KPC Module Two: Units 10-12

I can’t quite get my head around the fact that we’ve reached the end of Module Two! It all seems to have come round so quickly. Module Two was titled Exploration and Expansion, and for various reasons I’ve found the Module to be something of a bumpy journey. We’ve covered some difficult topics over the last couple of months, there’s been a lot of pain revealed during triad work, and at times it’s felt like a pretty tough slog.

Units 10, 11 and 12 of each Module comprise writing a reflective essay, presenting a synopsis of that essay to the rest of the group, and taking part in a videoed triad session. As I wasn’t able to attend the session for the videoed triad on Saturday, I actually did mine just before Christmas. It went really well, and I felt that I’m making progress with my counselling skills. In early January, I wrote my essay, and then did the presentation on January 10th. I’m very pleased to be able to tell you that I have passed Module Two! At this stage, I haven’t received my report, but the tutor called me to tell me that I’d passed, so I’m thrilled about that.

With Christmas-busyness, I hadn’t had time to complete the knitting for Module Two before I did the presentation, and for a while I was really unsure how I was going to reflect Units 10-12 in my knitting. Then I realised that the the next Clue in the pattern actually reflected how I felt about the whole module perfectly – the zigzag lace pattern reminded me of a bumpy road, wrapping around the whole of Module Two.

Module Three begins tomorrow – I’m excited to see what the next couple of months brings!

Tech details:

I pretty much followed the pattern for FYA Clue 3B. The only part that I altered was to omit the extra yarn overs/k2togs which occur on rows 9 and 11 of the pattern.

KPC Module Two: Unit 9

In Unit 9, we looked at the “ending” phase of a counselling session. We considered how to wrap up a counselling session, and the ways in which we might gently achieve this when time is pressing.

On a personal level, we also considered endings in our own lives. Endings which we have personally experienced – this might be the end of a phase of life, leaving home, moving to a new place, or losing a loved one. We discussed the process of letting go. And we also thought about how we felt as we approach the end of Module Two of this course.

As an important aspect of endings is finding closure. Closure helps us put things in context, and brings things to a natural conclusion. Representing endings/closure in what is the very middle of a shawl pattern was tricky – but thanks to a little help from a friend (thanks K!), I’ve decided to stitch some buttons on to this section of the shawl. Buttons act as closures in garments, so I’m using them to represent this unit’s theme of endings in my shawl. I’ve chosen three different buttons, and put them on three different backgrounds, as a reminder that some closures can be tricky and difficult, others are easier, and still others can bring relief and are really positive.

After that section was completed, I also ended the short row section, and completed Clue 2B of the pattern, by knitting several rows round the whole piece to set up for moving on to the next Clue.

Tech details:

No chart this week, but I’m continuing following the basic structure of the FYA Clue 2B section I’m currently knitting:

RS: K to 3sts before end, yo, K3.
WS: K3, P to 3sts before gap, turn.

However, I’m knitting three different blocks. Block one, at the right hand side is a regular stocking stitch background. The middle block is a 12-stitch long moss-stitch section, and the third block of 12 stitches is garter stitch.

Oh, and I’m still using Ysolda’s wrapless short row technique.

KPC Module Two: Unit 8

During Unit 8, we continued our exploration of some of our own personal triggers – this time looking at our own prejudices and how the things we struggle with could affect us during a counselling session.

We were invited to consider the ways in which we might judge people, and the sorts of things which might trigger such judgement – such things might include colour, race, religion, sexuality, or even personal hygiene! We thought about how we might feel in a counselling setting and finding ourselves faced with a person who triggered such a response in us, and then how we would cope in that situation.

I decided to represent the ideas of pre-judging people, and the ways in which we sometimes segregate people, by creating a box in my pattern, and putting two individual stitches in a different colour inside that box. This represents the way in which we can sometimes pre-judge (put them into some kind of mental box) people on the basis of some aspect of their physical, mental or cultural appearance.

Tech details:

No chart this week, but I’m continuing following the basic structure of the FYA Clue 2B section I’m currently knitting:

RS: K to 3sts before end, yo, K3.
WS: K3, P to 3sts before gap, turn.

To create the box, I made a 15st lateral braid on the first RS row. Then, on the subsequent 7 rows, at each end of the braid, I worked a twisted st, so the box pattern looked as follows:

WS: P tbl (through back loop), K 13 st, P tbl.
RS: K tbl, P 13 st, K tbl.

On the final RS row, I completed the box by working a second lateral braid.

On the middle row of the box, I worked 2 stitches in an alternate colour, as shown in the picture. I then oversewed these two stitches several times to secure the yarn, and to highlight the stitches, making them stand out more in the final pattern.

Oh, and I’m still using Ysolda’s wrapless short row technique.

KPC Module Two: Units 6&7

These two units were covered in one of the longer Saturday sessions – mostly the course is run on a Wednesday evening, but across the year there are a number of whole day Saturday sessions, during which we cover two units. Saturday’s units covered aspects of Self-Awareness.

