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Archive for October 18th, 2006

Knitting Update

Wednesday, October 18th, 2006

Yarn Shop Fun

Here’s a photo of my yarn booth, my friend Irene, and my friend Trish Bloom at her booth, at Threadbear last Saturday. I thank the Boyz at Threadbear for the opportunity, I had a lot of yarns available to sell, and enough sold that I was very happy to have sat there one full day.

threadbearfallfestireneandtrish.jpgNevermind that the people in the shop that day were great company and it would have been fun, sale or no. Barb Hranilovich was there with a booth, and I had not seen her in a very long time. She is such sunshine! She’s a kindred spirit, in our relationship with color.

My Regular Knitting

I’m cranking away on no-brainer afterthought-heel socks on size 2 needles, finished all of the first (toe up) sock of a pair, except for binding off and the heel. I need to dig out the second skein from the pile so I can keep going on these.

They are an odd colorway, with magenta/ turquoise/ black/ purple/ yellow (Rob commented on them at Guild last night) but I’ve had this yarn in stash a long time and honestly it was in 50gm center-pull balls, so I could just grab and go, no effort at all to get knitting.

The Challenging Project of the Day

The red tie is grueling to knit. At least I’m enjoying the smallness of the project (on size 0 US /2mm Brittany birch wood needles). These tiny, bendable needles are kind to my hands.

I have completed 38 rows and I’m at 58 stitches wide right now. It’s not fun at all. I’m doing it flat, with knit/purl texture in the pattern of argyle. Very few purls, really, but I keep putting them in the wrong place. I think I’m at about a 66% accuracy rate. Thank goodness there are only 4 purls per row.

I actually spent a long time yesterday unravelling one column of stitches at a time and re-chaining them back up with a 2mm crochet hook. I un-did a bunch of purls, changed my mind about how I wanted the patterning to go. It was too confusing and life is too short! Teresa Lee helped me figure out where I’d gone wrong, last night at guild. I figured I could do it again (make that mistake, that is).

Ugh. Counting purl texture stitches. How do people do this? Some people appear to be able to do it in their sleep. I swear, for me intarsia would be easier because the color screams at you where it is. The purls hide because they are the same color, until five rows after you thought they were right, and placed other purls near them in relationship to the incorrect spot. And then you have to undo dozens of stitches to fix it all. Ugh. I think I do have this set up a little better, and now that I can see the previous patterns a bit more, maybe it will smooth out for me a bit.

The good news is that the pattern called for a single crochet at the bottom of the tie and I did that right away yesterday. It does look good (I was afraid it would look clunky). There is something about small yarn and small tools that makes things look more refined. I’m happy with that part of the project.

I’m still a little worried that the stockinette will not want to block flat, but water on it made things much better and steam should take it to the next level.


I probably will not get much knitting done today. There are three long-ignored errands to run before my public appearances begin. I have to teach a private lesson, then I work with the Kidz for one hour, and then I dance for 3 hours. It’s not too easy to knit while dancing!

CityKidz Knit!

Wednesday, October 18th, 2006

Cyndy writes:

How are you supplied for CityKidz? Please let me (and others) what you need, want and/or don’t want.

I have enough regular solid-colored acrylic yarn right now. What the Kidz are asking for these days is feltable wool and multicolored acrylics, plus really bright colors of acrylic. Kids love color, so anything very colorful goes really fast.

Specifically we can use (if it’s not on this list, please don’t send… I don’t have a lot of storage space and the boss doesn’t like messes):

  • Feltable yarns, worsted weight or larger, bright colors
  • Any natural-fiber white/pastel yarns (either washable *or* feltable, for Kool Aid Dyeing)
  • Bulky yarns that are soft enough for kids (not rug yarn)
  • Multicolored yarns, even standard discount acrylic, brighter is better
  • Tote bags (canvas ones with advertising from conventions are great)
  • Needles, sizes US 6 to 11, straight or circular (do not have to match or have both needles, I have an assortment of singles already)
  • Circular needles US 6-13 small enough around for hats and small bags (12-24″)
  • Darning Needles (pastel plastic ones are ideal)
  • Small scissors for cutting yarn ends (Don’t buy especially for us, we only need a couple pair)

What I do NOT need:

  • Lion Brand Homespun or Boucle… or other loopy novelty yarns, they do not work because they split/catch so easily
  • Neutral-colored yarns (unless it’s dyeable wool)
  • Fuzzy yarns, fur-like yarns and dark-colored yarns (too hard to see stitches)
  • Mildewy or mouse-eaten attic/basement leftovers (Unfortunately, I am getting good at recognizing mouse droppings)
  • Thinner yarns than worsted weight. Kids have little patience and are still developing finger coordination. They want to finish, quickly.
  • Novelty yarns (we do use them in small quantities but I have more than I need right now)

If I haven’t said it recencitykidz011106bymariam5.jpgtly, the best thing I do all week is teach the CityKidz Knit! program. These kids are normal, everyday kids in many respects… but in my room, they shine and they are fun, funny, brilliant, creative. They love me and they know I love them back.

And they make amazing things! Last year I had three children making socks, one girl finished two pair and started on two more. I’ve had lace and intarsia lessons. I’ve had kids make up patterns many times.citykidz042106purse.jpg

They go in phases, sometimes the group wants to do bags, sometimes, hats, sometimes wristwarmers, a few times backpacks. I let them follow whatever muse speaks to them, it’s very much a “study hall” more than a class.

The Kidz never cease to inspire me. I learn how to explain and how to help them think for themselves. We’re all lucky to work together.

Cyndy, thanks for your continuing interest in the program. It’s a worthy cause.

Oh… donations (small boxes better than large) can be sent to:

CityKidz Knit! c/o LynnH
Foster Community Center
200 N. Foster Ave.
Lansing, MI 48912