It was a humbling shift in perspective from working with children, which is what I am used to, to working with people in their elder years.
Some of these folks may have been prolific, skilled knitters and weavers in their prime; but the ability to manipulate fingers and hands and comprehend patterns has become part of their past, now; so the skill levels of these elders and the children I teach are about the same.
But in contrast to working with kids, who often have a very clear idea of what they want to do and don't worry themselves much about 'doing it right', the elders were sometimes painfully self-critical and uncertain. There is always a strain of that in a class of adults, too, but it was more pronounced than I've ever seen in this group of seniors.
Happily, the project that I took them was a big hit -- they've asked me back for several more sessions -- and I wish I could show you their glowing faces.
What I'm taking from this experience are a few important reminders: to appreciate the skills I have now, and not assume that I'll always have them; and to cultivate good habits of mind, avoiding self-doubt and negative self-talk, while I have the capacity to choose. And to practice compassion and tact, because I don't know the other person's story, and that could be me someday.