For a counsellor to be truly effective, they must also be truly authentic. This means we need to be aware of ourselves, our motivations, and our values. We need to be aware of the things which may trigger us, or provoke uwanted reactions within us, which may in turn, damage our unconditional positve regard, and the Speaker’s trust in us.

We spent some time looking at sexuality, which can be a huge issue for some people – both in the Speaker, and in the Listener. It was helpful to spend some time on this topic, in order to prepare us for what we might encounter in a counselling situation. We then moved on to look at our own personal motivations and values, which will affect our “ways of being” and “ways of doing” in a counselling setting. They are an integral part of who we are, so it’s important that we are aware of them, and know what our own personal triggers are so that we can guard against them impacting negatively with a Speaker.

I’ve chosen to represent these sessions as a sunburst – the opening up of ourselves, and bringing the hidden parts into the light.

Tech details: FYA Clue 2B.

RS: K15, pm, work 2 repeats of the chart (but without the final column (33) in the middle section, thus making 7 twisted columns in the middle, not 8), pm, K to 3 st before end, yo, K3.
WS: K3, P to marker, work 2 repeats of the chart as above, P to 3 st before gap, turn.
Repeat these two rows a further 5 times, thus completing 12 rows of the chart.

The sunburst pattern was based on Judy Summer’s Catching Rays Socks, converted to be worked flat, rather than in the round.

Oh, and I’m using Ysolda’s wrapless short row technique.

KPC Module Two: Unit 5

During Unit 5, we spent some time discussing some of the losses and the gains which inevitably occur as we go through periods of transition in our lives. Learning to cope with these changes is essential for our personal growth. However, coping with changes and transitions in our lives can be difficult and normally demands a lot of emotional energy, so sometimes people resist these changes because it feels too hard.

An important skill for a counsellor to learn is the art of challenging – even in the presence of a counsellor, during a session a person has chosen to attend for the specific purpose of dealing with a problem, some people will avoid talking about the particular thing they are there to discuss. This isn’t always intentional – our brains are very clever at blinding us to things that are too hard for us at a particular time. So it is essential that a counsellor learn to recognise the signs of avoidance and, when it is appropriate, to gently challenge that individual.

It seemed appropriate therefore to choose a challenging pattern for this week’s knitting so, once again, I turned to Estonian lace to find something which would be tricky to knit. I found this little daisy motif, which included knitting 7 stitches together – this was certainly challenging to knit, although made easier by use of a crochet hook 🙂 .

Tech details: FYA Clue 2B:

RS: K15, work 3x Little Daisies pattern [yo, SK2P (sl 1, k2tog, psso), yo, K1, yo, SK2P, yo, K7], knit to 3 st before end, yo, K3.
WS: K3, P to 3 st before gap, turn.
RS: K to Little Daisies pattern, work 3x Little Daisies pattern [k7tog, K 7] K to 3 st before end, yo, K3.
WS: K3, P to Little Daisies pattern – increase 7 in each of the three Little Daisy stitches, by working [P1,yo,P1,yo,P1,yo,P1] into the one stitch, above where you did the K7tog. P to 3 st before gap, turn.
RS: K12, work 3x Little Daisies pattern [yo, SK2P (sl 1, k2tog, psso), yo, K1, yo, SK2P, yo, K7], knit to 3 st before end, yo, K3.
WS: K3, P to 3 st before gap, turn.
RS: K to 3 st before end, yo, K3.

Oh, and I’m using Ysolda’s wrapless short row technique.

KPC Module Two: Unit 4

Appropriately enough, as we approach the middle of Module Two, in Unit 4 we learned more about the skills and tasks of the “middle” phase of a counselling session.

The middle section of the counselling session is the “meat” of the session – where trust can be developed, and concerns and issues may be explored more deeply. Of particular importance is the use of the skill Advanced Empathy. This skill involves the Listener going beyond what the Speaker has expressed – and in turn reflecting those thoughts and feelings back to the Speaker at deeper level than the Speaker was able to. It can involve making connections and linking experiences, and identifying themes in what the Speaker has been saying. Applied in an appropriate way, this can prompt the Speaker to see fresh insights about themselves, or can be challenging, or comforting to the Speaker.

The pattern this week returns to a section of short rows, building further on the previous short row section. This time I’m staying with the same Module Two colour, but I’m working an Estonian technique of sideways knitting to make connections between three different bobbles – this represents an important aspect of the “Middle” section – that of making connections between different experiences that a Speaker has expressed, in order to help them improve their understanding of themselves.

Tech details: FYA Clue 2B – after 3 rows of colour change (ending in 185 st):
Knit the next WS row to 4 st before m, turn.
RS: K to 3 st before end, yo, K3.
WS: K3, P to 3 st before gap, turn.
RS: K 20st. Make 5st bobble; K1. Make a lateral braid for 20st; make easy-peasy nupp. K1. Make a lateral braid for 20st. K1. Make a 5st bobble as before. K to 3 st before end, yo, K3.
WS: K3, P to 3 st before gap, turn.
RS: K to 3 st before end, yo, K3.
WS: K to 3 st before gap, turn.

Oh, and I’m using Ysolda’s wrapless short row technique.

