The absolute best thing about teaching knitting is seeing the pride on a knitter’s faces when they share their finished projects. It takes a lot of work to get there! From yarn and size choice to swatch to finished hat or sweater; frustration to elation, each knitter experiences a range of emotions when learning a new skill. It can be hard to be in the learning seat and to be vulnerable. Sometimes you may feel foolish. Step by step – and sometimes the knitting has to go in a time out- each knitter finds their way. It’s so fun to share some of the work that goes on in classes. Take a look!
Above we have two Novice Cardigans, Chunky Ed, a First Raglan Sweater and a First Hat in the Round. Each one of these students did an incredible job on their projects.
I was listening to this podcast from the Craft Industry Alliance and it touched on the idea that when you’re learning a new creative skill, students tend to take in all the info and instruction and often need to step away to let it absorb. Only after that can the work happen. The student intellectually understands it and then must make the bridge to physically performing the skill. Learning a new skill in class can be intimidating because often the student feels pressure to rush from intake of instruction to performance of the skill. The time it takes to bridge what the mind understands/wants and what the hands can do differs for everyone.
In class, I try to make space for that transition. Hopefully, at a minimum, confidence and inspiration is instilled in each student so they believe they’re absolutely capable of doing the skill.
Knitting is a process. I stress that our knit work is not the place for perfection. Handmade items are that: handmade. They should encompass our imprint as makers and reflect what we are going through in our lives and/or the world around us. Above you can see student’s work from the beginning swatches to casting on to finished knits. So much learning is happening!
I deeply appreciate every student that signs up for a class and commits to trying something new. It’s an opportunity to create a new relationship and story about craft. It’s an honor to guide them through their knitting journey. They are all incredible knitters!
If a someone says they couldn’t possibly learn to knit because they don’t have the time, patience or ability, I say just try. With all new things, you just have to start.