Sunday, May 15, 2011

UFO's and Yarn

I've been trying to get my yarn organized. It would go faster if I didn't constantly procrastinate, but I see all the yarn and all the UFO's and have to go and sit down.

The first task was to get all the yarn and projects into one area. My small living room off my kitchen is now unaccessible, except for a passageway from the front hall to the kitchen.

I had "organized" some of my yarn by color awhile back, but realized that such a system wouldn't work for me. I don't look for yarn by color, but by type or weight. So after some delibertions, I started by putting a lot of the worsted weight yarn on a set of rolling dispay shelves, except for the giant sized zip-lock bag for Cascade yarn. Then there was a bag for all sorts of Knit Picks yarn, one bag for both Noro yarn and bamboo and bamboo-blends, 2 bags of not-worsted-weight yarn, and three (!!!) bags of Unfinished Projects. This does not include 7 very large glass jars full of sock and lace-weight yarn (I like to look at all the colors). There's still yarn lurking here and there, but not enough to worry about.

As I gathered unfinished projects and stuffed them into bags, I did realize that there were some I wasn't ever going to finish, so I could frog them and re-use the yarn; many were near completion; and I could decide what to do with the remainder at another time.

Tonight I started actually separating out some of the bags and putting the yarn into stackable plastic pails with covers (kitty litter bins - I have 11 of them. I've had cats for a long time).

Eventually, this task will be completed, and by the time the yarn is all sorted and put away, I might also have finished some of the UFO's.

One can only hope.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Ah-Ha Moment

Last Thursday I showed up at Anova again to have a follow-up knitting class. I wanted to ensure that the kids could cast on and, possibly, move on to the knit stitch.

There was an interesting mix of knitters. Some of the students were comfortable with the long-tail cast on and went smoothly on to the knit stitch. A couple of them needed a little more help, and one or two were still at the beginning of the learning curve and I worked with them further.

After I got home and had a chance to think about the class and how to present the knit stitch, I had an "ah-ha" moment. I realized that knitting a stitch used the same moves I had taught for the long-tail cast on.

So today, at our second 'official' class, I presented that concept, and the students understood what I was telling them. Even though they were still 'knit-stitch-challenged,' there were proper knit stitches appearing on their needles! I was as pleased as they were!

I am insistent that they all knit continental-style, at least in class, since it will make other knitting skills easier to perform - like the purl stitch and stranded knitting. So there was a support group of knitters, sitting together working on their 'picking,' rather than 'throwing' knitting skills.

Next week we're starting on our first class project - knitting 3 small squares. Each student will put their initials on each square and have a little banner that they will add to as other projects get swatched.

Stay tuned, pictures to come.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

A New Class

Today I started teaching a knitting class at the Anova School...this is going to be fun! The class consists of 5th & 6th graders, some of whom are already familiar with knitting.

Of course I had to start out with the most difficult move - long-tail cast-on, but by the end of our first class, most of the students had picked it up. I asked them to cast on about 25 stitches, and then, as they used up the tail end of the yarn, I taught them two more new things: Knitter's slang - "frogging" - and how to slide stitches off the needle and pull them out. This gave me a chance to talk a bit about how knitters often had to undo their knitting to correct mistakes or to make changes if they didn't like how things were turning out.