Saturday, February 18, 2012

Teaching Netting and Square-mesh Netting class

    Progress has been made on the Square-Mesh Netting class.  Last week I was able to finish each of the four square-mesh net bags to where only one handle part needed to be finished.  This week I recorded myself making those four handles.  And you can see from the bags below that I was able to finish all four of them. 

 <-- tiny square-mesh bag with Delta handle

small square-mesh bag with Waiting handle -->

<-- medium square-mesh bag with Spike Handle

large square-mesh bag with Lumiere handle   -->

 Now I just need to put the 7 videos together and create the handouts for them.  

Today I read an article about teaching children to knit or crochet.  As I read through the tips they gave, I realized that the tips given could also apply to teaching someone to net.  I decided to list them and give my input as to how they apply to netting, especially the netting classes I have available at Rita's Netting Nook.
  • Netting is "more about the joy of crafting than how to perform a stitch."  It's fun and relaxing to make things.  Often when people tell me they don't have the patience to learn a craft, I will reply that working on a craft project gives me patience.    I stay calmer and don't get impatient when things don't move as quickly as I would like.  Netting allows me to use my time to create instead of just wait.

  • "Set the scene: clear space, plenty of supplies and lots of light."  As an online course instructor, it is not possible for me to do this for my students; however, it is certainly something they can do for themselves.  Light, plenty of room, and having all your tools and supplies close by are necessary requirements to learning how to net without adding more frustration.

  • "Start with simple, solid-color yarn & large, durable tools."  This is one of the reasons I use large shuttles and thick yarn or cord in my beginning netting class.  Learning new skills with larger tools that allow you to see what you are doing is much easier than learning while using fine crochet thread and the accompanying small metal netting needles.

  • Teaching netting "is also teaching a language; explain what each word means as you use it."  Like any craft, netting has its own vocabulary and definitions.  I have tried to give definitions for netting and also show what I mean through the use of class videos.  This is one of the reasons that the class on square mesh netting is taking extra time before I make it available.  I realized that I had neither clearly explained how to attach and make the handles nor how to finish turning flat netting into the square-mesh bags. 

  • "Teach them to start" and start again.  I remember how hard it was for me to remember how to begin a netting project.  The starting was over so soon and I did not come back to it until the project was finished weeks or months later.  I have tried to include netting projects that will be quick to finish in my netting classes so that students will have the opportunity to begin a netting project several times in the class. 

  • Allow the students to "be creative with what they have learned."  In my mind, that's a given.  If I teach the basics, of course my creative students will take those basics and apply them in ways I had never imagined.  I've certainly created things with netting that my grandmother never tried.  Eventually I plan to show how to make all of the stitches I know so my students can use them in new and different ways.

  • "Show them that you are proud of their work, and they will be proud of it too."  The first thing I want to do when I finish a new project is to run and show it to someone.  Not just any someone.  Someone who will "ooh" and "aah" over what I have finished.  Someone who will validate that what I have created is truly all I thought it was and more.  That's one reason I created the forum on Rita's Netting Nook as a place where you can display your completed projects and get the well-earned praise for your work.  

Are there other things that you feel are important that the teacher or the student should do to make it easier  to learn a new craft?  

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