disgruntled


When I began the Kid’s Camp at the corporate employer the goal was to get kids to knit stuffed animals (remember those horrible little arugurumi creatures!?). Every bout of kids turns up total failure: not a single child has finished a project. I’d blame myself, but I refuse to take credit for this failure: expecting 6-year-olds to learn the cast-on, knit and bind-off, plus the single crochet in two 2 hour sessions (with a week’s span between the two sessions, no less!) is RI-DIC-ULOUS! But progress was made: my first session resulted in one child crying, another jamming her needles up her nose and another somehow ending up with a skein of yarn in an IMpossible lump of knots. I’m really ashamed of this, I assure you. The second group of students ended with one girl completing a solid half of an octopus, all mastered the knitted cast-on and 2 of the (five? I think?) managed to successfully knit a few rows. This last class seems pretty hopeless, but we’ll see how I salvage it tonight.

You see, children under ten, I find, cannot focus for two hours straight: their small bladders give way, their attention-spans work against them and their motor-skills, especially under the age of eight, are antagonizing. Over ten? Few problems. I firmly believe that if the camp ran, say, two weeks, with an hour everyday, I could get some results. My theory is, though, that when at the end of two hours arrives, the kids are frustrated, confused and feeling pretty crummy about their lack of results. The last thing they want to do is go home and practice immediately: which is what they need to do, to commit it to muscle memory. By the time week 2 with another 2 hour block arrives, we mostly review what we already learned. Inevitably there is one mother who insists her child should master all the skills required for a sweater, and inevitably some student thinks she deserves all my attention (it’s never the child correlating with the demanding mother, either).

I’ve learned from this:

  • don’t push kids to do what they don’t want to do when they really are trying–let them be comfortable with what they CAN do.
  • DO push kids when they have needles up their nose–that isn’t something a kid should be comfortable with.
  • Definitely let the kids take bathroom breaks, but have a designated time in which EVERYone makes the trip to the bathroom. Also, make sure none of the children find an empty cart and go for “rides.”
  • Make sure the parents understand: everyone learns at different rates, and maybe they’ll have an octopus or cuddly fish for their room–but they very well may not.

I do have pictures of the spinning.

Ah, ah! Wait, first, I have to torture you with news in the way of Kid’s Camp at Corporate Employer, where I will be promoting (and then teaching!) children from the ages of five to fourteen the fine art of knitting.

Yes.

Five.

to.

Fourteen.

We’ll be knitting little critters, knit entirely in garter stitch (the good) and using simple techniques such as k2tog’s (the bad). I say that a bit sarcastically because I’m guessing a fourteen year old would get it–but, then, they’d probably also be bored to death with these lame little creatures.

Five-year-olds? Casting-on, knitting, knitting two together and binding off? Then crocheting little tentacle-legs for the octopuse and crochet circles for the poor Angelfish’s eyes? RIggggghhhhht.

even my critters look a little bit on the dorky side:

Oscar the Octopus & Andy the Angelfish hanging out.

Oscar the Octopus & Andy the Angelfish hanging out.

I’m curious about comments–lame? unreasonable expectations of the little ones? a total misfire of “cool factor” for tweeners? and teens?

I’ll be knitting into the wee hours, trying to improve poor Oscar and Andy, and attempting to have my example shape-swatches ready for tomorrow’s demo.

An interesting site

It’s all about the history of the spindle–how the “Great Wheel” came to be the “Great Wheel,” and how the drop spindle its self is thought to have come about. Information like this is fascinating–but where is the information about later histories? Social histories? I know it’s out there…

If you know of any resources, books, or what-nots…please let me know!

D recommended Knitting in America and a few others… I picked up Spinning the Old Way… we’ll see how helpful that is. Stay tuned… still researching!

Oh, and thanks to D for filling out the Spinner’s Questionnaire! That will be uber-super helpful… and thanks to those who have taken the poll… I’ve been simmering these ideas while I knit.

This shall be short:

I’ve near finished the back of the cardigan for my grandfather’s Christmas.
I’ve begun a mug cozy for my grandmother’s Christmas.
I’ve picked out some things to knit for my Mum…but I’m too poor to buy the yarn.
Writing doesn’t go, really, at all. 
I’m losing sanity quickly…but that’s okay. Once I’m completely insane I’m hoping I will simply not have a care in the world.
I kid, I kid.
No, not about the sanity–I really am losing it. About the insanity–I do hope to curb the loss of sanity and find some peace. 
What a lame post. I’m sorry blog. I’m sorry you are so sickly these days, with sparse entries that are really sad little twigs of disgruntled thoughts.