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Teaching Fibre Arts Considerations

There has been great interest in learning fibre arts such as knitting, crocheting, felting, spinning, weaving and dyeing over the past few years, and we would be happy to help in any way we can to spread the love of these applied art forms.

I would like to share with you some recommendations on best practices for teaching fibre arts in your considerations of bringing these to your students.

  • Felting is the fibre art that is probably most accessible and easiest to learn to a point where one can produce finished objects
  • Finger knitting or loom knitting (peg knitting) are other accessible yarn arts that are easy to pick up and teach
  • Knitting with two needles is best learned after the age of 8 as that is generally when children have the hand-eye coordination to do so successfully; younger children can learn but the effort to reward ratio is not good
  • We have 8 years of experience teaching knitting and have found that 6 hours of teaching [adults] produces basic knit/purl skills; it takes an additional 25-50 hours of practice to start understanding mistakes and an additional 50-100 hours of knitting to begin to be able to fix one’s own mistakes
  • Knitting is not hard, and it is very forgiving (ie. most mistakes can be fixed) but the process of learning knitting requires access to resources to help you fix mistakes as you go; and as such a ratio of 8 students to one experienced knitter is ideal
  • Not everyone that knits is a good knitting teacher; I would recommend having one confident teacher with a curriculum planned to teach knitting, along with a network of experienced knitters (ie. those that can help fix mistake or demonstrate what is being taught in smaller groups) if you embark on teaching knitting
  • There are many places to recruit experienced knitters:
    • Many of your student’s parents knit and may be available to volunteer;
    • There may be volunteers within the VSB that would be willing to help;
    • There is a Guild where you may be able to recruit volunteers (West Coast Knitters Guild);
    • If you want to recruit a professional, we have fibre arts teachers who charge $35/hr. I know some of these already work with other VSB groups
  • Our store offers demonstrations free of charge (or at minimal cost) of other fibre arts such a weaving and spinning (or even showing the process wool takes to becoming fabric); we have been doing so in the community for a number of years (ie. at Maplewood Farm’s sheep shearing and with a number of school groups)

 

I would be more than happy to volunteer my skills and time to help you build a fibre arts curriculum according to your needs. Please feel free to contact me at any time for further information on how fibre arts can be further shared with our community.

 

Happy knitting!

Paula Lindner

Owner, Baaad Anna’s Yarn Store