Happy Stitches

Keep your stitches smiling!

Some of my best ideas were yours! December 13, 2011

Filed under: DVDs,General Musings,Knitting Topics — happystitches @ 09:54

Yes, I always listen to my customers. They come up with great ideas.

Our DVD subscription service began with a chance remark from a knitter in the US, who said she wanted to own all my DVD’s but would like time to digest one before the next one arrived. Could we possibly send them spaced out over a period of time? Well, we now offer a service where we ship one or two discs every month (or every two months) – at whatever schedule you think will work best for you. Once you have subscribed for this service, there is no need for you to remember which DVD you already have or which to order. We will keep track of your growing collection of titles.

Not surprisingly, the topics covered on the DVD’s were largely inspired by customer and student suggestions.
I have traveled around, teaching thousands of classes in hundreds of places over the years. I suspect I have learned as much as my students.

One particular observation led to the initial idea of making the DVD’s. I was, too frequently, surprised by the knowledge gaps in otherwise experienced and gifted knitters. I kept notes, and made these ‘missing techniques’ the first to be addressed in the DVD series.

The latest intriguing idea has come to me from a knitter on the West coast of the US.
“Since I met you at the Bend Knitters workshop, I have been pondering this idea: Cloning you.  Have you thought about teaching teachers to teach using your videos?  I would certainly be interested in a program like that.  “Lucy Certified Teachers”.  I have been asked to teach classes at my LYS and would love to have teaching training to improve my presentations.”
It is an odd coincidence that this email so closely dovetails into my current thinking:
I have been forced to admit that, in spite of spending half my life on the road, I cannot physically reach every knitter and spend time with them!  I could, however, help other knitting teachers spread the good word in a nurturing and in-depth manner. There are of course technical aspects to teaching knitting, but more importantly, there are ways to teach that support and transport the student – ways to leave them feeling confident, even enlightened. There is an added layer of understanding gained when we teach not only the ‘how this is done’, but also the ‘why it works or behaves this way’.
I passionately want my students to understand and love knitting as I do, to feel confident enough to break the ‘rules’ and enjoy experimenting. This power and freedom can be gained only from an understanding of the underlying structure and behaviour of any knitted fabric. It is on this philosophy that all my classes are constructed. ‘Power to the knitting people!’

My light-bulb moment: If I teach the teachers, they will be saved the years of experimenting and trying out teaching strategies that I’ve already gone through, and the knitting craft will be ensured a good supply of first-rate teachers, so that ever more knitters learn to love and understand their art to the fullest. It seems like a winning idea all around!

I would construct a workshop covering: my principles of course design, teaching methods, DVD’s and other teaching aids, student support techniques, contract writing and negotiating, physical space and materials requirements, and workshop scheduling.

To those of you who teach knitting, occasionally or regularly, and those who are considering teaching knitting: How does ‘Lucy Neatby Certified’ sound to you?  Would you take this course?

Shop owners: Would it make your search for an instructor to invest in easier if this certification were available? Would it be a consideration in whether you hire this person or not? Do you think it is an idea worth pursuing?

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23 Responses to “Some of my best ideas were yours!”

  1. Barbie O. in Montreal Says:

    There you go again, getting ahead of the curve! What a great idea!! (And ever so quietly, with the clicking of needles, knitters shall take over the earth–Stephanie’s idea of world domination may come true after all ;D)
    If I were a shop owner I’d be delighted to know you had cloned yourself–in fact MKG Christmas meeting is tonight and I will let the gang know–we might have one or two (or three) gals who would be interested in being certified!
    Also glad to see you learned from experience and got off Tancook in time for your appt.–does this mean there has already been a third time for no Tancook ferry in 27 years?
    Cheers, Barbie O.

  2. yarnyMarni Says:

    I love this idea! I’ve been thinking about trying my hand(s) at teaching, and a course like this interests me greatly. One question: would the course help those of us who would like to teach knitting to children?

