Saturday, February 11, 2006

Returning To An Old Hobby

In the last month or so, I've returned to a favorite old hobby: knitting.

I first learned to knit when I was five years old. A little young, maybe. But my dad, who worked for the Boy Scouts at that point, had brought us all to Boy Scout Camp for the summer. As you may imagine, there wasn't much for a little girl to do at Boy Scout Camp! My mom was kept busy taking care of my two year old sister, and I think she taught me to knit in self-defense.

I've been knitting ever since. Sometimes with great enthusiasm, and sometimes I put it aside for a while. In recent years I haven't knitted a lot, because the only "yarn store" nearby was the local mass merchandiser, who didn't offer a great deal of variety. I ordered yarn and supplies via the Internet sometimes, but it was tough to choose a yarn you couldn't see and feel before you bought it.

Then, we moved to New Hampshire...and my knitting life changed. Wonder of wonders, there's a yarn store just a few miles away! The first time I walked in there, I was mesmerized by all the different brands of yarn, the colors, the pattern books. I was in heaven.

I bought some wool yarns and made a felted purse for my daughter for Christmas. It's the first time I ever used wool--I was limited to acrylic before. And the first time I've tried felting. It came out great. That's the picture of it above. It was fun to learn something new, and to have wonderful yarns to work with.

Now I'm working on a shawl using the most amazing yarn. It's called Eros Glitz, and you can check it out here:
cYarn.viewYarnImage&yarn_id=000088 (You'll have to cut and paste.)

Hard to tell, but the "yarn" looks like a ladder, with the two long sides made of black and silver thread. The cross bars are very fine, and inbetween them are bands of different shades of purple and blue. At least they are in the color I chose. ;-) The shawl is knitted on size 15 needles, so it's very open and lacy. I'm having a great time with it!

I'm also working on a scarf done in multidirectional knitting. Again, this is something new to me and I'm having fun with it. You can learn more about multidirectional knitting in this book:
Fencoding=UTF8 (again, you'll have to cut and paste) and by joining the associated yahoogroups list. I think this should get you there:

And, I just ordered a great book of "vintage" sock patterns, revised for today's yarns and needles. I've never made socks either, and I think it'll be a fun project. It will be nice to have warm, soft wool socks in cold, wintry New Hampshire!

I also have a sweater I'm working on, but have put it aside for the moment, not only because of the excitement of the new projects, but because it's a bit too heavy to work on while I'm still recovering from my shoulder surgery.

So...are there any knitters out there? What are you working on? Do you have a local yarn store? How about a local knitting group? Let's talk knitting!


Jolie Mathis said...

I'm so jealous! How beautiful.

I have attempted to teach myself to crochet over the past few weeks, and mine comes out all uneven at the edges. I'm losing count, and turning wrong I think. Lol. I just want to make a SCARF! :)

Elizabeth Delisi said...

Wish I could show you how in person, Jolie! The good news is, you CAN teach yourself to crochet, because I'm living proof. ;-) Teaching myself to tat was much harder...took me a few years to figure out one little trick that was the difference between failure and success.

The purse was my first attempt at felting and I thought it came out pretty well. In fact, I enjoyed making it so much that I now have, at last count, four projects I'm working on, two of which will be felted. But a woman at a yarn store I was in recently said, "If you can count the number of projects you're working on, you don't have enough!"

Yeah. What she said.