Thursday, August 23, 2007

those who can't do.... teach? Not!

The kid has been with us this week and it's been interesting. He's come with me to the dentist and his dad's taken him to the PNE. He's played a lot of video games and practiced drawing and colouring his name in graffiti style. But last night he asked me to teach him how to knit.

screeeeeeech... I don't know how to teach knitting and I don't know how to teach a kid! I thought about grabbing one of my books but didn't know how much time I had and thought he'd learn better visually. So I picked up some needles and some yarn and cast on about 15 stitches and showed him how it was done. I also cast on 15 stitches on another set of needles so I could work with him to show him. Of course he wanted to trade fairly early in the game, but I had anticipated that. He got the concept of where the needles and yarn were to go, but I just couldn't convince him to hold his work differently. I figured I'd let him practice the motions first and that perhaps the holding part would come later, especially if his work grew to be longer. Last night he wanted to knit a scarf and wanted to be up all night to complete it, but as you can see this is how much he did before bed. (that's a photo of his swatch above)

I didn't want to say anything to him, but he's left handed and I taught him how to knit right handed. Many lefties have told me they can't learn to knit because everything is based in a right handed world. I wondered that since it was a new skill and since both hands are active anyway, how difficult it would be for a southpaw to learn? He didn't comment on it at all, which was part of my personal experience.

I also found it interesting that he wanted to learn other stitches and change colours. As you know, there are so many variables in knitting it can be overwhelming, but that sometimes we must walk before we run. I encouraged him to master this first before he moved on and he certainly tried. I was tempted to fix his work or add some rows while he was sleeping but decided to leave it as it is. His dad made a bit of fun of him for being a boy who wanted to knit but didn't tease him for too long and the kid persisted including ensuring he knit for at least 10 minutes because his dad said "you won't last for more than 5 minutes".

It was great to see such determination and interest in something new. I also wondered if perhaps I made it look so easy that he was sure he could do it too - and that's a good thing. It was nice for him to want to find something to do with me instead of always being with his dad.

EDITED - here's the finished pieces - a wrist band for him (he wears his watch over it) and a frilly wristband for his mom (the pink and black one). He's happy and wants to do more sewing. Does that mean I succeeded?


big_girlfeet said...

aww! that's so cool!!

My Little Corner said...


Endako Jo said...

That's very, VERY cool! And good for you. Boys need men in their life, but they also need women. And creative, artistic women are even better. JP...please don't make fun of him for that. It's useful stuff to know and it's good to encourage creativity of any kind. If girls can weld, boys can knit. He should also learn to cook and sew because it will help him be independant and well rounded (the girls will like him, too). When I was growing up people made fun of boys that took typing class, but look at how useful that skill is today. (and good for the kid, too, for not letting someone making fun keep him from trying something new)....sorry if that sounded like a rant. I just think it's cool.

My Little Corner said...

Thanks for the support Jo! Very good points. When I was in school, we thought the boy who took the cooking or typing class was smart because he was the only boy in a room with 25 girls - no competition for attention! I agree, I learned woodworking, and other manly things and watched my father sew leather (learned from when he was a kid and had to fix his own saddle) It's too bad that so much of our society puts us in one group or another, isn't it?