Become an Stitch London Stitch Sage: pass it on
Posted by Deadly Knitshade on February 26, 2010
Knitting folk. The time has come when you’re pretty savvy with your stitching. Fancy passing it on but not sure if you can? Become a Stitch London Stitch Sage and see if you have what it takes to spread the love of the knit. We’re betting you do.
Firstly we’d like to say it’s a fabulous thing you are doing passing on your knitting knowledge. We’ve been doing it for years now and can promise you it’s a very fulfilling way of giving back the warm fuzzy feeling that knitting has given you.
What do I get in return? Stitch Sages are volunteers but you do get some rather fabulous things in return.
- Invites to teach at some of London’s most amazing events (we’ve taught at The Natural History Musuem, Jamie Oliver’s Fifteen and the kooky and spooky Hunterian).
- A warm fuzzy feeling of passing on the love of the knit.
- A shiny exclusive Stitch Sage badge.
- Special advance notice of special events, knitting commissions and paid teaching events.
There are a few things you need to know before you can help us teach and become an Stitch London Stitch Sage:
- Stitch London teach learners basic knit and purl to begin with so you must know both stitches well enough to pass on the technique.
- You must teach each stage of beginning to knit from the slip knot to casting on (usually with the two-needle method but we’re open to other easy techniques) to casting off (if they get that far). You may also want to explain about how you hold your yarn, how to read yarn labels (for which yarn goes best with which needles) and to keep all stitches on the bottom and yarn at the front to avoid that extra magic stitch at the start of a row (a very common problem).
- We usually teach the English method of knitting (as it helps us go on to teach other techniques later on). However it’s fine for people to teach continental style or any other style to those who want to learn. Just need to make sure they are aware it is a bit different.
- Feel free to teach other techniques or offer pattern help but you’re under no obligation to. Simple knit and purl is fine with us.
- The Stitchettes are always on hand if you get a bit stuck with your teaching technique so find one of us and ask if things get tangled. Don’t worry about asking for help. It’s what we’re there for.
What to do:
- Bring along teaching yarn and needles – As well as your own knitting we usually bring along teaching yarn and needles to show the learner what to do by knitting along with them. We can provide these if you don’t have any (just remember to give them back at the end of the evening). It might be better for you to bring your own yarn and needles to knit along as you’ll be most comfortable with them.
- Introduce yourself to a Stitchette – When you arrive at the meeting come and find a Stitchette. If you don’t recognise us just ask. We’ll be fairly easy to find. When we have someone who wants to learn I’ll come and find you and pair you up with your student (or students if you feel you can teach more than one, but this shouldn’t be necessary as we have loads of teachers).
- Arrive on time if possible – Teaching will begin from 6.30 so make sure you’re there in time to grab a drink and get settled before it all starts. No worries if you get there later. Learners turn up all evening. Just give us a shout when you arrive.
- Teach – Introduce yourself to your student and get teaching. Go slow, keep it simple and feel free to leave them to it when they get the hang of it.
- What to teach – It’s best to start them off with a simple square of about 15 stitches to begin with rather than jump into a pattern or garment. Explaining it’s better to mess up a practice square than a scarf/jumper/sock if they get itchy knitting fingers.
- Remember to breathe – Be patient and encouraging in the face of whininess or horror. If your learner has a mini-freak out or looks set to throw in the knitting towel a deep breath and a sip of wine often works wonders. Newbies can be a frustrated beast so have patience and remember your days of wobbly wool and dropped-stitch sorrows.
- If at first you don’t succeed – If things are getting rather messy you may want to ask them if they’d like to start again. It often helps as they’ll have the hang of it and will knit neater once they’ve restarted.
- Leave them to it – Once your learner is getting the hang of it you can leave them to it. Just be near enough to help out if they get lost again. Or at least let them know where you’ll be so they can find you. They’re usually fine once you get them going. All they need to do is practice.
- Feel rather pleased at what you’ve passed on – Stitch London Learner Lessons are free. You’re passing on your knitting knowledge for the love of the knit and we love you for it. Your learner will be very grateful too. We do let learners know that they are welcome to thank you with cake or drink so you might get lucky (though don’t go mugging them for goodies if they don’t offer). We’ll shout you a thank you cuppa is you’re feeling thirsty.
- How did it go? – If you have time please drop us an email afterwards to let us know how you fared. It’s good to know how it went and how we might be able to help Stitch Sages in future.
We’ll send out regular emails to you with teaching dates and venues. Let us know if you fancy teaching. You don’t need to do every one. Just pick the ones you fancy.
It’s a lovely thing to do and make a shiny addition to both your karma points and your CV.