Middle School Crafting – Arm Knitting

13 Nov

Last night we hosted an arm knitting class for middle school students (grades 5 – 8).  I learned how to do this from a Michael’s Youtube video last fall and gave a few scarves out to friends and family as Christmas gifts.  It definitely take a little time to figure out, but once you get going and you’re paying attention, you can make a scarf in about 20-30 minutes.

For our program last night, I went to Michael’s and with a 25% off your entire purchase was able to buy super bulky yarn for $4.50/skein.  We used the Lion Brand Wool-Ease Thick & Quick.  Now for most videos I saw on Youtube, they tell you to use two skeins of yarn, but I didn’t want to confuse the kids anymore than they would already be, so we just used one skein per person.  I picked up a whole bunch of different colors so that the kids had a choice of yarn to choose from.

Here’s where I went wrong… we didn’t have enough time for some people to really grasp the idea and my coworker was not familiar with the process before the program started, so she was learning along with the kids.  We only planned the program for an hour and ended up closer to an hour and a half.  Overall, the eleven kids who showed up did remarkably well.  We had three boys come out and two of them took to knitting right away and did a great job!  And most of the girls did really well too.  The problem with a program like this is that it can get to be really aggravating if you make a mistake, because you have to start over.  I had one little girl who was crying at the end because she was so frustrated, but she was definitely trying her best, so I know how that can be.

Overall, it was a fun program and the kids wanted to come back again to practice, so we’re going to have a 2-hour open knitting time where the kids can get more one-on-one instruction time as well as hang out with friends.  I’m also going to teach my coworker the basics so she’s more familiar with the process for the second session.  Overall, I think that it was a fun idea and the kids were excited about making something with their own hands.

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