A New Knitter
Yesterday, after a family thanksgiving dinner out (a lovely restored Inn from the 1880's) I got to teach my neice how to knit. I am still grinning about it. I thought she would like to learn, because any time we are together and I have my knitting out, she was right beside me watching. So I got the Leisure Arts book Teaching Yourself to Knit, four balls of the soft bulky Lion Brand Jiffy, and raided my stash of needles to get her a few sizes. I put all this in a big shopping bag, and surprised her with it when we went to her house.
I had originally planned to cast on for the scarf in the book and show her how to knit by knitting the first row. But I had only cast on about 10 stitches and she was reaching for the needles. So I put my arms around her and guided her hands for another five stitches, and then let go. It reminded me so much of that letting go of the bicycle, when teaching a youngster to ride! With only a little coaching, she was casting on just fine.
So I then took the needles and showed her the knit stitch by doing three stitches. Then again I guided her hands for several stitches and then she was knitting! On her own!
I was surprised how quickly she picked it up. I was reminded of reading Harry Kelley's writing in the book Knit Lit, when teaching a dancer friend, how quickly he picked it up. This neice has figure skated, not the same thing for sure, but still a source of coordination that others her age may not have.
I didn't have to coach much although I sat beside her the whole evening as we knitted. I was suppose to be knitting on a sock, but I found it was so pleasurable to sit there and see her remember stitch after stitch just how to do it. Oh, she looked very ackward to be sure, but that didn't matter in the final fabric. At one point, she straightened out her needles, held them aloft and said LOOK! becoming aware at that point that a lovely soft blue fabric was forming from those needles, because she was knitting.