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Friday, May 28, 2010

Sharing

If there is one thing I think every knitter loves, it is being able to share their art with someone else. Today, I had the opportunity to share knitting with not one, but nearly 40 someone elses.

After a year of watching me knit, many of the students I work with wanted to learn themselves. I wanted to be able to give them everything they'd need to keep, so I decided to teach them to finger knit instead of knitting with needles (I have a lot of needles, but not enough to give them away). I asked my knitting group for any yarn they didn't want, and them spent several nights with my Mom's help winding Red Heart Super Saver (aka, the yarn no one wanted) into balls for the students to use.

The first step of finger knitting is to make a slip knit, and I quickly realized that teaching a large group of students how to tie a slipknot is rather difficult. So I just had them tie the yarn on their index finger. It took most students two or three tries to get the hang of the technique, but once they got going, they didn't want to stop. Several were able to finish a scarf during their class period, and many of those who didn't finish in class did so during lunch.

One great thing was that it wasn't just the girls that were interested in learning. At least one boy in each class joined out impromptu knitting circle. Other students, who initially felt they were too cool to knit, slowly made their way over throughout the period, and eventually decided that maybe knitting wasn't so bad after all.

But perhaps the best thing was the pride the students took in their work. Every single student who finished a scarf wore it the rest of the day. And those who didn't proudly showed off the progress they had made to their classmates.

I'm not really sure how to bring this post to a conclusion. I don't think learning how to knit is going to drastically change anyone's life. But then again, knitting is what led me to meet my best friends in college, and what kept me going this summer. So maybe, somewhere along the line, these students' lives will be different. Because they know how to knit.

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