Wednesday, June 22, 2011

I Would Like You To Meet ---

Wednesdays, as long-time readers know,  I work in my LYS.  Last fall, in arranging workshop schedules for the season, the owner and I decided to change tactics.  Instead of a class where a specific technique is taught, or  instructions for a particular garment explained, we decided to let the knitters knit what they wanted to knit - within a pre-determined topic focus. 

Two week sessions were planned,  focusing on hats,  scarves, felting and mittens.  The choice of yarn and pattern was up to the knitter and I was there to guide them through their project.

At the first workshop in  September, those who came knew how to hold needles and make a knit stitch.  By November, they had learned various methods of casting on, left and right slanting increases and decreases, how to knit with double pointed needles,  knitting in the round, fixing dropped stitches and so much more.

By November,  they were ready for socks,   in January, their first sweaters.    Of course, I encouraged them to design  their own sweaters using Elizabeth Zimmermann's percentage system.  Some knit adult sweaters, some knit for grand children.  Some included cables, some stripes.  One knitter brought her six year old Philosophers Sweater Kit with two inches of one sleeve finished.  She  learned  two handed fairisle,  steeking  and buttonholes.  One knitter strolled into the store in the spring saying she knew how to make a knit stitch and wondered if  someone could teach her to knit socks.  She's now on her fifth pair. 

I am most wonderfully pleased with their progress.  There is little as rewarding as watching a new knitter accomplish so much, do it so  well and in so short a time. 

Since the end of the 'workshop season' is approaching  (not that the students are taking off, but rather me - their teacher.  I leave soon for Hearst,  the trailer and the grand kids for the summer) I would like to introduce these fantastic no-longer- new knitters to you and brag a bit about their accomplishments.

Meet  Diane.

She not only learned to knit along with the others, but with her husband,  this winter,  built a new house  and recently moved in.  That can seriously cut down on knitting time.  Here she shows you the sleeve of her EPS sweater.

This is Arlene.   
Her first sweater was an EPS raglan  for her grandson and she works here on Sally Melville's Einstein bunting suit for the new baby arriving in September.

Meet Carol.
Carol was the  knitter  so discouraged with her six year old Philosophers kit that she was intending to use the entire kit of yarn for socks.  Not only is that  sweater now finished, but also a top- down child's  pullover and this special request - "a John Deere Sweater, Nanny".    Intarsia, no less.

This is Ruth.    

A single lady who wanted a life-style change and last year -  after a visit to  Collingwood  -  uprooted herself and came here to live.  She is, now,  the life of our Wednesday knitting group. She has knit so many garments, that it is difficult to remember them all.  Alpaca socks, a cabled, EPS sweater for herself, felted hats, mittens, scarves and now this lovely baby blue sweater for her sister in England.   

And the sock knitting wonder of our group,  Audrey. 

Working today on pair number five.  Her first day, I told her I would have her turning heels while watching TV and chatting with her hubby.  She pooh poohed me then, but she doesn't now.

These ladies are remarkable.  From practically non-knitters to addicts with queues and stashes in mere months.   It doesn't get much better than that.


Sel and Poivre said...

Bravo for the students but I think there should also be a picture of and "Bravo" for the teacher too!

Nicki said...

I agree with Sel and Poivre! Wow, good knitting going on in Collingwood.

Needles said...

Isn't it grand!

Sandra said...

Remarkable knitters spring from remarkable teachers. You should be at least as proud of yourself as you are of them - Brava!
And a note to Carol - my Mom is "Nanny" to her grandkids as well - it's a rare name...

Joansie said...

Interesting post! My most popular class is the one where I let them bring me their knitting problems. Four 2-hr. sessions and they learn from each other as well. One of the reasons it is so popular is they work at their own pace and there is no competition regarding progress on a particular pattern. Knitters can really be competitive.

Yarn and Ivories said...

Sounds like you've had quite the year. Congratulations, everyone!

Christy J said...

A very talented and prolific group, and a tribute to their teacher! Nice to see a picture of our friend Ruth in her new milieu.