In a Buffalo, New York, Montessori school, children learn the steps from "sheep to shawl" with the help of a small stuffed sheep named Shearson. "My goal was to make them think about what they're wearing. Clothing doesn't just come from Target," says Heather Lodinsky, a 39-year-old knitting teacher, who even knitted her own wedding gown. She's inspired about 100 children in her eight years of teaching finger knitting and related topics.
At Manhattan Center for Science and Mathematics High School in New York, students saw assistant principal Devorah Zamansky knitting and expressed an interest in learning how. Starting last February, an informal knitting clutch gathered at lunchtime and grew to 40 students by June. Now it has become a knitting club, with students from 14 to 18 years old, spanning all academic levels. Devorah appealed to knitting groups on the Internet for supplies and soon found her office heaped in boxes of donated yarn and hundreds of pairs of needles.
In western Maine, women over age 60 taught 10-year-old Girl Scouts to knit scarves for teddy bears that were donated to comfort children in crisis. In California, San Diego Community College District Continuing Education enrolled 22 students who learned to knit without a pattern in an Improvisational Knitting class. According to class instructor Colleen Davis, "Knitting is now a fashion item. People want wearable art."
Young celebrities also speak to knitting's resurgence. Julia Roberts "stitches her stuff" in the movie "America's Sweethearts." Actresses Cameron Diaz, Jodie Foster, Madonna, Sarah Jessica Parker, and Winona Ryder as well as models Naomi Campbell, Kate Moss, and Amber Valletta have all joined the knitting network.
For information about membership-oriented knitting groups, contact: The Knitting Guild of America, 2692 Richmond Road, Suite 205, Lexington, KY 40509; 800-274-6034.