Crafty Manolo » Quickie Question: Books or Teachers?

Quickie Question: Books or Teachers?

By Twistie

We all learn in different ways. Some of us are visually oriented, some manually, and some through auditory means. My grandmother knew that back when she was teaching kindergarten in the 1920’s and 30’s. It took a while for the teaching philosophers to catch up, but she knew.

I find that for me the best path is a combination of visual and manual input. I read about things, let them absorb for a bit, then stick my hands into the project. Once I get the feel, I get the idea, but I need to see something first. My ears are the least effective route for me in learning a new craft, I find.

So for me, the best way to learn a craft is to get myself a book on the subject (and usually more because I am a lifelong, unabashed biblioholic). There are others, though, who need a teacher telling them how to do things before they can really figure out how a craft works. The books won’t help them until someone explains it in their ears.

I’m curious. What method (or combination of methods) works best for you? Do you prefer books? Demonstrations? A teacher? Tell me about it.

6 Responses to “Quickie Question: Books or Teachers?”

  1. cadpig Says:

    YOUTUBE!!!! Thank goodness for YOUTUBE! I would have quit knitting ages ago.

    I love the different angles, different approaches and the advice.

  2. Whitney Says:

    I have to figure it out on my own, and best with books. I have no patience for someone teaching me a craft, even cooking. Partly it’s because I don’t want a witness for my screwups and my impatience with myself as I fumble my way through, but I find I letter better – and learn better if it’s just me, myself and a source book.

  3. Carol Says:

    I want to read the directions then watch someone do it correctly. I’m very visual, so seeing it is best. But then you need to go away so I can figure out how to make it work for me.

  4. cthulhulovesme Says:

    I’ve learned a lot of my fibercrafting techniques through website tutorials with clear photos and YouTube videos. It’s easier to have something that I can pause and rewind, or go back and read, as many times as I need to over having to ask someone over and over til I get it right.

    You can get a great grasp on a lot of things that way. All of my spinning skills I’ve learned through watching and reading things online, and I’m considered one of the go-to people at my spinning guild for anything related to drop spindling.

  5. Vismajor Says:

    I tend to read first, try to puzzle it out, and if I can’t get it or want reinforcement, I search out videos or people. I love being a knitter in the time of blogs, Ravelry, YouTube, etc.; it’s made it that much easier to branch out to other crafts & to enhance my skills. I mean, with internet options, I can learn how to improve my colorwork knitting at 3am without bothering anyone else. :)

  6. lowbudgetcyborg Says:

    I’m mostly visual. Books work for me if they have good pictures. When it’s all text description I have a really hard time. I can kind of painstakingly puzzle it out with knitting and crochet, but for spinning I need pictures, video, or live demonstration. Youtube is awesome.

    I also do alright in a classroom setting, but I’ve found with one-on-one instructions it can be hard to match up the independence level of the student with the tendency to hover (or not) of the teacher.

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