November 2, 2009

Two More Things About Knitting

1. I finished the Thing! I wore it with my coat this morning as a demi-scarf---or, as the other mom at the bus stop less charitably but more amusingly called it, "a Dickey scarf."

Oh, this? Yes, I just whipped it up over the weekend! ...What do you mean, "Where's the rest of it?"

Now I am starting a new Thing. I am using Lion Brand yarn again, this time a fuzzy kinked pink yarn called, if I remember correctly, "Cotton Candy." (A child helpfully removed all the paper wrappings from my yarns for me.) I cast on 50 stitches; my plan is to make a wider, shorter Thing than last time. When I have finished it, I want to try a baby hat.


2. Virginia Ruth wanted to see some samples of Rob's knitting. My mother-in-law taught him when she was here a few weeks ago.

The one on the left is Rob thinking he could maybe make a sweater for a stuffed animal by knitting two sweater shapes and attaching them together. On the right is him practicing making stripes.


My mother-in-law taught him to cast on and bind off, and he made these Tetris shapes later that night when he was supposed to be sleeping. My mother-in-law thought this was meh. Paul and I thought it was BRILLIANT. He has knitting and binding off IN THE SAME ROW!


It was hard to take a picture of this, but it's a side view of a square of knitting with a rectangular flap coming out of the middle. Rob wanted to see if that would work. Mother-in-law said that wasn't really the way it was supposed to work. Paul and I thought it was BRILLIANT.


This is Rob's "sampler scarf"---he did a little of all the stitches he knew how to do, so there's some knitting and some purling and some cabling and whatever else he knows. It's about 4 inches wide on average.

53 comments:

Rebecca said...

Swistle--

I have been knitting for almost 25 years and am what might be called an "advanced" knitter. (I can make sweaters and "stuff.") I worked in a yarn shop for several years, teaching all levels of new knitters.

I have to tell you, Rob is far, far more advanced than most adults who knit, even those who have done it for several years! Keep encouraging him. He clearly has a gift for it, and he is a very smart, intuitive learner. I am waaaaaay impressed. :)

Rebecca

Swistle said...

Oh Rebecca! He is going to LOVE this!

Melissa H said...

I am SO impressed (especially with Rob although your thing is also nice). I have tried knitting a LOT of times and am nowhere near this good. My (male) cousin knitted all through school, high school and college so I can guarantee Rob is not the only young man who's a good knitter. Let us know when he's ready to teach online classes--I have a knitting pattern and no idea how to knit it.

Rebecca said...

Oh, and I meant to say...if you have a yarn shop in your area, I'm certain that there will be a lady or two who would love to help him learn the little tricks of the trade, like shaping armholes for sleeves and reading patterns.

A kid who is enthusiastic enough about it to stay up late at night to work on it on his own is a goldmine for those of us who love the craft and want to pass it on to the next generation. :)

d e v a n said...

I know nothing about knitting but Rebecca's first comment made me smile for Rob (and you) because - YAY!! Clearly, one more thing your mil is just being a pain about. Rob is a genius!

Sabrina said...

OMG, I am SO impressed by his work! The tetris shapes, you are RIGHT. Brilliant. I knit and the fact that he is just creatively playing with stitches to see what happens, and making flaps and binding off and casting on in the middle of rows..... just, really, o.m.g. And he is absolutely right, he can make two sweater shapes and sew the sides together and it will work, but necklines take a lot of work. Tell him to try for a V-neck! You get excellent practice on the difference between K2tog and SKP (slip, knit, pass slipped stitch over) and you see how to avoid (or purposely make!) ridges.

And for all the Things that you are making: doll clothes, diapers, blankies, bedspreads for the little wooden dollhouse, curtains for the dollhouse... I made two little pillows for the dollhouse beds by doing 6 or 7 rows of 10-stitch wide garter (aka seed) stitch (=knit, never purl, on both sides). And if you are feeling really ambitious with making Things, I have made several Mei Tais (Asian-inspired baby carriers, see www.meitaibaby.com for how to wear) for kids to baby-wear dolls. Just knit a nice, long rope 4 or 5 stithces wide, knit a square as the body of the wrap, and knit two more long (and I mean l-o-n-g) ropes for the shoulder straps.

Oh, I DO love needle crafts. I am otherwise a craft dunce. But I love knitting and crocheting doodads. I crocheted a hemp-looking headband and belt with braided cords for my 2-year old's "flower child" Halloween costume this weekend!

Please keep encouraging Rob! Yay for him.

Sabrina said...

Oh! and! I do NOT know how to knit cable stitches though I have heard it's not hard, but I am SO thoroughly impressed. And jealous.

Cagey (Kelli Oliver George) said...

I have read that boys can catch on more quickly to knitting because they are "mechanically" minded (stereotypes, much?) I know as an experienced knitter myself, I still have trouble visualizing how it is all going to work out the first time I do something complicated.

Fun post!

Jess said...

I am VERY IMPRESSED with everything that Rob has done. That kid is a GENIUS and would make an excellent... structural engineer? Or something?

