Monday, 28 March 2011

Snail Tails, Starting and Restarting, and the Missing Link

I am in Indiana and I left so hastily I did not pack my knitting. (Don't worry I have some now--thanks to my sister).

More importantly I am missing my knit-companions and the company we share. Nothing is quite as good as the time around the table with our knitting and a cuppa, but I'll take this gap to bring in some of the stories I have collected about getting started knitting--a thread I began a couple posts earlier.

(If you have not read Ruan's story in a comment to that post, let me encourage you to take a look at it.)

My dyed in the wool knit friends said they could not remember a time when they did not know how to knit. They learned the easy way--though it may not have felt that way at the time to little fingers and short attention spans--they learned at home from mothers or grandmothers. Snail tails was how they described some of their earliest experiences--wrapping thread around the little spools with nails on top called variously French knitting or spool knitting.

Other knitters admitted that they were first shown how to knit at home but did not take to it at the time. The first lessons, however, were enough to make re starting easier when later in life they decided to take it up again.

Most of the adults of my age or older also had the opportunity to learn knitting in school. Teaching knitting in schools has declined. As a result we have a generation of complete non-knitters. In putting together Northern Loops, we called that generation the missing link. If those adults never learned it school, then their children miss out on learning either at home or at school.

Northern Loops wants to help fill that gap. Starting to knit--just learning the essentials--makes it that much easier for anyone who wants to take up knitting later on. Even if someone never takes up their knitting needles after the first few lessons, they will have gained a literacy that translates into other areas of learning and confidence building.

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