Saturday, May 31, 2008

Visual Aids

I just might have too much time on my hands...

For my graduate storytelling class, I decided to do a retelling of Jan Brett's story called The Mitten. The story basically consists of a little boy dropping one of his mittens, which is found by a variety of woodland animals, who all crawl inside it to warm up. When the boy finds the mitten again, it has been all stretched out since everything from a mole to a bear warmed up inside it. The joke at the end is the size diference between the boy's two mittens. I needed a visual aid, and so decided to be creative and cut the animals out of felt. Then I needed a mitten to put them in.

A normal human would have gone to the store and purchased a mitten. I am not normal. I am a knitter. I knit both mittens. I found a simple and straightforward pattern online, and made two mittens. I didn't worry about the gauge at all. I used white Lamb's Pride Bulky and size 9 needles for the big one, then Blue Sky Alpaca Silk in white on size 2 needles for the little one. The pattern was lovely, and very clear. I will have to try it sometime with real mitten yarn.

Anyway, it was a lot of work, but a lot of fun. Also, now I have a really nice visual aid should I ever actually become a children's librarian...or I could be nice and give it to my elementary school teaching sister who had The Mitten as a child.

We'll see.

Friday, May 30, 2008

A Yarn For Every Knitter And A Knitter For Every Yarn

I was walking through a yarn shop the other day and saw what to me was a HIDEOUSLY HORRID yarn. (Said fiber will go unnamed so that no one is offended and I don’t get sued by the manufacturer.) I thought to myself, “Who would buy that, what on earth would they do with it, and why would they even want to?” I kid you not, mere moments later another patron walked through the door, made a beeline for the shelf, and scooped some up. Apparently, she LOVES that yarn and uses it to make some sort of purse. (I still can’t envision that being at all attractive…) This got me thinking though about yarn personalities.

If I were to lay several balls of yarn out on a table and invite the knitters close to me to choose a skein, each would be drawn to a different fiber. This is because not every knitter likes every yarn. We are like addicts with drugs of choice. I can with almost 100% certainty predict what is going to turn on my friends:

NorCal Gal would immediately pick up something soft, probably worsted weight, machine washable, and blue.

Mom would go for a self-striping sock yarn in jewel tones, or perhaps a new color way of dishcloth yarn.

The Aunt would want something cheery, a novelty yarn that she could use in a garter stitch scarf, most likely a chunky weight.

I would look at the ball bands and pick an unusual fiber…or alpaca, anything in alpaca, and probably orange.

Princess or Prada would grab something glitzy and glam…fuzzy or sparkly…and then hand it to me since neither one knits.

This way every yarn eventually gets knit…just not by every knitter.

Sunday, May 11, 2008


I have a sizable yarn collection.

Not necessarily enough to open my own shop...but enough.

Every trunk, basket, and purse-not-currently-in-use has yarn in it. I also have several (smallish) tubs in my craft room closet.

But it is not my yarn stash that I am most proud is my secret shelf stash of completed projects.

There are times, such as during movies or grad school lectures, when I want to knit but need to not be thinking about my knitting. At these times, I resort to a simple scarf, dishcloth, or coffee cup cozy. As a result, I have a surplus of scarves, dishcloths, and coffee cup cozies. These are all placed on the bottom shelf of the lawyer's bookcase in my bedroom. I have tissue paper affixed to the inside of the glass door so nosy visitors can't see in. This way when a gift giving occasion arises, I can go "shopping" in the stash!

One would think that this would cut down on the yarn and projects I purchase. But that is not the case. The downfall in the system is that if I remember that a gift giving occasion is on the way, I plan a special project and shop for it before I shop the stash.

Still, the stash has gotten me out of more than one when someone gives me something for Christmas when I hadn't realized we had reached the gift-exchange level in the friendship...

I highly recommend the stash... goes perfectly with my enormous greeting card cache!

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Enough with the BOYS already...

The cute peach baby sweater I was avoiding frogging on can sit in the work basket a while longer. The original friend it was for is having a boy. The second friend who it could have gone to is, as of this past Monday, having a boy. A third friend/acquaintance, just announced this morning that she is also having a boy.

On the plus side, this was a GREAT excuse to buy more yarn in blues and greens…

And my hairstylist is expecting…she might even be having multiples…surely one of them will be a girl…