Hatching Free Range Ideas

The first time, follow the instructions

In How we learn and think, Make something on May 17, 2010 at 2:39 pm

I don’t always read the manuals, especially if I can see that slot A and part B very obviously fit together. That’s fabulous design and I appreciate it. However, I’m learning about dealing with the less obvious.

I started knitting for the first time since 3rd grade about 6 months ago. My sister in law got me started; she does that. After knitting a couple of cowls, I decided to work on something a little more ambitious — a sweater. My first sweater. I found an easy, fast, attractive pattern. It called for a particular cotton yarn; I thought, “I’ll find something interesting and less expensive.”

I found a relatively nice acrylic yarn. And I began to knit. . . and knit. . . and knit. I ended up knitting more rows than I unravelled, but just. Then I sewed it together, put it on and made my discovery.

 Cotton yarn doesn’t stretch like acrylic yarn. My new sweater turned out to be about 1/2 again as large as I needed. Hmm.

It has other flaws, but for a first sweater I can accept them. It wasn’t until it was finished that I recognized the value of the sweater designer’s yarn suggestion.

A lesson that leads us to another subject: Making Robert Rodriquez’s Puerco Pibil recipe and questions and assumptions about instructions, and why the lesson from knitting might not always apply. But that’s another post.

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  1. […] Then there are times when I know best. Like when I cooked Puerco Pibil exactly as Robert Rodriquez had specified. The ingredients seemed to be too much sour but I did it anyway, ’cause it was the first time for me. Remember, I had learned that lesson of “The first time follow the instructions“? […]

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