Jan 16, 2013

Taking Time to Plan

I'm lucky to have a student teacher in my room this semester. I think I've mentioned that I'm concerned that I may not be the best model for her, but it's been nice for me to think carefully about what I do in my classroom and to see things through different eyes. She's working on creating units to teach after our students take finals. So far, she's been watching us finish the semester and getting to know my students. I've been sort of envious of the time she's able to spend planning out her work. Actually, not sort of. Really envious would be more like it. Everything goes so much smoother when you have a roadmap to guide you along the way. I'm hopeful that my students will respond well to all that she brings to the classroom when she eventually becomes the lead teacher. I suspect they will. I truly have a great group of students this year.

Tonight in my knitting class we did some planning too. One student is knitting a Knit Swirl sweater and the construction is more than a little atypical. When she started, we talked about writing out the plan row by row, or welt by welt. Having a linear, well written guide to follow as you read the designers instructions can sometimes be a big help.

I know knitters who put the directions into a spread sheet, some copy the pattern and highlight and make notes, and I even made multiple copies one time cut it apart and put each line of the directions onto a 3x5 card and flipped through the stack as I knit. Some use sticky notes and others highlighter tape...Knit Companion is an app that you can use for an electronic map through the pattern, and I currently use my iPad and the Good Reader app to make digital notes and move through charts.

For this knitter, we have a plan.

A welt by welt, and for this section of the sleeves, a row by row plan that she can check off as she goes. Someday soon she's going to have a gorgeous sweater made from Madeline Tosh, and she'll be certain she made no mistakes because she'll be following a plan.

It got me wondering. How do you plan your knitting? What tips and tricks help you through the tricky bits?

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