Thursday, February 24, 2011

Friday Morning Knitting Club

My girls are 10 and almost-8 and I've worked with them to learn both crochet and knitting for several years. Those experiences have taught me that there is a certain amount of hand-eye coordination and manual dexterity that is needed to crochet or knit. While both of my girls have learned, neither has chosen to work on a project for more than 15 minutes.

As I approached the lesson plan for the 2nd grade Friday Morning Knitting Club, I was prepared for the children's interest to wane after that first week. The teacher and I decided the club would meet as long as the children were interested, with no obligation for them to continue if a child chose to stop.

That first morning, I worked with 3 children for 20 minutes. I found the teaching experience to need quite a bit of hands on and individual attention for each child. I gave them my ground rules: 1) be patient with each other, and 2) be patient with yourself. They did a great job at both.

I must admit that I had doubts about them mastering the knit stitch that first week. At the end of the session, their enthusiasm still ran high, and they were quite proud of the row or 2 that they had knit.

And I went home, energized and filled with ideas to improve our next club meeting!

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Knitting Fever

I was helping in my daughter's 2nd grade class one day and spied a book called Knitting Fever. The plot was that a sheep on a farm caught knitting fever and then taught all the other sheep on her farm and on a nearby farm to knit. The sheep worked furiously and ended up knitting all of their wool. This turn of events caused the farmers quite a bit of concern, as they had no wool to sell, and therefore no income.

The farmers and the sheep put their heads together and came up with a good solution: the sweaters that the sheep had knitted would be displayed and sold at the county fair. The farmers made enough money from the sweater sales to cover all of their expenses.

The story ended with the sheep making plans to knit "mittens and gloves next year".

I asked the teacher if I could bring in yarn, needles and a few items that I had made to show the children what the sheep were doing. She agreed, and I brought in a pair of socks, a blanket and a top. I had a pair of big needles and chunky yarn, and demonstrated the knit stitch, then let each child who wanted to make a few stitches.

I thought that would be all she wrote, but the children were so excited that the teacher asked me to create a knitting club.

And that is how the Friday Morning Knitting Club was born for 10 2nd graders!