Sunday, August 2, 2009

How to Use the MK Lessons

I have now put up 27 detailed videos about how to machine knit. I did them for a typical flatbed machine, so they'll apply to most machines sold in the United States. These lessons are numbered and sequenced so that if you do them in order you have a course to progressively build skills.

I do plan to put up more lessons, but first, I want to share a little about how to get the most out of the lessons.

If you do one lesson a day - first by watching (they're 5 - 10 minutes), then by doing a sample like the one I show in the lesson, you will gain all the most important machine knitting skills in a single month!

There's a funny thing about the way people learn - the mind continues to work on the skill even when it's "off duty." If you do one lesson a day and sleep on it, you will learn more thoroughly than if you do marathon sessions.

I am thinking about making DVDs of CDs of the videos at a reasonable cost available for those who have difficulty downloading them - or who want a copy handy instead of relying on the internet. Are you interested in that? Please comment.

If you appreciate these lessons, please bear with me as I talk about something that I feel passionate about, supporting the people who have kept machine knitting going in the United States and continue to keep it going - the yarn shop owners who carry machines, the dealers working out of their homes, the writers and designers putting out patterns and demonstrations, and the little knitting clubs that get together to learn. Please consider that your choice of whether to become involved and supportive of the machine knitting community has a tremendous impact on you and on other knitters.

I owned a yarn shop beginning in 1979 and ending in 1987. I was just 28 years old when I began. I am not longer a professional in that business - I'm a nonprofit accountant these days. My work is accounting and my needlework hobbies are not for profit. When I moved to Austin, I was smart enough to seek out an MK club, and my first and best friends here are my knitting buddies. I have found knitters to be the most wonderful, generous, interesting people over the years, and I believe that you are part of an incredible community. I hope that you will find whatever dealers are available to you - checking the internet and the yellow pages, checking out the listserves on the Net as well.

Our little knitting club is a case in point. We have amazing expertise among us - my friend Barbara can really make the Passap E6000 sing and dance; my friend Pat seems to be able to do absolutely every kind of fiber art and teaches at the local college and adult classes. However, we are in an ongoing struggle to keep it going, as some of the older ladies are less able to get around or in poor health. We know that if we let it die, there will be one less resource for beginners. Our local dealer is terrific, a very talented knitter, but she has mostly retired.

As I am putting up these lessons, I'm hearing from people who are encouraged about their ability to learn machine knitting. I certainly don't want to take the place of dealers, listserves, great knitting books, and the like.

If you look along the left margin of my blog, I've got a knitting links list. Please have a look at some of these resources. Of course, there are a lot of other great resources, but these are favorites of mine. I hope that you will find (or start, if you have to) a knitting guild; that you will faithfully support local dealers, if you are lucky enough to have them; that you'll join online knitting groups, and that you will consider supporting some of the excellent dealers who operate, in part, on the Web, if you don't have a local one.

1 comment:

  1. Diana, I have only recently come to your blog and seen your videos. What an enourmous gift to the crafting community. Not only are they an incredible resource for beginning and continuing MKers, but they are SO well done and understandable that I'm sure you'll make converts out of those who haven't even started yet.

    I, for one, would be happy to pay for a CD with a collection of your wonderful videos. I believe, as you do, that we have to support one another, and the craft, in order to pass it along to future generations of knitters. Thank you for your wonderful contribution.

    Madison, WI