Also, SO GLAD that he has you and Paul for parents, and NOT your MIL.

Christina said...

He IS brilliant! (says yet another knitter)

You both should check out Ravelry. Website FULL of all things yarn-related, including forums where you're sure to find someone to help with any problems you might have. There's probably even a local group that meets regularly.

pickles and dimes said...

I am totally impressed by Rob's work! Seriously, his striping and cabling is awesome. And I love his Tetris shapes. I hope he keeps up with it.

Celeste said...

Wow, your son is amazing with the knitting. He totally groks it.

Swistle, you might like to try knitting yourself a Mobius. It's done on circular needles, and it's a circle that you twist into a figure 8 and then just knit until it's as wide as you want. It works as a neck cowl or a hat/turtle combo and is warm and elegant. Best of all you never have to agonize about whether to add fringe.

The fall issue of Interweave Knitting has an article on how to do cable stitches without using cable needles. I still can't get my head around it, but I bet Rob would size it up as do-able.

Celeste

Sarah said...

It IS brilliant! I LOVE how inventive he is with this medium. It's such a creative way to use knitting. I am so impressed! I'm so excited for him.

Alice said...

dude! as a (not very accomplished) knitter, i can assure you that what rob is doing IS, in fact, VERY COOL. tetris shapes! that's awesome!!

Anonymous said...

I've been knitting for 15 years, and absolutely agree with the first commetner: Rob is awesome. He is just creating without worrying about "rules" or what shouldn't be done. Let him keep it up.
And pooh on your MIL. What an old grouch! Most knitters are much nicer and more encouranging than that.

Nowheymama said...

My mother is dying for one of her grandchildren to be a knitter, yet trying not to push it on them too much.

Rob's creations are really, really impressive. And knitting probably started with men making fishing nets, so HA to anyone who gives Rob crap: http://www.menknit.net/history.html

CAQuincy said...

Great job to both of you! And...Tetris shapes? GENIUS! Like. WOW!

I taught myself out of a book (and a few desperate youtube viewings), and actually managed to knit my first pair of mittens--I am soooo impressed with myself.

I love your "thing." Cute!

Barb @ getupandplay said...

What a cozy fall/winter activity! Good job, you, for encouraging Rob and by letting him teach you how to knit. I'm impressed by both of your creations!

Also, your MIL is kind of douchey. But you knew that. And I love the word douche.

HollyLynne said...

I'm way, way, way impressed with Rob's knitting too!!! (And your scarflette! It is adorable!)

squandra said...

Go, Rob! So awesome. :)

artemisia said...

Holy cow!!!! This is awesome! i think he is a natural. I agree - brilliant! Casting on and binding off in the same row?!?! I can't do that.

Lisa said...

Rob = Awesome!

Yours looks fabulous, too.

Jen said...

I'm impressed and I love "the thing"! Do I smell a giveaway coming soon....???

Christina said...

My grandmother knits and sells her stuff to shops to sell. My great-grandmother knit and worked for White Stag back in the day, sewing and assembling clothes. Both of them tried for hours and hours to teach me to knit. I think the furthest I got was a 4x4" square that eventually ended up about 2" shorter on one side. He really is talented and I LOVE the tetris pieces!!!!!! True brilliance!

Melospiza said...

Whenever I see brilliance like Rob's, I think two things:

1. That's so cool!

2. Why can't I ___?

Also, the whole man-as-knitter issue (which ISN'T REALLY an issue and I'm not trying to make it one) reminds me of this artist, Mark Newport, who knits superhero costumes: www.marknewportartist.com

Anyhow, awesome. Rob has an awesome future ahead of him, knitting or no knitting.

Jewels said...

Rob's stuff is so cool! What a creative little smartypants. And I like the Thing. I would like to learn how to make my own Things. My grandma tried to teach me when I was wee but I never caught on. You've given me hope that maybe I'll be able to learn..?

Sarah said...

Rob is a knitting GENIUS. I have been knitting for 20+ years now (omg, really?!? GACK) and the concepts he's figuring out how to do are simply astounding. I love that he thinks about it in such an engineering-ish way, too. What a great little guy you have!

Hotch Potchery said...

I think he is totally onto something with those Tetris shapes...kind of like a knitted puzzle?

He should make some and then you could sell the idea for enough to pay for 5 college tuitions. Or maybe another skein of yarn. I am just saying, people buy nifty stuff.

Magpie said...

The Tetris bits are to die for.

Today Wendy said...

Ok, the fact that both you & Paul recognize that what Rob is doing is brilliant...I'm so glad he's got you guys for parents! Because it is brilliant. I knit a lot, and most people do nothing but follow the pattern. Rob has the makings of a scientist - he is experimenting and he isn't letting himself be limited by someone else's negative opinion. That's awesome!

Dr. Maureen said...

I, too, think he is brilliant. And also you! Because knitting is a complete mystery to me, and as far as I am concerned, occurs by magic. I mean, you take a string and move your hands while holding very WANDLIKE implements, and voila! A scarf! And Rob can do stripes? THAT IS AMAZING.

