licorice knitting, 6.8

It’s finally the end of the school year, which means much excitement at the prospect of nurturing my own creative endeavors; with that, I wanted my last knitting class to be playful and usually that means we bring candy, cakes, and all manner of sugar-filled foods for the gobbling.

Instead of just eating (there was plenty of that, mind), we decided to try knitting with red licorice, which proved a win and loss. The kids loved it; the knitting, the eating, the sticky fingers. But it was just too hot and the ropes not nearly long enough to really get anything truly going of the knitting, so we mostly ate…

…and of course the kids loved the shakes and sugar highs that took them through the rest of their classes. Until next year, you can check out more knitting with candy at the class flickr set.

student progress, 5.20

More progress on that incredible turtle shell one of my student’s is working on; she has spent the entire year on the “Sheldon” project and learned tons of skills from it. This particular student loves to try to understand the pattern herself and asks questions after experimentation–the best kind of knitter, in my humble opinion.

student technique, 5.13

One of my students has been diligently working on this pattern all year. She hasn’t wavered; she hasn’t swayed. She has learned some serious skills from this particular pattern…and it’s all coming to fruition.

With just a month left, there’s just the shell to be worked–and I swell with pride because this shell requires a lot of new skills, like working with more than one color at a time, carrying the yarn up the side of the work, and slipping stitches in the front and back to create those shell “window panes”.

Knitting teacher pride.

valentine pride, 2.14

One of my little knitters has been feverishly working for a week on Valentines gifts for Mum, Dad, and friends. C. ended up making these winged hearts; the one pictured above is for Mum and you can see on her face how pleased and excited she is with the end result.

Nothing is better in knitting than that moment of realization: “I made that!” C. definitely had that excitable moment with this project and I was lucky enough to capture it.

beaming with pride, 1.13

One of my knitters has completed her first sweater! This is a monumental moment for me as a teacher, but also for AB, who has done something at 9th grade that I never dreamed since I was, for many years, dedicated solely to knitting smallish items, with zero patience for something as time consuming as sweater knitting.

AB’s “February Lady Sweater” has since these snaps received buttons and woven in ends, so that makes it completely finished off and gifted out to her older sister. This kind of lace work requires much dedication and deserve proper praise.

Isn’t it a beaut?

As always, snaps of the kids’ work at the flickr set–and a few final snaps of AB’s sweater, with buttons and all, to come next week.

scenes in color.

We’ve been playing a lot in knitting class with greens and reds and when I was picking through photos from this month, I noticed that we did some pretty hilarious work around color in December.

From the candy in their mouths to the fiber on needles, hues of red and green have reigned supreme. And what’s more, we’ve got girls crocheting flowers, knitting cables, working a glove with an open button cuff, and even a turtle toy with many increases and decreases on four needles in the round.

December was a profitable month. In color and in creativity.

More at the flickr set, of course.

my little knitters, 12.1

The Winter Term of little knitters are up and running! This section is complete with knitting experts–every one of them have taken my class before and showed prowess on the needles despite some months off from any formal instruction.

I am so proud.

L. began quickly, casting on with a baby pink yarn gifted to her from an equally proud as myself grandmum. She worked at least 10 rows of knitting without nary a question before showing off what she remembered.

A child after my own heart, for sure.

She made the most progress on her first project of the term last week; others were moving along at a gorgeous pace, as well, and asked me to procure patterns for them–turtles, tote bags, bow headbands, and beyond.

As always, I’ll keep track of everyone’s progress this term at the Flickr set dedicated to my little knitter bees.

Thank you for being my little kids!

I have the best students!

Thank you cards and gift cards for crafting stores and coffee shops have been dropping through my mail slot all week from various little knitters expressing thanks for teaching them and of course, notes on their summer work.

I adore those little knitters and am happy they are keeping at it this summer. I’ll save the crafting gift card to use on supplies for them–but the coffee…oh, that coffee, its mine!

Inspirations: “Misssssss Wooooooolllfffff!”

Me and this particular student have a special relationship; she is kind of a knitting savant in many ways, having excelled so quickly this year after never having taken up sticks in her life.

And she models for snap so well, its as if she were born for that, too. We had a kind of knitting kinship this year, in which, I would show her the results of something I knit up, and she would turn around and say, “Ok, now my turn! Missssss Woooooolllllllfffff, I haaavvveee to make this.”

