Photo used with approval of school Principal.
Recently I've been taking a lunch time knitting club at a local primary school. Over the course of four weeks, the kids (both girls and boys) have learned the basics of knitting, including casting on / off, knit, purl and a few technicalities about needle sizes and tension.
I feel strongly about the value of children learning to knit. Beyond the obvious skill learned, it teaches a lot of things that I feel are sometimes lacking in today's kids - persistence, resilience, reward for effort and delayed gratification. Additionally I feel it helps with maths skills, fine motor skills and creativity.
The classes I held at the Melbourne Stitches and Craft Show back in March really fired my enthusiasm for passing on the skill and it is something I definitely hope to do more of the future. I can honestly say I enjoyed the classes more than I ever expected I would. The kids were so enthusiastic (they had to hold a ballot at the school as the club was over subscribed by 400%) and the pride they showed in their work (holes, dropped stitches and all) really warmed my heart.
My own knitting has gone down the wash cloth route of late. I like that they are knitted up quickly (obviously the delayed gratification element of knitting doesn't apply to me...) and they are good way to try out new stitch patterns. As for their actual functional use, I'm not so sure. What looks so pretty when freshly blocked, doesn't quite look so good scrunched up and wrung out hanging in the shower stall. Project details can be found here.