Thursday, February 7, 2013

Hand Knit Pillow Samplers

In my Intermediate 3-D class my students learn to dye their own yarn and to knit.  If you recall the last couple of years, I've had the kids knit up scarf samplers with their hand dye yarns and homemade knitting needles.
But I enjoy changing things up every couple of years to keep myself fresh, so this summer I designed a knit sampler in pillow form.  In the pattern the kids learn both knit and purl garter, seed stitch,  2 x 2 ribbing, mistaken rib, intarsia, free form log cabining, how to pick up edge stitches, how to sew pieces together and striping.  Also included in the unit is learning how to single crochet so they can put an edging stitch around their pillow.  And lastly, they must make their own pillow from various fabrics, and stuff and close a pillow,
then whip their knit sampler on top.
Phew...that's a lot of work!  Yep!!!
So let's look at a few of the finished pieces.
The one above was made by senior Ashley Chowdhury.  I love that she thought to embellish hers with buttons, really makes it extra special.
Below hers is senior Tiffany Lee.  Notice the beautiful colorways these girls have dyed. I buy the yarn from Knit Picks, it's their most inexpensive dyeing yarn.  I believe it's called Wool of the Andes.  It's a very nice quality yarn and takes the food color dye (Wilton's) we use really well. 

Senior Amy Hsu has done a stunning job with the pillow colors above, and I love the colorway that senior Sheila San Agustin used, very warm, fall colors.  The buttons are nice too. 
What's really amazing is that knitting is a very difficult global skill to learn and many of the kids really struggled at first.  But I told them not to give up, because once you learn it you have the skill for the rest of your life and it's also highly relaxing once you "get it".  Now I see these kids knitting up their own stuff in the hallways before and after school, plus I also watch as they teach their friends.  So Cool! 

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