The Shy Knitter

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Being a knitter, is it nurture or nature?

In my case, it is nature. My mother is a long time knitter (as she turned 80 this year, she has been probably knitting at least 75 years), as was my grandmother (who I never knew as she died when my mother was 18). I went out to Guelph for the day to celebrate my brother-in-law's birthday, and thought it would be a good opportunity to talk about my mother's knitting.

First of all, I should mention that my mother makes (sews) a lot of bears. They are beautiful creations that are made from fake fur, real fur, old wool jackets (tweed and herringbone), silk fabrics and sometimes mohair. There has also been a fair share of knitted teddy bears as well. The ones for charities such as Teddies for Tragedies have been simple but lovely. Other have been of heirloom quality, one of which she gave to my childhood friend's baby daughter. My favourites are the simple ones that are just wonderful to have around and keep you company.

Mom usually has at least a couple of projects on the go (another point for the arguement of a genetic disposition towards knitting) but has managed to finished a couple lately both big and small. For the big is this sweater. My good friend Gillian (who sells real estate if you are looking to buy property in T.O.) was looking for a home for a pattern and yarn that her mother couldn't get going on. I gladfully took it and passed it on to my mother with many thanks, and she finally finished it this month. It is from Mary Maxim, and although my mother got through the bulk of it easy, she seemed to procrastinate on the last 1/2 of the second sleeve. Not sure why, as the results are great!

Finally, I got my mom 'involved' in an online dishcloth knit-a-long. 'Involved' in a convoluted kind of way as I have the pattern sent to me and then I forward them to her. Why? Well, although both my mom and dad spend a fair amount of time on the computer, it is easier for me to streamline the process. Anyway, here is her first dishcloth, and here are the needles she is knitting them with. They are from Zellers and are supposed to be for kids. Never mind the kids, I want a pair!!!!

To finish this entry, I should show you a picture of my brother-in-law since it is his birthday. He doesn't knit, but he is quite convinced that he would be an excellent one if he did (I am just thankful he didn't drop a stitch on me!). Happy birthday Eric!

Thursday, September 21, 2006

In my other life, I am a....

Library Technician. Exciting huh? Well, other library technicians think so. Once every 3 or 4 months I try to get together with the people I went to Seneca College with for my diploma. We are a rag tag group, but got through the tyranny that is part-time continuing education (anyone who has gone through it knows what I am talking about). I promised them I would post pictures (and there will be knitting content), so here we go......

Here is Theresa and her lovely daughter Mialyn (10 months old).
Mialyn loves to read books and will have a great career in the library field in about 20 years. Her mom will be returning back to work soon and hopes to finish her diploma in 2007.

Up next is Sharon and Brenda. Sharon manages the library at York Central Hospital, which technically makes her a librarian. She used to knit lovely afghans and even won prizes at the local fair. But alas, she had to give it up (as many knitters fear) due to repetitive injury. I wish I could suggest something else she could do as a new obsession, but nothing compares to knitting needles.

Brenda works for the Law Society of Upper Canada and is a cataloguer (I give her credit, not all library types are least I couldn't do it). She occasionally knits, but spends most of her spare time in hockey arenas (you would think she would be madly knitting warm sweaters, hats, scarves, etc).

Last but not least is Nancy and Christopher. Nancy has taken a break from her studies at Seneca College, and is managing a company called Game Ready Equine. It has taken her to all kinds of exciting places and meeting all kinds of exciting people. Despite all this success (or perhaps in spite of it) she hopes to finish her diploma next year.

Christopher, is a library tech at the Ontario Legislative Library. He also likes to crochet, but limits it to the cottage in the summer time. I am certain if I could find him leather yarn, he would be crocheting all the time.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Bad blogger.....bad, bad blogger.....

Yes, I know I haven't been a very good blogger of late. It has been over a month since I last posted. Well, hopefully I will make amends here and now.

It has been a productive and not-so-productive month in knitting.

Productive - finished my first pair of socks. Here, fetching Heather models the fetching self striping Kroy yarn from Patons. I find socks a bit frustrating, as once you have turned the heel, all the excitement seems to go. I did manage to get past all that and make the mate to the first one. With two more pending sock projects to knit, I better find another way to get excited about knitting a whole sock or two.

Not-so-productive - after knitting my sea silk shawl and getting about 1/4 the way through, I decided to frog it (rip it, rip it). I had dropped a stitch and in the effort to un-knit, I managed to drop more. It was also in question whether the finished item would be long enough, and I had wished I had blended the two skeins of sea silk when I had started. So, I frogged it and started over with fewer stitches (90 something vs. 100 something). The two skeins are blending splendidly so I have no regrets.

Productive and not-so-productive - here I am modeling the purple yarn ballet sweater that was started in May (around my birthday). Problem is, I tend to think it makes me look larger than my already ample physique.
It could be the wide neckline, it could also be comparing myself to the skinny model that inspired me to knit the sweater in the first place (will I ever learn??).
Anyway, all is not lost, I have decided to take artistic license and wear the sweater like this (with the ties at the back). Tell me I don't look as big!

Now that this is done, I can start on the Bohemian sweater for Heather. I got the yarn from Lewiscraft before they went under (at 50% off), and hope with the cold weather coming that it will knit up quick.

There are quite a few projects waiting in the wings, but I have my eyes on knitting up something in Patons new SWS yarn. We had a chance to fondle it at the last DKC meeting, and it is yummy. It is self striping and they have gone with some really beautiful colour ways. I do have to knock down a couple of more projects before I can take something like this on.....or at least that will be the plan.