I was writing up a short list of the friends I mention most often on this blog. (You can see this list on the right sidebar now.) Since they're recurring characters, so to speak, I figured that there should be some reference point so that I don't feel like I need to periodically explain who everyone is. If you're on the list and object to how I've characterized you, please let me know!
Anyway, I've been playing some Star Wars: The Old Republic recently. And while I was trying to figure out how best to describe my friends in a handful of words, I started thinking about how, just maybe, knitters train each other like Sith masters and apprentices.
Think about it. The master usually chooses who is worthy of being taught, but in some cases a particularly precocious or determined student may pledge herself to the service of a master. In my own experience, I might share techniques or tips with all sorts of knitters regardless of skill level, but there is only one new knitter (at a time) whose training I feel personally responsible for, and only one more-established knitter I consider to have overseen mine. The master and apprentice usually pursue separate projects. In addition, the master isn't required to teach everything systematically and methodically from the very basics; rather, the master provides encouragement and inspiration (and sometimes adjustments of worldview), and the responsibility for going forth and learning is on the apprentice.
Of course, the whole "eventually surpass and kill your master" thing is a minor snag in the comparison. I have absolutely no desire to harm my knitting master, who is a lovely and delightful person. (Although she's never shown me her stash, and has therefore never put temptation in my path.)
For the purposes of my sidebar I use the Jedi analogues because I think the terms are easier to recognize. But I'm not sure which side fits the relationships that teaching knitting produces more accurately. What do you think? Are you a Light Side or a Dark Side Knitter? Are you strong in the
Force Stash? Have you ever had a Padawan or a Sith Master? Can you create a yarn version of the Jedi or Sith codes?
(Come to the Knit Side. We have Malabrigo.)