- What has been your most difficult mentoring challenge so far? Why?
The most difficult mentoring challenge for me so far has been working at home. With my current project, the way we have been going about it is to meet to learn a specific part of the hat, and then I knit at home until I get to a certain point, and then we meet again so I can learn the next part. This is probably the most productive method, and it’s not entirely bad, it’s just that it causes us to meet a bit less that we probably should be. If I run into any problems or anything, we would have to find time to schedule a new meeting, and in that time, I wouldn’t be able to work on the project. If we had more regular scheduled meetings, it wouldn’t take as long to find a time to meet. Also, meeting more frequently would mean that I would spend more time knitting with my mentor, and we could catch the error quicker.
- What is working well? Why?
I think that the actual learning is going quite well. My mentor’s teaching style is working well with my own learning style, which is helpful. She teaches the concepts in a way that I can easily understand. The pace we go in our sessions is great, as I have enough time to get the hang of it, but we are still going fairly quickly. So far, I have been picking up the concepts quite fast, and I am genuinely enjoying learning how to knit. Some activities never really click, but this is working really well for me.
- What could be working better? How can you make sure this happens?
Though I think I’m doing fairly good with the stitches and concepts I have learned so far, one area I think I could do improve on is making sure I stay totally focused on what I am doing. I usually have quite apt attention to detail, but sometimes when I’m knitting, I lose track of what stitch or row I’m on, or sometimes I just do the wrong stitch and don’t even notice until way later. This usually doesn’t have a massive impact on the final product, but it would be nice if I could keep all my stitches correct. I think I just need to slow down and make sure I’m completely focused on what I am doing instead.
In the past few weeks, I have officially started my first big project. I decided to make a chunky wool toque using a pattern my mentor had. It is a variation on a rib pattern that makes it look a little different than a normal rib stitch. For most of pattern, you do alternate rows of knit stitching, then a combination of purl stitching and knitting one stitch below the stitch you are on. The knit below technique is new for me and was a bit difficult at first. I am also using much thicker wool and thicker needles, which took a bit getting used to. I am using a dark grey/speckled white colour of yarn for the “rim,” then I switched to a light purple for the majority of the hat. To switch colours, I simply cut the grey yarn and tightly tied on the next colour. I will tuck in the ends later. I would say I am about a third done the hat. Soon, once I’ve reached the right length, I will learn how to decrease the stitches in the row.