Wednesday, June 20, 2007

We Knit in School Today

My 10 year old son loves to knit.
Today was his 4th grade class picnic, an annual event that occurs rain or shine. Today it rained, so I packed up a bag of some old Boye needles, acrylic yarn from who-knows-when and headed off to school. I'm the class mom, but I fortunately didn't have to deliver the pizza. I bought the soda (begrudgingly - we don't drink the stuff here and we don't really think any kids should) and arrived after the pizza and soda had been consumed, and at around the time when some of the students seemed tired of "Uno Attack" and Kinnex. When I asked if anyone wanted to learn how to knit, a few boys jumped up, followed by a few more, and then more! At this point, I was long out of needles, so I told them to grab pencils. They each picked a yarn and off they went, casting on and doing a few garter stitch rows. While some didn't get too far, others attacked it with abandon. "Mrs. C!" I heard, over and over. "I need help!", said some. "Come look at how I'm doing!" said others. By the thick of it, there were a group of about 12 boys, scattered around the classroom focused on their knitting. Only one girl came by, and my son showed her how to knit. She was concerned though that once she learned knitting she might forget how to crochet...
All the students were all so proud, showing me their work, complete with loops and wonkiness. In the midst of the learning, a boy sat quietly with his needles and yarn, and when I looked over at him, he was knitting Continental. But I had shown them all English! He said he had learned from his grandma. He also told me he prefers the long-tail cast-on method. He'll probably be knitting a sweater before long!
I hope that some of these boys take this new hobby and practice it over the summer. I told them about how it makes me happy and keeps me calm. I offered them the idea that they should try it in the mornings after they've gotten ready for school and are waiting for the bus or car. Who knows, maybe more boys will knit, and in another 10 years we'll have more men knitters. Then maybe we won't have war. The politicians can knit instead of argue.

I got a present from the teacher for being a class mom. She goes out of her way to find out what we like. She nailed it! Here it is.
Serendipity, Rubber Soul, and Inky Antics rubber stamps. Did I mention the teacher is a knitter too? I can only hope my son's 5th grade teacher knits too!


Angela said...

I think that's great! That one little boy sounds like a hoot. Maybe he and your son will do something together and become knitwear designers. I taught my girlfriend's daughter how to knit too. She's still learning but when I come over with my knitting she pulls out hers and we sit side by side. I'm hoping that she'll keep up with it, but if not, that's okay. She may pick it up again when she's older and when she does she'll remember me.

OfTroy said...

there are chopsticks
(the round kind, not the flat ones that have to be pulled apart) that make great beginner knitting needles.

you can buy a bunch(100 pairs) (in chinatown)--for about $2.
Your local restaraurant might charge you more, but still not much..

the round chop sticks need
1- a head (doll heads (from wooden crafts) are a perfect size (beads have too big holes--not to mention they have holes clear through!)

2-they need the points "shaped" a bit of emery cloth, or fine sand paper (or an emery board) works fine (the ends come tapered, just not to a "point")

3--they need a polish (a bit of wax paper works well)

even if you buy the doll heads at full price (99cents for 4(2 pairs of needle) they are cheap.. and part of the lesson can be making your own needles. (and you can often get the dolls heads on sale --for 49cents! (michaels/ACMoore carry them.)

what is really cool is they are perfect US Size 8!

A first lesson of making your own needle gets kids involved and doing things.. (and gives you a chance to work with kids one at a time (as they finish up making their needles)