|Ready, set, knit!|
1 pair CLOVER #17 10-in. Wooden Knitting Needles
2 hanks MISTI ALPACA Super Chunky Hand Painted in Sugar and Sand (SCH03)
2 JHB#458 1 3/8" Genuine Shell Buttons
Cast on 14 stitches. Knit to desired length for placement of buttons. Knit two horizontal button holes. Continue knitting to finished length. Measure and sew on buttons. Voila!
|Guess I still need a little practice on the "finishing up" corner!|
On a recent trip to Florida, I told my friend, Wendy, I wanted her to show me how to knit -- and so she did just that! Wendy says she learned to knit in the Girl Scouts, around the age of nine and has been knitting every since. My mother taught me how to cast on and knit when I was a kid, but I never got past those few wobbly rows.
While we were knitting (in warm, sunny Florida :D) Wendy and I talked about a charming little knitting shop in our hometown that sold yarn, needlework supplies and offered knitting lessons. I loved that place -- The Knitting Nook -- though I never did more than buy pieces of angora we used to wrap around ring bands we made out of file folders. How kind those women were to cut gorgeous balls of angora yarn into 12-inch pieces for a bunch of silly school girls! Wendy says she spent a lot of her babysitting money on yarn at The Knitting Nook, but never gained access to the circle of knitters who seemed to knit a lot on weekday mornings, and our stuffy high school never offered field trips for knitters!
I was drawn to The Knitting Nook's big glass storefront every single time I went to the shopping center, whether I needed yet another piece of angora or not. While my friends would make a beeline for the candy counter of Woolworth's next door, I always took a moment to ever-so-casually peer inside at the knitters. The grouping of comfy old chairs and couches making the knitters circle looked so inviting to me. I longed for a place inside that circle of women talking, laughing and nodding to passersby, while their needles never stopped clickity-clacking through big balls of yarn. And the bins stuffed full of yarns wrapped around the room like a big, cozy patchwork quilt. My fingers itched to feel the difference between a stout, no-nonsense wool and the frothy, romantic angoras. By the time I was old enough to be one of those women, I had moved far away and was a seamstress, rather than a knitter.
Wendy and I shared those fond memories of The Knitting Nook last week, as she coached me along with the project she helped me to select at Knitting with Nancy in Naples, FL. Alas, there was no circle of chairs inviting us to settle in and knit for a while, but there was an impressive rainbow of yarns from around the world. And so many clever and adorable samples of patterns and projects. It was like stepping into a treasure chest stuffed full of a knitter's bounty! I would have been quite content to plop myself down on the floor and stay all day, gleaning all the knitting wisdom I could, but Wendy was working that night and we had to hurry home to get me started on my knitting.
I came away from Knitting with Nancy with two sets of needles -- sizes 17 and 10. I also had yarn for two projects -- two hanks of the chunky 100% baby alpaca yarn I used for my scarf-collar above, and three balls of some Tokyo merino wool made in Italy that is half way to becoming a spiral ruffled scarf. After a few quick demos and pointers, Wendy went off to work and I knitted the scarf in the picture above. Somewhere along the way, I decided to turn it into a collar by adding buttonholes and some pretty shell buttons we found at a gigantic JoAnn Fabrics. I simply cannot follow a "recipe" completely, always changing something to suit my own taste.
The Knitting Nook has been gone for a long time, but now that I am living back home and finally ready to be a knitter, I miss it all over again. I still look longingly through the windows where it was located and I imagine those women snuggled into that circle of comfy chairs, with the rhythmic click-clack of their needles. Oh, how I wish they were still there, so I could finally take my place among them -- the ladies who knit.
Maybe some of you knit? Shall we pull up some chairs into a cyber circle and share our knitting stories and projects? I'd love that!