Monday, 28 March 2011

Snail Tails, Starting and Restarting, and the Missing Link

I am in Indiana and I left so hastily I did not pack my knitting. (Don't worry I have some now--thanks to my sister).

More importantly I am missing my knit-companions and the company we share. Nothing is quite as good as the time around the table with our knitting and a cuppa, but I'll take this gap to bring in some of the stories I have collected about getting started knitting--a thread I began a couple posts earlier.

(If you have not read Ruan's story in a comment to that post, let me encourage you to take a look at it.)

My dyed in the wool knit friends said they could not remember a time when they did not know how to knit. They learned the easy way--though it may not have felt that way at the time to little fingers and short attention spans--they learned at home from mothers or grandmothers. Snail tails was how they described some of their earliest experiences--wrapping thread around the little spools with nails on top called variously French knitting or spool knitting.

Other knitters admitted that they were first shown how to knit at home but did not take to it at the time. The first lessons, however, were enough to make re starting easier when later in life they decided to take it up again.

Most of the adults of my age or older also had the opportunity to learn knitting in school. Teaching knitting in schools has declined. As a result we have a generation of complete non-knitters. In putting together Northern Loops, we called that generation the missing link. If those adults never learned it school, then their children miss out on learning either at home or at school.

Northern Loops wants to help fill that gap. Starting to knit--just learning the essentials--makes it that much easier for anyone who wants to take up knitting later on. Even if someone never takes up their knitting needles after the first few lessons, they will have gained a literacy that translates into other areas of learning and confidence building.

Saturday, 12 March 2011

So Many Triangles, So Little Time

I took this photo in the hopes that it would look artsy but also because I need all the help I can get to remember things like wool and needle size and so on. Yes, I know Ravelry has a nice project space with my name on it, but I have forgotten my password again, so please tell me this looks arty and also when I wonder, say look closely at the photo and you can see that the peedy needles say Brittany 4.0.

So while I'm doing numbers--100 gms of DK wool makes about 17 or 18 triangles of max sts 38. I have left long tails on them to use for sewing up, so maybe you could get more if you cut off their tails, but since we are making these patterns up as we go along, I'll let you know as soon as I figure it out.

I have a little less than 200 gms worth of triangles from Splash wool, which is one of those alternatively dyed wools that knits up in interesting patterns. As I lay out the triangles for steam blocking, I turned over in my mind some ideas for using the patterns in the triangles for an overall effect. That too is one of the things to be figured out.

OK, one last calculation in a unit of measure that is not a common one but I find very useful. I can do about 2 triangles per episode of Poirot. If the cats do not sit on my lap, then it will be only one and a fraction because I cannot sit through all those commercials without a break for a cuppa.

I'll tell you more about the story of these shawls--where they are going and why we are doing them in another post, but now I need to get busy on my part of the project for the Northern Loops Thurso group, which meets next Thursday (March 17--St. Patrick's Day) at United Reformed Church.

Thursday, 3 March 2011

Creative Chaos with Chocolate

With chocolates delivered to us, we were assured of sweet success! Thanks, George, but next time, we'll get you knitting!

So many possibilities! If geometry in school had been this much fun, I might have paid more attention!

Margaret put us all in the shade with the number of triangles she knitted. I don't know how many exactly, but more than 100! She has several tucked into the pocket of her apron. While everyone around her talked about sizes and colours and designs, she just kept right on knitting. Go. Margaret, go!

With our characteristic enthusiasm, we talked about how we would distribute the shawls that we knew were lurking in those triangles just waiting to be liberated --and stitched up.