A long, long time ago — we're talking at least a couple of decades — I started one of those lists that are now often called "bucket" lists — you know, things you want to do before you "kick the bucket". (Only at the time I did mine, the list was titled "50 Things to Do Before You Die", which is a little more direct and a lot more specific.)
It turns out, 50 things is a LOT. I don't have the original list anymore, but I think I only got to around 30, and half of those were places to travel to.
I can't remember all of it exactly, but I have indeed crossed the equator (New Zealand, 2008). I have not yet driven on the left side of the road, despite having had a couple of opportunities to do so. (Both times – New Zealand and Ireland – the vehicles available were stick shifts and I just didn't think I could manage that as well.)
But one of the items on that list — one of the first items, in fact — was, "Teach someone to knit."
At the time, I think I was just desperate to know someone else who knitted. The first person I taught was a woman I had known since kindergarten, in a sports bar, practically in the dark. Eventually, those four words ended up becoming a new career, with more far-reaching consequences than I will ever know about.
I don't know how many knitters I've taught, but I think it's safe to say it's comfortably over a thousand by now — according to my records, it's more than 200 knitters just in private lessons. I don't remember all the faces, much less all the names. I'm sure there have been plenty of students I've taught who have given up the sport, or who didn't think I was so hot of an instructor.
But the other day, I was at the LYS — and as it turns out, so was one of my former students.
And she told me I had changed her knitting life.
She used to be a "thrower" and knitted very tightly, she said, and had tense shoulders, and it wasn't a lot of fun.
Then she took my Continental knitting class. Wherein I
commanded told suggested nicely to everyone to "lighten up", she recalled.
Well, I often say tight knitting is not happy knitting. Apparently, I was right at least once. 😉
I don't know when she took the class, but it sounded like it was a few years back. She has been knitting Continental style ever since, and her knitting now brings her joy instead of stress. She's still at the yarn shop, still having fun, and I still have someone to talk to about knitting.
I'm teaching that class again this very afternoon, and who knows what joy it may bring to yet another knitter…
Now that's a happy ending!