Knit Picky: August 2005

"properly practiced, knitting soothes the troubled spirit...
 and it doesn't hurt the untroubled spirit either."
~elizabeth zimmerman

Monday, August 29, 2005
Is This What Is Known As The Home Stretch??

I may finish TBSTWND yet! This weekend I knit like a maniac and I finished the button band and edging for both fronts, I wove in all the ends for the fronts and back, and last night (after about a dozen fits and starts) I seamed the shoulders. Ya-Hoooo!

I can't believe it. Tonight I will start to pick up the stitches for the collar and knit that. Then it's attaching the arms and seaming the sides and then I shall be -- dare I say it? -- DONE. I never thought this day would come! I'll try to get some pics tonight to commemorate this momentous occassion.

Last night I really wanted to take pictures, but The Beast was sleeping alternately in my knitting bag or in the space created by my legs when I sat cross-legged. I didn't want to disturb the uber-cuteness too much. I'll try to remedy that tonight. And maybe capture a picture of The Beastie sleeping in my knitting bag. It is unbelievably cute.

Oh, and since I still don't know whether it's kosher to post pictures of me teaching the kids' beginning knitting class about a month ago, I don't want to take any chances. But my little sister Nikki, the 9-year-old photo ham, has reminded me that I can post pictures of her. So I will.

posted by Stephanie at 2:25 PM

Thursday, August 25, 2005
Vital Signs Indicate That There is Still Life

I know, sometimes it's doubtful.

There's just not much knitty stuff happening. I'll try to get a status picture of The Baby Sweater That Will Not Die (TBSTWND), but it's just pieces. Nothing too exciting. Tonight I will begin to pick up stitches for the button band down the front sides. Then there's the collar. And, oh yeah, that pesky seaming. [sigh] This kid is going to be seriously too big for this thing by the time I'm finished with it.

Which wouldn't be the end of the world, frankly. After all this work, I want my own kids to have it. When I have kids. Someday. (For now I'll just worry about the wedding in 10 months, thank you very much!)

I'm so behind on all these self-imposed knitting deadlines. I just want to be doing something NEW. When I finally finish TBSTWND for Ian, I will need to finish my second feather & fan sock. Yes, it malingers on in it's clever little carrying tube (a cardboard wine holder from Michael's).

The baby sweater virus has also prevented me from making my sister something for her birthday, or making myself a pinwheel blankie. So those are on tap, too. I'm going to make the sister some of those fingerless gloves. My LYS has just gotten some Lily Chin merino/cotton yarn that I think would be great for this purpose. And they also just got some new thick & thin wool with amazing varigations (varigation-ness?). Perfect for a pinwheel blankie. And I have a few things to be considering for The Boy for assorted upcoming holidays. [Le sigh]

Oh, and no word yet on the knitting class for Girl Scouts. Apparently their troop leader is really, really bad at returning calls. So I'm off. Ole!

posted by Stephanie at 2:45 PM

Friday, August 12, 2005
Teaching Trials

I've now finished the fronts and back of the Baby Sweater That Will Not Die. I've started a sleeve. Do you think he REALLY needs two? C'mon, kid, life's full of disappointments. You might as well start learning now!

I taught my first group of kid knitters a couple weeks back. Aged 6-12. I feel that it was disastrous, but nobody else has agreed so far. Perhaps they're a bit less critical than I am of me. Hmmmmm. I *thought* that the thumb method of casting on would be easy for kids to grasp. Boy was I wrong. I am totally teaching the cable or knitting on method next time. It took them ages and I still don't really think they got it. That was Mistake #1.

Mistake #2 I mixed up the long-tailed cast on with the thumb method, and had them cast on using the tail. With the result that when the 12 stitches were cast on, the working yarn was at the wrong side of the needle. Nice. So we had to cast on AGAIN.

Mistake #3, I let a grandmother sit in with her granddaughter. She immediately jumped in and started teaching her how to knit. At a totally different pace than the rest of the class. With a different cast on and technique. Oh that was fun. When I asked her why she was paying me to teach if she could have done it herself (although I think I was a bit more gracious than that), she told me that she didn't know if she'd have the patience, but if she'd known how easy it was...Was that meant as a dig at me, or as a comment on her granddaughter's abilities, I wonder?

So, all in all I felt like a moron. Although all the kids were sweet as could be and knitting by the end of the two hours, I still felt like a screwup. I asked another lady who was there to witness the debacle and she thought I did fine. She said that considering it was my first time teaching kids, and it was a good sized group (6), she thought I was good. And one of the shop owners did ask me to teach another group of kids in two weeks. Girl Scouts, this time. Ages 9-17.

Do any of you have teaching horror stories that you're willing to share so that I don't feel so lame?

Also, I have a question about web etiquette. The Boy took a bunch of pictures of me working with the kids and teaching them, and I want to post some of them 'cause the kids were so cute and intent, but I don't know--am I allowed to show their faces? I don't have a release or anything, so is that verboten?

posted by Stephanie at 2:10 PM