Friday, January 30, 2009

Sharing the Joy

Yesterday I taught three thirty-something (or perhaps twenty-something) techno-geeks (*) to knit, upon the advice of a colleague, a less nerdy but equally geeky (he's smart, but used to play football. What does that mean?) thirty-something (or perhaps twenty-something. I'm not good at this age thing).

[(*) Lest anyone be confused, I use the word "geeks" with the utmost respect and warmth, since I have come to realise that they are of my tribe, or more precisely, I am of theirs. I embrace my geekiness happily: I am a Bead Geek, a Knitting Geek, and a Spinning Geek in my spare time, and a software geek to support this.]

It was interesting.

I've taught beading to rank beginners often, and years ago when my daughter was in third grade, I taught a bunch of kids to knit. Looking back, what a hoot.

I bought dowels which I cut and sharpened with my trusty electric pencil sharpener, and the kids sanded and waxed them and glued Fimo beads (made by me) to the ends.

The next week we dyed wool yarn with Kool Aid in the microwave.

The week after that we cast on 24 stitches and learned to knit. They caught on pretty quickly, and seemed to vaguely like it. I told them to take their knitting home and knit knit knit to make it grow.

The next week a couple of kids had worked a couple of rows, and a few more had done nothing. One little girl's knitting had not grown in length, but had ballooned to a frightening one hundred and thirty-five stitches, give or take. I don't know how she did it, and I could not undo it, so we cut off the tangle and started again.

I had thought that six (or was it eight?) weeks would be enough time to knit a strip twice as long as it was wide, sew it together and stuff with lentils for a hackey-sack thing, but apparently this was in reach for only the best and brightest. Or perhaps the most diligent suck-ups. Sometimes I think it's the same thing with kids.

Yesterday was not like that. We cast on for about forty minutes, at which point I looked at my watch and realised that actual knitting, not to mention casting off, were still unexplained and I needed to be doing actual work in fifteen minutes. 

"You mean it gets better?" Oliver asked incredulously.

I think so.

He's keen to make a washcloth, and today, after a very loose start yesterday, showed me his experiment in Very Tight Tension. We agreed it was less than workable.

All-in-all, I'm happy. I've spread The Word (and The Word is Knitting. I believe there are other Words too, but Knitting was yesterday's Word) a little. I'm doing my bit for The Year of the Natural Fiber, aren't I?

And with that smug virtue firmly embedded in today's psyche,  I bring you more Shameless Commerce in the way of beaded bead caps for rather large beads (I used 20mm blue tiger eye beads).
They're like candy or potato chips (or OMG Flamin' Hot Cheetos, now my dirty secret is out - who'm I kidding? It's not a secret!) because it's hard to stop at just one.
Which is just as well, because they work well in multiples to accent gemstone or lampwork beads (Note to self: Check the lampwork stash).
Each cap also uses a miniscule amount of each type of bead, so those leftover beads which are too few for any reasonable project are just the ticket here.
Beaded Bead Caps: $6 for PDF emailed to you







Materials:
  Size 11 seed beads
  Size 8 seed beads
  Size 15 seed beads
  Size 11 triangle seed beads
  Japanese fringe beads
  4mm fire-polished beads
  2x3mm faceted rondelle beads
  Your favourite beading thread
  Size 10 (or appropriate) needle

1 comment:

denny loves all the beads. said...

I want to make them into whorls.

Just saying. Little beaded whorls.

god that's good, I need a smoke now.