Tuesday, November 15, 2011


There is a teacher inside of me.

And last night, for the first time in a long time, I felt like a missing piece of me had been plugged back into place. There is nothing more exciting to me than to be a part of helping someone do something they never thought they could do…to help them to get to that "Aha" moment.
Whether it was watching a kid finally understand  how to factor polynomials the during years that I was teaching at school,
or delighting in the fact that beginning painters achieved their own masterpiece when they thought that all they could draw was a stick figure,
or sharing the excitement of a new knitter, all tight and fumbly, knitting their first row.

Last night, my beginning knitting students did not fail me in their enthusiasm, frustration, doubt , and then ultimately their pride.

It’s the joy of being a teacher.
It’s what we do when we love creating and can pass that on to others.  Women have been gathering together to learn stuff at the guidance of another craftswoman for generations and generations. The world has been spun round and round because of our ability to sew, knit, tat, crochet, embroider, quilt and weave...all the ways that we have provided covering and warmth for our bodies and our homes. The bonus is that while all of these things are practical, they can also be the ways in which we express our inner artisan.  And we continue to glean from one another with the additional  benefit of blogs, and Ravelry and Pattern Review and YouTube. Still learning, still teaching…we just have more resources these days.

My mom was a great teacher. Women would gather around the dining room table for as far back as I remember to learn how to do something…many things… under the tutelage of my mother.  I was an eager student…whether it was learning how to fold a reader’s digest into a Christmas Tree or how to embroider tiny lazy daisies...it’s funny to me that back in those days, however, that I had absolutely no interest in knitting and I resisted  with all my might when I had to learn how to sew.

But  these days?  My head could explode from the number of projects that I have in my head. And I am blessed to be able to explore with others their own hidden artisan within.

And never fail, knitting friends, I do have a few projects on the needles…

This is a knock off of the Kate Middleton Shopping Shawl.
AND I've been swatching, and swatching for some sweater projects:

Who taught you to knit? Who taught you to sew?

That's about it for now...our office/my sewing room are undergoing some redecorating and re-arranging, which we started tonight. Can't wait to get that finished up this week.


  1. I've learned to knit more than once. A dear nurse friend has taught me, a knit teacher has taught me in classes, and my grandma taught me to crochet.

    SO happy you are enjoying teaching, your calling!

  2. Mom taught me the basics when I was maybe six, but at fourteen my Aunt Doris taught me to make mittens (knit flat and stitched up the side).

    They are the best learning project. You learn: casting on, knitting, purling, ribbing, increasing, decreasing, putting stitches on a holder, binding off, and the mattress stitch. Then you get to do it all over again!

    I remember giving all my girlfriends mittens for Christmas in high school. Since then I have moved on to more complex projects, but almost forty years later, I still love giving mittens to those I love!

    And, just last night I started teaching a new member of my knitting group to knit. It is rewarding. Her first project... mittens!

  3. I wish I lived closer, I would love to be a student in this class. My mom taught be to knit and sew. I haven't done any knitting in years, I should have Mom give me a refresher course.

  4. I agree - it is a wonderful feeling when students "get it" - whatever it is that you're teaching them.
    I first learned hand stitching from a family friend who used to look after us from time to time. Then I really started in home ec class. In reality, I probably learned mostly on my own from books and experimentation. As for knitting - I never graduated beyond egg cozies and scarves, and that was a long time ago.

  5. I made those Reader's Digest trees too - and then we would spray paint them. My older sister worked for IBM, and we made wreaths from key punch cards - remember those?!!

    My maternal grandmother taught me how to do everything. My mom had 5 kids under 5 years old by the time she was 25. She didn't have time to teach me anything. But my grandma had all the time in the world for me. And she thought I could learn anything, even though I am left handed. She taught me to knit right handed. My great aunt taught me to crochet, and I do that left handed.

    My grandfather worked for a division of Singer, so when I turned 17 he let me go to the Singer store in our mall and pick out anything I wanted. I got a top of the line Athena for $700. I sewed on it for 20 years till it broke and couldn't be repaired. Loved that machine; loved my grandparents more. I was so lucky to have them.

  6. Thanks for the compliments.I sure do remember those trees and even more so the santa sled with all his reindeer made from a turkey breast bone.

  7. My mother . I had to learn everything.


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