Howdy, friends! Welcome back to another installment in the Knitting Daddy blog. If this is your first time visiting, I hope you enjoy what you find. And I offer a special “welcome back” to all of the returning readers. Today, I’m going to discuss having “the talk” with my daughter. She’s only three-and-a-half, but I’m pretty sure it’s time. Before diving into “the talk,” though, let’s take a look at the other things going on in my knitting world.
Recently In Podcasts
As always, my earbuds are overflowing with great knitting podcasts. It’s worth pointing out that since I last posted on the blog, Joey and I released another episode of Unraveling With Greg and Joey. In Episode 7 (A Long December), we talk about socks, theater, and popular music from the 90s. Sock knitting seems to be a theme on podcasts lately, as recent episodes of Knitting Pipeline, Curious Handmade, and Susan B. Anderson’s video podcast have all had sock-knitting content. Also, the Knitmore Girls have re-kicked-off their #OperationSockDrawer contest. It’s a good time for socks.
One neat trick I’d especially like to highlight from my recent podcast listening comes from BostonJen at the Down Cellar Studio podcast. In Episode 82 (Design Enthusiasm), Jen offers the following tip for washing socks:
I’ve recently been using [my salad spinner] to get some of the excess water out of the socks after I wash them.
What a brilliant idea! Jen says she doesn’t remember where she first heard that tip, but that she knows a number of people who do it. I’m going to be joining them. I haven’t spun a salad in our salad spinner in years, so it will be nice to get some use out of it with my small hand-wash items.
Recently On My Needles
I’m excited to have an FO come off my needles! Well, it still needs buttons and blocking, so it’s not “done done,” but all the knitting is done — and I’ve even woven in the ends. This is a new cardigan for Blueberry, in her favorite color: purple.
Both pair of socks that I started in December are still on my needles. In both cases, the first sock is complete, and I’m working on the mate. One of them I keep at work, for knitting while on conference calls, during lunch, and the like. The other one is my at-home sock knitting. I’m loving them both. Bit by bit, I’m working through the patterns in Lara Neel’s Sock Architecture (affiliate link) book. It’s a lot of fun.
Ravelry Project Page: Checked and Square Socks, Top Down
Pattern: Checked and Square Socks, Top Down by Lara Neel
Yarn Used: Sea Star Handpaints Bare Foot in the Christmas Island colorway and Zwerger Garn Opal Uni Solid 4 ply in the 3081 Natural colorway.
Ravelry Project Page: Dyad Socks, Top Down
Pattern: Dyad Socks, Top Down by Lara Neel
Yarn used: Julianna’s Lucky Star Sock in the Garland colorway and Zwerger Garn Opal Uni Solid 4 ply in the 3081 Natural colorway.
With Blueberry’s cardi off the needles, it was time to cast on something new. A few months ago on the Ewe University podcast, I won a sock blank from Andre Sue Knits. I knew it wanted to become a shawl, but I wasn’t sure which of two shawls it wanted to become. So I took the question to the Unraveling Podcast Ravelry group and set up a vote. With 58% of the vote, Fireflies Rising won. I cast it on Saturday, and worked about 10% of the shawl before going to bed. It’s a ton of fun knitting from a sock blank.
I’m really at a place where I’m enjoying all of my knitting right now. It’s a good place to be.
Well, friends, it’s time to discuss “the talk.” I recently realized that I’ve never had “the talk” with Blueberry, and it’s high time we have it. Of course, I’m referring to “the talk” about respecting other people’s knitting. We had a small incident (don’t worry, everything is fine) the other day. I’ve shared the pictures on Instagram, and it led to me asking a question for the “What Do You Want To Hear About” segment of the Knitmore Girls podcast. Here’s how I described our incident in their Ravelry group:
What I would like to hear about is “the talk.” I’ve heard Jasmin mention it a few times — having “the talk” with Genevieve about how to respect other people’s knitting. My daughter is about 6 months younger than Genevieve, so it’s been real fun hearing things on the podcast and then seeing similar things with my daughter a few months later.
Blueberry loves the things I knit for her. And she enjoys knitting with me. She’s not doing it on her own, but she’ll crawl up in my lap and put her hands on mine while I go through the motions. And she knows the “in through the front door….” rhyme. That lasts for about 5 stitches before she’s off to do something else. That’s all cool.
For the most part, I keep my knitting out of reach, or put away, when I’m not around. Anytime she’s around my in-progress stuff, it’s supervised. I haven’t had “the talk” with her yet. It hasn’t been an issue.
Today I left my knitting out while I walked to another room for a few minutes. I came back to find Blueberry sitting on the sofa with my knitting. She looked up when I came back in with a big smile on her face: “I want to knit! ALL by myself!” 🙂 What’s not to love about that? It was super-cute, and I got a poorly lit snapshot. [Said snapshot is at the top of this post.]
Then, after I retrieved my sock, I noticed that 2 of the DPNs had been removed and were sticking in another part of the sock. 48 of my 72 stitches were just chilling out there on their own, unsupported.
Did you see my last picture of how cute Blueberry was knitting all by herself? Well, this is what resulted from that — two-thirds of my stitches left the ranch! Fortunately, I caught her in time before any of the stitches really dropped and I was able to get my needles back through them. I think I need to chat with @cuteknitter about how to have "the talk" about other people's knitting. 😉
It was nice to see that she had been poking those needles in the fabric, trying to make more fabric I guess. But. Yeah. Fortunately, she hadn’t been tugging on it, so they were pretty easy to slip right back on the needles — only one of the stitches had actually dropped, and it only dropped 1 round. Easy-peasy to get them back where they belonged.
But that’s when I knew I had to have “the talk.” I don’t want to discourage her interest in the fiber arts. But she is only 3.5 years old, so I expect there will be lots of adventures along the way. And I don’t want to rush her into it. I’m definitely interested in discovering and establishing a good balance.
It was quite a thrill that Jasmin and Gigi tackled my question on Episode 361 (Mousse-tasche). If you have little hands around your knitting, you definitely want to go check out the podcast and listen to their advice.
A lot of the advice comes down to handling it in a “big picture” way, and being positive about it. Instead of focusing on the negative (aka “ARRRRGH!!! YOU RUINED MY KNITTING!!!!”), focus on the positive (aka “Wow! It’s great to see that you’re excited about knitting!”), and find a way to work with the child. For me, this means that Blueberry will soon be getting her own set of needles (she already has her own yarn) and a project bag to keep her very own knitting in. We’ll work on emphasizing the difference between her knitting and my knitting, and that she’s free to do whatever she wants with her knitting. If she wants my help, I’m here for her. If she wants to do it on her own, without my help, I’ll respect that. At the same time, she’ll be learning that she needs to respect my knitting. It was great to hear Jasmin and Gigi’s advice, especially because it largely lined up with the way I’ve been trying to work with Blueberry and my knitting already.
Really, it was a big thrill to come into the room and see Blueberry excited about working on knitting all by herself. I don’t want to do anything that will discourage that. We came out of this incident unscathed. In the end, it’s only yarn and we can fix our knitting mistakes.
Do you have little hands that want to get on your knitting? Have you had “the talk” yet? What suggestions do you have? Join the conversation and leave a comment with your ideas below.
Until next time, keep on knitting for the ones you love!