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.

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…

Quite c(ap)able…

One of the more advanced knitters in my middle school class has learned to cable!

Her first attempt (a swatch of 20 stitches, with a 12 stitch cable) did not have a single mistake. Impressive, no?

The right and left cross, respectively, is a great place to start when learning to cable, and next week, we will work with a few other knitters who want to learn how to cable.

What’s more, I absolutely adore the photos snapped of her cabling perfection; there’s something so visually appealing about her bright yellow shirt against her beautiful choice of pink fiber and her hands look incredible–its as if you can see how much they’ve worked to knit, but they still look so youthful.

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.

S(h)ock-ed at how awesome these kitties are…

One of my 7th grade knitters has completed her first sock! And she did it without following a specific pattern, but by using the “formula” for successful sock knitting.

Perfect!

She’s already completed the cuff and heel on her second–and matching–sock, so here’s to hoping by wee’s end, she’ll be ready to finish that one off, too. I’ll be helping her to write a simple, ankle sock pattern that she can hand out to all the knitters in her class, just like my 8th grader A.B. did last week.

Patt this gal on the back…Take Dos…

A snapshot of the pattern I’m helping A.B. create for her fellow Term II knitters.

I use Comic Life Deluxe to create my patterns, so I thought it’d be a good idea to use the same program to create A.B.’s, too. The program allows you to build welp, comics, signs, just about anything you want! What’s more, you can easily convert the finished product into a nice and tidy .pdf for distribution.

All that’s left to do is take photos of A.B.’s “Snowflake Hat” tomorrow, plunk them into this template, and print this baby off for all my middle school knitters.

Here’s to hoping my advanced knitters in Term III can test her pattern out, find any erratas, and make their own!

Exciting times, kittens. Exciting times.

For anything else I’ve done with Comic Life, gander away.

Scenes from my knitting class…

Top Left to Right: The makings of straight knit and grafted leg warmers; the self-described “Starry Starry Night” scarf in progress. Bottom Left to Right: Practicing the knit stitch; a student’s first completed project, the “Pom Pom Beanie with Seed Stitch”.

My little knitters are doing swimmingly! With just weeks to go in Term II, my middle schoolers are knitting pros! Creating scarfs, hats, working lace charts and knitting in the round, I think I might have a few life-long knitters budding in time for spring!

I love how daring this age group is; they’ll  work–and wear–colors I’d be afraid to take a chance on; and they actively seek out new skills they want to learn, like knitting with more than one color and diagonal rib stitch. What’s more, they are more forgiving of their mistakes than I can be of mine. I’ve been known to throw a knitting project, stamp my feet, declare it “ugly”, and never return to the project, unlike my students. They politely interrupt me at work asking if I can help them find their mistake and “fix it”.

File under: how mature.