What a great weekend I just had! (Okay, it was two weekends ago now. I wrote this post last week, but wanted to “tweak” it… Thanks to this post by Crunchy Betty, I have more confidence in posting today.)
Anyway, I took two classes with Cat Bordhi, organized by my local knitting guild. The first: Cat’s Sweet Tomato Heel. The second: Finding the Fountain of Fresh Knitting Ideas.
Oh my! And what a fountain. Whether or not some of our crazy brainstorming results in some new patterns from me is yet to be seen. My brainstorming partner and I got pretty carried away, and the things we came up with are much more complex than any of my other patterns to date. But I might be up for the challenge…
I have some other things to think over, too. I think it was Sally Mellville who mentioned, in passing, during our guild meeting, about a woman who taught pregnant women on bed rest to knit. Cat’s topic at the meeting (since she was our main speaker — Sally just happened to have some extra input for us during the discussion time) was twofold: the relaxing attributes of knitting, and the importance of supporting local yarn shops. Imagine the therapeutic potential of knitting while going through tough times! We all know it works; it’s why we do what we do. (As for the LYS topic, we can talk more about that later maybe.)
The idea of teaching people stuck in hospitals to knit has caught my attention. I have a soft spot for hospital families, since ours was one for a while, and one of my best friends’ is one right now. I wonder if the moms of kids in the local childrens’ hospital would like to learn to knit. I wonder if the teenage patients would like to learn to knit. I wonder if the little kids would like to learn to knit.
I sat with my kids this morning, taking turns with each one on my lap, teaching them to finger knit. Again, I was inspired by Cat last night, who talked about her classes of middle school students knitting while she taught them; she talked about how it calmed them and helped them focus; how it broke down social tiers; how it gave the kids with less-obvious skills something to excel at. The more I thought on the calming and focusing aspects of knitting, the more I wanted to teach my kids to knit; and my motives are no longer as selfish, wanting them to knit just because I think it’s awesome and therefore everyone should do it.
As I sat with my second-youngest on my lap — the one who is slightly behind, the one who I worry about the most when I choose to worry — I felt tears of amazement gather behind my eyes. He and I sat, with fingers overlapping, chanting “in front, behind, in front, behind,” then repeating “up and over, up and over, up and over.” He loved the rhythm of it all, the repetition, the growth of the “snake” down the back of his hand. His little fingers, awkward at first, became adept at pulling the loops up and over his finger tips. Then he, in the two minutes I turned away to help another son, wound the yarn around his own fingers, whispering “in front, behind, in front, behind” to himself. He did it perfectly.
There really is something wonderful about knitting, isn’t there?
More on my inspirations from Cat in later posts… Her Sweet Tomato Heel is really something wonderful. You can find the how-to video here.
Have you taught kids to knit? How did it go? I’d love to hear from you.