No new post since the beginning of the new year? It isn’t that I wouldn’t know what to write, admire and share. In the the contrary, there is so much to write about, so much to share – but so little time. But then the freedom of time lies just beyond that wall of commitments we choose to erect ourselves. So let me plunge right into the ongoing second quarter of the year 2015.

Three Designs by Victor

My grandson Victor has this uncanny feeling for his Oma’s favorite activities, apart from spoiling him as much as his parents will allow. He surprised me with the request: “Can you teach me how to knit, Oma? We can knit a jumper together!” Now if that isn’t music in every grandmother’s ears, a fanfare and wake-up call to dash to the nearest LYS with my grandson. He made three designs in a matter of ten minutes, bold colors, and not a moment of hesitation – and off we went.

Victor and his Little Prince Scarf

To stick to the time frame of 8 days from start to finish, the bulky jumper turned into a colorful scarf, spring is coming and no pampering of British school children, please! The second project would be a tropical fish and finally he wanted to chrochet a palm tree at the sea. All designs were color-coded and annotated, both in writing and verbally. The blue line escaping from the top of the palm tree ought to be disregarded though, it was “just a thought, but you can ignore it.” (What a relief!)

Design by Victor: Tropical Fish

He knew exactly what he wanted and in the yarn shop, he wavered not for a second when chosing the yarn and colors for each project. We also picked up knitting needles and a fat crochet hook. He danced and skipped along the sidewalk on our way home, carrying the bag with his yarn loot. I found it endearing that he checked on all facts, such as “fat needles” are not a sign for beginner knitters, and we began to guess what size of needles were used for the jumpers/cardigans of people we met on our way home. Victor would jubilantly pass someone with a bulky jumper and sing out loudly: “UK Triple 000” (his favorite!).

Victor’s Palm Tree on a Sandy Beach at the Sea

He loved going through the motions with the “fat needles” and when he took some time off, just to get that latest Lego completed, he had me under his supervision: “Keep on knitting, Oma”, he admonished me when I let the knitting drop in my lap to have a sip of tea. For the land-sea scape he did crochet the palm tree trunk while I was responsible for the blue backdrop added later. I love his confidence that Oma can just knit anything he wanted (sadly: except Lego) and why not? After all we have picture knitting, intarsia, fair isle etc. all at our disposal.

Scarf: Knitting needles US 15/10-12 mm. Chunky yarn such as “Seriously Chunky” Cygnet. Cast on an odd number of stitches, ca. 17. Knit the first and last 2 rows in seed stitch 3 and last 3 stitches in seed stitch to prevent curling. Change color 4 times, not exactly at 1/4th of the length of the scarf, it looks more casual if the halfway point is a bit off. Add tassels if you wish. Neatly weave in ends from color change before your grandson cuts them off without much ado. The fish receives an eye made of one small button placed on top of a larger button and sewed to where the fish eye is supposed to be. Ask Victor.

Joan Ingilby

During our vacation in the UK, I happened to chance on this link about little known knitting facts you might enjoy reading. And below is a clip from a newspaper, telling about Joan Ingilby (born near Ripon) who was “a chronicler of centuries-old rural life in Yorkshire and the co-author of “The Old Hand Knitters of the Dales”.  Unfortunately the bookshop in Ripley Castle did not carry a copy but if you come across the book it promises to be an interesting read.

Ripley Castle Gardens

And one more item on the extile front: A nice and versatile stitch I saw recently is this one: “twice-turned-stitch” with an excellent video tutorial.

Sample knit with Lighthouse Waves on US Size 9 needles

and there is a pretty free cowl pattern using this stitch as well. I would imagine that a lacy yarn and larger needles would produce a wonderful lightweight shawl or wrap for those cooler summer evenings. In winter time the option of knitting a baby blanket appears to be the obvious choice.

A few dark colors: Slate roof glistening after a heavy rainfall
Many bright colors: Victor painted a pepple and hid it for the Easter Bunny

If you are interested in more helpful knitting/crochet links check out this post (scroll to bottom)