Teaching Others to Knit and Crochet

If you know how to knit or crochet or both, have you ever taught anyone that skill?

I’ve been fortunate to teach a number of my friends how to knit and crochet. It all starts when someone says, “Can you make me _______?” Usually, for me, being asked to knitting or crocheting something for someone robs me of inspiration. Mostly, I like to think of a person, come up with a plan, and then get to work. I love making things for people, but having someone specifically ask me for something makes me reluctant to do it. Maybe it’s the rebellious teen in me, so usually I respond with, “I’ll teach you.”

I’ve taught some of my friends the basics, and they have blown me away when I see them take the skills I taught them and create something magnificent. One friend makes the most beautiful purses. Another one has made everything from a simple scarf, to baby sweaters, to knitted gloves. You can check out her projects here.

left-handed crochetThe most difficult student I had was my niece because she’s left-handed, and it took me a while to realize that she needed to mirror my movements. You see, normally when I teach someone to knit, I sit side-by-side with my student and have their right hands do what my right hand does. But with Camille, I had to sit her in front of me so that her left hand did what my right had does. Once we figured that out, the rest was easy. She prefers to crochet, though, and she’s lazy about practicing, but once she picks up that hooks and sets her mind to it, there’s no stopping her.

My youngest student was only four when I first started with her. But to my amazement, she picked it up quickly. Did you know that there are special knitting needles for kids? The set comes in one blue and one red needle, presumably to make it easy for the child to realize that all the stitches on the blue needle need to be transferred to the red one and vice versa, but Ella picked it up in one day.

first book of knitting for childrenIf you want to teach a child to knit, there’s a great book I like to use. It has simple patterns for making stuffed animals. One of my favorites is a knitted elephant. The book is filled with how-to pictures. I believe it’s also been used in Montessori schools. I got my copy on Amazon, but your local library might have it, too.

Want to learn to knit or crochet? Try your local yarn store. Most stores either have beginner’s classes or they offer free social knitting nights were you might get the help of more experienced knitters and crocheters. Check it out and leave me a message of any locations you find. I’ll try to keep a list.

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Learning Knit and Crochet

Have I told you how I learned to knit and crochet? If I have, well, you’re about to hear it again. We’ll blame it on a mental blip.

I learned to crochet when I was five years old. I was always very proud of this fact because outside of my family, it seemed that few knew the skill, certainly none of my friends. When I was five, back in the mid-seventies, my parent made extra money by making crochet cushions and capes. They would sell the finished products to a local TG&Y, a store similar to Rite Aid. To keep me busy, my mother put a crochet hook in my hands and gave me a ball of yarn. I remember starting with chains, and eventually learning a treble crochet. I totally skipped the single and double crochet stitches.

Every winter, I’d fiddle with yarn projects, but it wasn’t until I was a teenager, when I saw my aunt using two knitting needles that I actually made a garment. My aunt Gloria taught me how to knit one summer during the 80’s. I remember how popular knitted tops were. She was making extra money by knitting them for her neighbors. I bought purple yarn and got to work. I wish I had a picture of that blouse, but I don’t, and it’s long gone.

Vine Yoke Cardigan

Vine Yoke Cardigan

Since then, I’ve knitted mostly scarves, hats, and stoles, and I’ve crochet blankets and hats. I’ve got my eye on this sweater,  but I haven’t started on it yet. I’ve got the yarn all picked out, a lovely, soft blue yarn I picked up at Stitches West a few years ago. 

I’m not sure what’s stopping me, but maybe this month I’ll pick up the needles and give it a try.

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From Scarf to Stole

One of my favorite things about Knit Picks is their samplers and kits, which often include free patterns. One kit I bought included Knit Picks Shine Sport in the leapfrog colorway. The yarn is soft and easy to knit.

falling leaves watermarked

I used this yarn and Jimmy Bean’s pattern  to make a scarf, but once I started using the Knit Picks yarn, I realized I LOVED it and needed to make the scarf into a stole. So, I looked in my pattern book The Arco Guide to Knitting Stitches for the stitch and made some adjustments to create my Falling Leaves Stole. And I also ordered a few more skeins.

I cast on 93 stitches plus a border of 3 stitches on each side. I knit until I thought the stole was long enough before binding off.

I also added a single crochet border around the entire thing. It took me a long time to block it. I even wore it without blocking for a while, but the edges would curl up. Last week, I just blocked the project and the result was amazing. I was able to really stretch the yarn overs.

IMG_0432 wtrmrked

Unfortunately, every time I take a picture, the color of the yarn looks different, but let me tell you that it is a lovely shade of green, and I’ve worn this with different outfits. It’s perfect for spring weather.

It’s HERE!!

You remember that a few days ago I posted that The Deramores Stylecraft Special DK Yarn Packs were back in stock? I posted that right after I place my order. That was 8 days ago. And guess what was in the mail yesterday?

Delivered by Royal Mail!

royal

I can’t believe how fast the shipping was considering that I ordered something from the United States a few days earlier and I still haven’t received it. But I order from the U.K. and 8 days later, I’ve gotten my package!

Here’s a picture of the contents.

yarn wtrmrked

Aren’t the colors yummy? And the acrylic yarn is so soft. I can’t wait to finish my groovyghan so I can start a new project with these, but what to make?