August 19, 2005

THE MOST FORGIVING OF ARTS

The topic was "Knitting by, for, & about Kids" at Wednesday's Guild meeting. We had a panel discussion, with four women who teach knitting to kids speaking about the who, how, and why, and answering questions from the audience.

One of our speakers was Judith Hall, who's a math teacher at a private, all-girls high school in Seattle. She described the student population as very high-achieving, always wanting to do everything perfectly. Judy is an advisor to the after-school knitting club, the Knitting Knerds. She said that she always tells these high-achieving teenagers in her club:

"Knitting is the most forgiving of arts. There's no mistake you can make that we can't undo together, or that you can decide to live with. This is unlike cooking -- once you've burned that roast, there's no going back!"

Aside from the humor, her point was well-taken: Relax! Knitting is supposed to be a stress-reliever, not a stress-inducer.

Allegra came with me to the Guild meeting, and showed her finished pair of fingerless mitts. (She received applause, as did the several other children who came to the meeting with their knitted items.)
mitts 001.jpg

Now, she's started a pair of leg warmers using the same yarn. I'm having her knit them in the round, so that is her new learning. 55 stitches on a 16" long circular needle; she started the ribbing on a size US 6, then went to stockinette on a size US 8. She came to me after knitting four rounds of what was supposed to be the stockinette part, and complained, "In stockinette, aren't the V's supposed to line up? My V's aren't lining up!" I knew instantly that I hadn't explained very well how to knit in the round. Sure enough, she was doing garter stitch in the round: knitting one round, purling the next, as if she were still knitting flat. "Knitting is the most forgiving of arts," I thought to myself as I tinked back to the rib and got her re-started on stockinette in the round. I put a marker on the public side, just as a reminder of right side versus wrong side, in case she were to set the knitting down and the tube were to flip inside out.

On my own needles, I've been knitting on Sandness, and on my vest for Level II of TKGA's Master Knitter program. I keep meaning to get to the toe of my sister's sock, but, since my sister is now living in Arizona, I have to have my daughter Jennie try on the sock to check it's length, since she and DSis wear the same size shoe. The last time I remembered to get Jennie to try on the sock, it was at night, she was in bed trying to get to sleep, and then I came into her room, turning on the lights, pushing aside her blanket, wrestling this sock full of DPNs onto her foot. She whined the whole time -- imagine!

And, I have startitis reeeaaaaallly baaaad. I really want to start this poncho from Wrap Style, in Kidsilk Haze:

PJ-TraditionPoncho.jpg

It starts with a border of Alpine lace, then you join the edges of the bottom border and pick up to knit in the round. You knit a section of Clover and Diamonds lace, then Trellis Diamonds lace, then knit a small section of lacy chevrons at the neckline. This is more complex than the Karis poncho I made last year . . . and I think it is just soooo beautiful. If I could decide on a color of KSH, I'd have this baby on the needles right now. Bleached? Pearl? Blushes? Or do I wait until some of the new fall colors come in -- ?

Posted by Karen at August 19, 2005 08:50 AM
Comments

Allegra is divine in her fingerless mitts, and wow! That wrap is incredible. It looks really complicated, but so light and warm. Oooh.

Posted by: Anne at August 19, 2005 11:06 AM

i'm not a poncho kind of gal, but that is gorgeous!!

Posted by: vanessa at August 19, 2005 06:59 PM

Holy cow, that poncho is stunning! Drat you for giving me *another* book I need to buy! (just kidding)

Posted by: Janice in GA at August 19, 2005 07:23 PM

Wait until the fall colors come in. If you start it now, you know you're going to find a fall color you like better. We all know what frogging KSH is like, don't we??!?

Allegra's mitts are great and the ponchos are gorgeous too. So much to knit, so little time (and money).

Posted by: Jewel at August 21, 2005 08:46 AM

Ahhh, Jewel, thanks for the advice -- I think you're on to something there. I can so totally see this poncho knit up in that new, pale pink color, "Grace" -- and I'm sure you can, too!! According to Westminster Fibers, they'll start shipping my new fall yarns to me on Tuesday or Wednesday of this coming week. (It generally takes about 10 days for shipments to get delivered to me.) So if I can just hold out that long....

Posted by: Karen at August 21, 2005 08:55 AM