Once a week I post interviews with interesting knitting professionals about their insights on their experience of working in the Knitting industry. I’ve noticed that everyone makes their living in a slightly different manner bringing their own unique presence to the Knitting world.
You can find JC here and here on Ravelry.
How long have you been knitting and who taught you?
I learned as an exchange student in Chile. My exchange student mom taught me the basics, and I made the obligatory first scarf. One end was twice as wide as the other - the result of a significant change in gauge.
Tell me how you got into teaching knitting classes?
It was a gradual process, beginning when an acquaintance asked if I'd teach beginning knitting to a group of moms while their kids attended Montessori school. That led to teaching at the local Parks and Recreation department, then local fiber festivals, and finally events like Stitches, the TKGA/CGOA shows, Sock Summit, and more.
How long have you been teaching?
Oh, about ten years now, I guess.
How do you develop teaching topics and class plans?
How long roughly does it take you to develop your teaching plan, samples and notes per instructional hour?
What do you find to be the optimum class size?
Do you prefer to work with beginners or advanced students?
All that matters is that students have the skills required for the class they want to take. It's tough to teach mitten thumbs to someone who's never knit in the round, or sleeve modifications to someone who's never knit a sweater. Taking time out of class to teach prerequisite skills to a couple students is something many teachers refuse to do - it's unfair to the students who did come to class properly prepared.
What is your favorite part of what you do when you are teaching?Seeing when a student "gets it," and knowing that I've made a difference in their knitting life.
How do you handle students who are having trouble learning the material being presented?
What are your favourite knitting techniques?
Do you belong to any knitting groups?
Do you take knitting classes from other instructors?
Could you please tell us a little about your new website, Stitch-Maps.com, and explain your new type of knitting chart?
Stitch-Maps.com is a website where you can browse through a growing collection of stitch patterns presented as stitch maps. You can also add to this collection if you register for a free account: enter the written instructions for a stitch pattern, and the website will draw its stitch maps for you. Paid subscriptions bring extra goodies, like the ability to highlight your current row, to export stitch maps as publication-quality images, and to control the visibility of the stitch patterns you enter.
What advice would you give someone who wants to pursue a career in teaching in the knitting world?