Sunday, March 05, 2006

I've Got Knitting In My Blood

My paternal grandmother taught me to knit when I was a child. I didn't keep up with it, and only started knitting again in 2003, but I do remember making a few blankets for my dolls. I didn't know there were any photos of me knitting as a child, but one has turned up!

Ivy (my SM) sent this photo to me. I'm not sure where they found the photo but she and my dad have been trying to figure out how old I am in the photo. They thought I was about four, but judging from the colour of my hair (I was still blond at age 4), I'm guessing I was closer to five or six. The chair I'm sitting in is small, but I was a really small child; I was always the shortest in the class photos, always the kid on the end when the precision figure skating team did the pinwheel (that was fun), etc. The chair belongs to my dad. It's over 100 years old now.

Ivy also sent the following:

It's a poem that my cousin's other grandmother sent to our grandmother. In case you can't see what it says:

Knitter's Prayer

I pray when risen from the dead
I may in glory stand
Perhaps a crown upon my head
But four needles in my hand

I never learned to sing or play
So let no harp be mine
From childhood to my dying day
Just knitting's been my line.

And so as close the trumpets call
I have not fame or riches
But sweet contents knit in my soul
In a million happy stitches.

Sarah, when I read this, I thought of you!
- Effie

Isn't that great? It completely suits my grandmother!!! I have no idea who is the author of this poem or when the letter itself was written. Does anyone have any ideas?

Now, as for what I've actually been knitting lately, I have one FO to show you:

Pattern: Ribbed hat from a Noro book
Yarn: Kureyon
Needles: 5mm - knit flat and then seamed.
I really like the fit of this hat. It's the same as my Silk Garden hat.


This cabled sock is based on Brainylady's basic cabled sock pattern. I decided to do this pattern as a toe up sock, as I had two balls of this yarn and wanted to make the socks as long as possible.

So, I did a provisional cast on and then worked a short row garter stitch toe. Then I picked up the stitches from the provisional cast on and started the ribbing. I made a slight booboo when arranging the knits and the purls across the top of the toe, so my cables are closer to the heel of the sock than I would like. I don't think it is something that is going to keep my awake at night.

I did about 10 or 11 repeats of the cable pattern, then knit about an inch or inch and a half without cabling, switching to larger needles for a few rows before casting off.

You can't see the cables very well either b/c of the yarn colour, but it was more about the practice than the way it looks.

Now, here's a little quirk that I've noticed about these socks: The first sock has been my "purse project" for about 3 or 4 months. It seemed to take forever just to get to the heel. Once I got past the heel, the cables seem to make the entire project FLY! The moment I finally finished SOCK #1, I immediately cast on the second sock (to avoid the dreaded "Second Sock Syndrom") and after only a week of intermittent knitting, I'm already at the heel. This happened with the other socks I made for myself. If I manage to cast on right away for the second sock, then second one is a breeze and a joy. If I don't cast it on right away, then SOCK #1 goes in the Single Sock Drawer of Shame.

Here are the two socks together:

As I mentioned yesterday, I'm going to be teaching a class in a couple of weeks at Tangled Skeins. It's a Toe Up sock class. We're going to do short row toes and heels. I'm really excited about it but also a little bit nervous.

Do any of you have tips on teaching knitting class?

I do some training with my work, so I'm used to the classroom setting. I've even taught people how to use diagnostic equipment which involved blood letting (skin puncture). But this is different. This is fibre!!! Unless things go horribly wrong, there shouldn't be any blood.


  1. Hey, can you teach me short row toes and heels?

    I don't see any cankles, by the way. . . your ankles look pretty good from here. As do the socks.

    ps I bought the latest Heavy Blinkers cd yesterday. Woo woo! Get it in the mail quick! because I'm impatient.

  2. Auntie K9:47 p.m.

    I never felt qualified to leave a comment on this blog site before since there are so many professional knitters connected to it BUT I finally have completed my very first knitting course (No, I'm not five or six) so maybe I can start to qualify. Short row toes and heels are something I can only dream of at the moment and stand in awe of those who do it. However, I am so very very happy to have completed.. (get this) TWO DISHCLOTHS that have actual patterns showing!!!! Like, that is so totally awesome that I can see a pattern....that I knit. Well Stephie....thanks for your knitting prayers...they're going to pay off...I think I've been bitten and can hardly believe how fast the time flies when I sit down to knit. My goodness..this week I am even going to be brave enough to try (hold on to your needles) Slippers!!!!
    PS-The knitting picture from by-gone years brings back sweet memories.

  3. Later commenter here.

    From your last post - LOVE the bunnies! When Mr Moe was at Guelph, there were all these bunnies that lived on the campus (not to mention the ginormous squirrels). I used to love seeing them early in the morning hopping around campus.

    Nice FOs - I love the toe up short row sock...I believe that will be my approach to Mr Moe's next socks!

  4. I used to teach ESL classes so I may be able to help you write a "lesson plan". The first time is always the scariest!

  5. How cute are you in that picture? All that shiny hair!

    You will do great with the class, I am sure... They are all knitters and will love you!

  6. What a lovely prayer. (Don't know what that means, coming from a heathen...) But the sentiments are just beautiful. And yes - you'll do well in the class. At least, you'd better! ;) I'm hoping to take the class...dependent on scheduling.

  7. Great photo I love the look of concentration. Me, I see only one needle... could it be crochet your doing??? I don't recall anyone ever teaching me to do any fibre work when I was small, although I've sewn from the age of 9 or possible less. Crochet & knitting I'm self taught in the last four years.