Recently, I had the opportunity to pop by the local HQ of Alternative Apparel after hours and teach a knitting lesson. When I got these photos the other day, I knew I had to show them off, because look at all these cool kids learning a skill! Man. Skills are the best.
First of all, this is one of the coolest offices I’ve ever been to. It has this relaxed, we-like-being-here atmosphere. Also, everyone I met was super sharp, which is rare. Most people I know have an arsenal of stories about some total dud they work with. Maybe all the duds went home early?
Anyway, this was my first time teaching a proper, official Knitting Class where people had to sign up in advance and everything, so I was learning as much as I was teaching. I was exhausted by the time it was over, but the good kind of exhausted, where you still want to keep going, but you also kind of feel like you’ve been up all night. I highly recommend it. For you crafty persons out there who are thinking of giving teaching a shot, here are a few of the most important things I learned:
- Enthusiasm and pizza both go a long way toward making knitting fun to learn. The ladies at Alternative were great to hang out with, and they were willing to put up with a lot because they were so excited about what they were doing. That was really helpful when I was having trouble getting to everyone as quickly as I wanted to. I bet people who aren’t excited about knitting are really crappy to teach knitting to, so I probably wouldn’t teach it at, say, a summer camp where everyone is forced to choose a class, or, I don’t know, a mental facility where no one gets to decide on their own schedules.
- Eighteen people is probably too many for a knitting lesson. Everyone will be able to learn a lot faster if groups are kept to ten or fewer. But a big group certainly does make for a fun party!
- Anyone can knit. Teaching knitting is the easy part. The hard part is convincing timid learners that it’s difficult for everybody at first, so they shouldn’t give up or curse themselves when it doesn’t come naturally.
The whole experience was perfectly delightful. Since we ran out of time before we could get into purling and casting off, I made a video afterward of everything I didn’t have time to demonstrate. And I just got the nicest thank-you card in the mail! If that isn’t a rewarding way to spend a Tuesday evening, I don’t know what is. Keep being awesome, Alternative.