Shetland Sheep: Rich in History, Rich in Textiles

Shetland Sheep: Rich in History, Rich in Textiles! Our farm mission is to enjoy and promote the wonderful diversity of the Shetland breed by fully utilizing to the best of our ability all they have to offer historically. We believe the best preservation and management of this breed includes it's full spectrum of history. We encourage old and new shepherds alike to join in the fun by engaging in fiber arts, especially spinning and knitting, as this breed is so intimately linked with those aspects of the arts.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Knitting Samples Poster

Boy, am I behind!  Here is the knitting samples poster I promised I'd put up awhile ago.  The black backing is sort of a foam board, very sturdy and light weight (and relatively cheap).  The samples are different knit stitches from garter, stockinette, k2p2 ribbing, Cat's Paw Lace (very simple lace knitting using yarn overs and decreasing), and a sample of increasing, and one of decreasing.  They are all very simple and perfect for beginners.  Underneath the swatch is the name of the stitch or what the swatch is, and the pattern (in the case of Cat's Paw lace).  It was a great project that earned not only a blue ribbon, but Best In Show!

An excellent teaching tool to learn some new techniques!

I think the poster created some bad feelings among some people as they didn't understand that someone so young could possibly DO such COMPLICATED work.  I'm not sure what has happened to good learning attitudes here in America, but so many people think the easiest things are too challenging for kids.  You have to work over and past those people.  If you look back in history, children were knitting much more challenging things than this, and doing so regularly and easily.  Somehow in our modern world, asking youth to learn things seems to have been lost.  This poster became a local symbol that youth CAN and DO learn at an amazing rate, and they can do more than you think they can!  It took three days for the Best In Show ribbon to be placed on the poster, as hard feelings seemed to be swirling around among some adults.  I don't think some of those adults ever 'healed' from their feelings.  The youth who made these swatches had no problem making them.  The hard part came in writing up the patterns perfectly! lol  But that, too, was excellent work in diligence, neatness, and proofreading...and was far from overwhelming.  The other hard part was centering the title.  Oops.  The rest of the yarn on this skein was made into scarves for dolls and sold at the market.  The whole project was a great experience and fun, too!

Knitting is an amazing thing.  There is so much you can do with it!  It connects modern youth to the generations of the past.  It prepares youth for more complicated thinking.  It encourages flexing problem-solving skills.  Knitting brings people together!  Knitting is very satisfying.  It gives the knitter a sense of accomplishment.  It gives you new clothes to wear.  It's a creative endeavor that will amuse for a lifetime, and so much more!  What's NOT to love about knitting?  

We hope you enjoy seeing this poster, and we encourage anyone out there to try it with your youth!  Pick something simple, or more challenging based on the skills of your knitter and see what comes of it!  This poster idea will also work with crochet, and would be equally fun, I'm sure!  

By the way, adults can make their own "Swatch Libraries" by simply starting with basic stitches, then moving up to more things.  Once you master garter stitch, stockinette, ribbing, increasing, and decreasing, then you can begin to explore other ways of casting on, increasing, decreasing, and yarn overs.  The combinations will keep you busy for a very long time.  In times past, these swatches were sewn together into long scarves to hang on walls or store in drawers as a sort of stitch dictionary to keep for future use.  How cool!  If you crochet, make swatches of single crochet, half double crochet, double crochet, triple crochet, and so on.  Fun!  It's a great study in gauge and how the different stitches work together. 

Or in crochet, make a poster of different ways to make granny squares, using color or technique!  What a great study of such a cool thing!  The fun is endless. 

We hope we've inspired you to try some swatch making for your own fun, and creating stitch dictionaries for yourself!  If you have any other great ideas, leave a comment and share!

Happy Swatching everyone!

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