17 January 2006

First Finished Object

VKid2 (age 6) FINALLY learned to knit this weekend. She's been begging for weeks, but I just couldn't face sitting there for an hour reciting, "In through the front door, run around back, peek through the window, off jumps Jack... no, honey, Jack has to jump off before you go in through the front door again ... okay, now the next stitch ... no, in through the front door before you run around back ... okay, good ... oops, no, run around BACK, not to the front ... alright, remember now, Jack has to jump off, " followed by several hours of, "Mommy, I have the wrong number of stitches in the row I just did. Can you figure it out?" "It'll have to wait a minute, dear, as I'm elbow deep in making dinner/cleaning the bathroom/folding laundry."

I purchased some Clover bamboo needles in size 9 for her and painted the end knobs hot pink so they are instantly identifiable as HER needles (when we find Ken dolls harpooned with them we'll know where they came from). Then we visited Mommy's Yarn Odds and Ends. I was looking for the leftovers from some variegated Morehouse Merino worsted, which is the softest yarn I've ever used. Couldn't find it, so VKid2 selected some Lion Brand Kool Wool. This seemed like a good choice -- nice thick yarn, very soft. Alas, it splits like the dickens. Don't try it with your new young knitters; wait until they can consistently put the needle through the loop instead of through the yarn itself. She managed to knit a square, though. We didn't bother to block, but just sewed it up right away into a duck (it was going to be a chicken, but we happened to visit the park and saw all the ducks in the pond). She stuffed it with some wool (our secret weapon for shaping it into a duckish shape -- wool will allow you to shape, whereas polyfill has a mind of its own. Plus, we couldn't find the polyfill.) I sewed on a little bill and 2 pony bead eyes. Ah, bliss. She fell asleep clutching it. She wants to take it to the upcoming Teddy Bear Tea as her favorite stuffed animal.

I'm pretty sure she'll awake this moring ready to cast on a new project. She thought it was all great fun. When she reached the end of the first row she was perplexed about what to do. I said, "Watch this now, it's pretty tricky," and gently took the needles and switched them in her hands so the left needle was now the right and vice versa. "Okay, you're set." She laughed and laughed when she realized what I had done, and that her needles were poised to begin again. And binding off? She kept exclaiming, "this is like a game! This is so fun!" as the stitches leap-frogged off the needle.

And thus a new knitter is born.

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