Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Pass it on

Swatched all day yesterday, swatching all day today - I think I am actually getting to like swatching. Impatient though I am, it seems likely my ideas for designs will be harder to mislay or miss the point of when worked up in swatch form than in a rough sketch on scrap paper.

Of course, Super Secret Swatches make for Very Dull Blog. But that's okay because I want to tell you about a friend who got hold of me yesterday in a small panic.

The problem: her daughter had been knitting a scarf for months for her baby cousin's first birthday and must present it this weekend, and had finished the last row, but did not know how to cast off. Neither did my friend. Could I help?

Could I! We met up at a convenient halfway point and I cast off the stitches while we chatted, my friend effectively smacking herself in the forehead when she saw how easy it was. Isn't it always so easy though, once you know how?

(except Kitchener Stitch, which is so easy after you've done 15 stitches, and immediately forgotten after the seam is done and must be relearned all over.)

When I got home and emptied my pockets I found the remains of the yarn:

A pink garter stitch scarf for a baby girl cousin - does a first-time knit get any cuter or more heartfelt?

The scarf itself was very sweet. When asking me to finish it my friend also asked if I could teach her and her daughter to knit (again, YES) but really her daughter has knit stitch down pat. She had followed a very straight line for quite a long time before she inadvertently started adding in stitches, but she did that in such an interesting way - a bulge off to the left that decreased back in and then bulged off to the right and back in and over to the left again - I suggested they treat it as a design feature.

Then I told them to think about a Thing they would like to knit when they're learning to do more. Because even a swatch can be a Thing when it's finished - like, a bag, or a cowl, or even a hat (because K2tog is a natural add on to K, and you can always seam a hat up the back.)

This reminds me that I volunteered to help teach knitting at a local school come winter, when the teachers take turns supervising indoor activities because the weather can get to be cold and miserable even in the daytime. I'm really, really looking forward to this after two years of not getting even the hint of knitting interest from the small people on my block (though some of them are even now not quite 5 and may come around in time.) They are, boys and girls alike and regardless of age, uniformly interested in roving - it's the squish factor, I think - but the notion of looping the cords around to make something produces no fascination at all.

Kinda makes me feel like I'm from another planet, really, and reminds me how grateful I am for Trish living nearby and being so super yarny. Even if she does keep distracting me with tales of yarn dyeing.

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