Needle Arts Mentoring Program – Sponsored by The National NeedleArts Association

Valentine’s Day is coming up, and we would like to encourage knitters and crocheters to celebrate in an unconventional way, by sharing their love of crafting with children who are eager to learn. Crafters often teach kids or adults in a casual setting, and many want to branch out and share their skills more regularly but are unsure of how to begin. The National NeedleArts Association sponsors a phenomenal program that provides mentors with the supplies and resources they need to do just that.

TNNA mentoring program

The Needle Arts Mentoring Program focuses on sharing the skills we love with children in order to inspire a new generation of crafters. They suggest that one volunteer mentor works with a group of 3-5 children and recommend that the kids are at least 8 years old. Once you have found enough mentors and children for a class, you can request your supplies and decide on a time and meeting place. The supplies are generously donated by yarn and notion manufacturers who understand the importance of passing crafting skills, tradition, and passion on to others.

The National NeedleArts Association has found that a one-hour session once a week works best, and they recommend that each program runs for 6-10 weeks so each child gets a good foundation of knowledge about their new craft. There is no set curriculum, but some handy resources are available to help every mentor feel confident and successful. Each set of supplies also includes a helpful book to guide young knitters and crocheters as they learn.

Even if you can’t commit to a full program, by teaching just one child the craft you love, you are giving them a priceless gift that includes hours of entertainment, relaxation, and fun. We can’t think of a better way to celebrate Valentine’s Day… except eating chocolate – and you can take breaks from your stitching to enjoy some!

Blocks blanket
Blocks Baby Blanket

If you’re looking for some great patterns for beginners, knitters should check out the free Animal Washcloths. They only require simple knits and purls, and their small size gives a beginner instant satisfaction. The Blocks Baby Blanket is a larger project, but it only uses the knit stitch and is worked in a soft and chunky yarn.

two wordy

Beginning crocheters can try the “Two Wordy” Game Bag as an easy flat project, then make the free Vintage Hot Pad to practice working in the round.

Have you ever taught anyone to knit or crochet? We’d love to hear your stories!