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Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Who says you can't teach an old dog new tricks?

I want to go on record saying that I wasn't the one that used that expression first. I may have been thinking along those lines, but I wasn't saying it.

Cornelia finished her Houston Top and was ready to send it to the finisher for blocking and sewing.

With that project off her needles, it was time to cast on for her granddaughter's poncho in Rasta (Super Bulky: 100% Merino, 90 yards). She knit several swatches before getting to the right needle size, #17.

Jane was at long last swatched and ready to begin the Madison Weekender Coat she's knitting for her daughter in Jamieson's Shetland Heather Aran yarn, (Aran: 100% wool, 101 yards). Her knitting repertoire as centered on afghans for so long, she can't believe she's actually starting a sweater.  
Cue the drum roll.

So here the two of them were, ready to cast on.  I don't know how it escaped my notice before, but Cornelia was using the "easy wrap" method to cast on. When I saw how she wanted to cast on, I put the "kibosh" on that method.  It serves it's purpose, but in my opinion, is not one of the better ways to cast on for a garment.  It's not as elastic or pretty as the long-tail cast on.

I set about teaching her the long-tail method.  Boy did she give me a run for my money.  With such exclamations as "I can't do this" and "I'll never get this" it was a long 15 minutes.  Cornelia really felt she couldn't learn something like this.

Jane decided she didn't like how she had cast on and wanted to learn what Cornelia was doing.  I turned the tables on Cornelia and had her teach Jane. Cornelia did, in fact, teach it properly to Jane. And after a bit of practice mixed with a low key fuss, they both learned the long-tail cast on.  I really earned my keep during this lesson! It was Jane who uttered the fateful words, "so you can teach an old dog new tricks". Well done ladies.

Trammi finished her Malabrigo Scalloped shawl in Findley DK (DK: 50% silk, 50% wool, 131 yards). She had the pattern and yarn for a while and was glad to finally have knit it.  If I admitted to what projects fit that description, well, there must be a statute of limitations or something. I'm taking the fifth.

She shared the progress on her zickzack scarf in Mille Colori Baby (Fingering: 100% Merino,108 yards).  Her 8 year old son loved her zickzack scarf. He loved everything about it, the stripes, the chevrons.

She gave him yarn, needles, and a project bag and taught him how to knit it.  He was so happy with it. She may use this pattern to teach kids in the elementary school.  You may not know this, Trammi learned to knit in the first place because one (or both?) of her sons wanted to learn how to knit and she decided to learn at the same time.  End result, she is an avid knitter, the kids - not so much.  But points for wanting to learn.

Trammi swatched for my Essence Pullover knit with Tahoe (Aran: 32% Nylon, 27% Wool, 25% Alpaca, 16% Yak).  Her gauge was a little tighter than called for.  This will work out well because she would knit an extra small size if there was one.  Her tighter gauge will in effect give her an extra small sweater.

Swatched and ready, she cast on and did the set-up row.  The sweater is knit from the top down. There is still room in the class this fall (shameless self-promotion moment).

Rosie began her swatch for the customfit sweater class.  Unfortunately there was a miscommunication.  She was told to knit a swatch.  Literally this means in garter stitch (knit every row) vs. stockinette stitch (knit 1 row, purl 1 row).  With her usual good cheer she will take it out and reknit it.  I love her yarn (I may be influenced by the color), Berroco Ultra Alpaca (Worsted: 50% Wool, 50% Alpaca, 215 yards).

She is under a deadline to finish knitting his/her hats as a wedding gift.  In the first hat, she hadn't learned the jogless stripe, so we picked out a jazzy button to cover the blip in color change.  For the second hat I was able to show her how to knit a jogless stripe.

To avoid a jog when knitting stripes in the round, proceed as follows: *after joining the new color, work 1 round. At the beginning of the second round, slip the first stitch purlwise with yarn in back.  Work remaining rounds normally*.  Each time you change a color for a stripe repeat from  * to *.

Hat pattern can be found here. Yarn is Anzula For Better or Worsted (Worsted: 80% Merino, 10% Cashmere, 10% Nylon, 200 yards) If nothing else, you should buy their yarn because of the clever name. 

Mary is knitting a garter for her third (soon-to-be) daughter-in-law on #00 circular needle for a September wedding. G-d Bless her, her fourth son got engaged today. (That will be it for the garters.)

She finished the lace square from the Building Blocks afghan

and is moving onto cable square.

Moral of the day, just when you think you can't do something new, 
try, try, try again.


as Yoda would say, 

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