on knitting and healing and other stuff

Archive for March, 2008

Knit It and They Will Come…

Posted by Janis on March 31, 2008

Spring break was a glorious affair this year: headed up to the mountains as usual (Leadville, Colorado – our family’s stomping – and skiing – grounds) and spent a great week with my dad (skiing like a pro at 79), brother and sister-in-law, and nieces. The skiing was fantastic, the snow perfect, nothing but sunshine, good eats, great company — but the highlight? The very highlight of the entire break? My nieces wanted to knit!

The girls are ages 9 and 10, and though I had given them each a little knitting kit for Christmas 2 years ago, they hadn’t shown much interest in learning themselves. I didn’t mention it, but I’m always knitting around them — always. So at our cozy rental house, Hannah picked up some size 9 KnitPicks Options tips that were lying around (not even on a cable) and some scrap yarn and started moving her hands in a knit-like fashion. I said, “Want me to show you how to do it? You almost have the moves down.” And she took off. Then Rachel had to do it, too. All I had left to teach her on were some size 6 dpn’s — no problem. Her little fingers grabbed ’em and away she went. I cast on just 10 stitches for each of them, and told them they could knit till they had little squares and they’d be blankets for the tiny bears I gave them in their Easter baskets that morning. h-knitting.jpgr-knitting.jpg Hannah is sporting the ski hat I’d just finished.

After they knitted for about half and hour or so, Hannah was getting frustrated so I suggested a game of dominoes. She set up the game and said, “Rachel, come on. We’re ready to play.” Rachel’s reply? “Just a minute, Hannah — I have to finish this row.” She’s hooked, my friends, hooked! I couldn’t be prouder. She wouldn’t go to bed till she finished her little bear-blanket, yawning every third stitch. Hannah finished hers in the morning. Here they are:


And Hannah’s bear with his blankie: hs-bear-blanket.jpg

The next evening I was working on the back of my cabled vest. Rachel was watching me like a hawk, asking what the stitch markers were for and how the yarn made the cables. Then she said, “I want to learn to knit in a circle.” So I cast on 60 stitches for her on a size 10 circ and told her that if she knit four or five rounds, she’d have a headband. (I’m doing the casting off, you understand.) So she sat there and didn’t budge till she’d done 5 rounds. My sister-in-law Liz took this shot of the two of us:

r-me-knitting.jpgAnd that’s how I turned two very modern little girls into little old ladies in just two nights… I’m telling you, they ate it up.


Posted in On the Needles, Travel | 5 Comments »

Finishing School

Posted by Janis on March 17, 2008

In a flurry of activity over the weekend, I have some progress to share on a couple of fronts. First, the Weekend Getaway Satchel is seamed up: not finished, mind you, but the seams are done, so it is in one piece. Pretty exciting! Still quite a lot of finishing to do on it, though — sew the metal frame in the top, sew the straps on, put the feet on and the board in the bottom. Oh, and I do so want to line it. Line it AND put some kind of pockets in the lining, because the thing is so big. Have I mentioned that I have no sewing skills? I’m trying to learn to use my mom’s excellent machine (a Necchi, for those in the know), but have just had a rather humbling experience involving a needle roll I was trying to make. Such pretty fabric, too…

Anyhow – I did finish the Halfobi sweater on Saturday. Seamed it, put the crochet edging around it – even the sleeves!, and properly wet-blocked it. It dried in time for me to wear it today. Many compliments — I love that part of knitting! Here it is: halfobi.jpg

Specs: The pattern is “Halfobi” by Ivete Tecedor, available at It’s very well-written and a really fun knit. I did mine in Silk Garden, color 213, and it took nearly 8 skeins because I added an inch in length. I think you could do it up in just about any light worsted weight yarn — my gauge was 5.5 stitches to the inch on US 6’s. I used an “F” crochet hook for the edging and added it around the sleeves, too.

Posted in On the Needles | 6 Comments »