Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Better Late than Never

March is not quite over yet, and while I'm cutting it close, better late than never - today, I managed to finally put my tax stuff in the mail to my accountant, and on Thursday, I rustled up a March Pink Project.

My March Pink Project covers many bases. First, it's the projected finished sampler scarf from my lace class at Rosie's. Second, it is my Project Spectrum Pink Thing, and Third, I'll be knitting-a-long with Theresa for Purls of Love, which distributes hand knit scarves to chemo patients. So, far, I've knit some zig zags, and some English Lace, next I'll be faggotting.

The yarn is our favorite stripper girl, Misti Alpaca, so swatching at class was a surprisingly easy knit for me - since I just knit Ene on 3's with Lady Misti. So, while I cast on without angst (unlike my normal, "I'll just hold my breath until I get gauge" cast on), I listened to one of my fellow classmates struggle along - a perfectly good knitter, but she knits in Spanish. I've never really thought about knitting in another language - cultural differences (see Jews Don't Throw from back in August (or, as Robin likes to correct me, "I didn't say Jews Don't Throw, I said, I don't throw because I'm Jewish. Yep, big difference, I know - but the record is now set straight.), I've contemplated, but I've never really thought of a different language for knitting. Knitting, to me, is a universal language. In fact, I was listening to Ann Budd on KnitCast the other day, and she was talking about how she learned to knit. Her family ended up transplanted to Switzerland for a year, and in her Swiss Miss school, boys were taught to hammer and saw, and girls were taught to knit and sew. Since classes were taught in German, the only thing she actually understood was knitting. I get that -- whenever I have a Spanish speaking only client, I absolutely need a translator. But, once, I had to interview a deaf client, who didn't know formal sign language, but kind of had a language all of his own. We drew pictures, we acted out things, we had common hand signals, common facial expressions, and I was able to get his story out of him - how he was the lookout for a burglary as opposed to the inside man -- easier than my Spanish clients, with whom I struggle to find words, or bastardized words of our intermingled languages.

So, while this Spanish knitter knew what the stitches looked like, the language - left, right v. knit, purl - all a big mystery. Hopefully, she's tackled the struggle, and her Misti is coming along fine as well.

And, in other knitting news, I've finished the left front of my Sunrise Jacket. Yes, it looks good, and in fact, it looks like a sunrise over the ocean to me, but I don't think it's actually going to work as a jacket. The fabric itself is not stiff, in fact, it's pretty floppy. Hopefully, it will be equally pretty as a baggie sweater, if not so very functional. Don't worry -- it won't become a blanket!


Melissa said...

I was across from the spanish knitter and I can't remember the phrase lisa ysed to disecribe another woman and her but that they both had very, very different ways at achieving the same end we did. Myself, after two years of knitting stardom, was close to tears the whole time and the weekend hasn't been much better. See you Thursday

Merrill Mason said...

i love your sunrise jacket! won't work as a jacket? Oh ye of little faith.

Theresa said...

Yay! What a beautiful scarf for Purls of Love - and I love the English lace. I'm going to have to revisit that.

Karen said...

That scarf is so pretty!!! And your jacket is coming along so well, I sure hope the fabric works out well. I talk to myself all the time when I knit, but only in English. :)

Steph said...

That's really interesting to think about. I'm a little worried now--I teach at a Michaels in an area with a large hispanic population and I've had some people asking about classes that don't have a great grasp on english. Which is bad, because I have about no grasp of spanish (I can curse. and say library and meatballs!) and I have no idea how I'm going to manage to teach someone who doesn't speak english.

Oh, and your scarf is gorgeous.

Lisa M. said...

The Eastern European Combined Uncrossed knitter came in today to work things out--that's just a matter of substituting one decrease maneuveur for another. And I've got no problem teaching a newbie to knit across a language gap; like you said, you gesture, you sketch.
BUT when you take a knitter who knows how to knit a little, and in a different language--that's when I lose my mind, because it's not just different words for the same thing, it's different words for different things--I've never seen anybody knit the way Laura knits before!