My after school knit class was so successful I am very pleased with myself. Of course, we didn't actually start knitting with needles yet, but Ally gave it a go this week so she could be my helper and she's picked it up very nicely.
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Reasons it went so well:
Class size is one reason it went so well. This year I have 6 kids + Ally as helper. The crochet class had 12 plus an adult helper, but it seemed way more overwhelming. I have 1-Kindergartner, 3-3rd graders, 1-4th, and 1-6th. I talked with the Kindergarten parent and told her that I wasn't sure her daughter wouldn't get frustrated considering her age. She seemed to have reasonable expectations plus the girls sister would be in the class and they've both been exposed to knitting by their grandmother.
Two of the kids can already knit. I hope they don't get bored. I can always teach them to purl.
Plus, I am a lot more relaxed this time around. I just want the kids to have fun.
Yesterday, we made our own needles. I bought some wood plugs to put on the ends of the needles and the kids could choose between those or buttons. They all wanted the plugs and they wanted to paint them, which ended up being great because I can use the different needle ends as guides for which direction they should be working. I need to buy some plastic needles for my own class supply, then the kids can take their homemade ones home to work with and if they forget them I'll have some extras on hand.
Next, we dyed the yarn with kool-aid, twisting and banding the ball to get a tie dye effect.
Finally, we had more than enough time to finger knit. They all mastered four fingers except the youngest who ended up making a chain on one finger.
I continue to work on my need to control Ally. She wanted to be my helper instead of a student. She's done all of this stuff at home, so I let her do her thing without too much guidance and she did great. She passed out all of the supplies and even taught one of the knitters how to crochet. She was good for keeping others busy while I was working one on one.
I've already signed up to do three classes next year, beginning crochet, beginning knit, and feltmaking. Feltmaking is going to be so much fun. The kids loved the felted beads last year, so I'll do that again and we'll make jewelry, then we'll do some recycled doll making with old wool scarves and sweaters and a little basic sewing and embroidery. I really want to do a needle work class and maybe a level 2 for crochet and knit, but I'm unsure of my editing workload. If my work ends up light, I can always try to add a class or two.