Friday, August 08, 2008

Knitting, Knitting, And More Knitting

It's all about knitting today (for those of you who missed the title); so now is a good time to exit if you are one of those benighted folks who just don't get it.

A neighbor of mine who was just put on (first) pregnancy bed rest for an indefinite period of time said to me over the phone yesterday, "Maybe I'll learn to knit." And then we moved on to other topics.

Ha, ha, of course not. I immediately offered to bring over my stash and my needle collection and a few books to help her out. It turned out that her husband (and I know you will find this hard to believe) had already gone to Michael's (do I hear a collective gasp out there?) and picked up 2 Learn-To-Knit type books for her. What a brave man! (He did, however, quail at the sight of the yarn selection and came home empty-handed in that department.) Is it an LDS thing, maybe? Do they raise their males differently than the non-Mormon population does? Because I am really impressed.

Still, I had to assume that there was no way a knitting know-nothing (and male!) could wander into the aforementioned craft store, which is awash with knitting manuals and magazines and pattern books, and manage to emerge with the right books for a beginning knitter; so I hustled on over to their house anyway with one of my favorites (Knitting For Baby) to give her. But wouldn't you know, her husband's a genius! Or a knitting savant, at least...he picked just the right beginners' manuals, one of them equipped with a couple pairs of needles, a decent needle gauge, and a tape measure. I was stunned. I mean, what were the odds?

Today I went to Michael's (yeah, twist my arm, will you?) and discussed the yarn selection over the phone with her as she described which projects she picked out (we settled on a chunky-wool scarf in the Ready, Set, Knit and the eyelet washcloth and blanket in Knitting For Baby), and then I bought a bunch of yarn for her (and more needles) and got her started on the 2 projects. And get this - she kept thanking me! Tell me, how many of you knitters out there wouldn't enjoy buying yarn with someone else's money? And how many of you would hesitate for even a moment to get someone else addicted to this lovely hobby? Is there any better way to have some fun?

I stopped short of showing her the WEBS and the KnitPicks websites. Mostly because I didn't want to start drooling all over her laptop. I mean, have you seen these sock samplers? Talk about eye candy!

My sock is coming along nicely - looks like 4th time is the charm around here. I also knitted up the ball project in Knitting For Baby, but now it requires felting and I'm not sure what to do (she types disingenuously, knowing that as they read this, knitters everywhere will be reaching instinctively for their keyboards to proffer help). The instructions say to felt it in a washing machine, but that seems to me to be a big waste of water and electricity (I'm just Ms. Environmentalist lately, aren't I?). Has anyone had success with felting by hand?

Wow. A whole post about knitting...next thing you know, I'll be posting on Ravelry.

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26 comments:

  1. Thank you so much for the excuse. I need a hall pass to go potty, please.

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  2. Ooh, but you're missing so much fun! Don't worry, we'll lure you in yet.

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  3. I am a knitting fool. And not the kind that can't put it down. I'm the kind that cant' get it. I've tried and failed.

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  4. Okay. So honestly, I read the first sentence and skipped THE ENTIRE POST. FOR REAL. I DID. Cuz I DO NOT KNIT. I just didn't want to miss my chance to comment and to ask when you found your size whatever bamboo needle you lost during the dreaded flute recital. And how do I decide if and when to sign my kids up for flute anyway?

    KEEP BELIEVING

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  5. It must be like asking me to pick out some books for you at Barnes and Noble and, here, take my credit card!

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  6. All these knitting posts are inspiring me to restart one of my MANY projects sitting in the basement.

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  7. Hand felting is definitely possible. How many yurts do you think were felted in washing machines? It is also a whale of a lot of work, but fun in its own way. An old-fashioned washboard is very helpful. You might find one at Michael's. I know. Another excuse to go back. Even if it is your own money you're spending.

    Great post. We'll bring them all over to the yarn side eventually.

    And yes, LDS men are different. The good ones are well worth waiting for.

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  8. I tried to disregard your warning and read your post, but I just.couldn;t.read.it. I crochet, but only afghans and only three patterens. I have no idea what anything you wrote about means.

    But good for you. You got a chance to go to Micheals!

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  9. I went through a phase when I was really into felting. My stuff and recycling sweaters from Goodwill. Wait until you are really stressed out---it's fun to do by hand!

