Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Teens Knitting: Starting Fresh

Kids have been asking about the knitting club for a couple of weeks but, as always, I was a little slow getting things going. Still, all said, getting it rolling before the end of September is pretty good and is probably the earliest I have ever managed to start it.

This afternoon found four young ladies wielding yarn and needles for the first time. All caught on pretty quickly and three of the four were purling by the end of the afternoon. Two "older" knitters came by for a refresher course and immediately remembered what to do. They quickly knocked out a couple of inches on the first blanket blocks of the year and promised to bring in the finished blocks by the end of the week.

For those of you new to this feature of Squid Knits, a quick summary of the "Teens Knitting" subplot. Everyone else can tune out now as I have nothing interesting to say on my own life other then I managed to get my Treo sync'd with my new computer with absolutely no trouble! And Audible is working too!


Teens Knitting is a heading I started back in the days when I actively participated in the Socknitters Yahoo group. Back then, I posted looking for sources of inexpensive suppliers in NYC and found, instead, a wealth of wonderful people who wanted to support my students' newly acquired knitting habit. For a few years I would post the "adventures" of my teens on the mail list and received encouragement and supplies from the interested readers.

For a few years the club was in hiatus while life got in the way but it was resurrected last year to great acclaim. In fact, the club was so popular that we rapidly ran out of supplies with needles going first. In return for learning how to knit and getting to use the school supplies, the kids knit block for Warm Up America blankets, last year completing two full blankets and most of a third.

The kids who knit span ethnic lines with Banglas learning how to purl from Dominicans and native Harlemites showing recent immigrants from China how to bind off. Seniors interact with Freshmen and Sophomores and Juniors are tolerated with a grin. For the most part, they do not span gender lines though one or two boys do learn how to knit each year. It is my girls, however, who keep things going. They take it home, show mom and grandma and get the older generations knitting again. Sometimes I wonder if I am responsible for a knitting renaissance among the families of my students.

As for me, what do I get out of it? I get the nicest hour of my week. I get a chance to eavesdrop on their conversations and learn about their likes and dislikes and crushes and ... oh, all sorts of stuff. I get the trust of a group of kids who might only know me as "the lady in the hallway." I get so much, all of it intangible, all of it so very fulfilling.

That said ... if you have some orphan needles (preferably in sizes 6 - 9) looking for a good home, let me know. The school address is here -- just don't address the packages to "Mama Squid." They think I'm weird enough already.


Paul said...

Very cool! I'll see what needles I can find. Do you need yarn also? Give me a hollar!

Anonymous said...

Sounds like a great group!

knitseashore said...

You are giving the students such a wonderful gift!!

Kristen said...

It sounds great. I'd like to do this with older students. Some years ago I had an afterschool knitting class which consisted of about ten 4th graders and me - yikes. Bit off more than I could chew.