Wednesday, October 19, 2011

a bit of a knitting diversion

Well, I really want to be working on the sweater....which I am...but only a row here, a row there. I'm also really wanting to finish the shawls I have on the needles, and I'm also now feeling like I might want to knit a few holiday gifts this year too, which I never want to do.

But I have something else I need to whack out right now. Like, right now.
More fingerless mitts, and out of this yarn....

These mitts promise to be super-duper easy and fast to knit, though. I hope.
And I must do them because these mitts are the first project chosen by the new knitters I am teaching. AT THE NEW HIGH SCHOOL!

The mitts are just a simple garter stitch rectangle that will be seamed up with an opening left for the thumb. Eas-peasy. Of course I have seen this done before, and a rectangle and a little sewing does not at all require a pattern. But this designer added on a cute little strap with a button feature, and of course she had photos appealing enough to charm the girls into wanting to knit something other than a scarf (not that I'm against scarves, I just think the kids might need more instant gratification than a scarf can offer). Even their advising teacher, who is my age, like them enough that she is going to try to learn how to knit!

The girls picked this as their first project together to learn on, but from there they have some big ideas. You see, they are going to be knitting as a way to satisfy their required community service hours. They are going knit things for charity. Or knit things to sell to raise money to donate to charity. Neato, eh?! Knitting to satisfy a school requirement??? How cool is that?! And in the process they will be forming a new school club, complete with officers and voting, too.
Fun :-)

So, today's meeting was scheduled with very short notice, and it was arranged to be during the free-period the kids get once a week to go to the library or to go get tutoring help from the teachers of whatever classes they are having the most difficulty with. A few of the kids that wanted to join us today could not because they had to go to a classroom instead. There should be more kids coming to next meeting which will be during a lunch period, though.

Three kids made it today, but that's perfect because none of them have knit before. I taught them the long-tail cast-on, and we sadly ran out of time to even start knitting! But I left with links to knitting videos and "these kids today" are so used to being on the internet I am hoping they'll give it a try until our next meeting. I'm hoping they will all be joining Ravelry so we can get a group going there, too. If I can get these first three knitters going a bit ahead of the next batch of kids, they'll be able to help the next wave of kids. I brought yarn and needles for all of them. I'm happy to do that for the first go-round, but then we're going to have to start looking for yarn donations.

So, the girls so far:

We have one girl who started off so shy she could barely talk...and then I realized she is one of the school cheerleaders (and so she's usually yelling, right?!). Once she got yarn in her hands, she loosened up substantially. Of the three, she had the most difficulty learning the cast-on (maybe because she's a lefty, but I've taught lefties before), but once she got going, she was on a roll! She was the first one to get all of her stitches cast-on. She was worried about what some of her friends were going to think about her joining club, but I am so positive that once their friends see the mitts, they are all going to be wanting a pair.

The second girl is the water girl at the football games, bringing squirt bottles out onto the field and such. It seemed like she got a little discouraged at first that it wasn't coming to her intuitively, but was happy to hear it's something you have to learn to do, like most other things in life. Then she perked back up and she got it. Like TheCheerleader, she also seemed a bit concerned about what other people would think, but she also had the greatest ideas about things that could be done with knitting (she wants to knit a bunch of snowflakes to hang down from the ceiling for their winter dance) and she was already forming a list of cool things she'd like to make. Her grandmother knits and lives locally (bonus!), and the last thing she said before she left the room was, "I'm so excited to be learning this. My grandmother is going to be so happy."
Indeed :-)

The last girl I haven't quite got a pulse on. I have a feeling she's more in the straight-A student crowd, and maybe a bit by the books. When the advising teacher asked who would be willing to fill out the application to have a campus club, she was the first (and it seemed only) one that offered. She picked up the long tail cast-on right away. And whenever the other two would comment that they were embarrassed to knit in front of their friends, she was the first to say something like, "Whatever for? I'm going to knit wherever I want. Who cares." Yay! I agree, sister! I told them about going to Sock Summit and how all the "cool kids" are knitting (and backed it up with proof on Ravelry LOL). But as we were leaving, when the WaterGirl said her grandma was going to be so happy she was knitting, StraightA said, "I'm not going to show my parents." Hmmm! Curious! I wonder what that is all about! I didn't have time to ask what that meant, but now I am dying to know! I'll have to ask next time. I'm hoping that maybe it just means she wants to wait to surprise them with a really cool FO (Finished Object, for the muggles).

There was one other attendee at our meeting, at that was the advising teacher. Who I ADORE. MrsG used to be at the Middle School and MyFavoriteKid had her classed for a full year. She is one of the best teachers I have ever known. She's so great that when I was trying to prove to the kids that knitting is current and awesome by showing the kids some yarn bombing photos, the teacher immediately whispered loudly, "Oh my god! That is SO cool! We need to do that around the school!!"

Anyhow, MrsG said she'd like to try to learn to knit, but that she'd tried to learn once before, and she failed (maybe because she chose a queen sized afghan as her first project---even I might fail that!) She also said that she doesn't have a creative bone in her body at all (which of course I do not believe for a minute). But then she tells me that her husband, who also works at the high school (and who MyFK also had in middle school), laughed at her when she said she was going to help the kids set up their knitting club and that she was also going to learn.
He laughed!
After school she and I went straight into his room and told him that he'd better watch it or he was destined to never get anything warm or fuzzy. From either of us! Ever.

We all laughed.

And I will teach her.
In fact, she's my pet project ;-)


~Donna~ said...

Whoa...totally awesome! Sounds like you are not only getting your knitting mojo back, but have so much, you are passing it on!

bibliogrrl said...


And thank you SO SO SO MUCH for posting that pattern. I was just going to start poking around ravelry for some fingerless gloves to knit for my mom since I already have a pattern for my sister.

Best timing ever!