I’m fooling around with felting. At this rate, my second pair of socks will not be finished until it’s cool enough to wear them.

I’ve decided that I need more practice with felting. I still can’t quite get over the feeling that it is ruining the knitting, and more suited to recycling than anything else, but with time I may change my mind. The results are very cozy, and I love the patterns in Felted Knits. I also found some very snazzy patterns for things made of scraps of wool felt, and that is where all my spoiled pieces will go, so I won’t feel wasteful.

In language learning, the point at which the learner figures they know enough to manage so they won’t bother to learn more is called the “sojourner” stage. This is the immigrant who can communicate well enough at work and doesn’t bother to continue working on the new language, or the tourist who can order in restaurants and that seems like plenty. They get stuck right at that point, even though they may continue using the language for many years. I think we see the same phenomenon in other areas, as well.

In knitting, it is now possible to find patterns written in English rather than knitter-ese,  patterns for round things like socks and mittens made on two needles, and plenty of designs made entirely of rectangles — so plenty of knitters avoid learning the language of knitting, or how to use double-pointed needles, or shaping. I have figured out how to use my scanner — to do two things. And my Photoshop Elements to do one thing. So, even though the software will do lots more things, and I fully intend someday to learn how, for right now I am stuck. I’m actually pretty much like that with all the electronic stuff in my house. I learn to do the specific task I want to accomplish with the item in question, and if I ever need something more complex done, I call the kids to help.

I hope that this will be the year that I improve my skills in some of my sojourner areas. The academic year, that is — I get two New Years.