Sunday, March 14, 2010

Am I Really Old Enough to Teach Knitting?

Not that I mind teaching, don't get me wrong...but the knitting stereotype of the old grandmother teaching her grandchildren still sticks in my mind. In fact, I love to knit and most people who have learned from me will tell you that I do pretty well. Most of my students are visual learners, as am I, so we understand each other. This is excellent because most people who know me can relate how I am always trying to make up new words and gesture wildly when I can't think of the words I really want, which is often.

I'm not what most people would consider old, just in my early 30's. Kids call me the "fun Aunt" who likes to sugar them up and send them home. I'm the one who always has time to bake and do creative things, the one who's not burnt out yet because I don't have children of my own. This makes me feel incredibly young, which is why I wonder about the aforementioned anecdote. Why does knitting, something I dearly love, make me think of elderly women? There are countless movements recently that pitch fiber arts in a younger, hipper light. Things such as "Yarn bombing" have even reached little Keokuk, IA. I noticed an elegantly wrapped signpost the other day and wondered if I should covertly add to it or just start my own. Surely I have some old yarn left over from making baby blankets for all my friends that could be sacrificed for such a cause. The whole world should know that knitting is not just for grannys anymore. Sometimes it's for people who will never be grandmas, like me.

To get back to the teaching though, for several months now there have been a small group of women coming over to our house to learn the basics. It's a little daunting coming up with lessons as I never know what they will remember from the class before and if they will be ready to move on. We went from knit and purl stitches in lesson one to binding off and cables in lesson two. For some this might seem to be a jump, but I don't believe in keeping people in potholder stage for very long. Knitting should be fun and experimental and progressive. People in ruts don't have very much fun.

The problem is, there has been so much ice and snow in the past month that we have missed the last few weeks. I'm afraid we may have to go back to potholder stage and refresh before moving on. At least they will already have a feel for it and perhaps it won't take the whole lesson. I don't charge money because these are my friends and the joy I get out of seeing someone "get it" is worth more than anything. Besides, once they love knitting, they will probably love yarn and I can ease them into a spinning addiction as well. Bwahahahaha!