From early childhood, we study under many teachers. They are seldom exceptional, often good and many a time, are just plain awful. We tend to remember best those at the far ends of the spectrum, the very best ones and the very worst.
I have been my own teacher on many subjects including knitting. I have always liked solving puzzles and problems and designing ties right into that. Coming up with an idea, sketching it on the paper, forming an actual project or garment around it, translating all that into stitches, rows, decreases and increase and finally forming a practical and comprehensible pattern…to me, this is one of the best part of living.
When it comes to knitting, I usually solve problems by playing around with a pair of needles and a ball of yarn. I have read only a handful of books about my craft and taken even less instructional courses. While I have enjoyed attending these classes, there is one that stands apart from the rest. During this January’s Vogue Knitting Live in NYC, I singed up for a two part course with Ms. Shirley Paden. I had no idea what a great experience I had signed up for. Yes, Ms. Paden is a famous, published designer. But, she is much more than that- she is a guru, a guiding light. She designs wonderful garments that carry wonderful shapes and have wonderful fits. Her approach to designing is mathematical, neat and orderly. As an instructor, she is patient, knowledgeable, zealous and amazingly generous with her time. Without any exaggeration, every minute of the 6+ hours of the time I spent in her class was informative and inspirational.
The highly ranked Knitwear Design Workshop book by Shirely Paden is a definite must-have-book for serious knitters and self thought designers like myself. On Ravelry, you can browse Ms. Paden’s brilliant designs and better yet, join her group, “We love Shirley Paden”.
I will always remember Shirley Paden as one of those teachers at the far best of the spectrum and have now added her to the very short list of my Knitting Gurus- in a special place and very close to Elizabeth Zimmerman.
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