A stranger in a strange land.

Mary finished the first block of her building block afghan and began square two, reading charts.

Michelle brought in a pillow she’d like to knit a cover for (it’s the plain pillow top/center).  We talked about a tubular cast on/bind off to give the look of piping around the pillow.  I have to think about it some. In the meantime, she’ll knit one side plain and the other side will (possibly) include a decorative edge. By the way, can you spot her dog in the picture?

We measured it, then she swatched. Her yarn color choices are so in sync with her interior design.

The student becomes the teacher as Michelle showed me how she holds her yarn for knitting English style. She was responding to a comment I made that English style knitting is much slower for me.   The way she holds her yarn in her right hand is exactly how I hold my yarn for Continental in my left hand.   I like this way the best, and it is definitely faster than what I was doing.

Michelle picked up the stitches around the neckline of her Customfit sweater. I can’t wait to see her wear it.

Linda brought her Etched Rio Wrap poncho, knit with Alpaca Silk (Sport: 50% Silk, 50% Alpaca, 146 yards) in for repair; she was off a stitch in the lace section.  She thought about just adding a stitch, then a little voice (that would be me) said “don’t do it”.

As often happens when Linda comes to knitting, we had a philosophical conversation. Today it was about doing things outside of your routine or comfort zone.

Linda related how when she temporarily moved to DC for a few months, she had to focus on where she was going (and what she was doing) because she was a stranger in a strange land.  When we drive our normal pathways, we are driving almost by autopilot.  Her story reminded me of when my kids were in 3 different schools all on the same street.  I can’t tell you how many times, when driving them to school, I would drive past one of their schools. I can still hear them say, “Mom, you just drove past my school”. I would get into the zone.

It’s (obviously) not a good thing.  Whether knitting differently or driving in a new place, it forces you to be more alert versus being mechanical in your actions.  Trying new things like this is a way to cross train your brain. It is also a humbling experience to not know how to do something.  We’ve come to a time when we all expect to be perfect the first time.  It’s good for us to learn/do something from scratch.

I’d love to know what kind of experience you’ve had in this regard.

Book recommendations from Mary: Keeper of the Light and Necessary Lies.