Writer, illustrator, and knitter Franklin Habit joins us for his monthly column featuring humor and insights into a yarncrafter’s life.
I left you, last month, on the brink of taking your seat in the classroom. If all has gone well, you are equipped with the correct needles, notions, and yarns. If the teacher has asked for homework, your homework is complete.
Let us begin.
Part Two: In the Classroom
- Dress for Comfort. A fiber arts classroom may be anything from a deluxe hotel suite to a livestock barn. I have taught in both. No matter what, I promise you this: the room will be far too hot for half the class and far too cold for the other half.
Dressing in layers is vital. A student in a shirt, sweater, and small shawl or scarf can adjust to a variable microclimate. A student who wears only a bra under her snuggly hand-knitted merino pullover is going to suffer when the radiator starts to glow.
- Arrive on Time. On time is slightly early–anywhere from 15 to 30 minutes before class is due to begin. Earlier than 45 minutes isn’t punctual, it’s pushy. The teacher needs time to arrange the classroom (and himself) for what’s to come. If you cannot sit outside (i.e., it’s snowing hard, there’s an angry mob in the street, the yarn shop is entirely surrounded by a moat stocked with alligators) please have mercy–quietly choose a seat and let the teacher prepare.
Do not ever (ever) show up very, very early and attempt to wheedle a free private lesson out of the teacher before class beings. You will not enjoy what happens next.
If you must arrive late, slip in quietly and take the nearest available seat. No explanations necessary.
- They’re All Good Seats. If you have a physical condition that requires special accommodation, please let the venue know in advance so they can take the necessary steps.
If you do not, choose any open chair. You’ll be able to see. You’ll be able to hear. The seats in the back are fifteen feet from the teacher. It’s a crochet class, not a Who concert at Yankee Stadium.
- Silence the Phone. Period.
- Silence Yourself. Your classmates have paid to learn about cable knitting, not your dinner plans. When the teacher is addressing the class, conversations on your phone or with your table neighbors should–indeed must–be taken out of the room.
If you simply can’t wait another minute to catch up with the bosom friend you haven’t seen since the day fifty years ago when you left her for dead on a blood-soaked battlefield, please consider that perhaps my class on the history of lace knitting is not the ideal place to do it.