Monday, February 18, 2008

Knitting Teacher: Goals and Patterns

I always found when I was teaching that a new knitter does NOT know what should be hard. If you tell them they can and have a positive attitude, they will knit it and complete the project. I started all my beginners on circular knitting needles and making a simple cardigan, tank top or hat. Requirements were that the garment must have shaping of some sort and use only stockinet stitch. The item needed to be for themselves or someone they truly wanted to receive a gift of love. My goal was to create an independent knitter in 4 - 8 weeks during 1 1/2 hour classes. After that amount of time people were unable to absorb anymore instruction. I limited class size to 5 - 7, the number of students I felt I was able to get around to during class time. I wanted to get a knitter over being afraid to try a pattern and knit whatever they wanted. All students learned: 1. to read a pattern 2. be able to see and make a knit and a purl stitch 3. to do the frog stitch 4. to pick up stitches 6. to increase and decrease 7. work with light enough color to see the stitches 8. to assemble the finished pieces 9. to block the finished garment 10. NO novelty yarns. Patterns: Knitting Pure and Simple Fiber Trends Ann Norling Patons Cascade The above patterns were hands down some of the easiest to read and knit of the patterns available. They all helped to create successful knitters. I do think it was a big help to take classes from the Craft Yarn Council of America where I'm a Certified Instructor for Knitting and Crochet. Being a good knitter does not make a good teacher. The best way to solve a students knitting problems is for an instructor to be a good listener. Even though my knitters started with circular needles they all had the brand that worked best for them. There were times I would explain a technique many different ways until I saw the light come into the students eyes. That's when I knew they truly "got it"! There is nothing more rewarding than teaching a person to knit, it will be their best friend for life. I have seen knitting be the life line for many people in different situations that were beyond their control. You can view a few of our knitters and their finished garments at, If you are thinking of being a knitting instructor remember, S M I L E a lot!! I wish you the best, it's so rewarding, Arlene