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.

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…

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.

Fierce, girl: Micki’s “Rude Boy Remix”.

My knitters are whipping things up in a frenzy of late; I can attribute it partly to the skill that comes with practice, as well as the fact that we, remarkably, only have approximately 5 weeks left of schooling before summer break, and they’d like to take as much guidance with them before they are off for a few months.

And one of my 6th grade smarties has finished a brilliant Rowan Big Wool Scarf of her own creation, which I have dubbed the “Mick Rude Boy Remix”, because I know she likes her some Rihanna (as I do) and particularly “Rude Boy”, which I wish we had played during this lil’ photoshoot where she absolutely worked it out modeling her creation. Honestly, I should use her to model some of my stuffs–she is fierce!

But I added the bit about a remix, because she really mixed it up with this one–creating the scarf not only using an absolutely electric Rowan, but she used honkin size 50 needles! And having only learned to knit a couple of months ago, she really worked those needles like I’ve never seen (believe me, if you aren’t proficient in knitting, it can be overwhelmingly cumbersome to try and finagle those needles…if you don’t know what I mean, here’s what I’m talking about: the wowser.)

One of the upsides to knitting up Micki’s “Rude Boy Remix” is that it is super quick–I think she got this scarf done in less than a week, which is instant gratification, really!

Plus, it looks amazing on her with cute little skirts and tshirts and all that hoo–and with the giant holey scarf, you could pull it off all year.

More snaps, as always, at the Flickr set for the class.

File Under: Micki, I think Rihanna would work this, too. Golf claps!

Work is a pattern…

Yesterday, I taught one of my knitters how to “reserve stitches” on a scrap piece of yarn for use later in the project (the scrap yarn pictured above, as well as a few scribbles of math). This is just one of a few new techniques my knitters are working on; some others include carrying two skeins of yarn along the side of a scarf for striped colorwork, Fair Isle, advanced accessory making (bags that include handles, etc.), and for some, mitten making.

It’s quite difficult teaching the art of pattern reading; my students have trouble “trusting” a pattern, which I don’t really blame them for since some are written poorly. However, I find patterns that are clear and detailed for them, most of which I’ve tested myself. This way, they don’t have to do much math and erratas are non-existant.

Still, some take to reading a pattern much better than others; and I don’t mean its the precise students that enjoy patterns, and the free spirited ones who just like to go for it. Some of my most precise students have the most trouble reading the pattern and following it–they question every line!

“Just go with it,” I tell them, sometimes to no avail.

Unfortunately, I can’t recall whether, when I first learned pattern reading, if I was hesitant in the same ways.

Mashing up the knitters!

Just recently, I noticed an article my school’s communications department wrote about my lil’ knitter bee middle schoolers. It’s available at the school’s mash-up, a web-based site that showcases student work.

You can read the article here if you’re so inclined, though it’s probably not going to reveal anything more than what I’ve shared in this space.

After a two week break which involved plenty of emails from students with knitting related questions, it will be nice to see what kind of progress they’ve made on their various creations.

Patt this gal on the back…!

Chart by A.B.

I have an 8th grade knitter who has not only created her first knitting chart, but has turned it into a hat, all the while learning to turn the chart to hat using Fair Isle Knitting.

I beam with pride. It’s incredible.

And today, she asked if I could so kindly convert this brilliant pattern she created into a real life pattern that she can pass out to all her fellow knitting students in the last class for Term II! What an incredibly generous knitter she is!

I am doing just that tonight. And while A.B. scanned her graph paper and pencil chart in, I tried to convert it to an actual graph using Knit Pro Knit 2.0, an amazing freely available Web 2.0 tool that allows you to convert any old knitting pattern into a graphed version. Incredible, too!

Just simple upload your file and it will spit back a fully downloadable pdf chart. But since A.B.’s chart was sketched up in pencil, the corresponding graph is a little “light” on the grayscale.

Since I make my living as a technology instruction librarian specializing in ways to use Web 2.0 tools in the classroom, this is a pretty excellent example of doing that in a class I also teach in school–knitting. It’s amazing what’s available on the web to enhance all types of experiences.

While this one certainly isn’t perfect for Knit 2.0 (the image file will have to be enhanced) it’s pretty remarkable. We’ll try to convert it again soon! For now, back to completing this pattern for A.B. to pass out tomorrow!

File Under: Color me absolutely inspired by my genius go getting students! Watch out world, A.B. will be the next designer on Ravelry in no time!