Mohair Followup and Other Stuff

I have willpower.  I made it through yesterday without casting on the mohair.  I placed it on a shelf where I can see it from my bedroom, and I glance up at it every now and then to reassure myself that it awaits.  I finished the black cashmere cap so there are openings coming up in the knitting project line-up.   I also finished the onerous patterned block that I chose for Dayna’s last strip.  The rest of the blanket should be a breeze.  I’m coming, beautiful mohair!

I’ve gotta deal with two comments on yesterday’s mohair fixation post.  First, there are people out there who long to learn to knit, and we know who you are.  Let’s make a date!  I have taught knitting to many people, including a 6 year old child.  Anyone can learn to knit.  I’ve generally taught people the English way of knitting that we see most here in the US.  That’s the style where you use your right hand to pick up the yarn and loop it around the needle, giving that familiar motion that most of us associate with knitting.  I like that technique for beginner’s ability to see how the stitch is formed and control the tension.  That is the way I learned as a young child, but now I knit in the Continental style.  I read about it and taught myself three years ago, and I find it is much faster and gives less strain on the joints.  I couldn’t imagine going back to English knitting.  My last class of adults began with Continental knitting, and I’m considering starting everyone with it. 

I never would have predicted it, but I think there is something genetic in knitting.  A woman who worked with me for a while asked me to teach her to knit, and I happily did so.  She learned Continental knitting and became rather good at it, but I noticed that her “picking” of the yarn always involved a curious swirling motion accompanied by a distinct pause.  Nothing wrong with that, we all have our idiosyncrasies, and I’m for whatever gets a knitted fabric to come off the needles.  Many months later, after first laughing at her mother’s knitting, then begging for her mother’s finished products, this woman’s adult daughter joined one of my knitting classes.  She, too, learned to knit continental style, and she made the exact same swirl and pause as her mother!  Talk about growing up to be your mother–it applies even in knitting! 

Anyway, Essie’s knitting school is open for business.  I will teach anyone given the opportunity.  When I take my products to shows, I spend half my time talking to beginning knitters and giving tips.  I love passing on knitting knowledge more than selling my work.  I worry that we’ve become accustomed to buying everything ready-made, with no appreciation of the process or consideration of the materials that went into it. 

As an old Girl Scout, I love knowing how to do things myself, being self-sufficient.  This extends beyond knitting to crochet and sewing, embroidery and cross-stitch in the needle arts.  Other arts and crafts that I love and have tried are mosaic, drawing, painting, photography, furniture painting, and I’m probably leaving out a few.  I find that what I learn in one area definitely affects the others, and I frequently use mixtures of several areas in producing products.  To that end, I continue to occasionally take a course in an area outside of knitting, like Jas Milam’s Self-Expression through Painting.  (Check her out at www.jasmilam.com.)  After her fall course, I found that I was more relaxed about my knitting design, allowing myself to break out of some previous molds. 

The second comment took me to the site of an angora goat ranch.  When someone says that knowing goats enhances their life, I’ve gotta pay them a visit.  Yellow Jacket Ridge Angora Ranch is definitely an enticing place.  I loved the blogger’s descriptions of home life in the mountains and the daily occurrences with her goats.  Her photographs are beautiful.  Pay a visit to her at www.yellowjacketridgeangoraranch.blogspot.com.  You’ll have a wonderful, relaxing time, and come away with a new appreciation for goats.  I can’t wait for Becky’s first yarn, which she will spin from the fiber from her angoras.  Okay, confession:  I’m a little jealous.  She is able to speak very candidly about her family.  I will only be able to do that when a couple dozen people die or I move to an ashram in India.

Yesterday was special here.  Dayna and Julian (my borrowed son) dragged out the old artificial tree and decided it was ready for donation–too many fake poinsettia blossoms, no real charm.  They decided to use four smaller trees instead, and made a lovely arrangement in front of the fireplace. 

christmas-hearth.jpg 

Above the mantel they put our gorgeous angel.  The kids say she’s creepy because she’s in constant motion (wings and arms) but I love her.  Her movement is quite hypnotic.  Of course, my real angel is in the portrait behind her.  Before you ask, yes, we wrapped packages in a combination of aging leftovers (including some Hannukah wrap) and newspaper.  I’m not wasting any more new paper using it for gift wrap.  A little gift to the planet. 

christmas-hearthb.jpg

Merry, merry!

and on earth, Peace.

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2 Responses

  1. Santa will be here soon! I am 19, and yes, I do still believe in the spirit of Santa. I am anxiously awaiting 9 o clock. Only 6 hours and 51 minutes to go! My dad will come over and make his yummy hash browns, and then we will open our presents!
    Note on the crooked silver tree: my “chubby” cheerleader ornament is making the top of the tree lean over… And I think it looks good! Like a cartoon!
    I am rather tired. Think it is time for sleep.
    Happy Christmas, all!!!!

  2. I like the picture and the doll..don’t remember seeing those things when I visited you.

    Happy New Year

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