  3. Lise Says:

    I sure would! What a great idea! This is exactly why I shy away from teaching someone how to knit. I know how to do it, and I love it. I just have difficulty finding the right way to help someone else to learn.

  4. Paula Says:

    Yes on all counts!

  5. JennaB Says:

    I would love this. I teach knitting now but there is always something more to learn!

  6. Ruby Says:

    This is a great idea. And one which I would like to invest in myself as a way to get into teaching knitting. I do some teaching in our knit group, but not an organized teaching venue. As one of the best and most coveted teachers around, this would be great. I am all for it. I want to be ‘Lucy Neatby Certified’.

    Ruby (Corinth TX, student at your last Woolie Ewe classes)

  7. Ruby Says:

    I bought the complete set of DVDs that were available at the Woolie Ewe in order to watch and review all your methods and suggestions. And I would be interested in the DVD subscription service as well for this purpose. In order for a person to maintain that “Lucy Neatby Certification (LNC)”, we would subscribe to additional features, such as the DVD service and some CEU (continuing educational units) every 24 months that a state or national certified profession would require, such as dental lab, massage therapist, etc. This way when you go somewhere to teach a class you could offer one day of classes for maintaining that LNC certification. For anyone serious about this, it would be a great way to stay in touch with the Master teacher and keeping in touch with you as fellow teachers.

    I love this idea. Between you and Cat Bordhi, I am thinking, this would be heaven sublime to do this.

  8. louise Says:

    I think it is a great idea sign me up!

  9. Hester Sturrock Says:

    I would love to take your course. I want to have knitting be my retirement related 2nd job and would need some addditional income. Sign me up.
    Thanks – Hester from Atlanta

  10. This is a wonderful idea. I would certainly be interested.

  11. I would definitely be interested. I run a small fiber festival and it would be great information to know what to look for in an instructor. Also to know more about contract writing from the instructor’s viewpoint.

  12. I’m the go-to person for my knitting friends and family, and friends of friends and family, and so on. I was a high school teacher before retirement, and I’ve been asked why I don’t teach knitting. I’d have more confidence if I could be Lucy-certified!

  13. P.S. I was one of Melissa’s Craft Cruises visitors back in October. After reading your blog about all that you and Cat Bordhi went through getting back and forth to meet us and fulfill all your other obligations, I’m even more impressed with your friendly and helpful reception of our group. It was truly the highlight of my trip.

  14. Kim Says:

    I’d be interested, as a second (partial) career to keep me busy during retirement from the first one. I’m just a couple of years away from pensionable now. I haven’t done a lot of formal teaching, but I did manage to teach a group of 8 men how to cross-stitch as my “skill lesson” during an instructional techniques course.

    I’d probably be close enough to retirement to be able to take it by the time you can get a “teacher certification” course created and into your schedule.

  15. JoLynn Says:

    Yes, I would be interested in your course/courses. I currently teach a basic sock class and 2 socks at the same time class.

  16. emaclean Says:

    Love it! Sign me up!

  17. Tracy A. Says:

    Yes! Love this idea (:

  18. Anne Says:

    I’d be interested too Lucy!

  19. Flemisa Says:

    Yes, Yes, Yes.

    Even if I didn’t take the course myself to teach others would love to know that a teacher I am paying my money to has some sort of certification.

  20. Charlotte Says:

    I think I would be interested in such a course. Currently I’m teaching at Joanns. Someone in Corporate determines what we’ll teach and so far they haven’t scheduled any class I haven’t been able to handle. But being better prepared wouldn’t hurt.

  21. Olha Says:

    There might be another group of people who could benefit from such course — new knitwear designers. I am playing with this idea and I see free tips, techniques and video tutorials as important part of customer service. Your intarsia DVDs were very helpful and I was wondering about an ethical and efficient way of transferring some of this knowledge to my future customers.

  22. I love this idea and would participate in a heartbeat. I have taught countless people to knit including people with various disabilities. I would love to have more tools and idea to teach and the added credibility that comes from learning from someone as experienced and well known as you are.

  23. Charlotte Moore Says:

    I love this idea and would participate.


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