Lesedi la Batho – teaching knitting skills

I love to knit.

Most women submitted to psychiatric hospitals are taught to knit as it is seen as having a therapeutic effect. Well, should I ever get there, I can skip that lesson. The repetitive mechanisms of knitting is not only therapeutic, it is a wonderful outlet for creative energy.  And I live out my creativity by knitting throws and blankets in the form of quilts. Each blanket is unique and is given a lining for extra warmth and to ensure that it keeps its shape.

    

I have found that the blankets sell quite easily although it is extremely difficult to determine price. At what price do I sell something that contains a bit of me? I however, soon realized that even if I did sell them, I could never keep up with demand as I have a day job and my time to knit is limited to evenings and weekends only.

I then discovered a wonderful upliftment project in Mabopane called Lesedi la Batho (the “light of the people”). It is such a happy place with lots of projects running.  I am now teaching women there how to knit as I need more hands to produce more blankets at greater speed. Once they are skilled knitters, I plan to provide them with wool and patterns and to buy the knitted blocks from them.  At the same time, the women are empowered with a skill they can use to make stuff they could sell in addition to the money they will make by selling me their blocks.

We have had Lesson 1: How to cast on and how to knit in garter stitch. Soon we will have Lesson 2: How to cast off, knit stocking stitch and read simple patterns.  It is very exciting. The women are eager to learn and seem to love it.

The ladies learning to knit