Thursday, January 31, 2008

My First Day Teaching-Fun!

So, I've made it through the first day with these adorable kids and I think they're hooked. They all decided to skip recess so they could keep knitting.

Started out sitting together and sharing our names and if we have knitters in our families. Then decorated the canvas bags, which they seemed to have a good time doing. For picking their needle ends, I had them first pick a number from a hat so we could avoid, possibly, any arguments. Really, these are such nice kids, I probably didn't need to do this step. It was really interesting to see which needle ends they picked. The ones that I thought would be the first to go weren't. In fact, the pretty pink flower ends never even got picked and those were the ones I thought would be first to go.

Once we had the needles ready, we practiced the slipnot. Took about 20 minutes to get everyone doing one by themselves.

So now it was time to learn to cast-on. We're teaching the kids the double cast-on. A little more complicated, but they all ended up getting it. That took us quite a while to learn, and, as I'm left-handed, I was teaching with the wrong hand, until my assistant teacher, another knitting mom at school, pointed it out to me. So, I learned to do it right-handed with the kids. Once they learned it, boy, they were so excited and very eager to now learn to knit.

To learn to knit we ended up using the Front door........before the cat barfs, poem mentioned in a earlier post and they all like it a lot. Made sure they understood that the needle should still be wearing the scarf when it goes outside.

Most only got one row of 20 done today, and tomorrow, we're going to practice a few more rows, then decide on projects, cast-on the right amount and get to work. Not sure if we'll get any finished projects tomorrow, but I'll make sure they are far enough along to be able to finish at home. Plus, I'm at school every morning and let them know I could help them out anytime.

Looking forward to tomorrow. It really ended up being fun and now I have some new knitting buddies!

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

PSP Case-example for Kid's Knitting Class

Here's an example for the kids to use as a project idea. It will be cool to see what other ideas for projects the kids have.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

More Hand- Made Needles

Here's a few more of the Needles we made. Well, I mean, they created and I just copied. It was a lot of fun!

Teaching Kids to Knit this week

I'm teaching a group of K-2nd graders to knit this Thursday and Friday am and thought I'd share what I'm doing.

First off, I like to start out with saying that I did not come up with the wonderful ideas I'm sharing. A very talented friend put this course together and taught it last year.


The class will start with the children decorating small canvas tote backs with fabric paint and gems so they have a project bag to take home.

For needles, I purchased 1/4" dowels and cut them down to a 9" length. I then ran one end in the pencil sharpener to get a point (not a sharp point) and sanded the dowels a bit so they won't snag the yarn. And, just to make sure they are smooth, I rubbed lanolin on them. When I checked needle size, I come up with a 10.5, which is a great size needle for little hands.

For the needle ends, I have a friend who does a lot of polymer clay jewelry, hair clips, kitchen utensils and much more, that let myself and the friend mentioned earlier, come and "play" with her scraps, and we made the coolest needle ends. The kids will get to choose a set and then have me glue them onto their needles. I've got pictures of them here.

Now, it's time to learn to knit. We have hand-outs for the children that have diagrams and poems. Using Lambs Pride Bulky, the children are going to practice casting on at least 4-5 times.

The poem we are using for the slipknot goes like this: Make a circle so the rabbit can get in, Pull it closed or he'll run back to his kin.

The poem for actually casting-on:

Under the bridge, Over the moat, Jump back down the crocodiles throat.

Then it's time to practice knitting.

The poem we are using is:

Go in your front door, And grab your scarf, then take it outside, before the cat barfs
. (yes, barfs. I had two cats for over 16 years and can really relate to this one) We have two other poems to choose from, which are:

In though the front door, Once around the back, Peek through the window, Off jumps Jack;

Under the fence, Catch the Sheep, Back we come, Off we leap.


On Friday, we'll be working on knitting either a head band, a case for a Game boy or a small pouch. Basically, knitting in garter stitch a rectangular piece that can be seamed up to make whatever the child decides they'd like. I'll have some knitted examples for them to get ideas from.

I've also checked out a few stories to read to the children that have knitting as a central theme.

I'll do a post later on how this all goes. It went smoothly for my friend and I'm hope it goes that way for me.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Pictures of Cap

My "Diva" Cap

Finished my Cabled Newsboy Cap, from Stitch and Bitch Nation, last night. The yarn I used is made locally by Rabbit Ridge Design
, 100% Columbia wool, in a hand dyed color called Camo.

I picked this project to do because it reminds me of the caps my grandmother knit and wore everywhere. She made a for my son when he was born and I made sure to take a few pictures of him with them on, to send to her back in California. I've decided to knit one for each of my nieces so I can continue my grandma's tradition. I hope these are hip enough for my very stylish, diva-ish nieces.

By the way, I used plastic from my recycle bin inside the brim of the hat. I'd finished knitting it around 9pm last night and really wanted to wear it the next day, so I went through my recycling and found the Costco Chocolate Chip Cookie container, and, low and behold, the side panel was the perfect size for the Brim Template. I did trim it just a little smaller than the template after sewing it up the first time and deciding I wanted the brim a little shorter.

Still haven't frogged the Fair Isle's Hat yet, maybe tonight. In the mean time, I've got to work on the Ravelry Notebook.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Invite to Join Ravelry

Just got signed up to join Ravelry. Looks like it will be a great addition to both my organizing my knitting and also hopefully this blog. Lots of work ahead of me to get my Notebook done.

Why Diva? (My First Blog)

Welcome to my knitting blog. You may wonder why I'm a Knitting Diva. Well, honestly, it's hard to feel like a Diva when it's -4 outside, in the middle of a dark Alaskan Winter, but for most of the year, I feel like a Knitting Diva. Besides I'm a member of a recently started Women's Mountain Biking club, called AlaskaDirtDivas . So Diva it is. Hope I live up to this label.

As I get the hang of this blogging thing, I'll start adding more to this site. I've done quite a bit of knitting the past few years and I'm currently dealing with a sweater that I should of blocked before seaming, knitting a pair of lace socks, knitting a cool Cap (Stitch and Bitch Nation), and about to frog a Fair Isles Hat (Hats On) that I had decided to knit even though the gauge on my swatch was wrong. Five rows into it, it's just way too big. I should know better, but sometimes I get too excited about a project and think, maybe, just maybe, this will work out with the wrong size needles. Wrong again! I must learn patience and wait until I have the right needles for the project.