Posts Tagged ‘Stitch House’

New Knitter Pride

April 4, 2018

Some WIPs (works in progress) on a Wednesday: Not all of the students in my Knit 101 class are true novices, but every month or so, a brand new knitter walks through the door. Chris and Justin are the most recent, each with their own motivations for learning a new craft.

Ten-year old Chris arrived with his mother, a non-knitter, a few weeks ago and explained he thought knitting looked cool. Yup, you read that right. While he’s got a goal of making a sweater someday, he started with a practice swatch in garter stitch and last week learned the purl stitch. His concentration and quiet pride warm my heart.

New-knitter.jpeg

When Justin walked through the door, I thought he was looking for directions to someplace else! He’s not your typical Saturday morning knit class member: a male, accountant in his late 20s.

His motivation for learning to knit? He resolved to learn 10 new things this year. How cool is that?! So far, he’s learned to bake bread and play golf (at an indoor range until the snow melts). When summer comes, he wants to learn how to water ski. His knitting goal is socks for his girlfriend but, like Chris, happily — and very conscientiously — dived into knits and purls.

Novice-knitter.jpeg

After completing her son’s hat, Louise is working on a scarf (the pattern name escapes me at the moment) in a beautiful variegated yarn. She’s been perusing sweater patterns, so it’s likely she’ll add another project soon.

Louise-scarf.jpeg

Jacqui recently returned to class after a winter hiatus and has cast on a hat. Before she joins the stitches in the round, I encouraged her to knit an inch or two flat, so that it’ll be easier to join without twisting. The subtle color shifts in this Madeline Tosh yarn are exquisite.

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I’ve been spending most of my knitting time with the second sock. I’ll get back to the Sunshine Coast one of these days. What’s on your needles?

Sock2

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First Mittens

February 24, 2018

Although already a competent knitter, Jeanne joined the Knitting 101 class at Stitch House a few weeks ago, accompanying friend Jean, a true novice. She’s a terrific cheerleader for Jean, giving her tips and encouragement as she created her first project: a Wham Bam Thank You Lamb neck warmer.

Jeanne arrived at last Saturday’s class with one completed mitten and another nearly finished. By the end of class, she’d finished the thumb, closed a gap in the wrist ribbing, and was done!

Jeanne-knit-mittens2

Feeling camera-shy, she struck the perfect pose for admiring these simple, beautiful mittens. When she commented that they were a bit roomier than she had hoped, I took the opportunity to share a general knitting tip.

Knitting Tip

Before starting a project, make a copy of your pattern and work from that.

  • Note the yarn and needles you used.
  • Highlight each size-specific instruction.
  • Use check marks or your method of choice for keeping track of repeats or numbers of rows.
  • When you’re done, make notes about what you’d do differently next time. In Jeanne’s case, she’ll make the mitten smaller by either using a smaller needle (with same size yarn) or by casting on fewer stitches.

I’ve never knit mittens. At least, I don’t think I have. After my recent memory challenge, I can’t be 100% sure.

Do you have a favorite mitten pattern?

Fearless Knitter Finished Objects

February 6, 2018

In November, I started teaching a Knit 101 class at Stitch House, one of Boston’s lovely local yarn stores (LYS). Starting at 9:00 on Saturday mornings, a group of about six or eight new knitters gather around the table for learning, creating, sharing, and only occasionally, cursing. The students include sisters, ages 7 and 9, so we try to keep our language in check!

Stitch-house-knit101

For their first projects, several knitters have made the Wham Bam Thank You Lamb Neckwarmer.┬áJean is seaming hers in the lower corner in the photo above. It fits my top requirement for a first project, namely that you’ll be able to finish in a reasonable amount of time and experience that surge of pride in your accomplishment. A cotton dishcloth (or washcloth, your choice) also fits the bill when it comes to a first project. Here’s Mary’s creation:

Wham-bam-lamb-cowl

When Helena finished her neckwarmer, she immediately texted her mother in Brazil, who was suitably impressed. Of course.

Wham-bam-lamb-neck-warmer

Julia made a super bulky cowl, which she was delighted to discover also made a terrific headband!

Julia-cowl

This past Saturday, her sister finished a hat, complete with pom pom, for a younger cousin. As you can see, she was delighted. And that’s what it’s all about.

Ella-pink-hat

What have you made that makes you proud? I’d love to hear your ideas for other good knitting projects for beginning knitters?

 

 

 

But It Was On Sale

February 4, 2018

I haven’t bought any much yarn in the past six months or so, which I consider a feat of enormous willpower. The Hayfield Baby Blossom DK doesn’t really count because baby yarn isn’t a regular part of my stash, and I can’t not knit a gift for a future member of my extended family.

Besides, who’s counting? There are no knitting stash police. And the Wee Penny is progressing nicely, don’t you think?

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Imagine my delight, when I arrived to teach Knitting 101 this morning at The Stitch House and discovered they were having a bit of a sale.

In the interest of supporting a local yarn store and boosting the local economy and because I’d donated several bags of stash yarn to a local library’s upcoming yarn sale, I felt almost compelled to buy a few skeins. Wouldn’t you?

Sock yarn is always a good buy because I know what I’ll make with it. This skein of Done Roving Yarn’s “Frolicking Feet” in the Peacock colorway caught my eye. I don’t think it’s self-striping, but the colors will suit my Michael quite nicely I think. Plus it’s made in my home state of Maine, so I was almost required to buy it!

Dove Roving Yarn skein of Frolicking Feet yarn

A sparkly skein in the clearance basket caught my eye. At less than $4.00, how could I resist?

I found some lovely Madeline Tosh Twist Light that I think will complement it nicely.

The question now is: what will I make with these two? Maybe a shawl or wrap of some kind? I welcome all pattern ideas – leave a suggestion in a comment. I’ll let you know what I decide…eventually!

Been Dyeing to See You!

September 19, 2016

I’m supposed to be hiking the tallest peak in Maine right now, but a forecast of three days of >60% chance of rain forced me to change my plans. The likelihood that my hiking companions and I would be able to reach the summit were pretty slim and the chance of an 11.5 hour round-trip drive and two nights in a lean-to were 100%. There’s always next year….

With a “free” Sunday, I decided to visit the Stitch House, a nearby yarn store that I’d been meaning to get to for ages. Yesterday was also the final day of the Greater Boston Yarn Crawl, which means special events and sales. I found both.

When I arrived, Shelley, founder of the wonderful Sheep Ahoy Knitters Cruise, and Diane of Lady Dye Yarns were at a back table with white yarn, cups, water, gloves, and loads of little bottles of dye.

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Shelley was creating an Irish flag-themed skein as Diane demonstrated the finer points of dipping and stirring.

dyeing

Shelley’s a quick study. Her next skein was speckled, not dipped. (I have no idea if “speckled” is the proper term, but it works for me.)

dyeing-speckled

As befitting a local yarn store, the Stitch House sells lots of locally-made yarns — some from Boston (like Diane’s) and others from around the Northeast US. Check out this worsted from Molly Girl.

mollygirl-rockstar

Sister-friend Cathie is a big fan of purple and pink, so I had to take a photo for her. The Rockstar colorways are named after songs. This one is named “Dancing Queen” and get this…

mollygirl-lyrics

…the lyrics are printed on the label!

I couldn’t resist a skein of Lady Dye’s worsted in Luna. I don’t know what it will become, but it’s ready to go when inspiration strikes.

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