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Archive for April 23rd, 2008

Student First Knitting Projects

Wednesday, April 23rd, 2008

I teach what we call “Knitting Study Hall” at Rae’s Yarn Boutique every Thursday late afternoon (4:45pm). This is a time where I work with knitters on whatever project they choose, for the most part. They commit to 4 weeks and can add more at the end if they need/choose to do so.

I often get beginner or near-beginner knitters, or perhaps those coming back to it after many years away from yarn and needles. It’s really satisfying for me, teaching these folks.

Sometimes we who are comfortable with knitting, assume that someone starting out must work with a simple project. We suggest scarves or dishcloths, for example. This works fine if the person in question is interested in such a project. However, for some folks they have a particular project in mind, one that is not considered a beginner project. For those people, a simple project just keeps them from the dream and sometimes diminishes their passion for knitting.

katefirstblankie.jpg

I firmly believe that if you have a passion to make a particular thing and you are willing to make a good number of stitches, you should go after that goal. After all, if you can picture something finished in your mind, you can get there with a little guidance. I have seen relative beginners make amazing projects, be they lace (check out Sophia’s knitted corset) or ribbing or socks.

Right now I have two folks working with me who are making extra-ordinary beginner projects. Kate felt a real push to make a baby blanket, knowing full well how many stitches it would take to finish. Above is a photo of her project. Cool, huh?

And Paulette? Super cool… she wanted to make a hat for charity. She picked a pattern before I met her and it had garter fabric on the edge followed by ribbing and decreases. It started on circular needles and then when the number of stitches reduced, it switched to double-pointed needles. Look at her hat!!! Her first project (or so I believe, certainly her first in my class)! Soooo cool.

paulettesfirsthat.jpg

What’s more, she had the goal when she came to me, that she wanted to knit socks. Of course, I was all for it.

So on her third week she started a sock project, using my First-Time Toe-Up Socks pattern. She finished the toe, the heel flap, the heel turn and picking up stitches to start the gusset (the little triangles on both sides of the foot under the ankle). Next week we decrease for the gusset and then she can finish her leg/cuff without me. Woohoo!

I took these photos last week. For some reason, I did not think to take any photos today. I did not get a shot of Paulette’s sock, nor did I get a photo of the absolutely gorgeous progress Mary is making on her (not beginner) BiggieZig ZigBag (which was my evening class, after the study hall). Rats!