The beauty of knitting a store sample

I'm teaching a cabling class later this month featuring Jared Flood's handsome reversible scarf, Cinder. We'll go over cabling with a needle and without, reading cable patterns and charts all the while stitching away happily on this little gem.

I'm knitting this as a store sample, which means, I. Get. To. Knit. It. For. Free! Yes, it goes back to live at Wild Yarns, hopefully doing its job selling piles of Thirteen Mile yarn.

The Thirteen Mile chunky is perfect for this patter and lends Jared's design a tougher, more rustic look.

For my part, even though our time together will be brief, I'm happy to be in the company of this gorgeous yarn for as long as my two skeins last.

One-skein shawl class up to two skeins

So I was like advertising my advanced beginner shawl class as a $25 quickie, but by the time I rounded the border of this lovely shawl, all that remained was a ball of yarn about the size of a quail's egg. Not even enough to bind off.

Gauge issue? Too many increases? Whatever, I needed more yarn. And not just any yarn but more Sleep Season.

Sleep Season has become something of a cult favorite at Wild Yarns. Dyed by a woman in Littleton, the skeins walk out the door almost as soon as they arrive. If you want the best selection, stalk Wild Yarns' Facebook page for updates.

I suspected finding another skein of my colorway--Moody Monday--would be like a sighting a yeti. And with my class starting on Tuesday (hurry, now, there's only two spots left!), I decided there had been enough dithering and high-tailed myself to the yarn store.

Pawing through Kelly's few remaining skeins, I unearthed "Web of Shadows." More greens and teals, less red but the same wonderful indigo trending to purple.

See how it blends with the shawl-in-progress? I think it will add nice contrast to the border without distracting from the pretty stitches.

That naughty planet Mercury must be well on its way to righteous directatude.


An open letter to beginning knitters

Dear Students of Knitting:

Greetings. You have begun studying a craft that will, should you decide to pursue it, expose you to a world of animals, color, art and lovely people. This is a decision you should make lightly. Knitting should be fun and not a burden, something you do to enjoy not prove something.

Keep in mind that as with everything, the journey to competence is exactly that, a journey. If you started piano lessons tomorrow, you wouldn't expect to perform a Chopin nocturne next week. The same is true of knitting, which, I can assue you, is far easier to master than the piano-forte.

That said, do you see the hot mess pictured above? This is a sweater I'm starting, Norah Gaughan's Aeneas, though you wouldn't know it now. Currently it's a tangle of cursing, missteps, gauge swatches, aborted beginnings and $150 in yarn that doesn't get gauge.

And, I've been knitting longer than most of you have been alive.

Knitters, this is what love is: A tangle of cursing, misteps, false starts and expense on the way to becoming more fully realized.

Consider this:

This corpulent tabby has me wrapped around his furry paw. That doesn't mean I don't want to put his tail in the juicer when he shreds magazines, baits Stanley or scratches the sofa. Likewise when the knitting goes awry, I want to toss it to Antone to have his way with it.

The point is: Mistakes will be made. By me, by you, by the kitty, by me toward the kitty, by everyone knitting. You don't get out of knitting class without making mistakes.

Perfectionism has no place at the start, in love or knitting. Perfectionism will keep you from the adventure before it's  begun. There is a place for care and quality as you progress; attention to detail makes beautiful garments. But allow yourself the pain and pleasure of being young in a task.

I promise, you will improve. But in the meantime, recognize that this is one of the rare times in your life where it's OK to suck.

Hugs and kisses,

A Beginning Knitting Teacher