In one of my English classes both of the students like to knit. And I do too! Mrs. Ide is a one time knitting teacher and Mrs. Okusa has grand plans but needs a bit of a push. And me, I am a hit and miss knitter so it comes in very handy to be able to ask Mrs. Ide what I should do when using challenging patterns.
This winter I browsed through different knitting websites and have directed Mrs. Ide to some of the interesting patterns.
"I'd really like to try some of these but those English instructions! I have no idea where to start!"
Hey! I'm the English teacher! Let's try an pattern or two written in English and Mrs. Ide can LEARN how to use non-Japanese patterns.
I think it was on Mary's blog that she asked if anyone had ever used knitting patterns that used a grid. She was afraid to give them a try... I encouraged her to dive in. The grid and symbol patterns are what Japanese patterns are all about. I didn't learn to knit until I came to Japan when my Japanese friend explained the grid and symbol patterns to me. Once learned a few symbols, off I went. These days I still prefer the Japanese grid patterns to the English abbreviated patterns.
But anyway... Mrs. Okusa picked out a pattern from a knitting website. A small, simple neck-warmer. Mrs. Ide could make this just looking at the picture but the purpose was learning to decipher the abbreviated instructions so English class consisted of the three of us sitting around the table with knitting needles and left-over yarn. I explained the abbreviations (as if I'm such a pro at this... before class I checked the Internet about knitting terms... I'm good at pretending like I know what I'm doing.) and Mrs. Ide and Mrs. Okusa took notes.
"This would be so much easier if it was in grid form..."
We persevered and the ladies went home with homework.
And this week they came back with their finished neck-warmers. We agreed to wear our creations at English class.
Ta-da! Same neck-warmer, different ways of wearing it. Mrs. Ide tied hers with a ribbon. Mrs. Okusa and I chose to use buttons.
This week we're deciphering crochet instructions.
How's that for an English class!?