One of my personal highlights of 2011 was in convincing Lawrencestown National School to exhibit at the Galway Science and Technology Science Festival Exhibition. Nothing special about that one might say as I annually coordinate the involvement of schools into this one day fair that is the highlight of a 2 week festival which this year took place in Galway University (NUIG) attracting over 24,000 visitors representing the largest crowd ever to appear on campus.
Jean Greenhowe has a fabulous collection of knitting booklets for irresistible dolls and toys . I have bought a number of them - The Scarecrow Family, Little Gift Dolls, Knitted Clowns, Jiffyknits, Knitted Animals, Christmas Special and Christmas Treasures. The children have knitted various items from these booklets. Some of the children buy knitting magazines. Another mom gave her son a magazine that had knitting pattern for boys in it. There was a pattern of a rocket, a dinosaur and a turtle. Some of the children knitted them.
The first stitch the children learn is the Garter stitch (AKA plain stitch). Every row is knit. Once the children have mastered this stitch they learn how to cast on and off stitches. They knit simple hairbands (sweatbands for boys) and wrist bands to practise this stitch. Then they learn the Stocking stitch (aka purl stitch - knit on the right side, purl on the wrong side).
After this they learn how to read patterns. As the patterns get more and more complicated they learn more and more knitting techniques: inc = increase stitches, dec = decrease stitches, psso = pass slip stitch over and so on.
One boy knitted Mrs Claus for his grandmother (finished height 36 cm).
At Christmas the children knitted Christmas trees, Christmas stockings, candy canes, garland rings to hang on their Christmas trees. At Easter they knitted chickens. One girl knitted a rattler for her baby brother and another knitted Binky the Golfing Clown with the help of his Granny.”