Tuesday, 25 August 2009

the knitting club

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.


M said...

Oh BRAVO! I think knitting should be compulsory in schools. Not just because it's so satisfying to learn a craft that can be employed in quiet moments but because it's so damned good for their fine motor skills and co-ordination!

Bianca Jae Makes Stuff said...

Great job! Hear hear! And good for the kids to see knitting and crafty isn't just for granny's xox

CurlyPops said...

That so fabulous. My nephew came home from school one day last week (he walks to my house most nights), and announced that his friend Mitchell had taught him how to knit at lunchtime. After I cast on for him, he sat down and knitted me three rows to show me. I was a very proud aunty!

Melody said...

Can you remember yourself, knitting at primary school? I can. My mum used to come and teach knitting (with a couple of others) way back when - in the days when my dad was 'Headmaster' at our little local.

I am not a great knitter. I don't think I had those classes and knitting was never for me (I was more of a different type of needle worker).

You are right in saying that it teaches patience and rewards etc., Spot on. Good on you!

Cathy said...

what a great thing you are doing. The kids will remember this always. My mum and my aunty teach knitting at a primary school - I think they get more out of it then the kids. It's a great cross generational thing!

I am loving your washcloth -I have an addiction to them. They are the only ones I use now, but I think yours is so much nicer looking than mine.

Stomper Girl said...

That sounds fantastic. Good on you for sharing your skills, and doing it so well. Sounds like you'll be in demand for a few years to come!