Changing the Way I Always Did It

I learned to knit when I was in high school. I have knit many sweaters, scarves, hats, mittens, and throws. I used a variety of yarn and types of stitches, but I knew something was not quite right. I could follow patterns and graphs, but I found that I had to change the ways I stitched sometimes so that the stitches did not twist. I was fine with that, and when I began teaching I had no time for knitting so I just didn’t worry about it. That is, I didn’t care until I recently wanted to make some shawls with lacey edges. I signed up for a knitting class to create a cute little shawl, went to the first class and began the pattern. The new stitches I was required to make did not work out right. I ripped out 6 rows and started over. Again, I corrected the original trouble, but made more mistakes. I ripped out 5 rows and headed for the knit shop.

In no time at all I found out that I was purling incorrectly and I learned how to wrap the yarn properly. A wonderful woman explained all this to me and showed me how I could knit like always and change just the stitches that gave me trouble. The owner asked what I was going to do. “I am going to change the way I knit,” I said. No matter that I knit wrongly for decades, I am determined to knit correctly so that my stitches will turn out right in all the patterns I use. With each purl I will build up new muscle memory. It will be best for the long run and it is just mindfulness I need now.

Even if you are not a knitter, you can appreciate what it takes to “change your way” of doing things. Perhaps you are like me, not worried about making adjustments until something comes along that changes your mind or you are forced to make changes you never intended to try. I was so grateful for the yarn shop women who supported me when I needed it most. Instead of frustration I feel inspiration and a new sense that I can create beautiful things.

Support is the key to success in so much of what we do with the children, but we need support, too. In a world gone crazy we have to find a place where people actually understand what teaching entails and why we must fight to teach our children in a way that suits them best. Come and join us at NJAKE to find people who are dedicated, creative, willing to listen, and concerned for the young child. We have begun our registration for the coming school year, and we have a dynamite line up for our Fall, Spring, and Summer conferences. You can see it all on line at These three conferences give you an opportunity to get together for meaningful workshops and face to face networking with other teachers as concerned and overworked as you are. The money from your registration goes to underwriting our workshops so that you get a bargain for each one you attend. Please consider passing on our registration form to the teachers in your school and those you know. By registering now your friends will actually save money on the workshops we have, so please pass the information along.

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