From such excitement came me collecting up the requisite supplies and helping her along. It was as if, this year, we created a whole handful of projects that mirrored one another.

The above snap is one of those projects; I made this same Purls of Wisdom Weekender market sack and she was smitten with it from first blush. I scooped her up some similarly green color chunky yarn, and she was on her way. The only difference? She finished hers and mine is still waiting! The reason? I gave her the handles I had bought for my bag so she wouldn’t have to head out in search of a pair.

We fastened them on the last day of school, so I never got a chance to snap the final product and she gifted it off to a friend. And in that, she’s quite like me, too. I very often give away the things I make and rarely keep them for myself. I’m trying to do a few knits (like sweaters) that I can keep these days, to reward myself, but quite honestly, I love the reaction when I hand over a handmade from Kraftworkin to someone I care quite a bit for. I can’t remember, besides her first pair of socks, a thing C. knitted this year that she didn’t gift to someone–a lace sachet for her Mum for Mother’s Day, for instance, a baby hat for her little sister’s dolly, a purse for her cousin, the aforementioned market sack for a good friend’s birthday.

C. will be in 8th grade next year; a proper young lady, no doubt. I hope she keeps to her knitting mantras. And if we have the same knitting relationship next year, I want to do a feature called “Mirrors in Me”, where I will snap my finished project right next to hers, that is, if she still wants to knit what I want.

File Under: If only I’d thought of this photography project earlier…if….!

Inspirations in color…

One last look at the gorgeous palette of creations from this year’s knitters!

I beam with pride; and have dozens more photos to go through and add to this Flickr set before I can close a chapter on this year’s brilliant–and lifelong–fiber artists!

Any ideas for things I can do with the kids next year? I need to start planning now…

Scenes from the final days of knitting…

Today was officially the last knitting class of the school year for my middle school knitters; they’ve come so far this year, it’s incredible, really.

We had a relaxed class that had a few kids still focused on projects (like working the thumb gusset of a mitten, separating the sleeves on a February Lady Sweater, and even finishing a giant market sack!). The range of projects was pretty incredible and the kids learned so many skills. We started in the fall with basic scarves, moved into hats and mittens, worked socks, and ended with some of them knitting sweaters, stuffed toys like pigs and bears, and lace accessories.

I adored their silliness and daring attitudes. They used colors I would never dare to use, because ultimately, they are the age where they can really work those colors out! I loved walking into the room and seeing the incredible palette, and their eagerness to show me how to completely goof off.

Some of them have expressed that they can’t possibly go an entire summer without knitting “guidance”. Therefore, we, and by we I mean they, have decided I must make myself available to them at a coffee shop on a standard day so they can come ask questions and get general fiber feedback. It doesn’t take much to get me into a coffee shop really, so the arrangement seems fitting.

As always, you can see loads of their work at the Scenes from Knitting Class Flickr Set. I think we’ll keep the same one next year. They gave me some feedback on how I should teach the course as a progression next year. They liked the idea that first term would entail basic knitting, second term felting art (for those who don’t know, it’s knitting with 100 percent wool and then “felting” it with hot soapy water  to create the “boiled wool” look), and third term advanced and accessory knitting. I like the idea, but have not firmed up the details.

Stay tuned…

Jeepers Creepers, this one’s a lil’ ingenue…

There’s something so intriguing about working with 6th, 7th, and 8th grade knitters–particularly, because, compared to other groups of students, they are so eager…and…

show such incredible ingenuity.

This lil’ Jeeper Creeper is the sole creation of one of my lil’ 6th graders in her first Term of knitting. She asked for very little guidance creating this guy–working her first knitted block in green and then deciding it’d be a great idea to make a similar block in yellow, and then, wait for it, to seam them together into this “little stuffed guy”, as she calls him.

Nary did she ask me how to do much of anything except of course when I taught her, in 5 seconds, how to cast on and execute the knit stitch. She also asked how to bind off and seam him up with stuffing inside.

But she came up, all on her own, with the little feeties at the bottom of Jeeper; this is when her creativity really flows.

Where some of my knitters would be annoyed at the inevitable–picking up random stitches or dropping them off for that matter–of beginner knitting, this here ingenue decided, “welp, I’ll turn this around and make it something”. And so, those random spots of picked up and dropped errors were fastened into feet.

File Under: We should all take some tips from these budding little minds. Cleverness abounds.

As always, more snaps of recent FOs from my knitters at its proper flickr set.