On learning something new.

This morning, I attended a class on Celtic cables taught by Melissa Leapman, knitwear designer and author of Cables Untangled, Continuous Cables, Stashbuster Knits, and Mastering Color Knitting, among many others. I’ve knit a cabled sweater or two, made a couple of pairs of Fetchings, but always working from patterns with written instructions rather than charts. I’ve never really wrestled with the logic of how cables function, never played with them much, instead filing them away under “techniques to learn some other time.” The time came this morning.

In this class, Leapman focused on larger, self-contained cable motifs rather than the vertical patterns we usually think of as cables. She taught us how to read her charts, which I was relieved to find somewhat intuitive, rather than mind-boggling, as charts sometimes are. There were unfamiliar increases and decreases to learn, as well, dramatic increases and decreases that created or got rid of many stitches at a time. These quickly increased and decreased stitches allow the cables to pull in, as cables do, without affecting the overall width of the knitted fabric. Soon I had a Celtic knot, sitting nicely on top of a reverse stockinette background: a very pleasing sight.

I left class ready to tackle a third Celtic cable, a full-page, 45 row chart that had looked rather frightening when I first paged through the handout. Now I can make (some) sense of it, all because I sat down with a group of knitters and swatched and practiced, asked questions and swatched some more. I’m so pleased to be learning something new, and to be reminded that in knitting, there is always something new to learn. Tomorrow, I’ll take another class and look forward to seeing all the vendors. Til then, I’ll swatch, and look forward to hearing about Anne and Rosi’s classes and all that they learned.