Michelle said...

Two MORE things about knitting:

1. Rob is f*cking brilliant.

2. Your MIL is a f*cking b*tch. Meh? Really? Everything her grandson does should be perfect in her eyes.

Oh and one more thing - I have yarn. I have lots of yarn. More yarn than one who knits as rarely as I do should. If you contact me off-line I'm happy to box it up and send it to Rob. (mommy a t creativewares d o t com)

Amanda said...

Rob is awesome. MIL is not. The End.

Allison said...

He IS brilliant! I don't know too much about kids, but I do know knitting. I own a yarn store.
My son is only 2, but I hope he takes to knitting someday like your son.

beyond said...

so very awesome.
my grandmother taught me to knit, too. but i think she was much more enthusiastic about my 'work' than your mother-in-law, thank goodness, and i was not half as talented as rob.

Mommy Daisy said...

I like your demi-scarf. ;)

Rob's stuff is really intuitive. He should definitely stick with it. I did a similar thing when learning crochet. I taught myself lots of different kinds of stitches, then I did all sorts of scarves with them. They were totally great too. Now I'm working on knitting, but not with as much gusto as Rob has.

Lola said...

Very very cool. I'm impressed.

Kelsey said...

He could sell the Tetris pieces on Etsy!!! Genius!

qwanty said...

Jebus shitballs. Your mother-in-law is a ginormous douche. Yay for your little knitter! And yay for your dickey! Too cute :-)

Kira said...

I have to tell you, the massive knitting brigade out there has never once tempted me. KNIT AWAY! I say. I CAN BUY SCARVES AT TARGET!
Also, TRA LA LA.

But you and Rob?
Totally make me want to knit.

cardiogirl said...

Gotta say your MIL is a good foil thinking everything is meh while you know it's brilliant. And if I may risk sounding like a sycophant for a quick moment, it really is brilliant.

I have no idea how old your kid is, but even if he's 15 it's still brilliant especially the Tetris shapes.

Stacia said...

He is so good at knitting! I tried knitting and didn't get anywhere near Rob's level of competence. Even thinking about doing Tetris pieces is so amazingly creative, but then doing them makes it over 9000 times better. Your MIL is a jerk, by the way.

And I'm going to get laughed at, but before I read the captions I saw the Tetris pieces and thought one of them was, er, a little "adult" thing you'd made once you were done with your demi-scarf. Don't kill me! I have a reason for thinking this! I used to crochet and there is an infamous "adult" pattern for a male garment that can be crocheted, and my mind went there. I am hopeless.

Farrell said...

I think it is adorable that Rob is doing this and I'm sorry but I want to punch your MIL in the face again for saying it's not perfect. Jeez! It is brilliant, I agree! Also, I'm jealous because I have no talent for crafts.

Rah said...

Brilliant indeed! As a knitter, I can tell you there are many adults who couldn't do what he does, even with directions. I love it that he isn't constrained by the usual ho-hum. I second the idea of seeing if he wants to get lessons at a shop, but on the other hand, as long as he's happy creating, why bother? Just super!

Fiona Picklebottom said...

I think all Rob's stuff is brilliant and all that experimenting on his own is extra-brilliant!

kakaty said...

All of that is impressive and I love that stitch sampler scarf. And those Tetris ones - OMG AMAZING! I've been knitting for about6 years and this is some advanced stuff...especially if he's just "free knitting" without a pattern. I'm very, very impressed!

Virginia Ruth said...

Yay Rob! That is seriously creative, innovative work! I can't figure out how he didn't that "rectangle with a flap" thing.

And yay Swistle! I love the "demi-scarf" concept... 'cause really, if you have a thick coat, all you need is something to tuck around your neck!

Miss Grace said...

Can we be knitting buddies? Of the internet variety?

TJ said...

He's miles ahead of me. I tried knitting one time. I made a 5 foot long, 2 inch wide blanket.

Misty said...

I think he needs to come teach my son how to knit. This is super fly.

Hobo Mama said...

I am agreeing with "brilliant" as well. I so need a knit Tetris game. And I like your Thing. It will be the new fashion.

Kristine said...

I'm a knitter with a lot of technical experience, and yet, I know it took me ages to get where Rob did in a few overnight hours. I am seriously impressed with his skills and willingness to take the little pieces of knowledge he has to create something new and different. Totally BRILLIANT!

Rob has the mind of a designer/inventor... while your MIL probably likes to follow the patterns. She's not nasty... just uneducated regarding the versatility and flexibility of knitting. Not to mention, there are no established "Rules of Knitting."

He should consider looking knitting amigurumi(little toy) patterns... lots of them are freeform and imaginative "non-patterns." I think he'd really enjoy it.

And for the geek in me (and I suspect you and Paul) here's a link to one of the coolest patterns ever. http://kimberlychapman.com/crafts/knit-patterns-dna.html

MoCo Mom said...

Rob looks like knitting genius to me. Must be the engineering genetics coming through. Found your site via a tweet from Termerity Jane, I think.