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.
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.
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.