Sunday, February 7, 2010

Teaching Knitting to Kids and Projects

I love working with kids and teaching them to knit is my favorite of all.  I've read what I could find about the benefits of teaching all kinds of kids yarnie related crafts and knitting.  One day I worked in the K-2 special ed room and the boys wanted to make pom poms.  And what I've read was true.  One of the boys, who had real problems controlling his temper and doing a task for more than five minutes spent a half hour winding yarn around a piece of carboard for a pom pom.  He could have kept going but we had to move to another task.  It was fabulous to see how calm he was and how much he liked the feel of the yarn.

Right now I'm teaching 4th and 5th graders how to knit.  They are a lively bunch and an incredible group of knitters.  Three of them finished garter stitch scarves in one week!  (Lion Brand Thick and Quick on size 13s).  I don't usually start kids out on a scarf because it's a relatively big project.  Generally we do bracelets or coasters.  But these guys really wanted to do scarves and who am I to argue.  They did it and now they're making fingerless gloves, a purse and another scarf.  These are the older kids.  The other 5th grader, a truly creative boy, is a conundrum to me.  He loves knitting and can already knit without even looking at it.  But he can't make himself do more than 30 stitches in a row without then wanting to change something.  He's playing with yarn overs and the Hem stitch.  That's his creativity showing up.  I think if I could sit with him alone for an hour and walk him through a few rows and help him then use his creative ideas he would be fine.  He'd probably design some new kind of lace.  He's the kind of person that makes me think he could come up with something really new and amazing in knitting or fiber arts if he had the basics down.  Who knows, maybe he's another Kaffe Fassett just waiting to blossom.  That's what is so exciting about working with kids.  There's so much potential!

In other knitting news I'm working on a blanket for my nephew for Christmas next year.  It's part of my 2010 Christmas Monthly Make Ahead group on Ravelry.  But it's great.  It's February and I'm managing to stick with my plan at least a little.  It may be a little bizarre to be holiday knitting now but come next December I'll be so pahhy to have these all ready to go.  I'm doing stripes in Homespun on a chevron pattern. 

I'm also prepping for the Ravelympics.  I need to ball up the yarn on my WIP - which I'm so excited to work on. 

And I'm going to swatch for the Phazelia's Mitered Sweater that I'm also planning to do for the Ravelympics.  Scraps on the left and a full ball on the right.  The scraps are more fun, I think.  But I'm concerned that they won't go together well enough.  The swatching will tell. 

And so - onto the knitting.

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