Sophie started knitting this week. Almost a year ago she learned a basic knit stitch and was keen for a week or two, but never really developed the skill and stamina to find it gratifying to continue. This week she decided, on her own, that she wanted to do a practice project just a few stitches wide, so I cast on 10 for her and she set to work. By the end of three days of on and off work, she had a narrow "scarf" done in stocking stitch that was a wonderful illustration of a learning curve. The first thirty rows are wild, with dropped and picked up stitches and mis-turns of the project. The next thirty rows seemed better. The next thirty were not really much better, but this was the stage at which she was figuring out how to correct her own mistakes... and the last fifty rows were beautiful! What an object lesson in persistence and practice and gradual improvement!
I have to add a recommendation for Melanie Falick's Kids Knitting while I'm at it. This is the ultimate knitting book for beginners of all ages, with beautiful illustrations, sensible varied projects, excellent instructions and wonderful knitting-related ideas and projects like felting, finger-knitting, making wooden needles, adding embellishments and the like. Sophie has moved onto a hand-puppet project now.