Monday, March 26, 2018

What would YOU include?

I taught a seminar this weekend in Tennessee, and I loved it!  It's a terrific group.

One of the things I learned was that there needs to be a little something for beginners at the start.  We had a couple of beginners, and one of them told me that she was quite bewildered at my first class, which was a bit advanced.  She said that when I got to some simpler demonstrations, she felt much less confused and happier she was at the seminar.

We all value our beginners!  I want to make one of my Pacifically Passap classes (the first one, day one) for beginners as well as knitters who have gotten rusty.  The advanced folks have other sessions they could attend, and in all my subsequent sessions, I will do demonstrations that are a little more advanced.

Here are my ideas of things to include for the special beginner and returner class:
  • "TLC for your machine," a very fast verbal run-down about making sure you have a good sponge bar, oiling and cleaning. 
  • "Speak the Lingo," a list in the handouts of our typical phrases and what they mean.
  • "Cast-On and Bind-Off Tips," which would be written with some YouTube URLs, but in class, I'd teach starting with waste yarn, put in a ravel cord, do an e-wrap cast on, knit some rows slowly, listening for the click, take it off on waste yarn, and show a tapestry needle bind off. 
  • "Learning Plan," how to use the free Beginner Course on YouTube or the Beginner DVDs. 
  • "Gauges and Consequences" - In person I'd just do the basic "practically perfect gauge swatch" and explain how important this is.  That demo includes the quick utility cast-on, a few eyelets, and some stitch marking and measuring.  In the write-up I'd also go over gauge conversions, yarn groups briefly, and very basic knitter's math.
  • "Basic Seams," Kitchener and mattress, which my diagrams in the handout and the URL for the YouTube videos teaching basic seams.  I will hand out bulky swatches, needles, and suggest homework.  I won't have time to teach it unless we get lucky, but I'll give them tools.
  • "Cable Join and Worm Edge" demonstrated, with a free pattern, "My First Cabled Afghan."
  • "Get More Knitting Done While Having More Fun," which is an essay I've written which encourages finding knitter friends, seminars and clubs, finding short periods of time to knit, and various other resources and ideas.  This just goes in the handouts.  I'll talk about it if I get time.
I'm adding a lot to Pat's handouts, but hopefully, she won't mind because she says we ought to try to take care of our beginners.

What would YOU add?  What do you wish you'd seen at your very first lesson?

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