Knitting Lessons

Deb arrived last night with a pair of US 8 needles and a bright multicolored skein of yarn.  I was going to teach her how to knit. 
Deb’s grandmother had taught her how to cast on and knit Continental style, rather than the English style that I use.  As with learning any new craft, it’s best to do what comfortable for you, so she’s going to be Continental knitter, and that might encourage me to learn that style, too.
She’s pretty good!  I gave her a ball of Lily’s Sugar and Cream and started her off on a garter stitch washcloth.  Basically, I’m going to be showing her how to read a pattern, decreases and increases, and how to fix stuff. 
I’m very happy to have a new knitting buddy!  Deb and I have been friends since high school, and I’m glad that she’s joining me in knitting.  We knit for a while, and then she left to pick up the kids, with needles, yarn, new project, and one of my books in hand. 
I told her to look at how to purl with Continental knitting, and then we’ll start a flat hat.  It’s getting a little too warm for hats and scarves right now, but they are still good to practice with and can be stored for when the cold weather comes again. 
As for myself, I might give Continental knitting a try.  Deb says it’ faster, as others who use the style say.  What do you think?  English or Continental?

Knitting Fear 1: The Shinty Vest

Berroco’s Shinty Vest.  It had haunted me for close to a year now, but I conquered that project and am wearing it today.  Here’s what happened and why this is a knitting fear.
Closeup of the vest. 
Last year, almost exactly one year, I started a class for this pattern.  It was the first garment that I tackled.  The classes were fine, but this vest brought me so much frustration. Why? I hadn’t learned to properly read a pattern yet. 
Still, I muddled through it and managed to finish the body.  Then came the worst knitting fear of them all: picking up stitches for the band.  I was so flummoxed and frustrated.  I stuffed the project in its bag and left it sit, always in the back of my mind of as an example of what I felt was incompetence.
A few days ago, I picked this vest back up, almost a year after I stopped.  I started to pick up stitches with a lot more ease.  And reading and comprehending the pattern was a LOT easier.  See what difference a year makes?
The lesson?  Don’t give up, even if it means putting something down for a long period of time.  As you gain more experience as a knitter, things that at one time seemed daunting are now doable.  Two fears were conquered with this one:  picking up stitches and reading a pattern that I once thought to difficult.

On Deck

I’ve got a lot coming up to write about, but I’m still working on the details, so here’s what’s on deck.
I have been facing a lot of my knitting fears.  It’s been an interesting process, to say the least.  Over the next couple of days I will be telling you more about those fears and how I’ve been going about facing them. 
Second, I have my first knitting student!  I’m going to be teaching my friend Deb how to knit!  How awesome is that?!  Last week, while visiting at my house on Wednesday, she was going through one of my knitting magazines and books, and said, “That’s it.  You’re going to have to teach me to knit.” 
So, that’s what’s on deck.  Oh, and I should have another article up soon on So Crafty.  Lots to look forward to!

Driving while knitting?

You’ve probably heard this one before, but here’s a joke for ya.

A woman sped past a police officer in her car.  The officer immediately went off in pursuit.  Driving up next to the woman’s car, he noticed she was knitting while driving!  And not paying attention to the flashing police lights behind her.  In an effort to get her to stop and, of course, give her a speeding ticket, he got out his bullhorn and said “Ma’am, pull over!” 

“No, it’s a scarf,” she replied.

(You may groan if you’d like.)

St. Patrick’s Day in Boston

Yes, that is a TARDIS t-shirt.
Yes, yes, I haven’t posted much here lately, but I’d been getting ready for a trip to Boston over St. Patrick’s Day weekend!  Hence the silence.  This entry has NOTHING to do with crafting, but I still want to tell you all about my fun weekend.
This is our annual trip to meet up with some of our World of Warcraft guildies.  We belong to the Browncoats, a great guild full of great people, and it’s so much fun get together with them.
Sam, the DH, and I took the train to Boston.  That’s how we got there last year, and it’s a relatively stress-free way of getting there.  Anyway, we arrived, our friends Len and Carol picked us up, and off we went!
Friday night was filled with seafood and karaoke.  I actually got up and sang!  I performed “Somebody Told Me” by The Killers.  Most of us did a song, and we all did very well. 
Free is always good.
Saturday, we had breakfast at McFadden’s Bar in Boston.  We got free t-shirts!  After that, we saw the line at The Black Rose.  Wow.  TONS of people.  It is the place to be in Boston in St. Paddy’s Day, though. 
The insanity outside The Black Rose
Let me digress for a moment.  Boston is INSANE during St. Patrick’s Day.  Nuts.  Bonkers.  Green.  Lots of green!  And there’s a lot going on, too.  The bars are packed, there are street performers, and there was even Irish dancing in the streets in front of Fanuiel Hall.
Ok, back on track.  Next, we hit the New England Aquarium.  I think I like aquariums better than zoos for some reason.  So cool!
Yeah, we’re chillin’.

Now, I must say that two of our guildies were not able to join us until later on Saturday.  Poor Kris ate some bad seafood and got quite sick.  Jason, another guildie and her boyfriend, stayed with her and took good care of her.  They did meet up with us later, but we missed them during the rest of the day!

That evening, we had the customary game of Apples to Apples, which I won the first hand.  And then was so exhausted that I had to go to bed.  Might as well quit while I’m ahead!
Sunday, we had a great breakfast at Johnny’s Luncheonette and said our good-byes.  Back to the train.  Time to come home.  Once a year isn’t enough to see this group of friends. 
Carol, Sam, Me, Andy Front:  Chris and Len

This is just what happened in a nutshell.  Enjoy my whirlwind post and the pictures. See more here if you are interested. 

Kris and Jason

For the Horde!   For the BROWNCOATS!

Yard Sale Yarn

I love yard sale yarn.  People bring it to me all the time.  My boss gave me a bunch she found at a yard sale.  My friend Bruce gave me a ton of it for my birthday. My coworker brought some that didn’t sell at her yard sale.  I gladly take it off their hands. 

The quality?  Mostly acrylic.  Red Heart type stuff, but it’s great for charity knitting and when I want something that is going to take a beating. I have made pretty neat stuff from the yarn people have given me.

So, to all who have given me that yarn, I say thank you.  Please, if you come across more, you know someone who will take it!