Aran Isle Knitting Class
John C. Campbell Folk School
Brasstown, NC May, 2004
Katie, Mayme, Darilee, Melinda, Sharon, Leann, Yvonne, Charley, Angela
This class's goals were to learn how to knit aran patterns without using the written directions, or "knit out of their heads". They started with different experience levels and skill, but all could knit and purl comfortably. Some wanted to duplicate patterns they had seen, and others wanted to design sweaters, hats, scarves and other works. They also wanted to learn the basics of knitting and how to fix errors without having to "unknit" a great deal of work. This was a process class, so the products were limited to swatches and small items, but the students finished the week with a the knowledge and skills to continue to work independently on aran-pattern items.
They started learning that the knit stitch and the purl stitch were the same stitch. Then they worked their way through the various contrasting stitch patterns; garter, stockinette, seed, moss, double moss, ribbing, twisted ribbing, two stitch twisted cable, cables, diamonds, and blackberry (trinity). By Tuesday evening they were well on the way and just needed to experience the application of what they learned to new projects. They learned some other important life lessons as well; such as mistakes are part of the process and they are opportunities for learning; the need to break down tasks to workable units; and "There is no crying/whining in knitting" when it is properly done. The achievements of the students in this class gave me great satisfaction as a teacher. The ultimate goal for a teacher is that their students surpass what they have done. This students in this class have great potential to achieve that goal.