I picked up knitting again five years ago when I was inspired by a parent of a student that was in my class. When I taught I created a home visit program that I implemented with my students. Besides all the terrific educational benefits of home visits, I developed some wonderful relationships with the families.
At that time I only knew a few people who knew how to knit and no one who was knitting regularly. As with most things, knitting is more fun when you can share it with others… swap ideas, ooh and ahh over each other’s projects, and generally encourage one another. So, I taught some of my friends how to knit and pushed encouraged those who already knew to pick up their needles again.
While teaching others how to knit I have observed the following:
As with most everything in life, l think a person either has a propensity for knitting or they don’t. However, I truly believe anyone can learn if they have the desire.
People tell me all the time that they don’t have the patience to knit, but I think determination is more important.
I have found that teachers in general make excellent knitters. I’m not sure if that’s because most of my friends are in education or because most effective teachers (or at least teachers that I know) are meticulous, detail oriented, and have perfectionistic tendencies. I think it’s the latter.
Learning to knit is like learning to read. More proficient readers are able to make educated guesses of an unknown word based on the structure of the sentence or context of the story, they are able to realize when they make a mistake, and they can go back and self correct. Knitting is much the same. I suspect this process is evident in most learning situations.
Time is a key factor. As with anything, you must have the time to practice.
Carol was the last person anyone expected to learn how to knit and to knit well. I think people made this assumption because she’s never really been a crafty sorta type person. She’s very analytical, and methodical. Well, it turns out that she’s a fabulous knitter, and I think those very qualities are what makes her a great knitter. Granted, as my primary care taker after first transplant, she had the advantage of being enrolled in the Accelerated 24/7 School of Knitting.
Here’s a picture of Carol with her mini learning socks. She had just turned the heel.
Now this is not to say that a on the fly, unorganized, clutter loving person can’t knit well, or are not intuitive knitters. I consider myself to be more of a type B personality, though I am all about the details and making sure things are done ‘right’.
Last week my friend from high school came to visit. She had learned the basics of knitting from a friend in high school but hadn’t picked it up since. I gave her a quick refresher and she was up and running. In just a few days she was knitting, purling, self-correcting and had about 5 inches of the one row handspun scarf done perfectly. That’s what I call a star pupil! Leah, if you’re reading this, I would love a photo of the finished scarf.
And to all my non-knitters friends… call me if you would like to learn. I’ll teach you! Really.