One of my life’s missions is to create more knitters. I love knitting and the soothing almost zen like state it induces. I love the creative process with the combination of mathematics and creativity. I am now working on my grandchildren as future knitters. (More)
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My oldest granddaughter has been knitting a scarf for at least a year. Her 8 inches of scarf has a few mistakes. I told her to think of them as “design elements.” Her dad, my oldest son, knit a scarf when he was about her age. It was yellow acrylic and definitely wavy. He was determined and proud of his work. I never corrected his mistakes but encouraged him to finish the scarf. He gave it to his grandmother for Christmas and she was appropriately effusive.
Flashback to my learning to knit at about the same age. Maryann, our next door neighbor, was the only knitter I knew. If daughter Ellen or I made a mistake, she would rip out all our work and tell us to start again and pay attention. Ellen never became a knitter. No surprise with her mom as her teacher. I, on the other hand, had a very stubborn streak.
I learned that passion for a task is very different from mastery. I realized that the creative process is inherently messy. I got that finishing is really important, even if it is just a 6-foot scarf. I learned that saying that a couple of dropped stitches are a “design element” is so much better than ripping out a lot of knitting to prove a point.
I gave my six year old grandson some yarn and a pair of large (15) needles. He wanted to do what his older sister was doing. He did not even seem surprised that both his mom and his dad could teach him to knit. My money is on my grandson. He is patient and determined and loves color. I do think he will be a very good knitter.
How much better is it to say, “This is a design element,” than to just rip out all the work? Isn’t life a series of ‘design elements?’