Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Practice, practice, practice

Next week my seminar on handcrafting will convene for its first class.  I'm revising and reworking the syllabus extensively after debuting it last fall.

One of the changes I made was to ask students to begin posting on the class blog during the summer.  I had them fill out a survey about their current expertise, then assigned them to learn to knit, learn to crochet, or master an advanced knitting skill if they already had experience with both crafts.  Each student will post on the class blog to report on their learning process and show off their work.

In the next few days I expect a flurry of posts, but several students have already shared.  Holly is hoping that she'll be able to loosen up so her stitches come off the needles more easily -- and that the gerbils that power her home computer get some 5-Hour Energy shots.  Kearstin is knitting a scarf for her cousin with Knit Picks Palette yarn (one of my favorites, but very fine weight -- I hope she's using appropriate needles and stitch pattern). Ashley has hit upon the excellent idea of practicing various stitches by making squares for a blanket. Molly has mastered cabling with the help of Debbie Stoller, but is now dealing with the dreaded stockinette tube effect. Ashley R found a YouTube video that helped her produce a lovely ribbed swatch.  Check out grayfox's crochet -- not just a practice swatch, but also a perfect granny square!  And NoMercySedia has big plans for something in Slytherin colors, or at least she did back in July; I'm looking forward to finding out how those plans worked out when she makes her second post.

Having the students post during the summer was a good brainstorm.  They are telling their stories, revealing their frustrations, asking the right questions and taking pride in their efforts.  I hope you'll subscribe to the blog and follow their adventures (and those of their classmates) all semester long.  And I hope all my changes to the syllabus work out as well.

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