we've only just begun

August 14, 2014

While on our family vacation in Sunriver, Oregon, my granddaughter and I went into the town of Bend to shop.  We stopped at a knitting store and while there we both fell in love with a shop sample, Zuzu's Petals, a lace cowl.  "Can I knit this?"  "Yes, you can", I assured her.  She is 13 now and has been knitting since she was 9.  "There are some new techniques, but they are easy to master.  You'll follow a graph, but I know you can do it.  Let's do a knit-along!  We can skype while we knit!"  (We live 500 miles apart.)  So we chose our yarn and I do have a recommendation for yarn shopping with a 13 year old:  She went through the shop and picked out her favorite colors.  We eliminated the ones that would not come close to gauge.  We then removed the ones that were itchy or difficult to knit.  We were left with one, one beautifully soft, easy to knit yarn that she was positively thrilled with.  We put it away and decided to start it when she visited us in August.

Now fast forward to August and she is having her last grammy and papa visit before school starts.  It's time to begin our knit-along, but I did start the pattern for her, it's much too fiddly at the beginning and not fun until the knitting really starts.  There's a few things for her to remember:  Garter stitch first two and last two stitches, the middle is stockinette.  Increase on the right side only.  Purl the wrong side and make no increases, but don't forget the garter stitch edges.  We are working on section one, which is just stockinette and increases.  The lace portion doesn't begin until section two. 

For a new knitter to avoid mistakes, it's best to look at your work on each row and correct mistakes before you go too far.  A new shawl knitter will want to make sure there are consistent eyelet increases so count often.  If you find yourself purling away and notice that you've forgotten to make a yarn over on the previous side, it's easy to fix, don't rip it out.  Just pick the bar between the two stitches up and around your left needle and purl it.  (I showed her how to do this, and I know there are youtube videos for this little fix).  She felt clumsy, but she does know enough about knitting and realizes that it will become much easier as she goes along.  There are 48 increase rows before we get to the lace part in section two.  It is charted and written, so it will be interesting to see which way she prefers.

We'll skype, I told her whenever she needs help, I'm available.  She starts 8th grade next week with all honors classes.  She's on swim team and in concert choir and then there's all the friends to keep up with.  I know knitting will not be a priority for this busy teen, but it's there when she has the time.  I told her we could take a year if we wanted to.  Even two years.  Knitting is patient, it will be waiting for us when we have time for it, and it won't matter one bit how long we take.  I told her I wouldn't go on ahead, but keep up with her pace so we could truly knit it together. 

Off she went on the airplane with her knitting in hand and loads of confidence.   Oh my gosh, it was so sweet, I'm tearing up now just thinking of it.

Annie is knitting with ToshDK
I'm knitting with Freia Ombre Sport

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  1. I can't believe that this is Annie! I must have been reading your blog for a long time because I remember her when she was so tiny! She is beautiful and you must be so proud. I love that she wants to learn how to knit lace from her grandma!

  2. This is just the best story, so sweet! <3

  3. I am a 32-year-old grandmother's girl, and this post just warms my heart up. I think it is so awesome that you two have a shared interest, and great that technology helps you pass on your knitting wisdom. What an awesome way to stay connected!

  4. This is such a great thing formyou and Annie to do! looking forward to the two lacy cowls shot some day..... :)

  5. Such a wonderful story...and what a beautiful girl.


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