2.02.2010

The Class


I didn't get to posting about my little group of new knitters last week! And that's what they are now - bona fide knitters. The progress is visible, their classic knitter's enthusiasm for their yarn, its colour, texture and performance unmistakable.

At one point last week, after I'd remedied issues and/or gushed over each child's work I stood back and noticed the room was silent, save the soft little sounds of plastic needles. Silent! Two weeks after our first session and only at the start of our third class these children were sitting together silently knitting! Then one little girl started to sing a song from the musical "Annie" (the school is putting on a performance of the play this year.) Spontaneously, all the others joined in. None of them looked up or stopped what they were doing.  They just all sang sweetly together.  When the last sustained note wafted away the single boy in the class pointed out "that was out of tune!"

Maybe they agreed with his observation, maybe they were all just too engrossed with their work but no one reacted, knitting continued (his included). It was wonderful to watch!

During the first class I had them record their ideas on a pattern sheet and I'm holding them to it, or, if they insist they want to change, getting them to document the changes.  This keeps any one child from  getting caught up doing whatever their neighbour or friend is doing. Its also making them really invested in their own work.  I'm often quoting EZ, encouraging them to be the boss of their own knitting. They seem to find this quite empowering and its bearing great fruit in terms of motivation.

I'm also encouraging them to help each other both during class and between classes.  This too is helping to keep things moving forward for everyone.

The big basket full of a rainbow of worsted is, as I'd hoped a much coveted place to be - getting more yarn, picking new colours, now making their own little balls as I'm showing them to do.

Each week I wear something I've knit and each week they ask whether I knit it and how many stitches are in it and how long it took me to make. It shows they're recognizing the cumulative effect of sequentially making multiple stitches and rows. They are seeing it takes time but yields results. Fantastic!

I also take some knitting along for them to handle and examine.
That garter stitch cowl and fingerless mitts I posted a peek at last week prompted some discussion.
Having seen mine, one child is now making a pair for her own tiny hands. 
Despite interest in the shaping of the cowl it seems to be more than any of them want to undertake knitting or wearing! (I beg to differ on that point! ;) )
 
Tomorrow's class may include a new student which will bring us to full capacity of 10 children. If she joins it will be interesting to see how she works her way into the activity and the group. 

Its also my hope tomorrow to take a picture of their work and invite them to come and see it here on the blog. If you happen to drop by and see that post, (probably Thursday) it would be great if you'd comment - I bet, like any knitter, they'd love to hear what you think of their work!

I sure always do!

Thanks for dropping by today!

Added Wednesday February 3......no photos this week - I forgot to load the memory card in my camera before I left for class...next week for sure!

5 comments:

Lorraine said...

This is so wonderful- are there any boys in the class?

I will come back to check out the masterpieces- every student is a star!

Acorn to Oak said...

I so enjoyed reading about your class. The experience almost sounds magical with them silently working away and then singing together. Wow! That is so awesome! I can't wait to see what they're working on. :-)

LynS said...

I think you were so wise to supply them with attractive yarn to use, and to continue to supply motivation by showing them the results of your knitting. The mitts look like perfect inspiration for them to copy (though I wouldn't mind some myself...)

Brenda said...

I agree with LynS. Wearing your own hand knits is great motivation. And the fingerless mitts are the perfect size for a new knitter to work on. The class sounds like such fun.

Lupie said...

My friend and I had as many as 20 students at a time and having students teach each other is key.