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6/16/2003 4:50:56 PM
Darla
Darla
Posts 181
I am the only knitter I know. I`m from a town of 3000 so there is no knitting shop or knitting guild. I know there must be other people who knit because the magazines disappear from the shelves of our General Store, but I`ve never met anyone. I find that nonknitters are very curious about my knitting. I`m 39 and I`m an accountant by trade, but I`m home with my young children. I have four of those aged 5,7,9,11. I learned to knit at a knitting class when I was 23 and we lived in a larger city. My only other major hobby is running. No one in my family knits although my Grandmother who passed away before I was born was said to knit more than she cooked or cleaned (yeah Grandma!).

I`m very curious about other knitters. Anyone else?
6/16/2003 8:01:12 PM
Guest
Guest
Hi! Small town knitting blues here too. :-( No LYS, no fun groups or guilds and practically no one else who knits. The mags don`t even go off the shelves here because no one carries them. When I ask stores if they would cary them they say, "You`re the only one one who`s ever asked". Ditto for knitting books. Mail order is my middle name. sigh

I`m 38 and at home with my four young kids too. :-) You seem to be on the "two year plan", well I`m on the "three year plan". Mine are 10, 6, 3 and 4 months. They`re all 3 calendar years apart.

I have taught a knitting class at my church and I have taught a couple of women to crochet but haven`t created a monster like myself yet, unfortunately. I just taught someone to crochet this evening. I`m hoping she gets the yarn bug!

My hobbies are knit, crochet and cross stitch. I am the very first knitter ever in my family but I come from a long line of crocheters. They all think I`m nuts but sure don`t mind when I make them something. ;-)
6/17/2003 7:41:25 AM
ecasey
ecasey
Posts 2668
Hi Darla! [and Tam :-) ]

Well, I`m from Ireland and as you know there is a very rich tradition of knitting there, especially aran knitting. My Mum taught me to knit when I was about 4 or 5, and my Granny, aunts, etc. all knit and crochet. In my 3rd year at school (age 7, kids start school at 4 or 5 back home) our craft teacher taught the whole class to knit, and everyone worked on a scarf for weeks and weeks (except me - I was too advanced and had to make this segmented ball type of article! lol). Nowadays, only a couple of my friends back home know how to knit or crochet though, and as we`re in the "younger bracket" it must be a sign of the times. There were a number of good yarn shops in town (or wool shops we call them - all yarn, even 100% cotton is referred to as "wool" heehee) - that being said, I lived in Belfast, which is the capital city of Northern Ireland, so I don`t know if that was typical. Now I`m here, on Long Island, it`s a very different story and I`m definitely feeling the pinch - yarn is much more expensive here than at home! However, the choice (especially in things like knitting needles and crochet hooks) is a lot more varied - my Mum is constantly getting me to send her back the brightly coloured sets of Boye crochet hooks that you can get in Walmart. They can only get either steel, or those light grey coated aluminium ones at home, and her crochet class goes mad for them - she gives them out as presents! I`m sending her some Addi crochet hooks for her birthday - I`m sure she`ll explode with excitement!!

