KNIT MAGIC introduces the
‘SAFE KNITTING’ Training & Assessment Program  &  ‘SAFE KNITTING’ TEACHER Training: Level I Program.
CLICK HERE
for the TEACHER TRAINING Page.

When I started my work in this field, I was shocked by the number of people who told me they tried to learn to knit when they were young but were useless at it or unteachable. What I tell them all is that if they were unable to learn it was always the fault of the teaching. ALWAYS. If the teacher isn’t communicating to you in a way that makes you understand how to pull a loop of yarn through another loop (that is literally all it is) then something is wrong with their method. Given how simple knitting is — simpler that tying a shoelace — why are there so many stories of people who came away feeling useless as a result of not picking it up?

Just because one is a great — even an expert — knitter, that doesn’t make one a great, or even good, teacher. Sometimes we do something so well and have done it for so long that we aren’t even consciously aware of how we are doing it. In order to teach well we not only have to be good at something, we have to possess the ability to pretend we don’t know how to do it so that we can get inside the mind of someone who actually doesn’t. A great teacher can take it one step further by tapping in to the thought process of the student as he/she learns and help avert mistakes before they happen.

Here are the qualities that I believe make a good knitting teacher:
•       Good communication skills
•       Understanding of how knitting works (knowledge of multiple styles is an asset)
•       Ability to determine a student’s learning style and adapt one’s teaching to best suit each student.
•       Understanding of proper postures and positions that maximize physical relaxation and minimize physical stress on the body.

Nowadays, there are fewer family elders to teach us and that means that actual knitting teachers are taking their place. The good news is that if you are called to teach knitting and see students coming away with a joy for the craft and a working knowledge of how knitting works, you’re doing a lot of things right. The bad news is that you may only be teaching half of the information. Maybe you think about how to get the yarn moving on and off the needles. but you aren’t thinking about or teaching about how the body should be positioned during this process and how to achieve ideal posture.

How do I know this? I know it not only because of the many people I meet who are in chronic pain from the repetitive strain injuries they have incurred from their knitting practice (who, despite the pain, are so addicted to it that they don’t want to stop).  I know it also because I watch. I watch every single person I see knitting – on the subway, on a park bench, in knitting classes that take place during open store hours at local knitting shops.  And almost without exception I see unnecessary tension held in many different parts of the body. I see contorted arm, hand and finger positions that are not only unnecessary but potentially dangerous.

Don’t get me wrong. I love knitting teachers. I particularly love knitting teachers because they have a passion to share what they enjoy and, whether or not they’re aware of its amazing benefits, they are sharing something powerful.

Maybe nobody taught them how important it is to watch their students’ form / technique / posture, or to train their bodies as well as train the yarn. Most people who teach knitting today learned when they were young and they may not realize that just because they’ve managed to knit without pain, it doesn’t mean their own technique is optimal. It may just mean they were lucky. I’ve met many teachers who hold too much tension in their bodies when they knit but somehow have avoided chronic pain. And because they themselves don’t experience pain, they may assume that if a student of theirs develops pain as a result of their knitting that it has nothing to do with them. Pain can take years to set in but it is always rooted in the foundation of the habits we form while learning.

No more. Here’s to a world of strain-free, pain-free creative crafters who knit safely and in a way that maximizes its powerful effects.

Let’s do it.

Karen

Whether you’re a hobby knitter or a knitting teacher we can help you learn about optimal knitting posture, muscular relaxation and body positioning. We can teach you relaxation exercises that will allow you to get the most out of your practice. We can also help  ensure you have the best techniques at your disposal to enable you to teach your students how to knit safely.

CLICK HERE for the TEACHER TRAINING Page.

For more, please contact us.