Friday, April 8, 2011

Fiber Arts Friday: Sharing the Love

I started a new project with my client a couple of weeks ago, which has me working in a different building.  As I was getting to know my new cube-mates, our alpacas and dogs came up which lead to knitting and spinning.  Yes it's true, nearly any conversation can turn to knitting and spinning.  :-)

One of the ladies told me she wanted to learn to knit and would love to make a scarf similar to the one I was wearing.

Since it's a very simple pattern (K1, P1 forever), I told her I would show her how to make it and we made plans to get started this week.

After work on Tuesday, we went to JoAnn's to select yarn and needles.

We handled a bunch of yarns.  I pointed out differences between fibers.  We talked about machine washable verses hand wash only.  We talked about dye lots and self-striping yarn and I showed her that the labels suggest the appropriate needles as well.

She made her choices and we went to look at the needles.  We talked about straights verses circulars and bamboo verses metal.  I explained the sizing and how one size smaller would make a tighter fabric and one size larger would make a looser fabric.

She settled on a set of 16-inch circulars with bamboo tips.  We picked up a couple of tip stoppers and headed to the hotel.  My new friend stays at the same hotel I do.  :-)  She made some lovely chai and snacks and we got started.

We practiced the double cast-on method a few times then proceeded to knit.  It was so fun to see how excited she was when she saw the first knit stitch and then that first row of knit stitches.

We practiced a few more knit rows together and then I think she stayed up all night knitting.

The next day over lunch she picked up purling right away and we added another friend who has lots of crochet experience.  So she picked up the cast on, knit and purl stitches very quickly.

By the end of the day yesterday, two other ladies decided to join us next week.  So a simple conversation of two people getting to know each other has turned into a lunch-time knitting group of five.

Of course I have told them all about the wonder of Ravelry and YouTube, that one day I will take them to a proper yarn shop and that they will be board out of their minds before they gets halfway through their scarfs.  But for now they are both very excited to be knitting.  :-)

What wonder have you experienced this week?  It's Fiber Arts Friday, so please share.


Melissa Plank said...

How wonderful, you were great to explain all those details, it's really empowering for new knitters to have this info to build on! You're planting seeds of creativity!

Kristi aka Fiber Fool said...

How fun to find a spontaneous gathering of knitters so quickly! And yay for passing along the joy of knitting to others.

Word Lily said...

Way to spread the fiber love!

Alpaca Meadows said...

I am curious what a double cast on method is? I do more crocheting than knitting and this term is new to me.

Vivian said...

It's so nice of you to teach your coworkers all these finer details about knitting and fiber. I usually stop at cast on and knit stitch.

Your seem to be travelling all the time, every week you are in a different place!

Kathryn Ray said...

@AlpacaMeadows - Double Cast-on is also called Long-tail cast on. Here's a how to from the KnitWitch

I like how it looks like a knit edge.

Kathryn Ray said...

@Vivian - I do travel a lot, but usually only to Minneapolis-Saint Paul.

Kathryn Ray said...

Thank you all for your kind words. It makes me happy to see how excited they are... and of course, I'm just paying it forward.

Voie de Vie said...

I also bet she didn't get much sleep that first night! Learning how to do something for the first time (especially if the person is into it) can be such a thrilling thing. I'm glad you're getting everyone around you into the fibery swing of things. :)

But wait till you take them to a proper yarn shop - it will be all over. They'll never want to leave!

Spinster Beth said...

ANY conversation can be brought around to knitting and spinning!

That's so awesome that you got a bunch together. I so often hear "I don't have time/patience to knit."

WonderWhyGal said...

How exciting that you got some co-workers to knit with you. Since I started my new job, I've been a lonely soul. They all enjoy my finished items takers on knitting with me.

Happy Fiber Arts Friday!

Kathryn Ray said...

It's strange how everyone seems to want to learn how to knit. I'm quite surprised by it.

I've been working for this client for nearly two years. I even had a desk in this location before, but this time the people are different.

I didn't even try to get a group together. It just happened on it's own.

Tamara said...

How wonderful to 'enable' more knitters! Next you may be showing them how to spin! Keep up the good work. It is so fun to share our craft with others.

Kathryn Ray said...

hahaha. I was actually teasing them about having them spinning before too long.