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Monday, October 25, 2010

Why Edie Eckman?

From the Desk of Terry Neal, Owner, Tempe Yarn & Fiber

Edie Eckman
Recently I was asked how we choose guest instructors to bring to TYF and, more specifically, why Edie Eckman?

First, you should know (if you don’t already) that I love teaching and, more important, I love learning.  When I got an opportunity to head off to Stitches East, I studied the workshop list, look at the bios on the instructors, chatted with Bev Walker (our knitting instructor) who has attended many workshop events, and then carefully picked out 18 hours of workshops to take.  

As I approached each workshop, I had several expectations of myself.  First, I wanted to stretch some of my skills.  Second, I wanted to see if there were approaches to teaching parts of knitting that I could incorporate into my classes.  Third, I wanted to observe and learn from professional instructors who had reached the level of publishing books and patterns, and/or teaching at huge venues.  Last, I wanted to come home with a list of instructors that I felt would fit in and meet the needs of our growing community.

Edie was one of the first instructors I met.  Before my workshop with her, I knew little about her or her work.  The workshop I signed up for was "Math for Knitters."

Math has never been my favorite thing to do, yet every day I need to use it for knitting my own work and for helping our customers.  Wanting to become even more comfortable with MATH, I opened the door of the classroom, found a seat, and took out my pencil, paper and calculator and waited, hoping I wouldn’t get left behind once the math started. 

The 3 hours went so fast and I learned so much.  I learned that I know more about math than I thought.  I learned that there is a lot of magic to math in knitting, and that once you have the secret formulas it isn’t all that scary after all.  Edie was a delight to take a class from.  She really understood how most of us in the class were afraid of math.  She gave us wonderful handouts with exercises to work through, which she did step by step with us, and by the end of the workshop I felt like I could actually handle the calculations and formulas on my own.  I learned about basic math for knitters, and more sophisticated math, like how to knit a sweater if I like my gauge better than the one in the pattern, or if I want to use a different yarn which results in a different gauge. 

Getting back to why I chose Edie to come to TYF….  I like her teaching style.  I like the workshops she offers and it’s easier and more economical for me to take workshops from her here than it is to travel to her so I can take more.

I can’t wait to take the Packs & Sacks workshop.  Whether you knit or crochet, you will learn what makes a great bag.  There are tricks and shortcuts designers use.  The more we learn about those, the more we will have success when we are choosing patterns to follow, when we want to alter a pattern, or when we want to try our own design.

UnLearn to Knit will be an adventure for sure.  Any time as a knitter you can analyze how knitting works, the mysteries unravel and things that were complicated become second nature. 
You will be amazed at what understanding knitting can do for your confidence.  Suddenly you find yourself fixing things you never thought you could.

Another workshop she is offering is Go Bi-Textural.  I personally love combining knitting and crochet, so I can’t wait to see what she can teach us about that.  This is a brand new class that she is offering us.  When she told me about it, I was so excited that we get to see something new before the rest of the world does!  If she can make math fun…what can she do with a subject I love?

You will definitely see me in the Pattern Writing workshop (How to Say It), because any tips on how to better write patterns from a published designer is so helpful.  What better way to figure out if it’s me or the pattern when something unexpected happens than to understand how they are written?

One of the main considerations for choosing Edie is that she offers classes for both knitters and crocheters.  Since I often hear that crocheters get left out, I hoped they would embrace and support us bringing in workshops that were geared to crochet.  So all you crochet folks out there, here is your chance to let us know you want this level of workshops. 

There you have it…more reasons than one needs to take workshops by this wonderful teacher.  Let’s show her our great TYF community.  If you haven't signed up, there are still spaces available.

Come be a part of the book signing and workshops November 5-7 here at Tempe Yarn.  For more details click here.

See you then. 

PS…if I am not in the workshop you sign up for, it’s because one of the staff won the spot and I had to work the sales floor.  Otherwise I would be in all the classes.

1 comment:

  1. thanks Terry - it helps me to pick which class to sign up for.
    Sounds like it's going to be a lot of fun