog, SKKP, etc.) without internally translating. All that slows me down, early on, is counting spaces. But once I am established, I don't do that too often, either. I just go to the right spot, relative to the previous row.

I did enjoy the part I heard all of, which was about reading cable charts. I haven't done as much of that, and still spend a lot of time translating each diagram into what I need to do before I knit it. After going over the various types of charts, and practicing interpreting them, I realize that I'll be much more natural next time I need to read a cable chart. So, the class was worth it for me.

Actually just the words, "Be Right Back," made the class worth it. This is how you remember that to do a right cable, you put the stitches on the holder in the back. I will never forget this, now! (The whole phrase she taught us was something about "I left it out front, and will be right back" but I'm paraphrasing.) Handy, handy mnemonic that is!

I met a few nice folks in the class, which is always half the fun, plus my friend Marcia was in it with me. Cookie A is pretty much exactly like I thought she'd be, and was great to talk to. She spent a lot of time coloring in my Dianna lace motif pattern to try to make it a little more sensible. I was really relieved when she took a look at it and said it sucked, because I was afraid I was just a bad chart interpreter when I had so much trouble with that one at first! We both grant that the chart works; it's just not intuitive. On the other hand, it is clear what the designer was intending to do with the chart, which is make it look like how it comes out, and that's commendable.

So, other than traffic issues, I had a nice time at the class, and I was relieved to get another skein of the yarn for Dianna #2! All's well in the knitting world!


  1. I am theoretically in a knitting group with Cookie, but it's a bit far and not the best day for me so I almost never make it there. She taught the cables class to my guild before she started teaching it elsewhere. I don't remember hearing that mnemonic, though. That's awesome.

  2. Suna, she didn't really go over lace charts, you came in pretty much right as she was starting. It took awhile to go through the introductions.

  3. Oh, I am going to always remember the Be Right Back now. I always have to think way too hard on that, thanks for sharing!

    (reminds me of how I remembered bicycle hand signals... "live RIGHT and go to heaven" point to the sky. or "he LEFT and went that way" pointing away)


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