I really enjoy teaching knitting. Seeing people tackle a technique they were afraid of or just curious about, watching a group of students go from casting on to blocking out a beautiful lace shawl, seeing people get the hang of 2-handed fair isle knitting or just the sheer joy of a finished project and a smiling student makes me happy. It's our duty as knitters to pass on this wonderful craft and I do that through teaching.
Another thing I very much enjoy about teaching are the people I get to meet. Here in Washington, DC there are scads of interesting people working very interesting jobs. I get some people who work in such a specialized, top-secret field that they cannot even tell me what they do. A student not too long ago has a husband who is one of Michelle Obama's secret service people. People writing code, people protecting our country, stay-at-home moms and dads with hilarious tales, students needing a break and trying something new, inventors, patent writers, authors, musicians, doctors, nurses, technicians... The list goes on.
Every now and then I really connect with one of my students and we become friends outside of the classroom. This is always an unexpected treat and I feel like we've bonded in the knitting trenches. One of my students in a cabled mitten class happened to live very close to me and we've developed a friendship over the past few years. She recently had her first child, a daughter, named Eleanor Jean. Ellie was born in mid-January when the daylight starts to go from gray to pale yellow as Spring begins. It's a beautiful time of year and she's a beautiful little girl.
I was asked recently to do a project for the Yarn Company, a wonderful shop in Manhattan with a great location and fantastic owner, Tavy Ronen. I chose my exclusive color way of Solemate, a new yarn from Lorna's Laces in a "grellow" (gray and yellow, just like the light in January) dyed only for the Yarn Company, called "West Side Highway." With Ellie as my inspiration, I casted on.
Behold the Eleanor Jean Mitts...
I really enjoyed knitting these and as always, loved knitting with Lorna's Laces. They take only one hank at 425 yards and the yarn is held doubled. Ladylike, lacy and elegant, I hope they do her justice.