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What's new in various product categories; monthly update.

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Creating New Knitters Through the Girl Scouts

An author shares her love of knitting by creating tomorrow’s enthusiasts.

Staff Report (May 18, 2009)

These values resonate with Susan Anderson, mother and author of two successful knitting books, Itty-Bitty Hats and Itty-Bitty Nursery (Artisan, 2006 and 2007). Recently she worked with her daughters’ Girl Scout troop, helping them to earn their Yarn Craft badge.

"In the end, what was realized is knitting also instills these same basic core values. With each stitch, you could see the success and fun they were having creating for others," said Anderson. "I hoped the girls would learn a new craft and love it, but the joy and sense of accomplishment after only one meeting was a total bonus."

Anderson, who taught herself to knit as a teen following a pamphlet, said she thought long and hard how to approach teaching these girls how to knit. The girls, ages 9 to 10, were divided into small groups of three allowing Anderson to give each group enough attention. The project, a baby hat for charity, was made on 16" circular needles which required the girls to concentrate on only one thing; knit, knit, knit.

"All they had to do was master the knit stitch. The project was such that they made quick progress, and gained confidence that they could actually complete the project," said Anderson. Several girls completed their first hat in a couple of weeks working with Anderson to finish the top and then casting on to make another.

In selecting the yarn, Anderson let the expert weigh in on the matter: her daughter. By doing so, she could see how her color selections became transformed into something three-dimensional. According to Anderson, what caught her daughter’s eye; color, bright multi-color Red Heart Super Saver yarns.

"Her selection was right on as the colors were inspiring, the fiber was appropriate for baby hats, which, in most cases, needs to be acrylic due to wash-ability and skin sensitivity, plus it was economical. I now have a stash for the girls to create more than one hat and continue to experiment with different colors."

As if teaching a group of girls to fall in love with knitting were not enough, Anderson’s own story as to how she began writing books about knitting is inspirational as well. With little more then a hunch, Anderson packed a box with a quickly typed letter and patterns she designed and sent it to a publisher hoping to land a book deal. Two weeks later, she was contacted to write her first book. Her third book, Itty-Bitty Toys, will be released this fall with a fourth one in the works.

"The point is, if you have a good idea, go for it," said Anderson. "Just like teaching the Girl Scout Troop how to knit which was a great thing to see. We chatted, knitted, laughed, and learned together in a way that wouldn’t have happened had we been doing a different activity. I hope other knitters take on this project in their communities."

Anderson concludes, "You get so much satisfaction from watching the girls learning a new craft which will hopefully stay with them for life."

To read more about her experience, visit her blog at http://susanbanderson.blogspot.com/2009/03/girl-scout-knitting-part-2.html. To learn more about Red Heart Super Saver yarns visit www.redheart.com.

xxx 

 

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