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  10. Oh man, I am so jealous. I have been waiting forever for someone to teach me how to knit. I finally bought myself some looms so now I am a loom knitter and I LOVE it!
    Bwwwwhhhhaaaaa, I have a new thing for you to get addicted to! It involves needles and wool!
    Welcome to the world of http://www.livingfelt.com/
    Needle felting!!! Oh I love it!

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  11. Hmmm. I'm interested. What book does one start with to learn to knit when all the babies are already potty trained?

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  12. I've felted those balls by hand. Email me if you want details. It's not hard and doesn't take long, because they're small, but I did end up with bloody knuckles. Oops.

    You should definitely get on Ravelry. Even if you don't want to post all the pix and stuff, it's a great resource for getting information on yarn and patterns.

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  13. What a pal you are! And I am also impressed by that husband. Dang.

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  14. I wish I knew how to knit. Could you tell me what book was perfect for beginners? I would love to learn. I do know how to crochet.

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  15. Knit one, pearl two, knit one, pearl two.

    Huh?

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  16. I just can't seem to get knitting...crocheting, now, though, I'm happy to go yarn shopping with you as long as I stick with one needle.

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  17. I love to knit, but sadly do not like to count, so I'm only good for scarves. Crochet is super fun and I taught myself granny squares last year. You are inspiring me to re-tackle a couple of projects. I love going to yarn stores and imagining the possibilities... fun post!!

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  18. As for felting in the washing machine... I made a felted bag recently... Tied it up in a pillowcase and tossed it in the wash with a regular load of laundry. Turned out just fine, even if there was Dreft laundry soap in the water.

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  19. If you had abbreviated the post title KKK, I might have read it.

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  20. I am learning to Knit from watching youtube videos. How sad am I? HA HA!

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  21. Don't knit, read and enjoyed it anyway.
    And the husband does sound like a keeper but I have to ask, what good do learn to knit books do you when you have no yarn?

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  22. I learned to crochet, then made my friend teach me to knit. OHHH the addiction springs eternal!!! I'm on ravelry as well. And no one else mentioned this...but found this tip both on ravelry & from someone at my LYS: get a small NEW plunger specifically for felting. You'll have to paint the handle of it or something to indicate to your oblivious crew that it's a craft plunger, not a plumbing plunger. Put feathers or something on the top of the handle to make it rather obtuse. Then dub it "The Obtuse Plunger of Felting". Make sure you dry it and promptly put it back in your yarn tool stash when you're finished with it.

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  23. You can by yarn with other people's money? I guess the only drawback is that you don't get to keep it...

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  24. You need to write about knitting more often...look at those comments!!

    I've been having ball band-related amnesia myself lately. Can't find the one for what I *think* is Donegal Tweed. Do you know how *many* Donegal Tweeds there are? It is staggering. Maybe the LYS will let me peruse their color cards...

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  25. Great post! OPM is the best money to shop with, ever.

    I dont knit as often nor am I as good as I would like to be at it, yet. This is mostly due to time constraints. I do have loads of projects that I've bought for that are not completed...some have yet to be started. But I digress....

    Yes, you can felt by hand without the wasted water of using the washer. Felting can be done with loads of blue jeans that need to be washed, OR try needle felting, there are books on it but this one covers several methods: 'Fast, Fun, and Easy Needle Felting'
    By Sherri Osborn, and it got good reviews on Google. The multi needle felter on something thick works ok, though I still like to throw it in with Hot water loads of jeans to shrink & toughen it. Does that make me wasteful? BTW... start/learn with dark wool or non-bleached, they felt easier for some reason. Hope this helps.

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  26. I assume people have been felting since before washing machine days. If that husband was raised LDS, he probably spent his early childhood years in cloth and craft stores with his mom, so he has a home court advantage:) Plus, we lead our men around by the nose. As a general rule. Shhh! Don't tell 'em! My husband was raised Chilean (pampered) and when I was pregnant and sent him to buy the groceries, I made the mistake of writing fruits and vegetables instead of an item by item list. He came home with tomatoes and potato chips. Sigh! He needs a little more work. He still has troubles with grocery lists that have over 5 items. He comes home with 20 other junk foods, however. I am a flunkie LDS who can't seem to lead anything around by it's nose, not even the dog. On the upside, I can send him for anything hardware related, and he is the BEST!!

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