Learn to Knit

learn to knit sf sfjcc jccsf knitting classes fogknits.jpg

It’s finally time to share some exciting news!  I’ve been sitting on it for a while but registration is open and I can now announce, starting this fall, I’m the new knitting teacher at the JCC of San Francisco!

I’ll have 3 classes, each 7-week sessions, starting with Learn to Knit and then continuing with colorwork & hats.  The first few weeks of each class will be learning new techniques.  The last couple weeks will be applying those new skills to a project, both in design and execution!  (Scroll down to skip to the specific details!)

I’m really loving the opportunity to write my own curriculums.  I’ve taught for a couple local shops.  While I don’t mind following someone else’s plan, I have ideas galore!  I’ve got no shortage of content to share!

They’re equally excited at the JCC.  If all goes according to plan, we’ll continue with Knitting 101 in the spring semester and introduce a new series of technique & project design classes, maybe even an open knitting lab for our most adventurous students.

As I prepped swatches for Knitting 101, I thought about my goals.  It’s not enough to just teach knitting.  I want to instill passion.  I want to create fiber enthusiasts.  I’m one of knitting’s biggest cheerleaders and it’s not because I like cheerleading, ya know?  I want my students to feel the same way.  So…how do I accomplish these lofty goals?

Step 1:  Get over the OMG knitting is hard phase.  I’m going to be a stickler for good form.  A strong foundation is important.  There will be homework!

Step 2:  There are no knitting police.  You are the boss of your knitting.  Patterns are only suggestions. Creativity & individuality are two crucial elements of knitting.  If I wanted the sweater in that store, I’d buy the sweater in that store.  No, self expression is where it’s at.

I’m really excited for the ‘design your own’ elements of these classes!  I can’t wait to see what my students come up with, hopefully things that hadn’t even occurred to me.  That’s the framework I’m hoping to provide.  No pressure, right?

learn to knit sf jccsf knitting classes fogknits teaching

Follow these links for full class details and to sign up:

Knitting 101, Thursday Nights, Sept-Oct

Learn the all the basics of knitting, then apply those skills in designing & knitting a chunky infinity scarf!

Knitting 101, Wednesday Nights, Nov-Dec

Learn the all the basics of knitting, then apply those skills in designing & knitting a chunky infinity scarf!

Knitting 201, Thursday Nights, Nov-Dec

Learn a variety of ways to introduce color into your knitting, then practice your new skills by designing & knitting a hat!



18 thoughts on “Learn to Knit

  1. Very exciting! congrats on getting this and OF COURSE you will inspire great things. Our locally Yarn Store (Over the Rainbow, Rockland, ME) has a big bulletin board and a pin all about being the boss of the knitting. finish something, get your photo taken wearing the pin, it goes on the boss board. I think it is a great reminder – own it, don’t let it own you. :-)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m mostly self-taught as well. Turns out I didn’t take many knitting classes until I started teaching myself. You just never know where you’ll find inspiration! And, there’s no one way to do things, I love learning alternate methods of doing things! One can never have too many tricks up the sleeve!


  2. Hi Emily – it’s lovely to see knitting proudly sitting in the JCC classroom. Discover brought me here, and I’m glad it did!

    By the way – I’m guessing that you’re right-handed. How do you bring left-handed learners into a state of happy confidence? I have a memory of knitting classes back at Primary School in the UK. We knitted a tea-cosy (of course!). As a left-hander, the movements of wool and needles, as demonstrated by our right-handed teacher, were brain-addlingly illogical and hard to mimic. My memory of the classes is queuing up at the end for the teacher to check over our work and having my cack handed rows undone, with just one stitch left in place. I finished the tea-cosy, but it took me a whole term!

    I saw in your about page that organic chemistry is another passion of yours. Do they do lots of knitted mathematical models in the US? Like these: https://camunivmuseums.wordpress.com/2013/04/04/847/

    Best wishes

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I know everyone has different opinions on this topic, and there isn’t one right answer.

      My feeling is the standard method (or the right handed method) is appropriate for everyone. I teach the continental style (holding yarn in the left hand), so both hands are used. They certainly aren’t equal but the non-dominant hand is awkward for everyone in the beginning, regardless of which hand that is.

      I do know how to knit backwards/mirror knit/left-handed knit but I completely understand how that can be confusing for someone, especially when everyone else is doing the opposite.

      My primary reason for teaching everyone the same though isn’t really related to the physical actions but pattern reading & comprehension.

      Patterns are (mostly) standardized and not for the left handers, so in addition to learning a complicated action, there’s a whole lot of pattern reading that changes. I feel that’s too much for a beginner.

      Of course, all that said, I’ve never had a left-handed beginner in one of my classes. My ideas about how things should go may differ drastically in the face of reality :)

      While I am right handed, I come from a long line of lefties so I’ve been thinking about leftie issues my whole life. If I do get a left handed student, I think we’ll be able to find a method that works. If it’s not my initial idea, I’m open to changing.

      One of my favorite things about knitting is that we all do it slightly different. There is no right or wrong method but many different ways to arrive in the same place!

      As for mathematical models & knitting, I’m going to read your link for more info. I think crochet gets more attention in this realm, hyperbolic space and whatnot. The knitting looks to be something else entirely!

      Liked by 1 person

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