You know it is just such a GOOD day!!
First, I was able to translate a pattern (from chart to long hand) for a friend of mine to get her started on a cabled wrap she's been coveting. It felt good to give her something to work from that she could understand rather than try to decifer a chart when she's new to the game. Thank God I learned about the 'Copy' and 'Paste' thing on the computer though; it would've taken forever. On the downside, the pattern also calls for short rows, and that's not an especially easy concept to explain longhand, but she's a smart lady; so we'll see how she gets along this week.
I know there's one heck of a storm hitting many of us right now. And I know I'm a lucky one doesn't have to do any highway driving; my kids did not get a snow day; which meant that...
THE KNITTING CLUB WAS STARTING TODAY!!!
I packed up a bunch a goodies, you know, yarn, books, needles etc. I wore my 'Rock 'N Roll Kitter' baseball style shirt, my sweater on needles earrings, my pink ribbon socks (that I knit) and my oversized homespun shirt with sheep on it; I was set!
I get to the school, I met some of the boys that I know and was directed to the library for the Knitting Club.
There were about 20 - 30 kids, boys and girls, ranging from grade 1-6 sitting on the carpet!
It brought a tear to my eye.
There were only two teachers and myself ready to get this thing going. (One of the secretaries and another teacher appeared later to help out)
We had a lot of yarn...Patons and Bernat, but were a little short on needles. The kids were given a little rhyme to help them learn how to make the knit stitch and the younger ones were enjoying that. The big boys and I settled into our own little group where I cast on and then passed the needles around so that they could all have a try. They all did pretty well for first time out; we're set to meet next Wednesday again.
I've read and agree that when you're teaching kids to learn to knit:
1) They have to want to learn. Period.
Well, they were there; so I figured that they wanted to be.
2) They like to see results quickly.
If we fiddle around casting on we could loose them in a very short time. So cast on for them, get them knitting and come back to casting on later, after they have a little confidence.
3) Nothing in knitting is 'unfixable'.
Even if it's a big mess...rip it out; start over! If only life were that simple. They drop a stitch, they increase unknowingly, they twist it...whatever they do....is fabulous!! Get them started, quietly point out how to do something correctly, fix what ever they did to keep the thing going! Reassure, reassure, reassure!
4) Laugh with them at yours and their mistakes! Make it fun to mess up and learn something new. Don't tell them about the time you threw the sock you were working on across the room, because you realized you had messed it up...AGAIN. For the THIRD TIME!!! Ahem, just an example.
5) Let them pick a project withing their limits.
We're not there yet, but I've got ideas...oh, the ideas I have. They plague me.
I have a lot more wonderful bits of information about the benefits of knitting....
but here is the beginnings of a(nother) skirt that I'm working on.
1) I love the combination of yarns I found and was then able to modify the waistband and work the facing in one strand thereby decreasing some of the bulk.
2) I was so proud of myself that I was able to figure out how to make a 'star' by using a crochet hook instead of fighting with a K5tog, yo, etc.
3) I remained proud that, even though I worked the first row of stars TBL instead of how it was supposed to appear, I was able to live with it. Nobody would notice and it was going to be underneath the top I had planned anyway.
4) Having gained the confidence of the above crochet hook technique (did I mention, I'm not a crocheter and watching me work these things is painful!) I got a little cocky and zoomed along into the next set and forgot those pearls of wisdom shared by crafters everywhere.....
"READ THE FREAKIN' PATTERN!"
It was an 'star increase' row. Curses. And of course I worked a couple of rows after that. Now, do I rip it back? Will it make any difference? (see the part about it being underneath the top)
Last night, when I noticed this, I put it down. (another gem I need to pass along...when it gets frustrating...put it down, walk away, and come back to it later.)
Now, after feeling like the 'Knitting Guru' that I've sometimes been called (and I LOVE the name!) with pattern revisions, introducing young people to the world of knitting (and acknowledging that my hips do need the skirt to have an increase row sooner rather than later) have decided to rip back an correct my (second) mistake (the first one stands!). Yea me.
Another reason I felt so good today, even with the weather such as it is, is that I had a pretty decent nights rest last night and I attribute that to getting a fair amount of exercise at the gym yesterday. Unfortunately, I was too pooped (again) on Monday to get to yoga, but I'm not sure about something...
Is this a downward dog? Because if it is; I'm not doing it right.