Sunday, March 08, 2009

It's all about the kids

Been a little quiet here recently... sorry about that! We've been a bit buried in some large projects here, and in addition to the busy shop and website, that sometimes means fewer updates to the blog. But it doesn't mean there's not a lot to say... February is always a busy month. Of course February vacation, while relaxing for the kids, is not always relaxing for the working parents. My kids went to Maine to stay with Marc's parents for the week. Marc and I stayed home and worked, but headed over for 2 days to pick them up. We managed to get in a few rides on the "sleds" or "'chines" (pronounced "sheens") as they say. They had a lot of snow over there. This is up on Center Hill overlooking Webb Lake.And here are the girls (ON the lake) with their cousin in front of our summer camp. It looks so different in the winter! Over the past week and a half I've been working on projects for the next after school knitting program, which started today. We really want these kids to do more than just sit around and knit. I have seen how excited my girls were when they learned to purl, and when they started understanding all the great stitch combinations there are with just those two easy stitches.

I came up with a new project for these kids. Here's the sampler scarf:Today each child picked a ball of Plymouth Encore Colorspun in the self striping colors. I gave them a pattern so they could get practice reading an actual pattern. It says that each time the yarn changed color, they have to change their stitch pattern. They can do garter and stockinette, since they just learned to purl, and once they are comfortable with purling, we'll show them stitch patterns like 1x1 and 2x2 rib, etc. I figured we'd do that in class next week since all that yarn going between the needles often results in extra stitches!

The nice thing about this scarf is that it really teaches them how to do different stitch patterns, and what the differences are between these patterns. They were all intrigued today that the ribbed sections on my scarf were "skinny" and the garter sections were "fat." It's important for them to notice this on their own, and to do it themselves so they actually learn how different stitch patterns will affect the outcome of their work.

So it went really well, and then when they finish the sampler scarf, they can make a doll or teddy bear hat. They'll practice ribbing, work a turning ridge, do more ribbing, then learn stripes, decreasing and seaming. They were all excited today to see the hat and think that they could actually do it themselves! All it takes is practice, right?

Speaking of kids and knitting, we've got our summer kids knitting camp information up on the website. It's going to be fun!!!

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