1) I'm not particularly fond of the woman, but I can barely tolerate her enough to try to teach.
2) She's left handed and I'm a righty, and she refuses to learn the continental way which supposedly is the left handed method to begin with, and
3) English is not her first language, and she is far from proficient at it despite living in this country for more than 20 years and even had an American husband who didn't speak Spanish.
So, I gave her a booklet and kit for Xmas that had left handed instructions, I traded my second copy of Stitch N Bitch I had gotten for a decorative bowl she had gotten for Xmas, and printed out and sent her stuff with various illustrations of how to knit. I've tried to show her how to purl as well, but we won't go there.
So, she is excited about the SnB book, and she decides that all the patterns in there are easy, and she wants to make the dog sweater for the dog of one of her nieces. I'm looking at the pattern, and she's asking me, is this the right yarn? What needle do I use? How big do I make it? Well, DUH! You read the pattern! And quite simply, even the diagram shows that the main two pieces that you have to knit depend on the measurements of the dog, so she has to ask her niece to measure the dog. But Dani, how do I know how long to make it? (slaps hand to forehead) YOU MEASURE THE DOG!!! Then, I tell her that the pattern tells her that she needs a certain size needle, and a certain yarn. Now, the yarn she has might be fine, but she needs to make a swatch to see if she can get the gauge and explain what gauging is. Then the pattern mentions working with DPNs. I can't even figure that part out, and told her that perhaps working in the round with a circ might be easier, but she needs that too. I told her that it's all laid out in the pattern. "But I don't know how to read the pattern," she says in her thick accent. I explained that neither did I until I looked up each term and abbreviation on my own, which are all in the glossary as well as explained in detail in the front of the book. But, because her English is so bad, she can't read well enough to read the front of the book. Oy vey! So, I advised that she have my BIL translate sections, and try something more simple. It will come, but not without a lot of practice. She is amazed that I do what I do and have made sweaters and all sorts of things already. I explain that (again, HELL--OOO) I have been knitting nonstop since I started, and learned and am still learning as I go along. It all comes from practice. I essentially send her on her way with it, because there's nothing more I can do if she can't even understand what I am saying in the simplest of terms and demonstrating for her.
And then the hubby says, "Can't you find a book for her in Spanish?" (Smacks head again...ouch.) What do you think I've been doing for the past few months? I don't read Spanish-- HE should find it since he speaks the language. Maybe I can pester one of his other cousins...or rather, the wife of one of his other cousins whom I'm close friends with...to find a book when she moves to Spain, and I'll send her the money for her to ship it over here. That would make my life a helluva lot easier.
My MIL should've asked someone else, as I have no patience for her. I think it's because other crafts come easily for her, and this one doesn't, and she thinks that just by learning how to do a knit stitch ( and no other techniques) that she is a knitter and she can make a sweater tomorrow. Oy, oy, oy!