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Hello knitters,

It’s this time of the year again! The spring is… almost in the air, and if you feel the urge to revamp your stash or to lighten it up, here is a great cause!

This is the message from the local charity group that helps African grandmothers who are raising children orphaned by HIV/AIDS.

We are having our annual Fabric & Yarn Sale in support of the Stephen Lewis Foundation Grandmothers Campaign again this year on May 4th at Saint Vincent de Paul Catholic Church in Dartmouth. We are looking for donations of  fabric, yarn, sewing, quilting and knitting supplies, notions and craft supplies.  We would also love to have your knitters come and purchase yarn for the various projects that you do.

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Knitting Instructors Wanted!

Would you like to teach children to knit? Dartmouth South Academy (111 Prince Arthur Ave, Dartmouth, NS) is looking for individuals to teach children and youth to knit during lunch time, from 12:00 to 12:55. The children ages are 5 to 13, you can pick which age group you want to work with. If you are interested, please contact Donna Gillespie, the Vice-Principal, at (902) 464-2081.

If you are not interested but know someone who might be, do you mind sharing this post with them?

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Photo by Rebecca Grant on Unsplash.

Last summer, I taught a whole bunch of kids to knit while running summer camps and I loved it! It was so beautiful to see young girls sitting in the woods, chatting with friends while knitting their headbands and scarves… and then wearing their creations the next day! It was even more interesting to see boys going to the basketball court — a ball in one hand, a bucket with knitting in the other — you know, not to sit idly when it gets too hot to play during midday. I also loved teaching a few camp leaders, so that the children could ask more than one adult for help. Knitting became our shared pastime, no matter what camps were offered, there was always someone knitting during free-play time.

If you know how to knit but don’t have experience teaching children, here are some tips that I learned from practice:

  • Go slowly, very slowly. It takes time and knitting requires muscle memory that is built overtime.
  • Explain how knitting works, how stitches are formed. I like the Lego analogy, where every stitch is like an individual Lego brick that you place on the previous row, one at a time. I also explain how each stitch is the loop pulled through another loop.
  • Show how to hold yarn and needles, how to regulate tension. I find this to be a very important step.
  • Cast on 15-20 stitches and only teach a knit stitch first. If you start with casting on, you might run out of time to teach a knit stitch.
  • Break down the whole process into tiny “tasks” and teach each one individually, like on some knitting tutorials.
  • It’s not a bad idea to find a few knitting tutorials and use them. I used one when I taught a left-handed child.
  • Acknowledge every effort, every loopy stitch, every move that indicates that they are “getting it”.
  • Be honest, and tell them if something is not right. Explain why it happened, for example, “your knitting is growing sideways because you are picking up extra stitches” and fix it.
  • When things get kind of messy, offer to knit a row yourself so that they work with nice-looking stitches.
  • Be ready to handle frustration, it is a steep learning curve, especially for the younger children.
  • I would suggest teaching finger knitting to children ages 5-7, and start needle knitting for ages 8 and up.

Speaking of finger knitting, one of my groups made so much of it during our Yarn-tastic camp, it became an art piece in my classroom!

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Happy knitting and happy teaching!

In the Hands of Children

Dear knitters,

This is a blanket with a story. It is a story of many kind ladies who knitted squares in their retirement homes. It is a story of high-school children who started putting it together. Then work-to-rule happened, and the high-school knitting club was cancelled. The blanket was waiting for another group of children to finish it.

Then the March break happened and a group of 10- and 11-year-old girls stitched the squares together but the break was short and they didn’t finish it.

Then summer came and summer camps started. One was called String Along with Us, and along we strung. The blanket was finally finished! During our morning meeting, we held it up and told some 85 school-age kids that they were capable of making a real difference in their communities, one stitch at a time.

So here is the blanket. It was made by many hands, young and not-so-young… and it is beautiful and ready to be donated to the Phoenix Youth Shelter.

blanket 3

 

blanket 1

blanket 2

deer

As I was taking photos of the blanket, these guys appeared in my backyard. Even though these deer did not contribute to the blanket… they showed up and became a part of the story. And this is the end.