On the Needles

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Tuesday, June 17, 2008

I'm a winner!

Every month the Old Mill Knitting Company gives away a knitting kit to three lucky Canadians. All you have to do to win is to be one the the first three people to submit an entry form when they open the contest. The catch is that they don't tell you when the contest will open. The only way to know that is opened is to keep checking their website.

I just so happened to be one of the three winners for June. I am really excited about it. Each kit consists of a pattern and the yarn required to knit it. Every winner gets a choice of pattern and yarn colour. Of the choicest available I decided on this one. As for colour I went with #104 (the light blue) as my first choice and #105 (the light green)as my second.

From what I've heard from past winners Old Mill Knitting Company is really good at mailing the kit out and most people have received them within a few days of winning. So hopefully by this time next week I'll be fondling some gorgeous new yarn.

Sunday, April 06, 2008

Oddball Knitters

I don't know how many people actually read my blog on a regular basis. Or how familiar they are with my blog layout but you may have noticed a new button in the left-hand sidebar.

This one...

If you click on the button (both this one and the one in the sidebar) it will take you to the blog which will give you more information on what it's all about.

Guess what month it is



And yes I've written my name across it. I live with 4 other people who all love these cookies and would not hesitate to eat my cookies and claim they were theirs.

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Master of Illusion

Or maybe just an apprentice. In knitting their is a method of knitting something that isn't there. Or at least it isn't when you look at it straight on. Adjust the angle a little bit and it magically appears. This is known as "illusion" or "shadow" knitting and there are some amazing patterns out there that take advantage of what is really a very simple technique. Simple because all you have to know in order to do it is how to knit and purl. That's it. Okay, you might want to have some familiarity with reading charts but other then that...it's easy.

I've been wanting to try it for months but didn't want to invest the time or money into something that I wasn't sure I was going to like or be good at. While surfing through Ravelry I found a pattern for a "Illusion Heart Dishcloth". I always have cotton yarn on hand and happened to have both white and pink so decided to give it a try. This particular pattern was written out rather than in chart form which made it easier for me because I hate reading charts. I can do it but it always takes longer.

Now you see it!


Now you don't!


Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Teacher I am

As I mentioned in my "100 Things About Me" post I am a knitting instructor. Or was a knitting instructor. You see I was a knitting instructor at Michaels. And since they decided to discontinued all there classes, except the cake decorating courses, I am no longer teaching there. Since my only other source of money comes from child-minding at a local church one morning a week I decided I better find another job. As a high school drop-out I don't have a lot of options when it comes to jobs. There are many jobs that I think I could do just as well as a high school graduate but the companies won't even look at my resume because I don't have that darn diploma. The jobs that I could get I don't think I could handle. I don't want to work in retail. Although I am a very well-spoken, polite person the majority of the time if someone pisses me off they'll know about it PDQ. I can just see me getting frustrated with a customer and telling them to bugger off. Some how I don't think that would go over well with my boss. It's pretty much the same thing for fast food joints and regular restaurants. I can so see me pouring someone's drink over their head or dumping their meal in their lap. Again wouldn't go over very well with the boss. So it's best to stay away from situations like that.

It's also one of the reasons that I hated working at Michaels. That and the fact that even though I was suppose to have control over when I had my classes I still had to work around when the other instructors were having their classes. I had to teach what they wanted me to, charge what they said and use only the yarns that were available at Michaels. It made it vary difficult to plan classes when I wasn't sure if they were going to have the supplies required for the class. That's why I have decide to start offering private knitting classes. I can set my own hours. I only have to deal with a small group of people at one time.  And I don't have to limit my supply list to one store. I actually like the idea that I'll be able to recommend the two LYS. My students can still buy their supplies at Michaels or Walmart but at least they have more than one option.


I still have to work out the details and figure out the best way to advertise but hopefully I'll be teaching by the beginning of April.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Happy Easter!!!

I promise I'll post something more in a couple of days but for now enjoy these baby goat pictures.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Me + 22 Brownies =


That's the easiest way to describe it. There were 22 girls that we split into 2 groups. I only had about a half-hour to teach each group and it was no where near enough time. None of the girls got past the cast-on. I'm not sure many of them even mastered that. Some of the girls were left handed. I really didn't have the time to concentrate on each girl individually to make sure they were getting it. My mom and sister did help a bit but neither one of them knit the way I do.

The next time I'm going to establish some ground rules.

1. Limit of 5 girls per group.
2. Find out ahead of time if any girls are left handed so I can adjust my presentation for them.
3. Have multiple sessions.
Sessions 1 would be to teach them how to cast-on and the knit stitch.
Session 2 would be to check on their progress.
Session 3 could be for bind-off.

I also think I'd teach a different cast-on. The knitted cast-on is great because it is so similar to the knit stitch but it takes so long to do. I'm not a huge fan of the thumb cast-on because of how hard it is to knit from. The only other fairly simple one is the long-tailed cast-on. Which my nieces and nephew all use. I would just have to make sure I know a head of time how much yarn they would need to do it.

I hadn't expected amazing results abut I was still disappointed that the girls didn't get farther along on their squares. They group is going camping this weekend and they have set time aside for knitting but I'm not sure how much will actually get done.

I just hope the girls had a good first experience with knitting. I'd hate to think I did something that would put them off such a wonderful craft.

The only thing I can do is wait and see. I hate that.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Knitting Brownies


Tomorrow night I'll be teaching about 20 Brownies how to knit.  The troop has 22 girls and I know for certain that two already know how to knit and one other told them last week she already knows how but will have to wait and see. When I first agreed to do it I really didn't think anything about it. But now I'm really starting to freak out. I've never taught that many people to knit at one time. I'm hoping some of the moms will be able to help once I get the girls started.

I'm going to use the "Learn to Knit" poem that's been around for ages. I'll have to print out some copies so the girls have something to take home with them and I'm going to see if I have anything I can use for a poster that I can use during the lessons. Lots to do. So what am I doing here then?

I'll try to remember to post how it goes but it might not be until Sunday or Monday. Friday I'm going to the Fibrefest in Abbotsford, Saturday is shopping (just groceries nothing fun) and Sunday is family day.

Friday, February 29, 2008

101 Things in 1001 Days

Hildie over at KH put me on to this. Sounded interesting so I thought I'd give it a try. I've started a blog to keep track of my progress. You can find it here. You'll noticed that one of my 101 things is to keep this blog updated so you can expect a little more activity here.