It's been a while since I posted - not for lack of blog material or desire. I have these 3 kids you see, and Mom seems to be last in line for the computer. Note to self: feel free to kick their little butts outside to create blogging time.
Here's half a FO: The infamous Jaywalker socks in Artyarns Ultramerino 4, colour 127 Spring Pink/Green. I call them Crabapple Tree socks.
Tomorrow I am teaching my first ever knitting workshop. The ladies at Make 1 Yarn Studio have very kindly agreed to let me use their space, and to donate a door prize, so that I can offer a FREE workshop on how to make a Tit Bit. The TitBits are going to be auctioned and the proceeds donated to Rethink Breast Cancer. The next day is Mother's Day. I lost my Mom to Breast Cancer in 1986. This is the twentieth anniversary of her death. This is my way of saying "Thanks Mom" to her.
All you need is some DK weight yarn and a set of 4mm double pointed needles, both of which you can find with ease at Make 1 Yarns, but don't blame me for enhancing your stash.
If you're in Calgary, I hope you'll consider joining me.
As a teacher, I spend a lot of time with kids. How's that for a flash of the blinding obvious? I spend 8 - 2:40 teaching, assessing, talking, cajoling, disciplining, counselling, marking, reporting, phoning, meeting, planning, ...... At the end of the school day I am very fortunate to have a group of students who choose to spend some extra time in my space. The individuals change daily. Sometimes they need help with homework, sometimes just a space to spread out. Other days we sit around munching snacks and listening to tunes. You haven't lived until you've shared an iPod earbud with a 14 year old! (Chickadee China the Chinese Chicken - You have?) Often we pull out some sort of fiber craft - knitting, crochet, rug hooking (I keep a Mary Maxim kit in the room for this). We sit at the table and chat while we work. For the kids I think it provides them with a safe place to express some ideas and frustrations. They can share their thoughts without fear of criticism and ask for advice they respect. I don't pry. I just accept whatever they want to share and offer whatever guidance I can. Teens know when they are being treated with respect and they give it back. They are honest, kind, and trustworthy. I am so very fortunate to be able to spend time with these developing adults. I am very grateful for their trust and respect. I never have any expectation of thanks or recognition. Teaching is like that. A teacher never knows how far her (or his) influence will go, or what kind of a difference they may have made to an individual. Once in a while though, the effort gets noticed. It's enough to make me misty (although I'm telling everyone it's hayfever). Today John's mom sent me a gift. She made it herself. With thread. Tiny thread. There must be a million stitches in these! Unbelievable - No wonder John is the Crochet Kid!
Click on these to see the detail. Even with them in my own hands, the stitches are so small I have trouble making them out. Thanks Mom. You've got a great son, and I know why.
I know this knitter named Kayla. She's been converted, recruited, shanghaid, taught how to knit this year and has taken to it like a real addict natural. She said to me that she wants "to be an expert knitter just like you Ms D." (altogether now, awwwwwwww) Choked me up it did. Then she slyly looked at me knitting away on a sock and asked me to teach her how to knit socks. "Finish your purse", I said, "then we'll try socks." "Ms. D." Kayla said, resisting the urge to roll her eyes at me, "I can knit more than one thing at a time." The moment every knitting teacher dreams of - when the student passes over from a casual interest to multiple projects. I tell you - my heart skipped a beat there!
Regardless, Miss Kayla has finished her first felted purse. It's a Sophie Bag. The blue and pink are Cascade 220, the black is Patons Classic Wool. The knitting took approximately 2 weeks. We felted at school, in a front loader. Note to self - felting in a front loader is a bad idea - you can't open it to check and must be content to watch and wait.
"I knit this! I love it! I'm going to shrink it on purpose!"
Moral support. Kayla's a bit nervous. We just turned on the machine.
Is this ok? Is it going to work? Will my purse be ruined?
I think it looks okay. Yes, I'm almost sure it is probably fine.
When will this be done?
OMG! It's filling up again!!!
I LOVE MY NEW PURSE !!!!! I'm going to make another one, only bigger, and with a pocket, or maybe two pockets, and a different handle, .........
Yesterday my friends John and Kayla tried Kool-Aid dying with me. I had some balls of Elann Peruvian Wool in light grey heather hanging around so we dyed those. I was afraid that the grey would make the colours too muddy so I tried some dye remover. Yarn for supper kids! Yeah. Not so much with the dye remover. The package said not to heat wool above 60 degrees. The dye did not fade at all after like an hour! So, I put in more remover and turned up the heat. Presto - undyed yarn..... Too bad the proteins all got cooked and the yarn turned into something disgusting and stinky. I threw out 8 balls!!! but managed to save 5.
A selection of colourful Kool-Aid.
Seriously. You want me to put the yarn into the kool-aid. Okay, whatever you say......
Orange and Grape
Careful! Half the wool in each cup.
Kayla's lemon-lime and strawberry-kiwi.
Fresh from the microwave.
When we rinsed the cooled skeins there was not a hint of colour that came off. Kind of makes you think twice about drinking this stuff doesn't it.
Kayla and John and their first ever handpainted skeins of yarn.
L to R: Blue Raspberry & Cherry (Kayla), Lemon-Lime & Orange (John) Blue Raspberry & Strawberry (John), Lemon-Lime and Strawberry-Kiwi (Kayla), and Grape & Orange (me).
Aren't they pretty!
What a team!!
Thanks kids, you are so much fun. I think we're ready to dye some sock yarn and learn to knit some socks.
I'll be talking a little bit about the idea and sharing my story of how breast cancer has touched me. I promise to be hopeful and to do my best to inspire you to take part. I'll also be there to teach you how to make a Titbit. There will be door prizes, yarny ones of course. You'll need your enthusiasm, some DK or light worsted yarn (go stash diving!) and a set of 4.0mm double pointed needles. You'll get the pattern, inspiration, and coaching, not to mention the satisfaction of using your talent to make a contribution to breast cancer research.
This is Kevin. He's another of the kids who I have managed to brainwash teach to knit at school. He made this with his own two hands. Kevin slightly underestimated the size of his own brain so his hat's a tiny bit tight. Nonetheless, a very cool hat and a job well done! Kevin is looking forward to getting started on matching scarf.