knit one purl one

There are many things I am proud of.

The M’s make me proud every single day. They are feisty, funny and set to take on the world. I am proud of Mr TOPP and myself for making them that way, and making a happy loving family for ourselves. We kick ass.

I am proud of the fact that I have a 34-36 inch inside leg. I am NOT proud, however, of the words that leave my mouth when I am clothes shopping and find that most shops chop trousers off at 32 inches. This is discrimination against tall people.

But, I digress…

Apart from all the above (except from the swearing in shops, obviously), one of the things I am most proud of is this:

Three weeks ago we had an activities week at school. Somehow, we got lumbered with to spend the entire week with year 9. Any teachers out there will feel my pain.

Anyhoo, we did a whole day on the environment and recycling. One group made teepees from newspapers. Another group made recycling boxes for every classroom in the school.

My group? They learned to knit. With yarn made from plastic carrier bags called Plarn.

No, really.

When I said I was planning to do this I think most people thought things along the lines of:


“What on earth is Miss Tiddlyompompom thinking?”

or even “I always knew she was mad…”

Anyhoo, I decided to go ahead and give it a whirl. What could be the worst that could happen letting a load of hormonal, angry young boys spend an hour and a half armed with pointy sticks?

In the session there was myself, another teacher and two teaching assistants and twelve pupils (I work in a special school). When I told the kids what they were about to do, they groaned. I set up most of them on the plarn making station while I showed the two who wanted to learn to knit how to do it.

After about twenty minutes another couple came over to have a go. By the end of the ninety minutes I had five out of the twelve knitting.

After break I had what on paper was the hardest group: all The Lads. When I told them what they would be doing, they all wanted a go. I could have fallen over.

While my TA cast on for one of them, another watched then cast on himself. Every single one of that group had a go. Some of them gave up again very quickly. But some of them got really, really into it. One lad, who finds it extremely difficult to sit still for any length of time sat for an hour and a half and knitted quietly. Throughout the week, when he found he was getting stressed or anxious, he asked to do some knitting and he calmed himself down. Another lad did’t want to knit, but half an hour in it transpired he knew how to crochet, so I found him a crochet hook off he went.

When I came up with the idea I had no clue whether it would work. In fact, the night before I almost lost my faith and went with an entirely different activity. I mean, who in their right mind would try to teach year 9 to knit with plastic bags, eh?

Well, I’ve never claimed to be in my right mind.

Find out what others are proud of over at sticky fingers.

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