Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Sponsorships call is over!

We've had more people interested in sponsoring a knitter than we have knitters! While it's great that all participants now have a distant supporter, I'm sorry that some of you won't be able to sponsor a knitter this time around. If all goes well, I hope we can train another group in late December or the new year and then we'll look for more sponsors.

I haven't been able to go to the training at Toul Sambo the past couple days as I've been stuck at the computer doing boring admin type things instead. The trainers get to have all the fun! I'm actually really happy that they can go out there on their own and are more than confident and competent to carry out the training without me. We're taking a very informal approach to the training, no modules or tests, no books or note taking. Most people when they learn from their friends or mama's simply sit nearby and ask lots of questions. Nothing is more important than just practicing and frogging and learning from mistakes. Our approach will need to change somewhat once we're working on the patterns, but that brings up a whole other issue...

Many of the participants are illiterate and we have to find a way for this not to be an obstacle to them. The trainers think that those that can't read can get help from those who can to get through the patterns. I don't think this is ideal because it will create a dependency and a power dynamic that might lead to disempowerment and frustration. While I'd like to think that those who can read the patterns will always be willing to help those that can't, in practice we should be more pragmatic. We can try modified knitting charts. It will just take some time to teach everyone how to understand these. We'll also have to rewrite all the patterns using a whole new system...

Any knitters out there have any suggestions?


  1. Pictures?

    For example, a picture of a cast on row, annotated with the number of stitches to be cast on, then a pic of garter stitch rows, with the number of rows, etc. If they know the technique they can probably recognize an image of it (like the difference between garter stitch rows and stockinette rows) and reproduce it.

    Even with a few up on a page it might make for a loooong pattern, but if it helps the knitter work more independently, might be worth it.

  2. Monika,

    If you settle on how you want to do this, I can format the instructions for you and email PDFs to you.

    Happy to help!
    Lynn Walma