Friday, 14 September 2012

I am "truanting" today

and, while I know this is reprehensible, I am refusing to feel too guilty about it. I have already made up most of the time and I will make up the rest tomorrow.
I am heading off to the state's agricultural show again - where I was on Sunday and for much the same reason. This time I am going to demonstrate something called "double knitting". Knitters will probably know what I mean but, for non-knitters, this means knitting two layers of fabric at the same time. You start with twice as many stitches as you need then knit one stitch with one yarn at the front and then purl the next stitch with the other yarn at the back. If you (er..hmm) do not get tangled up then you should have two layers of smooth fabric. We will see. It is not something I am particularly skilled at so I am just doing a small sample piece to give people the general idea. They can then go and admire the incredibly skilled mittens knitted in that technique - or remember them with a renewed understanding.
The need to do something like this made me aware once again of the need to show people how things are done. The Convenor of the Arts and Crafts area is a wise individual. When she took the role on and found that there would be some space in the new building she raised the possibility of people doing demonstrations there. Now there is knitting, spinning and other yarn crafts. The cake decorators display their sugar-craft skills. These are probably the most popular. People recognise what they are but they like to watch - and ask questions. There are some other crafts too - tatting, woodcarving (on a very small scale), and paper-crafts of various sorts.
We have a project in mind for next year that might be an ongoing project for the entire week of the show. It will be interesting to see if it takes off because it will involve cooperation between the crafts.
Can we do it? I don't know but I am reminded of a story my father likes to tell. He was a very young teacher. There were annual inspections in those distant days. The inspector asked to see the craft work of the students and then looked at my father and said, "Man is a skill hungry animal."
And yes, many of us are fortunately still curious. I will probably learn as much as I teach today.

1 comment:

jeanfromcornwall said...

I'm tremendously impressed that you attempt the double layer knitting technique. I have an ancient (1950's) Good Housekeeping book of knitting that has a recipe for double layer gloves done in that technique. I have looked a few times, but thought I would rather not get myself into that sort of tangle!