View Full Version : Better help for the new knitter?
11-25-2008, 12:37 PM
First I want to say how good the people on the forum are at helping anyone and everyone. Even if it seems like a stupid question to someone who has been knitting for a while the question is answered and the questioner is encouraged.
Second I have been knitting for a little over a year and my accomplishments are not great but I am getting there. I seem to spend as much time reading about knitting and knitting techniques as knitting so I understand more that I have implemented..
However, I seem to see a trend in many of the answers being given to question, especially if the questioner introduces themselves as a new knitter. It seems to me that the answers being given are from one knowledgeable knitter to another. I spent a number of years teaching “adults” for a US Government agency and one important thing I learned was to make sure that a foundation had been laid before getting to the actual question. In other words make sure that the teacher and student were on the same page.
I have been seeing a number of responses that answer the question asked and answer it well but I was not sure if the questioner understands enough of the basics of the technique to understand the answer.
Again the help and sharing here is outstanding, just try to remember where you were in your skills when you had this same question and what information you really needed not what you asked.
Please make sure you give a little foundation information before you answer the exact question.
Thanks again for all the help I've been given here.
11-25-2008, 02:22 PM
If it's a really obviously new knitter, I do try to give a little more explanation as to why and what, than I would for someone who's knitting a while and just trying out a new technique. At least I hope so...
Jan in CA
11-25-2008, 02:50 PM
It's nice of you to be concerned for new knitters, but I honestly don't think there is a problem. I always try to give a simple, clear answer to their question and if someone doesn't understand then they come back with more questions and we know better what they really need to know. I feel like long answers to a new knitter kind of overwhelm them.
11-25-2008, 03:55 PM
Chris, I think that's a really good point. Sometimes I worry that I'm typing out more information than is needed, but really it's better to give too much than too little. :)
11-25-2008, 10:39 PM
I am sorry; I am relatively new to this forum and knitting. In expressing my opinion, I made an error by not considering one of the corollaries to the Law of Averages. As an accountant and auditor I have learned that an average may be 100% true for the group and 100% wrong for any individual in that group. For example, if you measure the height of a group of 1,000 people you can say exactly what the average height of the group is. This is a mathematical certainty. Let say that for this group of 1,000 the average height is 5 foot 9 and ¾ inches. There is no question there are numbers to support this, however; there may be no one in the group that is 5 foot 9 and ¾ inches tall. In fact there may be no one that is between 5 foot 9 inches and 5 foot 10 inches tall. What is true for the group may not be true for individuals.
I was trying to say that on average I found many of the answers to question from people that identified themselves as new knitter did not seem to lay a foundation for the answer. This is my average view. In making an overall statement I seem to have offended individuals. For this I am extremely sorry.
In the future if I post questions or response I will be particularly careful of my wording and how the comment is worded.
11-26-2008, 12:04 PM
I don't think any of us are offended when we get a response along the lines of "I have no idea what you just said." There are different degrees of beginners, and different types of learners, so sometimes it's hard to guess what words will make sense to someone. And we don't get to see that confused face we would get if we were trying to explain something face to face. If we confuse you, please just let us know.
Jan in CA
11-26-2008, 03:29 PM
I wasn't offended at all, just saying I disagreed. It's okay if you don't share my views though. ;) If you feel you need to add to what someone else says to a new knitter by all means go for it! :thumbsup: We all say things in different ways so that often helps. :hug:
11-26-2008, 09:49 PM
Yep, sometimes 6 people can explain the same thing using different words to someone and it isn't until the 7th person explains it with a whole different set of words that they get it.
11-26-2008, 09:56 PM
I'm glad you meantioned that. I see beginners ask questions and they sometimes get "advanced knitter" answers. Then you ask yourself "What does that mean".
The great thing about this site is that you will most likely get several responses. That always helps!
11-27-2008, 02:22 PM
I mostly learned to knit right here on this site. I never once felt that answers given were overly advanced or complex when I asked a "dumb question". Sometimes I may have needed to go look up something or other, but that's a big part of the learning process.
I personally feel that if a person doesn't understand an answer given it's incumbent upon them to request clarification.
I would have been highly offended if I had felt that more advanced knitters were talking down to me or patronizing me for asking the question.
This is a very friendly and helpful bunch here, so don't mistake disagreement for offense. :-P
11-27-2008, 08:25 PM
The answers I got to my questions were worded so I could understand them. I was given a tremendous amount of help by 2 or 3 very experienced knitters and I am a complete newbie. 2 weeks ago I couldn't cast on and now I have made my first ribs. I felt like they took my newness into consideration and helped me to accomplish the task. I can knit now and feel confident enough to advance my skills and possibly teach someone else the same way they taught me. I did not feel like I was talked down to or condescending in any way. I felt like I was taken under their cyber wing just like they would have taught someone in person.