Sunday, September 24, 2006

Protege' Progress

Not much knitting activity going on here this week. I've had an intractable headache for two weeks now, and it has sorta taken the joy out of anything requiring eyesight, (reading, knitting, television, sudoku puzzles, blog-writing, blog-reading, etc.), that is, pretty much anything other than sleep. Here's hoping my new glasses prescription will resolve that. They should be back from the lab sometime this coming week -- I'm praying for Monday or Tuesday. So, anyway, when you don't have any real exciting knitting content or progress to share, the next best thing is to share your protege's progress.
You may recall my relating the story of teaching my coworker L. how to knit back in early August. Shortly after that, I took her on her first foray into a yarn shop while in Maryland for work. She fell in love with and purchased some Blue Heron rayon metallic in a colorway called "Deep Space":

Blue Heron's rayon metallic in "Deep Space"

I would call that a mix of black, deep navy and a few other shades of deep blue, with, of course, the metallic thread flickering throughout, and I think the colorway is aptly named. The shop owner wouldn't wind that 550-yard hank for my friend, and so, bless her heart, L. and her husband wound it by hand one evening, and here is her very first self-wound ball of yarn:

I then instructed her, by email and instant message, on how to knit her first gauge swatch:

Her gauge is 5 stitches and 8 rows to the inch.

L. would like to turn that yarn into a rectangular shawl. I've also been knitting a Blue Heron rayon metallic shawl, and was knitting it width-wise, (like a scarf). Last week I "tried it on" to see how much longer I need to make it, and looked in the mirror and realized that I hate the fact that the garter stitch rows, which look like stripes, run up and down (from neck to mid-back) when wearing the shawl, rather than lengthwise (side-to-side) or fingertip-to-fingertip, when wearing it. It just looks amateurish, and this lovely yarn deserves better.
Therefore, I'm going to be ripping mine out and starting it over by casting on to knit it lengthwise. I may even turn it into a Clapotis, but am not yet married to that idea. I do sorta like the mindless knitting of garter stitch. You'd think I'd be heartbroken about that, after working on this thing, off-and-on, for months, but I'm not. It needs to be frogged. My gauge changed significantly mid-stream after I read this article and learned how to loosen up my knitting, and I also made a very rookie mistake in the middle of it -- I joined a new ball of yarn in the middle of a row, which just can't be made to look invisible with this particular yarn, without, perhaps, using needle and thread, and this is knitting after all, and not sewing, so that's not an acceptable solution, in my mind.
So, I discussed this same issue with L., and she agrees and is willing to cast on for hers lengthwise, (about 300 stitches), to get her desired 5 feet in length. But since she's a new knitter, I've convinced her to knit an intermediate project prior to tackling something with 300 stitches per row, and so this week she went to Romni Wools back home in Ontario to fondle and purchase more yarn. She told me she was very overwhelmed by the vast selection, and from the looks of that picture on their website's homepage, (click "Home" on their sidebar), who can blame her?! But a very helpful salesperson steered her in the right direction, and she is now proud owner of three balls of Nashua Julia in "Geranium".

She's already begun knitting on her scarf. Progress below:

Nashua Julia in "Geranium"
The shop owner picked out some plastic needles for her which L. has already decided she doesn't like -- too slippery. So she may go back and get some wood or bamboo needles instead.

I'm quite pleased and proud of my protege! And I hope that she continues to enjoy knitting, and that this is not just a passing craft but becomes a lifelong hobby for her.

World domination - one knitter at a time!


LaurieM said...

Hmm... I smell some aliteration.

Pleased as punch, the proud teacher produces positive evidence of progress from the protege.

Whoo hoo!

Krista said...

Oh, I just tried to knit Clapotis the other's a bit boring, although I still love the pattern. Moved on a to a great shawl pattern from Lisa Knits. Better than mindless, but not too complicated either. Just a bunch of K2TOG, SSK and YOs.

Robin said...

World Domination...yyyeeesss! You go girl...Enablers Unite!

Sangeeta said...

Why wouldn't the yarn shop owner wind that ball? I dont think that's very nice.

Do you think your headaches are sinus related?

I hope you feel better.