Stitch London's team of Stitch Sages who teach people to knit for free, and was asked recently why I do this, so here is my reply (Which naturally involved painting!): firstly, I still remember my own excitement the Christmas I opened a parcel to find a lovely cardboard basket containing tiny balls of wool, and pair of gold coloured, 4 year-old Clare-size, knitting needles! I was very keen to learn how to knit, and my Mum taught me the basics - cast on, knit, purl, and cast off, as she had been taught them - not by her own mother, but by a kind American lady on a ferry from the UK to Denmark. More of this later.
Finally, in teaching people to knit, I have learnt that the style of knitting does not really matter, just the the joy of developing skills in making a fabric out of a system of loops! The kind American lady taught my Mother to knit continental style, which she then in turn taught me, which was great, except that my class teacher at junior school thoroughly disapproved of my not knitting English style, and made my life miserable in knitting classes over this. In fact, I held back from teaching people to knit at Stitch London for sometime because of this teacher's attitude, and making me feel I was doing something wrong in knitting the way I do. Lauren O'Farrell encouraged me, though, and the folks I have taught have been very appreciative, as well, which is very rewarding to see.