November 24, 2008

A new knitter

My daughter said that she wants to knit for the first time about a year ago, when we were at Hobby Lobby looking at yarns.  She picked up a ball of yarn.  I chose a set of DPNs and a circular needle, setting my mind NOT TO RUSH.  I said to myself, "She's just three years old." again and again.  Of course, she had forgot what she got when we went home.  It was OK.  From that day to the last week, she wanted to start knitting and got frustrated or bored while I was showing how to, on several occasions. 

Last Thursday, on November 20th 2008, she got it.  She said "I wanna knit, too."  (I was knitting, naturally.)  I made 15 or so stitches on "her needles" with "her yarn", let her sit on my lap and show her in English style, telling her "put the needle in, yarn over, needle comes under the stitch, and let the stitch go out of the needle.  In, Over, Under, Out."  She let me hold her hands, which is not her normal "I wanna do it, don't let me do it" attitude.  She was serious.  And after several stitches together, she made it solo.  

I told her dropping a stitch or putting a needle in wrong place (like into the yarn, splitting it) is not a big deal.  When she make a mistake, she can just fix it or start it again the right way.  She is now old enough to understand that.  I told her that when she got tired, she can just put her knitting down and have a rest or do something else,  and come back and pick it up later.  She got it.  

A new knitter has born.

On Saturday, at a golf range (my husband and she practice golf, me knitting), she got tired hitting the ball and being told to be a good girl, she wanted to knit.  I gave her a mini ball of leftover yarn and a pair of US 3 DPNs (CO 15 and knit one row, and gave it to her), she knit several stitches.
Yesterday, when she wanted to play games with Dad and he was busy watching soccer game or something, she wanted to knit.  She knit 10-20 stitches.  She already knows how to soothe herself by knitting.  

And yesterday, she picked up a dropped stitch by herself.  I saw she cleared a big step.  PICKED UP A DROPPED STITCH WITH A SMILE.  I can't be proud enough of my smart daughter.

Her first project looks like to be a garter stitch scarf for her best friend stuffed horse.  We started to make a jacket for him, but I made too many stitches.  ETA; A garter stitch scarf knit sideways, that is.  I am going to take on knitting most of it.  I think it's important for her to feel she made something for her loved one.  She doesn't need to do it all the way just by herself yet.  

November 18, 2008

Like grandma, like mom, like daughter

On Ravelry, I met tens of  great knitting friends.  Some lives pretty close.  I went out for a S'n'B last month and had tons of fun.  My daughter came with me, and was a very good girl throughout having a glass of chocolate milk and draw all of my friends there.
 Kansai SnB 10/26/08
She is not a very social type, but looked so comfortable just being with us, drinking and eating, minding her own business.  Wow.  A perfect S'n'B member at the tender age of four.

Last Sunday we had this month's S'n'B.  I had told about it to my mother.  The cafe we gather is verrry close to my mother's house (where I grew up), like 15 minutes on bicycle (not "Tour de France" type bike, but "commuters in Beijing" type).  She wanted to join us, weather permitted.  She could get there on subway, but adding up walking to the station, transition, walking from the station, it would be faster just walking there, 30 to 40 minutes or so.
The weather was not perfect, but OK for her to take her trusty old bicycle.

On Saturday, the day before S'n'B, my mom had called me in the morning. 
Mom; Uh, honey, I have a confession.  I guess I don't want to wait until Sunday.
Me; Uh-uh?
Mom; ... I bought yarn.
Me; Uh- Okey.  OK.  What's that yarn like? (I thought she gave up knitting and crocheting, but maybe she dug out her old needles and hooks to make something small....)
Mom; ...For you, honey.
Me; WHAT?!  What's the yarn like?
Mom; It's lovely pink and gray or blue and pale pink varigated, SO soft and the price was good.  What's more, a lady asked me if I really want that 10-ball pack because she would like to have it if I don't.  I just decided I HAD to have it the moment she asked me like that, and, ....
Me; ... repent thyself.

And I think I am as sinful as she is because I rejoiced to have free new yarn.

The yarn she bought is this;
Nikke solfa
Sorry, it doesn't show the yarn itself so clearly.  I found a color card here (color number 401) .  It's 100% merino, sports-DK weight.  One ball weighs 40 grams, I got 10 of them.

S'n'B was fun, as the last time, to see two of new friends.
I knit several rounds of Christmas Socks #2.  My daughter and mom had fun rolling up some fleece into felt balls and make bracelets with them.

November 06, 2008

Park bench skirt

Park bench skirt
Originally uploaded by O'Chica

Pattern; improvised - more like impromptu
yarn; Hamanaka Wanpaku Denis, leftover from Usahana plus one more each of purple and black.  672.5 yard total.  (wow, that's a lot.)
Hook; 3.75mm and 4.00mm aluminum

park bench skirt left side

I needed something to keep me warm at the playground for up to one hour, while my daughter doing her daily exercise climbing up the slide and so on. Something like pillow/bench pad and belly/lap warmer combined. It has to be machine washable, quick project.
Thus, crochet over skirt in worsted weight.

Roughly, my plan was like this;
Ch 8+3, dc 8 to make construction row. Keep on working to make 9sts width dc band to wrap my belly with about 2 in overwrap, with one (ch1, skip next st) button hole. Pick up and sc on one side and keep on working only the width just to wrap my belly. Change sc to hdc, and to dc after several rows each, changing colors when the yarn run out. When the work grow long enough, join and keep working in rounds.
Start tr row/round at hip bone, working 2 tr in one st on every 5 sts (20% increasing) once or twice. Keep working until it’s long enough, adding edging from Nicky Epstein’s Crocheting on the Edge book.

Not only I changed the stitches gradually to more airier ones, but also I changed the hook one size larger somewhere (I don't remember). It worked.
About edging. I stopped at the 3rd row (round) of wave ruffle pattern (p.67 of Crocheting on the Edge by Nicky Epstein), because I didn't want to go to buy one (or two?) more balls of yarn and it was frilly enough for me.

  park bench skirt frill 

I really wanted to make that curly ruffles. Make simple scarf or something and add this ruffle - mental note.I sewed on a pretty wide elastic on the wrong side at the top of waist band. I hope it keeps the skirt around my waist, not below my hip.

It is warm. I love, love, love its warmth.

It is warm.  And my right hand aches.  No more crochet for a while.

Now it's time to go back to my peaceful sock knitting.  May not be so peaceful because it's Christmas knitting, and I am planning at least three pairs before Dec. 10th (it has to be sent overseas).  Hum.

November 05, 2008

On historical day

Somehow, I grew up thinking that politics is dirty thing (although one of my father's cousin was a pretty famous politician in Japan).  I will never be a reader of political blog.  My adult common sense tells me I can't be uninterested in that sort of thing, but I can't keep my heart in it.  (I don't say "however hard I try", because I can't even try hard.)
I do vote.  I am a grown-up.  I do what I have to do.  Like laundry.

Yet, I know the choice made by the Americans is huge, and I feel I need to be interested in it.  My daughter's future may be there.  She was born in the US, has US passport.  Until she makes her choice on her nationality, both Japan and US can be her home country.


I don't like that "He is the ONE.  Follow him, and all will be good." atmosphere.
I don't like a skinny man.

Yet, I really, sincerely hope that the US is, and always be a great, strong and fair country.  I hope a great politician is not crushed under overhoping and overdemanding of innocent people.

And I still have a hope to see a female president of the US in my lifetime.  Go Sarah.  Hillary was a little bit of a disappointment.