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Ms. Knits: Lessons

Thursday, September 29


It is a good thing you all gave me such good ideas for beginner projects - turns out 3 more of my friends from law school want to learn to knit. So, next Wednesday five of us are going to get together and I'm going to attempt to show three of them the basics of casting on and the knit stitch (keyword = attempt). I'm going to try to remember to bring some of my mid-size straight needles and some leftover cascade 220 with me next week so they don't have to go out and buy anything to get started.

Tonight was my weekly after class girl's night out, and eventually our conversation got around to knitting (thus the upcoming knit night). My friend who I mentioned before who is a beginning knitter asked me if I used "the turbo needles." Apparently she uses Addis and loves them. One of the non-knitters was a bit confused by the turbo needle reference, and said "whoa - I thought knitting was supposed to be relaxing - why would you want to use something called a 'turbo' needle - sounds a little intense!" Ha! It is much more intense when you're trying to scoot dozens of tight stitches across a bamboo (or otherwise high friction) needle. I'm guessing she'll understand after trying it out next week!

If you have any other tips for teaching people how to knit, please let me know! This will be a first for me.


Blogger caitlyn said...

How neat that you are teaching 4 classmates to knit!! You are great at explaining techniques, so they are lucky to have you as a teacher!

9/30/2005 8:13 AM  
Blogger Stephanie said...

I've taught a couple people to knit and think it's harder than it would seem. I did find that it makes me really think about the mechanics of it. Pictures are good (and demonstrations are better) because some people can't read how to do it and do it - they need you to show them. The other thing I noticed is that figuring out how to hold the yarn and maintain tension is tricky for a lot of people.

9/30/2005 8:15 AM  
Anonymous Angela said...

I second what Stephanie said.. holding yarn and tension is hard to teach. If you know English and Continental, you could try showing them the opposite, if it seems as if they're leaning towards doing it the other way. Rhymes/chants help some people too.

When we have knitting nights at my friend's place and there are new knitters, we always email them links with animations or videos to help them refresh their memory.

9/30/2005 1:54 PM  
Blogger Lynette said...

I tried to teach a friend at work and what I learned was that it's difficult to teach anyone in a busy environment. So if you can teach them at your apartment where there's not much distraction, that will help. Also, people get a little frustrated that they can't knit right away. Next time I plan to cast on a few stitches ahead of time so that they can get a feel for the knitting portion without feeling flustered about the cast-on. The cast-on will come much easier to them if they have already knit a little bit.

9/30/2005 5:18 PM  
Blogger Ruth said...

yea, i've also noticed that everyone has different learning paces too. some friends have watched my knitting motions (when i do it really slowly to show them) and they pick it up really fast. others, it can be a struggle and you have to guide them through very closely, stitch by stitch. so far i've found that the most comfortable teacher/student ratio i can handle is just 1:2 (no more than that!)

i also usually have people do a swatch first - knit stitches, purl stitches, and if they are up for it, some increases or decreases. and THEN a project. with my hubby's little cousin (13 years old), a scarf was too big of a first project. she lost interest really fast (i'm thinking a small coin purse would have been better of a project for her attention span). =P

10/05/2005 1:24 PM  

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