Not Just for Grandmas

… but I gotta admit, anyone who mentions knitting to me also takes responsibility for the mental pictures of little, white-haired ladies with bifocals halfway down their noses that are instantly conjured up in my mind. However, unless I want to jump several steps ahead of myself (hehe), those imaginary images are fading fast… ‘cause I’m officially smitten with the knitting bug.

About a year ago, I was inspired by one of my dear co-workers (whom, in case she happens to read this, I do not consider an old lady by any definition, of course), whose fingers are as nimble with her knitting as her eyes are sharp with her job. When I expressed an initial interest in seeing her work, she brought in her current project, a gorgeous lace shawl, and when I oohed and aahhed over that, she offered to help me get started myself.

I haven’t knitted since my grandma first patiently introduced me to the craft, when I was a jumpy little eight-year-old with fingers that quickly grew tired of the work. But, being the obsessive person that I am, I dove in headfirst, purchased just enough stuff from www.knitpicks.com to secure free shipping, and convinced Jess to stop by Adela’s Yarns in Castro Valley with me on a Sunday afternoon so I could gear up for the incoming shipment. There, I fell prey to the irresistible charms of a pair of dark, rosewood needles and a hank of silky-smooth Tilli Tomas yarn.

Thus, I settled down to stitch happily away at my first project: a faux-lace scarf with a Falling Water pattern. Pretty, see?? :)

I used size 6 needles, no real gauge (since it’s a scarf and I really just wanted to see how it turned out more than anything else), and 260 yards of Tilli Tomas Pure & Simple 1-ply 100% silk yarn in Silver Salt. It’s expensive, but isn’t anything that’s 100% silk?

After successfully churning out a couple of the pattern repeats, I was so exhilarated I decided to sew myself a knitting needle case to house the collection of needles I planned to get, using odds and ends of fabrics I'd collected over time.

[Outside] -- chocolate brown fabric with a center strip of quilting fabric with a print that reminds me a little bit of Japanese paper. I secured the matching brown ribbon with a pair of dainty antique brass buttons in the back of the case (not shown).

[Inside] I used a synthetic satin-back taffeta that I happened to have a good yard of, left over from some failed curtain project, I think. I used the shiny side for the needle pockets and reversed it out for textural contrast for the background fabric. A line of brown ribbon (crookedly-sewn, I'm afraid) indicates where the user is to fold down a protective flap over the tops of the needles before rolling the case up. I wish I'd thought to use interfacing or batting to cushion it and give the whole thing more structure, but I didn't have either of those lying around. Oh well, it serves its purpose well.

Anyway, since that one scarf, I've become a knitting fanatic, gathered stash like a crazed woman and cast on way too many projects! So far I've officially finished... one. And that was only because it was a Christmas present last year for somebody and I HAD to finish it; I guess I work better with deadlines. Someone stop me...

Vir's Partial Knitting List

"Minimalist Cardigan" by Ruthie Nussbaum [Interweave Knits Fall '07]
Current status: Back w/ shoulder shaping complete, fronts.sleeves in progress
Yarn: 100% Italian Merino - Karabella Aurora 8 in Teal (#20)

"Fetching" Fingerless mittens by Cheryl Niamath [Knitty Summer '06]
Current status: Complete(!) and gifted
Yarn: 100% Italian Merino - Karabella Aurora 8 in Seashell Pink (#1380)

"Cecily Beanie" by Louisa Harding [Knitting Little Luxuries]
Current status: Cast on
Yarn: 50% Silk, 50% Wool - Louisa Harding Grace in Steel (#3)

"Diane Cardigan" by Louisa Harding [Knitting Little Luxuries]
Current status: Back halfway complete
Yarn: 16% kid mohair, 84% polyamid - Louisa Harding Impressions #11

Not to mention that I've somehow gotten myself into crochet as well... I blame the amigurumi! But I'll save that for another post... ;)


jane said...

Hi Vir! Your scarf looks awesome. I want to pick up knitting one of these days. SO talented that you even sewed a knitting bag! SO CUTE!

Hope all is well!

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