Saturday, November 28, 2009

What I learned today

My mum had many sayings that she loved to pull out and use against us use to provide wisdom at opportune times. One of her favourite was "you learn something new everyday."

I can't really say that's true when you're home full time with two kids, unless you count the best strategies to avoid Baron Licorice in Candyland as learning something new. However, today I went out and purposefully learned something new and I'm so glad I did.

Now, if you're not a knitter or interested in knitting in some way, this is the part where your eyes will glaze over.

This is what I learned:

I took a course at a great knitting shop in New Hamburg today. The shop, in case you're ever in the area, is called Shall We Knit?. I drooled over their shelves of yarns and amazing books. Someday soon (maybe during Beth's visit?) I'll go and spend more time with the yarns. Today I was there to take a course on two-handed fair isle knitting. That's a fancy way to say that I learned to knit with two colours while holding one colour in each hand.

Sounds simple but you actually have to learn to knit a completely different way with one of your hands. I normally knit the English way (as do most North Americans). I had to learn to knit the Continental style, the choice of most Germans and other Europeans.

I've wanted to learn this style for a long time. First, it's more efficient but more importantly, it would allow me to do two-handed fair isle. Fair Isle is adding colour to your work in interesting patterns (beyond stripes or small dots). And, I learned! At first I was very awkward but now after spending the day doing it on and off, I feel like I've really got the rhythm and I'm on my way to finishing a very tight fitting mitten.

I've only knit mittens once before and they squished my hands like a vice. I think this mitten, which is supposed to fit a man's hand according to the pattern (hah!) will stop the blood flow to my finger tips. Oh well, that's what blocking is for! Or gifting them to a small child!

And where were the kids during my day to myself? With John having an amazing time. They spent the whole day with him doing fun stuff and I could see in their faces what a great day they had with their dad. We have to do this more often, just so they get some long stretches with him without me around. I get this all the time. He isn't so lucky being the guy who brings home the bacon. I was reminded today of how important and special it is to them and their relationship.

What a great day!


Julie said...

how cool is that. man, i need to pick up my needles again. you'd think i'd have all the time in the world now. nope, all my time gets sucked up doing something. not sure what it's been but i seem to blink and the day is done.

max had one of those days with marty yesterday. i love when they have great days like that.

cmeknit said...

Your mitts look great Karen!! Blocking will stretch the wool out...I am sure they will fit:)