Friday, January 08, 2010

Teaching a new knitter

On Wednesday my friend Andrew and his son Eldon came over to hang out and help me do a few things around the house (Thank you Andrew!) since I have been avoiding breaking down all of my cardboard boxes for some time (there were a lot both from the move and Christmas). Anyway Eldon in the past has expressed and intrest in both spinning and knitting. I have sat with him at the wheel before and we made him some yarn that we dyed with kool aid. He was pretty jazzed about it. I have no idea if he still has it or not, 5 year olds are kinda funny like that.
Anyway when they were over he wanted to spin and knit. I was not prepared to get out the wheel and my spindle making tools are sorta buried right now. Sooo knitting it was. After much debate on what to knit (hat, scarf, or washcloth) he decided on a washcloth. So I dug out some cotton and some size six straights.

He promised me that he would sit and listen (difficult for him to do - he is a very high energy 5 year old) and he promised me that if he got frustrated he would not just have a fit and decide he didn't want to do it anymore but ask for help (also difficult for a 5 year old to do).

We sat down and I cast on 25 stitches for him. He watched and thought that was pretty cool. Then I knit the first row for him and on Every. Single. Stitch. had him watch and listen to what I was doing. I couldn't remember exactly how the knitting rhyme goes so I improvised and taught him:
In through the front door,
Around the back,
In through the window,
Off jumps Jack.

About halfway through the stitches I had him recite the poem as I formed the stitches (and wouldn't do that part of the stitch until he told me that part of the rhyme).

After I finished the first row we knit the second row together (both of our hands on the needles, my hands over his for guidance, but not for control, just to keep stitches from falling off the needles and helping remember wich way to wrap the yarn around the needle).

That row was really tight so I knit the next row for him to save on a bit of frustration (trying to knit through too tight stitches can be a major pain even when you are familiar with how to knit).

The 4th row I knit the first stitch and he was on his own from there. He did a fabulous job and got through about 3/4 of the row before he was overtired and having some growing pains in his knees so focus was really out of the picture at that point.

I am still amazed that he sat there all by himself and only asked for help twice (putting stitches back on the needle). I have never seen Eldon so still and focused for so long with something that was not on the television.

Here is the little man in action - I don't think he even knew he had his picture taken:

1 comment:

L J said...