Saturday, March 1, 2008

16 five year olds could power a small town with kid energy


On top of my normal job as a working/knitting mother and the craziness that involves, I recently became involved in organising a Craft Club at Little Monkey's school. Naturally I offered to teach knitting to whatever group of kids were interested. I won't bore you with details of the process, but it led me last week to a room full of noisy and enthusiastic 5 year olds and a sack of spare yarn.

Sixteen of them to be exact. (Some of them were 4 and a 1/2 and some were 5 and a 1/2. Not to be pedantic, but it matters to the kids, believe me.)

Anyhow, since I only had 2 classes of an hour each, it became obvious that I would not be able to teach the kids to knit in the time available, so I decided to stick with finger knitting and making pompoms. (I'm so glad this occurred to me before I had armed 16 children with 32 sharp pointy sticks.)

The finger knitting I was happy enough with, but I was kinda hoping that making pompoms would come back to me easily after a hiatus of oh....I dunno...30 years or so? Not so. I spent several frustrating hours making pathetic lumps of short yarn pieces which fell apart instantly. I had the 2 circles of cardboard alright, I had remembered that much. So I turned to the trusty Internet for salvation and I found some great instructions which cleared up the issue. (Can't find the link now, sorry.)

Basically I hadn't been winding on nearly enough yarn to make a pompom ball - what I was getting was more like a yarn bagel. Added to that another tip, which was to use double or triple lengths of yarn for a speedy result, and bingo, problem solved. This method has the added advantage of allowing you to use more than one colour or type of yarn, which gave pretty good results.

So...we got through the finger knitting unscathed and 1/2 way through the pompoms in teh 1st class. Next week we'll finish up the pompoms and string them together. I've enjoyed the classes so far and I think there will be more in the future.

Not that I'll be making something like this anytime soon, tho' I'll admit it's kinda cute.

For anyone interested, the Club also provided a Card Making/Scrapbooking course to the kids aged 7-9 or so and a basic Mosaic course to the older kids, 10-12 year olds. These are being taught by 2 wonderful craft teachers and happily the kids are having a ball. Anyone interested in sourcing these teachers for similar courses, just give me a shout in the comments or by email at nicknits AT gmail DOT com.

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