Saturday, September 29, 2007

Class Resumes

Our knitting class for the blind began again a couple of weeks ago. In a switch from last year, the morning class is quiet and has fewer students and the afternoon class is much more crowded. We may have to do some juggling.

The photo is of Brenda, wearing the ribbed hat she made last winter.

Many of last year's students are back, but a few aren't. I'm sure, as the year progresses, some of these will turn up again. But Ben is back. Ben looooves crochet. Ben, in addition to being visually impaired, is brain-damaged and has a terrible disposition and bad BO. None of us (the volunteers) have experience in social work, so we treat Ben as we do the other students, except from time to time, one of us speaks a little sharply to him to bring him back in line.

In November, the ASB (where we hold the class) will be having an in-house event for all the volunteers, and a fashion show from our students will be featured. I guess we need to credit Fluffy for this (our wanna-be leader who knows all about everything), because she was adament that there be a fashion show at the annual volunteers luncheon, which is held at a hotel. And even thought it's for the volunteers and not the clients, Fluffy couldn't see why our class couldn't be singled out and made much of. So this is the compromise: we get an in-house fashion show and Fluffy gets to take credit for getting a fashion show at all. As always, it promises to be a very interesting year.

Monday, September 17, 2007


September is a tough time of year: it's not still summer but not yet autumn. The weather vacillates between cool and too hot. The garden looks like hell because parts of the summer were too hot (and our outdoor plumbing never got fixed), but it's too early to cut everything back and pretend that we're ready for winter. And psychologically, September is always a time of tension: the hope and anxiety of the new. Starting school in September has imprinted on me even though years and years and years have gone by since I needed to face new teachers, new classrooms, new classmates. It's still a trigger-time for change and the anxiety that goes with it.

But in the midst of all this, knitting goes on (isn't that remarkable???)

Since being seduced by socks, I've made two pairs of socks and am working on a third (for my husband). Although I just turned the heel on the first sock of this pair, I'm already thinking ahead to socks yet unknit: cabled socks, lace socks, textured socks. This is all part of my obsessive nature: the need to collect, amass, organize, collate.

I'm already lining up yarn that wants to be made into socks, and I haven't yet hit weather that's cold enough for me to wear the socks that I've already made (and how do I know, yet, that I even want to have handknit socks on my feet?). But I need/want to make them. Which is the life of a knitter.

Saturday, September 1, 2007

Sock Seduction

I've been seduced by socks. Toe-up socks to be exact. I've knitted socks in the past, the traditional top-down type, and while I've enjoyed the process to a point, I never fully understood why people were so into knitting socks. They never quite fit right, never quite matched in size; things were always a little off somehow. At Stitches and other knitting events, I'd see people parading in their socks and didn't quite get it.

Then last week, I decided to try toe-up socks, since the big reason for doing socks this way is that you can try them on as you knit them.

I used yarn from my stash: fingering weight from Sheldridge Farms in a nice heathery blue-green, and worked with Ann Budd's article on toe-up socks from InterweaveKnits. Once I got the toe going, I found that yes, indeed, I could try on the sock as I worked. The moment I slipped the sock on over my toes and it fit my foot as if it had been made for me, I knew this is what I want to knit. I realized that a well-made, well-fitting pair of socks is a treat to the feet. And, unlike sweaters where you pick a pattern and knit it up and then find out that the style is unflattering or there's some other problem with the finished item, socks will always fit, always be flattering, never make you look fat.

The second sock matches the first sock exactly and both fit like a dream.

And, as I've progressed to my second pair, I see that you don't really need a pattern or a gauge swatch, once you understand the basic principle.

So here I go. Now I'm looking at sock yarn and sock needles because of course I need to have the right supplies........