Crochet, knitting, astronomy & life in general.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Knitting Guru

Image credit: Kaspareks

I feel like the enlightened master of yarn and pointy sticks. Call me the Knitting Yoda. (By the way, I just did an image search for a picture of Yoda knitting... none to be found. I will have to change this.) The reason I feel this way is because last night, I gave my first real knitting lesson.

The girlfriend of one of my colleagues, whom I shall call S, expressed an interest in learning how to knit after seeing my beautiful cabled sweater, and last night, we got together for an informal dinner and a knitting lesson. I found out that the real reason she wanted to learn was because my colleague has a really nice hand-knit scarf from an ex-girlfriend, and S wants to knit him one to replace it and/or so she can steal the old one.

Anyway, S was a very quick learner. She had bought some straight aluminium needles and some gorgeous red Manos Del Uruguay Maxima. I first taught her how to hold the needles and make a slip knot, and then how to do the knitted cast-on. This is a trick I learned from Kelley Petkun (of Knit Picks fame) and it's particularly effective because the motions of the cast-on are the same as actual knitting.

I then showed her the basic knit stitch, and when she had done a few rows of that, I showed her how to purl, and then how to bind off. I also showed her the long-tail cast-on, just because I like the look of it better than the knitted cast-on, and if she's going to be knitting a gorgeous scarf for her boyfriend, it aught to look as professional as possible.

It was particularly helpful that S is German, and so learned to knit as a child in school using the Continental style, which is the one I use. I don't particularly have anything against the English style and I'm able to do it, if necessary, but I'm not very good at it. Anyway, it was nice to be able to share knitting theory with S, a lot of which I learned from Debbie Stoller's Stitch 'n Bitch, without having to think about how I was making the stitches myself.

I'm certain that she'll be well on her way to making her boyfriend a wonderful scarf before long, and I'm definitely looking forward to our next knitting lesson.

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