Thanks for the SOCKS tip about toe-up being the best. I will do that.
Yeah, Jan...you're very fortunate to have great teachers at your LYS. My sad experiences stemmed from greedy LYS owners...who would chronically overbook a class (for the money in their own pocket), or allow knitters to sign up for a class they shouldn't be in. So the teacher (being kind) had to spend all her energy teaching the less experienced students how to do simple things they should have already been proficient in.
My Color-Work class was 6 hours all day...and cost $250 or so. A great teacher, very proficient Fair Isle knitter/designer...had to spend all her energy helping a handful of knitters to work with dpn's....how to get stitches onto the 4 needles...and other simple things like that. It was a real time suck. But it wasn't the teacher's fault. The LYS was at fault for overbooking the numbers...and by not pre-screening experience level more carefully. I felt robbed.
...so I basically taught myself at that class. I learned a few things about steeking...gaining a measure of confidence about cutting your knitting...
....but the other aspects of color knitting...intarsia, etc...I sorta already knew...
...so I spent $240 to learn what a steek is.
I do belong to the South Sound Knitters Guild. Our monthly meetup is held at a LYS that is closed on Sunday. We meet the 2nd Sunday of each month. It's a relaxing 2 hours. The ladies (except for one) are all very nice. I don't go every month due to scheduling conflicts. The dues are $15 per year. I've learned good things at the meetings: that's how I found Knitting Help.com!
First they told me about ABOUT.COM....then KNITTER'S REVIEW.COM...and from there I saw a video how-to referral to visit KNITTINGHELP.COM! So I liked Knitting Help forum much better than any other forums...so that's the one I stuck with. I don't participate in any other forums. It's too exhausting. I belong to Rav, of course, but I don't participate in a too many forums or groups over there.
I keep a low profile I think, gauging by my number of 'posts'. I do get a lot of folks who message me personally with questions...they find me by spotting my projects...and I always answer and try to be helpful. I've actually made two BFF'S that way.
One in Santa Cruz, Ca...another in Austin, Texas!