Tuesday, January 31, 2006

75 Minutes and Vicki was an Expert!!

Ok it must be because Vicki owns a knitting shop, knows yarn, eats drinks sleeps yarn. Or maybe I am an incredibly good teacher. Or maybe Joy was so happy to be spinning again that she made it extra easy for Vicki. In 75 minutes Vicki went from never even watching someone spin, to an 18 yard balanced skein.

My method: Coaching rather than teaching. For all my younger years I wanted to be an art teacher. I believe art cannot be taught, but you can be coached to use the talents you have, to create. So here is what I did.
  • Without touching the wheel we discussed different sheep and why I choose the roving she was going to use. I had Vicki figure out how long the staple was. About 3 inches.
  • Then I had her strip a section off the roving I'd brought. I told her to put her hands approx the same distance apart as the staple length and pull lightly, sliding the fibers and, seperating the fibers till that point where they almost come apart. Then she moved her hands down to the next section and so on. Wound it into a loose ball.
  • I then explained the mechanics of spinning. What the wheel would be doing, what her hands would be doing and what the roving would be doing in her hands. She then practised treadling for 3 minutes. Fast and slow, then touch and go landings. (you know, almost stopping, but then starting up again)
  • Vicki then hooked the roving to a leader and started up. I talked to her again about what her hands were doing and should be doing. We had several interuptions due to phone and customers coming into the shop but Vicki was able to start up again pretty good.

Vicki was going to be teaching her crochet class at 6 pm so she stopped spinning and I told her about plying. She caught on to plying in no time. When the last of her students wandered in, I told her how to put it on the niddy noddy, tie it off in 4 places and test the yarn for balance. Would you believe it was perfectly balanced??? Did she do great or what!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (please also note the posters on the table top in the photo below - yes, it's the boys who knit poster!)


Blogger Cristina said...

the pink and orange looked awesome together on the wheel shafty thingy...

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