Monday, November 20, 2006

Knitting progress report

Toasty toes, in my wool socks. They are machine washable (the socks, of course), and I let them go in the dryer for about 15 minutes on low, before pulling them to finish drying on the side of the bathtub. I love 'em.

About a month ago, I became completely obsessed with the felted purse pattern in the latest "issue" of knitty. It was so different from anything I had done before. I had to make it. Making the swatch was, um, an interesting experience, but I was not deterred. I changed from worsted weight wool to bulky, and then proceeded to splurge on size 13 and 15 Knit Picks Options needles (not the whole set!) to make the darn thing (love those needles, btw).
Anyway, here it is. The picture above shows the purse and I-cord strap before felting. The picture below shows it in the midst of blocking--stretched around a three-volume set of The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire and toasting by the fire. Although I am very satisfied with the way it looks, it's rather fuzzy and I think it could benefit from the sweater stone. I just sent away for a free one. :o) Here are my other finished objects. The washcloths are going into teacher gift-packages for Christmas (need 3 more of those). The black/brown sock is for me (I am only halfway up the foot of the second sock), and the colorful sock is a going to be a gift (I am halfway up the foot of a second sock in that pair as well). The first was made with Regia Silk Color, and the second is with Cherry Tree Hill Farms Supersock Handpaint, supposedly in the Champlain Sunset colorway, but my skein looks nothing like what the website says.
Meanwhile, A. has asked to be taught how to cast on. When I taught the kids to knit last year, I did not teach them how to cast on. He and another boy at school who knows how to knit apparently are upset that their respective knitting teachers (their moms) never taught them casting on. A. says he wants to make his school teacher's washcloth for her Christmas gift basket and he wants to do it completely--from start to finish. So ... we had our first casting on lesson last night.

Oy, what a challenge! He is very nimble with his hands, so that's not the issue. With practice he is going to be fine. But it was incredibly difficult for me to take something that I do almost without thinking and break it down into explainable chunks for him. Anyone listening to us last night would have thought that I was an idiot: "You take the tail ... and then your thumb is here, no the other way ... wait, let me think, no you go left to right, wait, no, yes, hold it, let me try that again. Yes, left to right, but then right to left...." You get the idea. When I thought he had it under control, I left him to read for C's bedtime. Big mistake. When I came back, he was nearly in tears.

We'll try again tonight. I promised I would stay by him for all 45 stitches.


Carolyn said...

Wow, Sydney! You have been zipping out some finished objects. There should be some happy feet in your family this winter. I like that bag, too. I felted some slippers that came out way to fuzzy, and took the electric clippers to them. It worked a whole lot faster than a sweater stone would, and much better than the sweater shaver I had at the time.

Sydney said...

Thanks, Carolyn! Actually, the bag knitted up superfast on those big needles. I will look for those clippers you mentioned.