Monday, June 22, 2009

the blanket, the bear, and the knitting lesson

The blanket and the bear have gone to good homes. The bear in the photo above was the first one I made and that went to my great nephew. after that I made 3 more. One for each of my daughters, and one for my sister in California.

I got a call from my sister as soon as she got the bear. She was so happy. I was so happy that she loved it as much as she did. I love making special tags and pining them to my work with yarn and a gold safety pin, makes me feel like I bought it at a boutique.

I just got the call today from my 2nd cousin, who's baby the blanket is for, she loved it so much and said it was so pretty she didn't want to use it. I told her it is very washable and to please use it.

I have been trying to persuade my 7 year old to take up knitting. At first she was all for it, until one time when she needed help and I wasn't in a position to help her and I was trying to instruct her by words, not action, and I got frustrated, she got frustrated, and one of us ended up crying. So I ruined it....for a while. I asked her every day for about 3 weeks if she wanted to learn to knit. no no no no no nope no no.

Until today! We were at the park and me and all my friends were doing needle work, Emily came over and said "I want to learn to crochet" I said "NOPE you have to learn to knit first" she said ok. Lets just say that I learned my lesson from my first time teaching her, and she is well on her way.

Tonight we were sitting on the couch and she was happily knitting with her legs folded to the side of her, so peaceful and content, not frustrated (at least that I could tell). I was watching her, and she said "mom, you don't have to watch me" how could I not watch my oldest kin take on a skill that will bring her so much contentment in years to come. How could I not watch my little prodigy follow in my footsteps? How could I not watch her to make sure she was doing it right??? I am so proud of her. We are taking a long car ride on Wednesday...I hope she wants to bring her knitting along.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

knitting adventures

I made a bear and a blanket. The bear was for my great nephew Noah, and the blanket is for my 2nd cousins baby on the way.

I crocheted the blanket 143 granny squares all sewn together for a lovely look. Then a sc border stitched around the edge. Turns out the bear was very popular. Both my girls wanted one. Emily asked me for one first. She wanted it to be 3 colors. I couldn't manage that in my head, so off to the "yarn store" for some variegated yarn with as many of the colors she wished for inside.
I brought it home and shined a big smile, hoping to impress her with the colors I had chosen.

It worked. I worked. I knitted the bear. It took me a few days. I had one pair of bamboo, and one pair of nickle plated size 7 circs. This yarn was synthetic, and not very forgiving, but it did produce a bear that is well loved. So loved that she spent 20 dollars of her birthday money that she had been saving since April to purchase 3 outfits for it.

Next...a bear for Haley. We happened to be in a big box craft store just after I finished Emilys bear. "Haley, would you like to pick out yarn for your bear?" I say, dreading another encounter with the aforementioned yarn. While I was at that store, I recall the non harmonious experience of knitting with two unequal needles. I quickly grabbed a pair of Boyle alluminum size 7 circulars. Of course making sure of the flexability of the cables. Oh so flexable. I have to say I was very impressed with how far they have come, and also feeling a little like I was cheating on my local yarn store. Next...yarn isle, (more infidelity) once again (to save time) MOMMY picked out the yarn with a gleeful smile (hoping she'd fall for it). She fell for it. I left that store feeling like a double dealing woman on a mission. I knitted, however this time it was better. Easier... Not because I had been through the pattern two times previous, although I am sure it didn't hurt.
I cast on the two strands of yarn I had been instructed to....and it felt so right. Whatever the synthetic yarn had done to me, whatever pain I experienced when I had to fight just to get a proper slip slip knit, it was all erased. Erased by the pureness of the wool gliding so effortlessly over my shinny almost matching needles.

Although this time was so much better, I was not able to afford the luxury of time I had with the other yarn. I scrimped and sneaked and grabbed for time not finding much, I gave up. This morning though, opportunity knocked on my needles. I was taking care of a task, and had a little time to think. I said, I am going to go out there and just tell them (my family) that I was simply going to finish Haleys bear today, and no one was going to stop me, so don't even try! So I did. And something funny happened. They did.

All was good, I was in my chair, happy...I had won, one little battle. Sitting there part stunned, and part proud that my family actually heeded my warning. I look over at my 7 year old, who is looking at me with intent. I ask, "what you thinkin Em?" She replies, "just trying to figure out how i'm gonna stop you."