Sunday, March 16, 2008

Speed Knitting

So much to knit, so little time - what's a fiber addict to do? Knit faster, of course! In hopes of being able to do just that, I got me a lesson on fast knitting from the affable Lucy, owner oft Minds Eye Yarns in Cambridge.

It turns out, I was doing a lot right :) That's good from an overall sense of accomplishment, but not so good if one is trying to knit faster - how can I fix what isn't wrong? But even Tiger Woods can benefit from some coaching - not that I am the Tiger Woods of knitting, far from it. Lucy had me change how I was holding the yarn - wrapping twice around my index finger rather than my pinkey finger. Also, she showed me how to scoop up the yarn with my right needle, rather than putting the yarn over the needle with my left hand. I should have timed myself before and after the class to see if it actually makes a difference. I feel more confident anyway. Besides, Lucy is fun to hang out with - she's got a great perspective on life and quite a diverse history that ranges from teaching band to junior highers to practicing Zen.
Lucy also showed me that you can change the tips on bamboo needles - use a nail file to make them sharper and then seal them with just a touch of chapstick.

She wrapped up the lesson with a tutorial on the kitchner - I get it! I mean I get how to do it, I don't really "get" it yet - it seems like magic. Now that I see how it is supposed to be done, I'm sure I did something wrong when I did it with my socks. It's still a little like driving in Boston for me - I can do it but I sure couldn't explain it to someone else. (For those who've never had the "pleasure" of driving in my town - it's notoriously difficult because there isn't a straight road to be found - even once you figure out how to get somewhere, it's nearly impossible to tell someone else how)

I had all but given up on accomplishing what I've signed up for this month - the Clapotis and a pair of socks, but with my new speed skills, I have hope. If I can wrap up the green lace scarf tonight (If I haven't just cursed myself), then I can launch into the other projects this week and maybe whip up another baby hat on the side.

Of course, what's an afternoon spent in a yarn shop without a little yarn to show for it? This is the softest pink yarn I've touched in a long time. It's made from soy and cotton. This sock yarn doesn't feel especially soft, but Lucy said it knits up nicely and will be good a summer weight sock. I guess I'm hoping that by knitting something for the warm weather, I'll bring it on sooner. Besides, how can resist something called "clown" yarn?

Incidently, for those who are interested in the new Noro sock yarn - Lucy was wearing a pair of socks she knit with the it. She said it was a joy to knit with and that the socks are very comfortable. In fact, she's looking forward to making another pair. Holly Jo also used it to make a gorgeous pair with very nicely matched stripes.

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