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Old 08-17-2011, 11:27 PM   #11
Jan in CA
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I guess I didn't see the first message till a few days later then. Don't know how I missed it.

Some people simply don't know how to run a business and then there are those that shouldn't be. I've been very lucky. Since you were very unhappy I doubt you were the only one. Maybe they'll realize that they are losing money that way not only from the class, but from yarn sales. That's no way to run a business for sure.

Anything we can do to help you let us know. There are lots of videos on the internet as well as here. I've been knitting for several years so I can usually find one for you.

I live in south Orange County so yes, it's a long way from the bay area.

When asking questions ALWAYS post the name and a link for the pattern if you have it.

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Old 08-18-2011, 09:52 AM   #12
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I have never taken a class at a LYS, so I can't speak about how things are "usually" run, but it does sound like this shop could use some organizing help and FAST!!!!!!!!!

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Old 08-18-2011, 03:43 PM   #13
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I have both taken and taught sock classes. I have discovered from experience that the following can go wrong: ( this is not intended to be all inclusive)
1. The owner doesn't post the skills requisite to take the course. I have on more than one occasion had someone show up who did not know how to purl. SO a lot of distracting questions and tedious repetition can go into teaching someone how to do something fundamental thereby holding the whole class up. Alternately, a lot of complaining and demands for refund can go into refusing to teach someone who just shows up with few or no skills to speak of.
2 The shop owner did post a list and it was ignored.
3. People do expect handouts to remind them of how to do the techniques taught. Expert teachers still give them out- I took a class with Brooklyn Tweed and he had plenty.
4. The class has too many people in it. How many is too many? It depends on the level of student and what is being taught.
5. There are some students who are more interested in socializing than learning. This is ok for them but obviously not ok for the rest.

I could go on but your experience was one which is unfortunately not unusual but still not the standard
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Old 08-18-2011, 04:02 PM   #14
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Well, count me in as one who read but didn't respond. I'm sorry, but I, like some of the others, have never taken a class. I certainly hope your experience isn't the norm, though.

Welcome to the board and please give us another chance!!

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Old 08-18-2011, 09:40 PM   #15
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If you're having trouble with anything in the sock class, please ask someone here. We have a great group of people. I learn something from this site all the time. What I especially like is that everyone is very supportive and positive, especially with new knitters. There's no such thing as a stupid question here.
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Old 08-18-2011, 10:46 PM   #16
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I just saw this, but then, I'm not here every day.
Is your experience acceptable practice? No. Normal? Unfortunately, in my experience, yes. Here's how my attempts on both ends have gone:
1983: Oh, gee, the community college has a class! Call ahead because road is slick--yes, we're still having it--drive fifteen miles to site, find one person taking names "in case we have the class later".
1984: Say, there's a knitting group at the library! Go, then get yelled at because they all knit in one very specific Enfglish style with one brand of very expensive yarn.
19...99, I think?: Hey, there's a new yarn shop and they have classes! It's a long drive, but it's a LYS and I have to see this. Go and find a couple of shelves of novelty yarn with list price tags pasted halfway over the discount store's lower tag. There were classes listed, but half of them were canceled.

I'm not going to list the places and times I've taught, in case it might hurt someone's feelings, but the bottom of the barrel for me was a largish class in which one student had no idea what she had gotten into even though a detailed description was on the sign-up sheet. When I handed out a line-by-line, no abbreviations, beginner detailed pattern, she immediately started to cry and yell that it was too long and she would never be able to finish. Her tears and screaming (yes, literally) drove off half the class at the first session. I still feel terrible about that and it was years ago.

In the best classes, the students knew what was going to be included in the class, paid attention to the starting time (and so did the shop owner!), listened to the introductory remarks instead of wandering off, and waited for help before tearing anything out. For instance, it's hard to explain to a new knitter that ribbing usually looks like junk for three or four rows, then seems to fall into shape. If they give up and frog instead of asking for help, everything has to stop while they get started again. I finally had to make a "no frogging without asking" rule and gently dismissed anyone who ripped out the work for a third time without asking whether anything was actually wrong.
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Old 08-19-2011, 01:36 PM   #17
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I've never taken a knitting class, specifically, however I have taken other crafting classes, like sewing and cake decorating. What you've experienced isn't uncommon. These aren't the regulated educational courses you find in the school systems. So sometimes no matter how talented the teacher is, she just doesn't know how to teach. I tried 3 different local shops and my mother before I learned to knit from my daughter's 3rd grade teacher.

Don't give up on trying to find a good LYS, they're really the best way to go usually. There's one literally around the corner from my house, but I drive all the way across town to go to the one I like.

Try finding someone in a knitting group who has some time and is willing to help you outside of the meeting time, these can be the start of great friendships.

If all else fails grab a ball of yarn, your needles, and sit down to the fabulous videos and forum help available here. Mimicking the actions of a video or working stitches out as you read sometimes helps a tactile learner 'get it' when personal help isn't readily available.
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Old 08-19-2011, 08:36 PM   #18
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The nice thing about videos is that you can play them as many times as you need to learn a technique.
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Old 08-24-2011, 10:03 AM   #19
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DCM, I don't know where you live, but I see you mention some city names near me. If you want to come to Dharma in San Rafael, I can tell you about the classes there. They have free drop in sessions 4 times a week, not a structured series of classes. We sit around a table and the teacher helps each person individually--anything from absolute beginners to experienced knitters with a mistake to figure out or a pattern instruction they are trying to understand. Some people come with a certain question and leave as soon as they get help; others like me come just to knit with everyone. Once in a while I have a question; more often I help answer other people's questions. If that sounds appealing to you, please come join us! The options are 10-12 in the morning Tues, Thurs, Sat, or 5-6 pm Monday.

Also, to reiterate, lots of people on this forum are experienced sock knitters (including me) and can answer question--but I understand that being in person is a very different experience!

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