I knit on the BART train, I knit standing in line, I knit at sidewalk cafes... and it seems that folks are more than happy to strike up a conversation with you... either they're knitters themselves or they're admiring the piece you're making...
Knitting seems to help bring down social barriers to talking to strangers and I think it's cool. A nice smile or compliment is a little thing but has such a great impact on one's disposition. It can really make your day.
It's also nice to share one's experience with knitting... not to sound too New Agey and hippy-dippy, but it is very gratifying to be reknitting the social fabric in our community through a simple and satisfying craft.
I'm still working on my knit tie. It's 16" now (40" to go). The novelty of watching the pattern emerge from the self-striping yarn is gone, but has been replaced by tracking the length by counting the repeats in the pattern. I've figured out exactly how much each repeat in the pattern adds to the length and I check the measurement at the end of each one. So far, it's dead on...2.25" I've got about 4 inches to go before I work my decreases and start on the skinny end. It's long enough that I was able to tie a modified half-windsor and get some idea of what it will look like when it's actually tied. Very cool. I've been taking my time with it, carrying it around in my brief case and working on it in waiting rooms and on my lunch break. Now, I'm anxious to get it finished and actaully wear it to work. I'm going to pick up the pace and try to do 3-4 inches every night.
Will be teaching my first improvisational hat class on Sunday the 30th. A four hour workshop. The idea is to show how to use left over stash and different types of crown shaping.
Have been having fun working up examples - three needle bind off, fair isle, combining leftovers from around the home.
Giving it at my local yarn shoppe in Philadelphia. We shall see how many sign up for it. With the snow we are expected to get this weekend, it might be the impetus for people to take it.
I ran into a friend from art school yesterday... this makes the third ex-CCACer I've run into this week. I went to the California College of Arts and Crafts in Oakland, CA from 1990 to 1994.
Sandy, who I ran into, turns out to also knit... in fact, his sister, Christina owns Article Pract the yarn store near my house!
I also received an envelope from Article Pract the other day when I got home from work. I was puzzled as I hadn't signed up for any mailing list there. Turns out, my friend Karul in NY had gotten me a gift certificate for my birthday (turned 37 on the 10th, very binary). This might provide the impetus to try knitting with cashmere... I love my enablers.
Woo Hoo, I finally got the wool fiber I was working with spun and plyed into at least 117 yards of 2 ply yarn. I lost count at 117 yards but it is at least that. That's a lot of yarn. Then my next step is to dye it in a rainbow colourway hopefully. Just got these gaywool dyes to work with in daisy, orchid and cornflower. Can't wait to see how it comes out. Then I got to make something with it, which will probably be some hats. Since that is what I usually make or maybe one of those multidirectional scarfs. Not sure yet but will let you know. : )
I completed my first sock. It was a lot of fun, and I'm pleased with the results, but not enough to finish the pair. I have enough yarn to make another pair so I'm going to start again with smaller needles. I did the first one with size 5 and am going to try 3's instead. There seemed to be a lot of open space in the stitches.
I also need to practice closing the toe so it looks a little neater, and I'm not happy with the instep. When I picked up the stitches on the side that shows in the picture, they were very loose. I've received some suggestions on how to correct that and will try them on my next sock.
While working on my very first knitting project, a simple scarf with a straight knit row after row after row... with the occasional yarn change for stripes... I felt the need to try something else, something different.
I learned to purl continental and learned a really easy but impressive looking waffle stitch pattern to start another scarf...
And then I started a simple hat, knitting in the round. All the other kids were doing it so I decided to give it a go.
I decided to make the hat ribbed with a basic 1x1 rib (knit1 purl1)... I fould myself modifying my finger configuration and knitting process to work with the knit one, purl one pattern.
I've only been knitting for about 3 weeks now; my friend Stephen taught me after he caught the knitting bug ("the only man who could ever teach me, was the son of a preacher man...").
As an artist who's been laying fallow for way too long, it was a great joy to be making things with my hands again... the low bar for entry was a big plus (though my yarn habit is beginning to get out of control, pretty soon I'll need a sponsor, an intervention or sheep).
It was frustrating the first couple hours trying to get the points of my needles under the tight stitches... I was pinching the yarn loose at every stitch and there was none of the grace of more seasoned knitters around me...