The joy of teaching knitters and other crafters
Apr 27, 2015
Having just returned from France where I accompanied an Arena Travel knitting tour as the expert and tutor, I've been reflecting on why I enjoy teaching in the craft sector.
I teach a range of topics/crafts/skills including:
- Knitting - beginners, cables, textures, reading your knitting, etc
- Simple beading projects
- Felt bead making
- Crochet corsages
- Recycled fabric jewellery
- Running a craft business
- Building a website for your craft business.
These bring me into contact with lots of interesting and creative people who want to learn something new. And in turn that challenges me to have all the information and skills to answer their questions, find new solutions and ensure they have a good time.
Which of course means I'm always learning as well. Plus I'm hearing about new projects and ideas as my students tell me about their crafty and creative lives. For someone who can spend days immersed in spreadsheets grading knitting patterns or writing at my laptop, this interaction is important and inspiring.
On the recent trip we looked at creating double-sided textures and cables, as well as tackling the Moebius cast on. Both things that can be steeped in the arcane mystery that certain knitting types attract. I both wanted to challenge my students and show them that with a little faith - in a pattern and themselves - they can tackle any knitting challenge.
And yes it was a challenge: Moebius knitting requires you to do a few rounds before you really understand that you are knitting outward from the centre line of the loop rather than from edge to edge of a cylinder. That was something that made the knitters think or puzzled some in equal measure. Although after a couple of goes everyone started to get it and after 3 or 4 rounds there were squeals of joy as shape and pattern revealed itself.
There is something very rewarding about helping people learn something new.
Of course, I'd set a challenge for myself too - finding solutions for any problems encountered by the students.
The other thing about teaching workshops is that you get plenty of exercise - or at least I do because I like to walk round and show things to my students, and go to them when they have any problems. I keep meaning to wear a pedometer for classes to see how much ground I cover.
Teaching this most recent workshop has given lots of new ideas for workshops and as soon as I arrange opportunities to teach them, I'll be sharing the news here.
Meanwhile do tell me what you'd like from a workshop.