Tuesday, 20 October 2009

The Teacher's Side

That's very interesting. All three commenters (including an added fourth opinion) would prefer to work on a real garment, in this case a baby sweater, than a miniature sample garment.

The question on the last post was: Would you prefer to learn on a sample, like a teddy bear sized sweater, or does working on a real project (for example, starting a 3 month old baby sweater) which you will have to finish after the class, have more appeal?

Check out their comments on the last post.

So here's my side of this question, the teacher's side. When I teach this class I would like to introduce 3 different increases which all look different. On your real baby sweater you don't want to see some increases with holes and some without holes (but your teddy bear may not mind). These increases are all interchangeable and a knitter could use one of the new ones they learned instead of the one used in a future pattern they pick up. I also like to give students lots of license to make mistakes and not have to go back and fix any mistakes they have made. If you are concentrating on getting the increases in the right place because this is all new to you, you may not be paying close attention to the garter stitch buttonbands and end up with mistakes there. On a real garment you have to go back and correct that. I also can't spring something on you like having you add on an I-Cord edge to the buttonband when a student says that they find their garter stitch bands are sloppy on the edge.

I think that's the catch for me, I find that when students are knitting a real garment, it prevents me from responding spontaneously with a change which could solve a problem or open up some design ideas. For me, the classroom is where you try out new techniques so that when you choose to knit your real garment all of the terms and ideas in the sweater will be familiar even if you didn't totally master them in class. So maybe what I'm teaching is a Top Down technique class.

What do you think?


  1. I think you are right, that is why you are a teacher and I am just an addicted knitter.

  2. Good question! Before reading your reasons I would've said "a real sweater". I would really prefer the "top down techniques" class and not have a sweater at the end. BUT, I've knit many top downs and already understand the basic process. That makes a difference. Good luck!

  3. I agree with you! :) Your lesson would be better with the teddy sweater. samm


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