KPC Module Two: Unit 3

Unit 3 was definitely amongst the tougher weeks of the course so far – dealing with the topics of Transitions – Attachment, Loss and Readjustment.

We initially discussed some of the different changes and transitions that we all experience as we progress throughout our lives – these transitions include physical changes (for example puberty), as well as more mental/emotional ones (for example moving house).

From there, we moved on to thinking about some of the losses we’ve experienced in our own lives – losing a loved one perhaps, or losing a job. And then we considered some of the losses we experience even as we gained something else – such as loss of being part of the family home when we leave to go to university or get married. We were asked to reflect back on some of these specific times in our own lives, and think about how we came to terms with that loss, the most prominent emotions we felt, and what or who helped us the most through that time.

We learned about Worden’s Four Tasks of Grief, as well as Elisabeth Kübler-Ross’s Five Stages of Grief. Changes, loss and grief come to us all at different points in our lives, requiring us to face those losses, accept and work through the accompanying pain, and then readjust our lives in the light of new reality of the world in which we find ourselves. Words which are easy to write, but certainly not easy to live out.

There was a lot of pain exposed in the room that evening, and it took me some days to process the session, before I could even begin to think about how I would represent it in my project.

Having done the previous section of short rows, the next section of the pattern involved several rows knitting back around the edge of the whole piece. Once finished, these three rows form what looks like a stripe running through the whole section of knitting. As I reflected on the week, I felt that loss could be a bit like that – it could be a thread running through our lives, and it can divide our lives into a “before” and “after”. It’s right there at the heart of us, influencing how we live as we move on. So, I switched colours and went back to my Module One colour, and knitted two rows in that to highlight the stripe, then switched back to the second colour in preparation for the rest of the piece, which will be built on this stripe.

KPC Module Two: Unit 2

This week, as we began the work of Module Two, we spent much of the session thinking about Boundaries – specifically our own personal boundaries, and also the boundaries set in place in the type of contract agreed by two parties in a formal counselling session.

Knowing our own personal boundaries helps us to understand ourselves better – to know what pushes our buttons, to be able to recognise the triggers which might stop us from being able to be fully present in a counselling setting. Knowing the professional boundaries set out in our contracts gives structure to the counselling session itself.

We discussed the characteristics of each phase (beginning, middle, and end) of a typical counselling session – what tasks need to be accomplished during each part.

We also did some triad work during this session – with the focus being on the role of the Observer. During triads, the tutor will observe one group each week.  During this session, she observed my group, which I found to be really beneficial.  Hearing her observations of the Listener really deepened my understanding of the sorts of things I should be looking out for, when I’m observing.

For my knitting this week, there was to choose from, but for me a key part of the week was the reminder to maintain appropriate boundaries, so I’ve chosen to represent the week by creating a boundary partway through this week’s section of knitting. In the original pattern, this section is a wee triangle of short rows extending from the tip of the large triangle created in Module One. I’ve used the colour from Module One to form the boundary line.

KPC Module Two: Unit 1

A couple of weeks ago, we started Module Two!  In Unit 1, we spent the first part of the session wrapping up Module One, and then we discussed the Overview of Module Two.

In Module Two we will be further exploring, and then expanding on, the work we did in Module One. We will spend some time thinking about our own personal boundaries within the counselling context, and then go deeper into how we manage the “Beginnings”, “Middles”, and “Endings” of a more formal counselling session.

As this unit provided the foundations of Module Two, so my knitting should reflect this. I’ve swapped to a new colour for this module, and have knitted several rows around the edge of the Module One piece of knitting. These rows serve as the foundation of the new shape that my knitting will take as I continue to follow the basic structure of the pattern.


KPC Module One: Unit 12

During the final unit of Module One, we had to submit an essay and give a short presentation which is, as I explained right back at the beginning, the reason for the existence of this project!

In the essay, we had to explain how we had achieved the learning outcomes set out for Module One, and we had to evaluate how we felt we were getting on as part of the group, and with the course more generally. The presentation was then a short round-up of the essay.

The presentation went well – as you’ve seen in the photographs, I carefully pinned out the shawl and took it along to the group. I didn’t have time during my talk to describe all the different bits, but I was able to give enough of a flavour of it that they understood what I was saying. Afterwards, several people came over for a closer look, and I was able to explain some more, which was really fun! (In fact, I’m still getting occasional comments from people even now, several weeks later :-)).

In my end-of-module report, my tutor remarked “Your presentation definitely had the WOW factor from me and ticked all of my boxes 🙂 .”.  I’m delighted to say that I have since had confirmation that I have indeed passed Module One, and I’ve started the next module.

The last three months have been quite an experience, I’ve certainly learned an awful lot, improved my listening skills, and have made some new friends. I’m so looking forward to Module Two!

How then to represent all this in my knitting? As I wrote the essay, and refelected on all that I’ve been learning, I found myself imagining looking in a mirror – looking to see what was really there. So, I decided to create two sets of diagonal lines, each mirroring the other. Then, as we had just wrapped up Module One, I picked up the stitches down one edge of the shawl, laying the foundations for Module Two…