--
"We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the STARS!" (Oscar Wilde)
6/17/2003 9:06:11 AM
Darla
Darla
Posts 181
I have some questions about teaching an informal class. Various people at my church have also said, "You`ll have to teach me to knit some day." I haven`t been able to decide if they are being polite or if they are really serious. The more persistant are the pastor`s daughters, ages 10 and 13, and my own oldest daughter, age 7. Now my questions: Did you pick a project for them or did they choose something? (When I took a class, the first thing I knit was a sweater complete with shaping and collar, but the instructor didn`t give any yarn advice so I had a summer sweater in a heavy winter yarn). Did you pick up some printed instructions so that they would have reference at home? How many people did you teach at one time? I may just take the plunge and offer to teach if I feel confident enough.
6/17/2003 9:43:27 AM
Guest
Guest
I also live in a fairly small town but you would be AMAZED how many closet knitters there are. Once you pull your knitting out of the proverbial closet everyone chimes in. I started teaching a few months agao after giving some hand knitted items to a friend at her baby shower. All the girls oohhed and aahhed and several wanted to learn to knit so we created what has now become the Knaughty Knitters (named by one of the girls` husbands). We meet every 2-3 weeks or so - do munchies, wine and knitting. Sometimes there are as many as 12 of us- on those nights I am on my toes and they have to take numbers for questions. It is lots of fun. I started them on simple garter stitch scarves with novelty yarns. Yes sometimes difficult to work with, but novelty yarn does tend to hide mistakes so they all ended up with wonderful and wearable finished products. For the scarves there were no written instructions. I now have them going on baby hats on two circulars - they are looking wonderful too! For the hats I did give them a written hat "formula" so they could use the same pattern for any gauge. I think I will give them a pattern for booties next...something to go with the baby hats. This will give them an opportunity to start learning how to read more detailed patterns. As far as teaching kids, I think I would be inclined to start with a garter stitch scarf but maybe a more simple bulky yarn like Lion Brand Chunky or something.
It really is lots of fun and if you can get other adults to try well then you have created a new knitting community for yourself!
6/17/2003 11:53:09 AM
Guest
Guest
Hi Darla,
I feel like a knitter in a foreign land! I`m 45 and have been knitting since my mom took the sewing needle out of my crib when I was two and taught me to knit as a safer alternative. In North Carolina, people assume that whatever I`m doing, it MUST be crochet. I actually saw someone knitting at the library yesterday and to the distress of my lovely daughter, I actually stopped to find out what she making!! "Oh! You knit, too?!?!" There are two yarn shops here, but because I run a retail art gallery, my hours are the same as their`s! Sigh! I feel like putting an ad in the paper to find a group to knit/discuss/ramble with - but that would probably cut into my already sparse knitting time. Young people ask what I`m doing and express their desire to learn. Maybe a class at the beach for the younguns`? Sounds like there are lots of us in the same boat!
6/17/2003 1:33:20 PM
Guest
Guest
Long skinny scarves (a la Harry Potter) are really popular with the young ones. My 10 yo is making one right now with some of my scrap yarns and it`s adorable. For kids, I would pick a really fun yarn and maybe a size 8-10 needle. Red Heart has a line of kids` yarns that are wild funky colors. Lily sugar and cream cotton seems to be easy to learn on too. For kids I say buy something cheap in case they turn out to not be serious. There is a line of plastic needles especially for kids. They are shorter than the norm and very light weight. I`d have them cast on for about 4 inches and then just knit for miles or until they get bored. My girls LOVE the 6-7 foot long scarves I`ve made them and that`s why my daughter is now making one. You could show them how to do some tied fringe for the ends. No pattern needed. I find that teaching pattern reading is best done as "lesson two". Get them knitting first.

For adults I go for the HUGE yarn and needles. Other teachers seem to vary in opinon but I find that the people I have taught caught on instantly when they had gigantic stitches to look at. It`s easy to see what loop is where, what constitutes a stitch, etc. with the huge yarn. Yes size 15 needles are clumsy but any needle is clumsy to a beginner and I find that the visual advantage of the big stitches far outweighs the clumsiness of the needles. (kids, who have smaller hands seem to do better on the smaller needles). My last class made simple garter scarves using Lion Brand "Wool ease thick and quick". Warning about that, tho. It takes TWO skeins to make a decent scarf, a fact I didn`t know when we started. Some of the students wanted to use fuzzy yarn so they used "light and lofty" or Homespun. I don`t recommend this due to the fuzziness hiding the definition of the stitches- it`s hard to see what you are knitting as a beginner. Those students, luckily, were crocheters who had some idea of how to look at yarn so they did fine. Again, no pattern. Just teach them the knit stitch and let them knit til they run out of yarn. I find that casting on, knit stitch and binding off is PLENTY for a beginning class. Too much info will just confuse and frustrate someone who has never done any needlework before. If they are serious they`ll come back for lesson two- purl stitch and pattern reading.

I did a class of 8 students but I recommend no more than 5 if they are all rank beginners. If one or two are just "refreshers" who are willing to help others then you can do 8 or 10.

I find it helpful to copy the "how to" page from a magazine. I used the page in FCEK, blocking out the purl instructions on the copy. That just gives them a reference to look at when they sit down at home to knit. When I teach a garter scarf to adults I have them slip as if to knit the first stitch of every row because I find that gives a nicer edge. For kids I don`t bother to tell them that.

Hope this helps!
6/23/2003 6:32:20 PM
bets
bets
Posts 18978
Hi-

Well, my LYS is 50 miles away, so it`s a once a month deal for me. I`m 43, learned when I was about 8, ignored it for years, picked it up at 24, dropped at 28, and back in full swing for about the last 5 years. As long as I can remember, I played with textiles-cross-stitch, crewel, quilting, sewing, SOMETHING! I think I`m just wired that way. People TALK about wanting to knit, but very few actually step up-maybe 4 since 1985. Both my girls (teens) actually have knit but now it is SOOOOO uncool. Oh, and I lift weights. Good combination, huh? Sling ya around AND poke your eyes out! HA HA
7/5/2003 6:40:19 AM
Guest
Guest
Hi.. if you are on Long Island you must be close to Sm,ileys yarns.. I used to be able to order from phone but now they are only on interent.. but they do have a store on Long Island and the yarns available are great and the price is right.. hope this helps.. Polly whoops, that`s Smiley`s Yarns..
7/6/2003 3:29:18 PM
Guest
Guest
Hi .. I`m in NC too and as there are 2 shopsnearby we may be neighbors.. Interesting group asked me to jooin them and we meet once a month at each others houses.. only 2 knitters but interesting enough the others have sheep, llama and alpacas. fun to see where my wool comes from.. Polly
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