This is mostly a knitting blog. Sometimes pictures of things I've made, sometimes not. I'm a guy who knits, I usually attend a men's stitch 'n' bitch on Monday nights, and I prefer natural fibres to artificial ones. I have a love-hate relationship with bamboo yarns: I love what they can do and how they look, I hate how they are made. I've been knitting since about 2003, though I really didn't get into it until 2005, while convelescing with a broken leg. I must have discovered something good, 'cause I'm still knitting years later.

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

An Update from the Crescent City

I taught a colleague how to knit over the weekend. It took a while, but eventually she caught on and started to put the needle into the stitch the correct way (it wasn't until I said she had to go "underneath" that my instruction made any sense). Her stitches are not even, and when she showed me what she'd done at home as practice, it was downright ugly. But it was knitting. There were mistakes, and some dropped and/or slipped stitches. She'd increased her practice row from 20 to 23 stitches. But, as Yarn as my witness, it was knitting! We're going to knit together at lunch today.

It is hard for me sometimes to explain what I do so naturally when I'm holding knitting needles. I think that I am probably not a good teacher, or at least not a natural one, whenever I try to teach someone to knit. I barely remember my own struggles to master two sticks and a piece of string, and those early practice pieces have been consigned to the rubbish heap of history. I know I had a hard time figuring out what to do. I still have the first garter stitch scarf I ever made. I pulled those stitches so tight that I could barely get the needle into them as I knit along the row. Eventually I discovered that I didn't need to pull the stitches to a deathgrip on the needles, I developed a sense of even stitches, and I've learned not to knit whilst drinking alcohol, watching suspenseful movies, or while I am in a snit. That snit thing happens more often than I am willing to admit.

In my own knitting, I've been hard at work at both the bear hat and the Paul Shawl. The bear hat is finished and too small. I adjusted the needle size when I worked the Fair Isle portion of the hat, but it only fits on my head with a tug, and the stitches are spread wide and one can see the colour of the floats behind them. Not sure if I should try again using Intarsia to make the bears, or if I should knit a hat and make bear pom-poms (for which the pattern gives instructions, leaving a plain hat and fancy poms). The Paul Shawl is about 3/4 done and I want to get it off the needles sooner rather than later. I reckon one more skein of the Spruced Goose and one full one of the Steel Grey and it will be done. Just in time for the cool weather up in Yankee Heaven!

I bought two new patterns the other day, when I got paid. Drachenfels, by Mairelynd on Ravelry, for only €4.90. I'd seen it advertised on Facebook, and finally broke down and bought it. It uses a DK weight, and I've got so much of that in my stash. I'm hoping to use up some of it so I can empty out some of those damn bins. I also got Faster Than Light from SweetP Designs, for only $5.00. It's a triangular shawl and since the sample was done in blue and white yarn, I couldn't resist. Also, it's kind o' pretty, and I think will make a fun project to knit. It is also a stash busting project.

Stash busting is much on my mind these days, so I'm looking for projects that will use up what I have. While I love Josh Ryke's patterns (Death of the Moon, among others), he designs for fingering weight, and I have very little of that in my stash. DK and worsted are what I have, especially Mad Tosh and Malabrigo. So I hope I can use these yarns with the new patterns. Now I just have to apply myself to my knitting! I have a meeting tonight, so I think I'll bring it along.

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