Tuesday, May 12, 2015

On another note --nuntium centesimum sexagesimum sextum

Every year we take one day out to do exploratory learning with our students.  I love this day although it's a lot of work.  This year I did a session of tatting- six kids and they all got the flip!  Pizza dough throwing (I just supervised- I have NO idea but it sure was fun), knitting and a session of how to make sock creatures.

Imagine 10 12-year olds with needles and thread.  Most of them had never held a needle before or knew how to tie a knot!  Oh boy, but we had fun.
To teach the knitting, I always start with 20 stitches cast on for them.  Teach them the knitting first, then after they get used to holding needles and yarn, then the casting on.
Interestingly not as many actually got how to knit.  Two of them bailed and went back to tatting.
I had two kids with me all day for all four sessions.  Others who did three and others two.  Very fun day.  Another reason to love teaching middle schoolers.


  1. Sounds like a wonderful day! Well done to the tatters, they did well. I love those sock creatures too.

  2. That sounds like a lot of fun! I like the Sugar 'n Cream colors.

  3. This sounds like a fun day. Getting hands-on experience with such a variety of projects would get them out of their comfort zones to try new things they might not have thought they would enjoy. Maybe a few enjoyed themselves enough to look into learning more about one of the subjects - maybe tatting?? Wouldn't that be cool?

  4. It's interesting how childhood memories pop up out of nowhere. Your statement that kids don't know how to sew with a needle, made me wonder how and when I started 'sewing'. Obviously sharp needles are out of the question for young children, but I recall in the '50s 'practicing' with 'sewing cards' or 'lacing cards' where we used a shoestring (with the plastic ends) to go through holes in pre-punched cardboard to 'outline' a printed cartoon animal or flower. I had forgotten all about those! But I don't remember when I started to hold a 'real' needle. By 6th grade I embroidered a pillow case (daisy stitch), plus I hand-sewed 'outfits' for my teddy bears. But I was fascinated with a neighbor's sewing machine, and my parents bought me one in 7th grade after I learned how to use one in Home Ec. I was interested in these things because, although we had TV, we lived at a much slower pace and had 'time' to do handcrafts.

    I very much agree that one should teach knitting on already-cast-on stitches. I recently taught an adult gal, and she immediately picked up on it So much easier to do the stiches when they 'slide' on the needles. . The first row, even for experienced knitters, is always 'tricky'!

    It's awesome that you are showing them tatting, which is still a little-known craft. I hope some of them will become interested!


gratias maximas- it's wonderful to hear what you have to say!