Thursday, June 17, 2010

Spool Knitting, Tie Dyed Halter Tops, Braided Bracelets & Felt on Soap with Children

Teaching in Bermuda has been a fabulous time and experience for me and the class evaluations have been terrific! I have probably learned more than the children and, I feel they've learned alot!
So here is my last official Term Class report... But no worries, I have other plans for future reports for you to enjoy! I will be continuing to work on children's projects for the foreseeable future.
First of all there are some projects that we finished up that I want to tell you about, beginning with the Button Picture Frames that the 5 yr & 6 yr old class children stitched. I held their button work back so that I could prepare a parting gift for them. KAF had some wooden picture frames that I used to hot glue their button stitchery onto. I have taken lots of photos of the children during my classes so found photos of each student and matched it up to their work as a parting gift for them. They  came out great and the children were very proud and anxious to show their mom's their work and their photos! I so loved this project....

The next items to finish up included the 10 yr olds tie dyed halter tops. One student had a simpler embelishment design and finished hers last time but wore it to class for me to see and pohotograph. The others finished theirs this week and anxiously tried them on and gave the KAF office a mini fashion show! What fun! I was so proud of their accomplishments. For new stitchers they did a terrific job! They named this project their favorite because they had liscense to create the embellishing designs on their own and loved that they could wear their very own creations. I remember wearing the first piece of clothing that I ever made for myself and the self esteem and confidence that comes with that is priceless. I hope they enjoy wearing their pieces all summer long and remember them forever!

Our new project of the week for both the 5 yr olds and 6 yr olds was spool knitting. This age old art encourages hand eye coordination and repetition which I feel helps give a sense of achievement and accomplishment. When the tails of their work began to show form the bottom of their spools they squeeled with delight and were motivated by measuring their progress in inches. Even the younger chidren who often get bored or tired kept at it to simply be able to see their progress! They were so proud of themselves :-)

Such concentration and pride show up in the photos at left :-)
The spools were made from toilet paper rolls and lollipop sticks that you can buy in a candy section of your local craft store. I chose a chenile yarn that we had a bunch of becasue of it's soft texture and appearance of bulk. It created a nice fat and soft tube. Of course they asked what they would do with this tube so I put it right back at them and gave a few suggestions after which they were coming up with ideas of their own.
It was interesting to see how even the littlest ones caught on to the idea of turning their work round and round, repeating the same process over and over again. It seemed to give them a great sense of accomplisment since it seemed so complicated to them at first. When they got it, it was a big deal and it didn't take too long. I did purposely spend a few minutes with each child demonstrating and tutoring them as they completed the first stitches and went back to each child as they needed assistance.
I pre- assembled the knitters for the 5 yr olds but the 6 yr olds were able to make them themselves. I like to be able to show them that they don't need anything fancy for their tools; that often we can make them ourselves by recycling.
Each of the children left with their knitters in hand and very proud of the tails they had created :-)

The 10 yr olds melted my heart with their completed Tie Dyed Halter tops. The one student who had finished last time wore it to class and it looked so cute on her I couldn't believe it! Her mom looked just as proud as she did :-) And the backs are just as cute as the fronts!
This class was a modge podge of things allowing time for finishing remaining projects. One student had missed two classes during the Nuno purse classes and finished her bag with the exception of stitching the straps on. Her mom will help her finish it up at home. Halter tops were completed and we then moved on to a simple felt on soap project; one that this group had never done and wanted to before term was up. This basic felting project is a good way to teach basic felting and allowing them to go home with a nice gift or shower soap for themselves.

We had an additional half hour or so of class time after their fashion show and photo shoot so they migrated to the standing loom and decided to braid friendship bracelets for their final project. What a pleasure to see them enjoy practicing skills that I teach and helping them to learn how to tie off their work to create bracelets.
In the end a good time has been had by all and we will miss each other and our time together. I will hope to see them all in my classes during fall camps and Fiber Fest for one more chance for them to enrich MY life!

The content of my reports will change of course but I hope to keep you informed of my creative journey, especially with children.

So, until next time.................

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