Sunday, May 20, 2012

Embracing my Golden Years

We have a cactus plant with fine branches that once in a blue moon produces stunning pink blossoms. Well, it took a super moon but we have ten blossoms this spring. The camera sucks the colour out of the flowers so imagine them at least two to three times more pink than they show here. They are also only just under half an inch  across and so quite dainty.

I promise no baby pictures this time. I don't want to become one of those annoying old ladies who talk non stop about their grandchildren, but there will be an odd picture now and then!  :)

I have always resisted learning to knit for some reason. My mother was a beautiful knitter and tried to show me, but she always went too fast for me to keep up and then she'd get fed up trying to slow it down and show me over and over. I was a teenager then so that should explain 99% of the problem! Sadly she passed away young at age 61 in 1995 so she never did see any of my weaving.

Me, at the back left, along with my other brother and sisters on a white sand beach in Dunedin, NZ in approx 1972 or 73. I was about 16-17 years old and was crocheting and doing needlepoint as taught in my school, Otago Girls' High School. That beach was as amazing as it looks!

I have learned to crochet, do needlepoint including drawn thread work and hardanger, kumihumo, dye my own silks, bead and oh, ya... weave!   But no knitting.   I had told a dear friend some years ago that I was saving it for my "old age".

Oh, I have been tempted along the way! What to do with all my hand spun yarn? Since I weave by day, knitting would be nice in the evenings. Go to a guild function and everyone was knitting and I sat empty handed.  
But I resisted.   (Hubby dearest would throttle me if I took up yet another activity!)

Then this past weekend I looked at my grandson and realised that my "old age"  had just arrived!  I was going to pin it at age 60 in the future, but the kidlet arrived sooner than the birthday.  So while we were in Kelowna I went to Kelowna Yarn and Needlecraft and had a great visit with owner Ann, and the afternoon knitters and came home with this:

Two sets of Hiyahiya interchangeable circular knitting needles with bamboo tips. I went for the bamboo over metal as the metal seemed so cold to my hands (and I also have acidic skin and turn needles black in time!) There is also a Hiyahiya group at Ravelry

Since I'm new to knitting, I labeled all needles with the metric, Canadian and American sizes. They are quite different so its a big help to me at this stage.

The case comes with four varying lengths of cable and connectors and a storage pouch for stitch markers and such.

As you can see I have a set in use already. I have been working with a 'sacrifice' ball of Paton's Astra yarn and practising. I can do a long tail cast on now, and provided I don't drop a stitch, I'm knitting up a basic lace scarf using KidLin by Louet.

This is what I have accomplished as of today and I'm quite enjoying this.  Thank god for You Tube videos is all I can say! It turns out that I sent all my "how-to" books to my daughter and so got caught flat-footed. What was I thinking!?   :)

I picked up some basic brochures at the LYS  "The Loom" (yes, that's its real name!) :

and because my heart lies in this direction... (sorry about the flash flare)

So my lace is really basic:
Cast on 37 stitches
row 1: knit
Row 2: knit 1, *YO, k 2 tog*
Keep going till the length you like, cast off.

I can do that!  (till I drop a stitch that is...)

Next post will be extra special.... I will have a friend along as a guest.


DebbieB said...

Leave it to someone as talented as you, Susan, to knit lace as her first knitting project! You're a natural!

Louisa said...

Welcome to the Wonderful World of Knitting, Susan! After all those other fibre arts it was only a matter of time...

Delighted Hands said...

What a great activity to add to your repertoire at grandmotherhood! The book by Kay Meadors is great and so is her blog-check it out!

Good for you!!! Enjoy!

Delighted Hands said...

PS-the cactus is stunning-it looks like my Christmas cactus but the bloom is completely different. What a cool event!

Acorn to Oak said...

Pretty flowers!

My mom tried to teach me knitting when I was a child and I did it just enough to learn knit and purl. I liked crochet better. I finally got the itch to knit about 9 or 10 years ago. I love it now. It's relaxing, portable and I love the look of it. :-)'re really diving into knitting all the way. That's quite a collection of needles to start with. I think bamboo is a nice choice. I like bamboo because they are softer in my hands, quiet, and the stitches don't slip off too easily. I'm amazed that you're starting out with lace. I hope you enjoy it. Welcome to the world of knitting. :-)

Cindie said...

Whoo Hoo a new knitter! You're going to love it. I also did 'everything else' but knit but back around '94 I decided since I started to spin and was piling up handspun that I was going to learn to knit socks and knit them for the entire family that year. So, I learned on socks and everyone did get a pair that Christmas. It's a great portable craft - I knit while we're on the road, at meetings, etc.

Linda said...

Good for you!! It looks like you're off to a fine start!! I am sure that you will be producing whatever lace you put your mind to....and doing it quite no time!

Anonymous said...

Love the lace scarf, I know you will enjoy learning to knit as much as I have. Taught myself to knit socks, wanted a pair forever and figured I better learn how. You are well on your way to becoming an accomplished knitter. Yeah!!!!

barbara said...

Wow, you new hobby, a lace scarf sure looks wonderful - congratulations. Enjoy knitting. I was at a spinning day last week, and someone shared this site, good for patterns and articles/projects on handspun yarn.

Love the beach picture, I was backpacking around N.Z. in 1974-76, having the time of my life. "Those were the days my friends ......" My heart and spirit still feel the same as in those days!!!!

Weaverly yours ..... Barbara

dorothylochmaben said...

I am so impressed ! Well done, like the needles, they should be easy to use. I guess that scarf will be done in no time !

Spinning Out of Control said...

Welcome to knitting! It is very addictive. I'm saving quilting for my "older age". :)