Saturday, June 16, 2007

First Knitting Mojo

A friend asked me to teach her to knit a couple weeks ago and I, of course jumped at the chance. Always willing to spread the joy/obsession of knitting. I think we both did pretty well, she better than me actually, I'm not sure I was very clear but she was doing quite well by the end of three hours.

Well, three hours if you count the time it took at the craft store to pick out a ball of Lion Wool and some fuscsia Boye needles (how convenient that the fuscia ones were the size the label reccomended? good thing, we might have gotten them anyhow). At the store I tried to explain relation of needle and yarn size to gauge and what that meant in finished fabric, not sure that made sense to her either but being an avid collector of clothing, especially sweaters, I think she got it on some level.

We set ourselves up in my kitchen and I showed her how to make a slip knot, surprisingly difficult to master it seems, there was much discussion of a "big loop" and subsequent "baby loop" but eventually we had a breakthrough and moved on to casting on. She filled up her needle, pulled them off and did another practice needleful and then we moved on to the knit stitch . Had the typical issues with accidental yarn overs and mysterious extra stitches but eventually learned to remember to keep the yarn in back to knit and we were ready to start with new stitches to make the start of a scarf. I know, I know, boring and a bit tedious for a begining project but it's what she wanted to make. She had a few very nice looking rows when we realized it had been three hours and that she needed to go home. I sent her off with my copy of S 'n B for later when she inevitably forgot how to continue. Hopefully she'll look through it and be inspired to keep practicing and to make something beyond a garter stitch scarf.

We really had a good time during our lesson and it was a really good feeling that at least one friend saw how much fun I think knitting is and wanted to try it herself. I was proud of her for her great effort, I know she usually sticks to crafts that are much more intuitive. We both marveled a bit at how someone came up with this stuff in the first place, it boggles the mind.
I took a couple of pictures for the blog, feeling that First Knitting and the birth of a new knitter should be recorded for posterity and that they probably carry a bit of healthy Knitting Mojo of their own and might lend some of that to this blog and its readers. So here you are, some First Knitting on the needles of a New Knitter.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

It's Alive!

She did it! The blog lives!

Ok, Mom (Judi) got the first post so I (Libby) will get the first photo (because after all, what's a knitting blog without pictures?).

Might as well jump right in with what I'm working on today -- A monkey sock knit from Cookie A's pattern at Knitty in Socks that Rock Lightweight in Rhodonite colorway. I've always lusted after heavily verigated hand painted sock yarns just for the colors but I don't like the flashing/pooling/striping thing that usually happens. So when I saw Cara over at january one knitting adorable monkeys in STR and saw how nicely the color repeats were getting broken up I was very excited. I'm having a great time so far with the pattern and the yarn. Extremely yummy sock yarn, perhaps my new favorite.

There it is. Bright, huh?
So, I will now use this image to explain a few things about my knitting personality.
1. I knit mostly for myself, thus the crazy colors -- while I love them, I would never gift those colors to an unsuspecting recipient.
2. I like to knit socks. That's what I've been knitting all summer so far. I think the reasons for my love of socks are numerous, some of them include the fact that they're infinitely variable while adhering to a basic structure that is easily understood and that they're relatively cheap projects -- sweaters need too much yarn and lace calls for luxury fibers. They're also very customizable. On this sock for example, I used three different sized needles to obtain three seperate gauges to fit me -- a US 2 for the cuff, a US 1 for the leg, and a US 0 for the foot.
3. I like to knit socks magic loop style with one long circular, Addi Turbos to be specific. I like that method because I lose my place less often for some reason. I guess counting to two (to complete a round) is easier than counting to four.
So there you have it, my inagural post. You're up, Laura!

Alright Already - I'll Do It Myself!

Libby had the great idea that we should set up a family blog. It would be an easy way for her, Laura and me to share progress reports on knitting projects, post photos and generally obsess as a team, which is kinda hard to do when the girls are off on their college campuses and I'm at home with only their non-knitting-obsessed father to show off for.

That was six weeks ago.I have things to show off. I can't wait any longer.

So here is our blog. And here's the first thing I have to show off. This is the e-mail Libby sent me this morning containing a beautifully annotated list of her fave knitting blogs for me (apparently she has another list of faves that aren't for me ... hmmm, must find out what knitting blogs she thinks would be inappropriate for me!).

Hey i just remembered i promised to send you a list of my favorite blogs that i thought you would like. so here you go, my faves for you :)

Black Dog Knits-- variety of crafts, likes neutral colors, beautiful photography

Brooklyn Tweed-- which i think i saw you bookmark but can't remember -- handsome man, beautiful sweaters, loves noro and tweeds

The Daily Purl-- infrequent poster but has nice work and good ideas, good yarn reccomendations, also beautiful photos... i'm a sucker for pretty photos, they make anyone's knitting look good

Dogs Steal Yarn-- one of my first, young mother living in brooklyn, vegetarian, writer, nice stuff, writes patterns occasionaly

Enchanting Juno-- friends with the Harlot, single forty-something woman who tends towards the sarcastic and is funny

January One-- professional photographer, gets obsessed by one thing like a specific sock pattern she'll knit over and over or mitered squares to make a blanket, i love her color sense

Knitspot-- Anne from ohio who i think you already know about, very skilled knitter and designer, has lately been posting pictures of her yard tha make me want to plant a garden (oh wait, my landlord just turned my yard into a parking lot...)

Knitters Annonymous-- a dual-poster blog, young girls, Cookie A. of sock pattern fame (monkey, for example)

Knitting on Impulse-- lives in colorado like, on a mountain, likes to experiment, knits creative and wearable sweaters and jewelry with silver wire and stuff, very cool, not tacky :)

You've got Mason Dixon right?

Nona Knits (and Nona Swatches where she makes a swatch of some kind EVERY DAY)-- neat lady who knits cool stuff, just designed a pattern for sideways socks that i want to try

See Eunny Knit!-- Eunny aka new IK editor, extremely talented, great designer, rare posts, but they're good when you get them

Ysolda-- scottish girl who deisgns cute stuff and bakes yummy looking things that make me hungry, studies literature and film, interesting girl

Yarnstorm-- british lady who likes quilting as much as knitting, good with color and great photos, good stuff :)

there you go, nice list huh? not even half the blogs i read :-D

love you,libby

Of course, she didn't need to mention Stephanie's blog. I'm proud to say that I'm the one who turned Libby on to knitting blogs in the first place by sending her here ... at least that's the way I remember it!
Yarn Harlot-- reels you in with her humor and great knitting advice, keeps you coming back with her insights on life in general