Thank you to all the podcasters and visitors who left comments or emailed me about the podcast roundup last week. I am so happy to have heard from everyone! There is a category link (podcasts) directly to those posts in my sidebar for anyone who wants to refer to them at any time.
I love all beginning knitters. Beginning knitting is my favorite class to teach; there is nothing so button-busting as watching someone become a knitter in just a few weeks! Today i am interviewing a new knitter, 7-year-old Mason J., who i did NOT teach. Mason is learning to knit from his mom, Debbie J. (our budding yarn correspondent). We caught up with mason through email over the weekend.
Me: So Mason, what makes you want to knit?
Mason: I think it is nice and I like to make items for me to have. I like yarn, it feels nice in my hands and it makes me feel quiet, sometimes I feel sleepy when i use my yarn.
Me: Sleepy, eh? (hear that new moms?) What is it that you like so much about wool?
Mason: It feels good when I rub it on my hands. I like to feel all the little tiny pieces that are in one string of it. My mother calls it a strand. I can feel all the notches in it and I like it. I like to shred the top of it sometimes and see how many pieces is in it. Sometimes it feels like there are hundred of them in one string.
Me: You know, I like doing that too! What colors of yarn are your favorites?
Mason: I like black and red and green. Green used to be my favorite color. Now red and black are.
Me: I like black and green together; like olives in salad. Now here’s what i REALLY want to know: does your mom let you have yarn from her stash, or even look at it?
Mason: Yes, my mother gave me her black yarn and she even made me black yarn by spinning it for me. I can go threw her yarn only with her or my father with me. I am not allowed to let my sister play in it. My mom is even going to buy me some of my own yarn that I get to pick out. I like to spin my mothers yarn stuff. I am not very fast at it but like the wheel sound when I pedal it. It sounds cool.
Me: Oh, the spinning wheel, yes; spinning is very relaxing . . . speaking of tools, how many different kinds of knitting needles have you tried?
Mason: I have one pair. My mother bought them for me. My father helped me mark them so I know they are mine. I asked my mother what size and she said a ten.
Me: Which type do you like the best?
Mason: I like metal. I like to hear the swish they make but they are hard to use, so I have plastic ones.
Me: I like metal because I can go faster on them. Let’s talk about your current project; what are you working on?
Mason: I am making a blanket to take camping for me and my sister. My mother gave me all kinds of yarn to make it out of and I really think it looks quite nice. (My father said he will take the pictures because my mother is bad at it.)
Me: Wow! That’s ambitious! How many stitches are there in one row of your project?
Mason: 40: I like even whole numbers. That makes it look nicer.
Me: Are you following a pattern, or making it up as you go?
Mason: I am making it all knit. I have not learned how to pearl (sic) yet.
Me: Do you like to watch TV or listen to music or a book while you knit, or
do you like it to be quiet?
Mason: My mother reads to me while I knit sometimes or my father will read to me sometimes. Most of the time I like to sit with my mother and father and sister in my living room and knit with my mother.
Me: Do you know of any famous knitters?
Mason: Not yet but I hope to meet or know of a boy knitter. My father is taking me to the library this weekend coming up and we will be looking for a book on knitting that is about a boy.
Me: Well, I know there have been a few boy knitters who ARE famous: Charles Dickens, Kaffe Fassett, etc, and you can find out more here: MenKnit.net – History of Men Knitting. So, if you could make ANY kind of knitting, what would it be?
Mason: I would like to make something that has stripes of colors that go up and down and not across. I think that would be cool.
Me: Hmm, what if you knit the stripes going across, and then turned it so that the stripes were worn vertically (up and down)? Would that be the same? Just something to think about! What are your other plans for future projects?
Mason: Am going to make a football and my mother is going to buy stuffing for me.
Me: Now THAT is intriguing mason! Maybe we could help you submit that to a magazine! It’s a great idea, and I know several magazines that would be interested. If you could spend time hanging out together, what would you ask me?
Mason: I would ask if you have any friends that are boys that knit other than me. I would ask if you have ever been to India and watched to see if they have people that knit there. I want to go to India. I want to have a passport. My mother and father are taking us to Switzerland maybe this summer but next summer for sure to see and learn about our heritage. I would show you my math notebook and ask if you like it.
Me: Wow, that’s quite a list of questions! Actually three of my nephews know how to knit: Paul (age 6), Daniel (age eight), and Joseph (age 13). I taught them a few years ago, but I don’t think they are keeping it up. And yesterday at the yarn store, I talked to a boy named TTom who is 9-years-old, about his knitting. He was buying yarn to make a scarf for his teacher. I’m sure he would like to meet you too! And then my friends Bil and Mark are knitters as well, but they are men, not boys. And i know people do knit in India; you can search the internet and even find a knitting penpal (Adventures of a Desi Knitter). Now Mason, who would you like most to knit for?
Mason: My sister because she is just little and misses the fun. I would knit for her until she can get old enough to do it for herself.
Me: That is very generous Mason! Anything else you would like to share with our audience?
Mason: I like school. I think boys should knit, it is cool and my father says that knitting is not just for girls. My friend Andrew wants to learn now too. I would have a television show about boys knitting cool things like footballs.
Me: Well, making a TV show about boys knitting is a really great idea! You should do it. Thank you Mason; we will definitely talk some more about knitting! I heard your mom is going to bring you to class soon.
Mason: Thank you Anne. Your very nice and I like you being my mother and fathers friends. You can play over at my house whenever you want to.
Me: Wow, thanks! Anyone who has anything to say to Mason can leave comments; he will be able to read them from here!
And now a quick little update on what’s happening around here:
I only cast on one new project over the weekend (ahem, that isn’t as good as it sounds; I started some new spinning, too). It’s this scarf from knitting on the go: scarves 2. I made it narrower, but otherwise I am doing the pattern as-is (K3,P1 rib), and I am getting worried that the curl will not block out. However, the noro yarn does feel really soft (usually i find it scratchy). Maybe that’s because i petted this colorway so much . . .
in danger of getting ready to cast on another pair of sox with this handspun tweed (heels and toes in the solid to make the handspun go farther):
On Friday I gave David the last three pair of sox i had stockpiled; that means it’s time to get cracking and rebuild the stores. No more pussyfootin’ around with lacy dainties! Time for a ManSox insurgence.
However, I DO still have some lace knitting on my needles that i want to finish. The shawl for my friend did not get done this weekend, but I did make progress:
I wish I could have stayed up longer to work on it more. I have not had time to sit with this project and really get a lot done at once. I’ve been working on it one repeat of the pattern at a time (14 rows?), usually late at night, so I’m almost always tired when I see it. Well, when the shawl is done, I can devote more time to it, and also get back to my cabled sweater. You don’t remember that do you? It’s quite unremarkable in its current state, I can assure you. However, I think it is going to be a FANTASTIC piece when I get a little more done.
Monday I had classes to teach all day so i worked on the new striped scarf and then my own sox (which I don’t really need that badly, but I like the yarn); two things that i could do while listening to students and between answering questions.
When I got home last night I plied the sock yarn I spun single for over the weekend and worked for a while on my namesake lace scarf:
I guess that is a lot of knitting news after all. Tomorrow I want to talk about handspinning; yes, I know I have barely mentioned it, but it IS dear to my heart.
Japanese Feather Stole or Scarf pattern
Originally posted by Anne Hanson on March 7th, 2006