Do you listen to the podcast Teaching Your Brain to Knit? I really enjoy it and find the “brainy” aspects of the podcast fascinating. One topic often referenced in the podcast is different types of learners. If you aren’t familiar, there are several primary types of learners: Auditory, Visual and Kinesthetic. I am a visual learner, but it’s funny how even though I am aware of that, I didn’t take it into consideration recently. I was trying to learn a new bind off and it took several resources before I found that one that made it crystal clear to me. It was a somewhat frustrating experience but also there were some really good takeaways and reminders about how my learning style is important.
Around Thanksgiving, I cast on a cowl to match a hat that I made several years ago. The plan to make this cowl has been in place for too long (since I made the hat) and I decided to stop putting it off. The yarn is Madeline Tosh Vintage in the Tart colorway and I bought it years ago on a business trip in Chicago.
I came up with the pattern for the hat myself but was feeling lazy and decided to look around for a complimentary pattern for the cowl. Almost immediately I found the Classic Cowl by Purl Soho which was PERFECT. It uses the same stitch pattern in the hat all the design work was done for me!
The cowl pattern suggests a tubular cast on and this seemed like a good opportunity to learn a new technique for me. I didn’t have any problems with the cast on and love the way it looks. I love it so much, that when I cast on a pair of Connectivity Gloves soon after, I decided to use a Tubular Cast on and Bind off.
Now… the gloves only have 36 stitches around. The Cowl has over 200. 212 to be exact. Here is where the lessons started kicking in.
I needed to bind off the first glove so I went back to the cowl pattern to find the tubular bind off tutorial. As I worked the bind off, it just didn’t seem right to me so I stopped and picked it out. So then I went to my own bookshelf and grabbed my Cast On, Bind Off book (which, by the way, is not a book that I really love… I don’t find the directions very clear). I took a look at the directions in the book and was confused because there were several variations of tubular bind off. So I poked around the internet for another tutorial and found one that looked pretty good and forged ahead. Again… it just didn’t look right to me so once again I picked it out. You don’t know what living is until you have picked out 2 tubular bind offs.
Once again, I looked for another tutorial. This time I resorted to video and as I watched the first one, I heard angels singing. Seriously. I was like, that’s it?? That’s easy! I got it! From there, I was able to successfully bind off, and it is glorious.
I took away a few lessons from this experience. First, by a very happy accident, I don’t have to learn this bind off on my 212 stitch cowl. Can you imagine? The gloves kindof became my practice project and I am so glad for it. I’m not sure of the full lesson but it might be nice to try unfamiliar techniques on a practice swatch.
The second lesson was finding the right tutorial for my brain. I tried 3 different resources before I found the one that clicked for me. But when I found the right one, it was obvious. I am a visual learner. I know this about myself but I tend to favor written directions over video, even though I can better grasp a concept by video! It probably would have been smarter for me to look for a video after that first failed tutorial.
I am just about done with the gloves and when they are finished, I will spend more time on the cowl because I can’t wait to wear it. And I am pretty confident that I will nail the bind off.
If you are interested in making the cowl (which I really recommend!) or the gloves, there are some gorgeous worsted weight yarns available in FiberCrafty. The gloves do require Silver Spun yarn from Feel Good Fiber Company but they can be paired with any other wool worsted yarn.