I teach knitting and must say that my students represent a wide cross section - male, female, young and old. If I did the numbers, I would say that most of my students are in their 20s and 30s. I guess the real concern is how do we make sure that school age kids have an opportunity to experience the fiber arts.
I know a man in his late 70s who was taught to knit in public school. I'm curious if there were other schools at the time that taught knitting. I do know that in some countries knitting is part of the school curriculum.
Over the years I've taught many children to knit. All of my own kids know how to knit . . . not because I threatened them with a knitting needle but because of exposure. Living in a house full of wool with a mother who knits every day, being dragged around to every sheep and wool festival in the region . . . you have to at least give it a try, right? But not everyone has a wool-obsessed mother.
One model that I'm aware of is the Española Valley Fiber Arts Center. This center offers a full range of fiber arts classes for both young and old. In the summer they have a wonderful fiber arts camp for kids. With the budget cuts that most schools are facing, it's not likely they can add fiber arts to their curricula. I know that many yarn stores offer knitting classes, but their mission isn't fiber arts education. Fiber arts centers like this one seem like a good alternative to reach out to the next generation of fiber artists. If you know of a similar center or some other model, leave a note in the comments.
I don't have much in the way of pictures. I've been busy . . .
. . . busy brewing new colors.