Thursday, October 22, 2009

Freaking Non-Knitters Out...

Yesterday’s Inhale and Exhale wouldn’t post properly, so I will try to add them in a post edit. There are days when it won’t let me make the icons as small as usual as well, so I am learning to go with the flow and tame my inner perfectionist.

I also posted about the two scarves that I’ve been working on since acquiring new wool in Toronto.  If I hadn’t been teaching classes there and staying up so late at night, but the weather is getting cold since my return home as well, so the urge to knit new things for my neck is just too strong to ignore.

When I worked on this one in the staff room at lunch yesterday, I had several people come over to feel the combination of the two yarns put together.  I also had a few teachers ask me how many things I knit in a year.  This might be because I’ve already knit 3 baby blankets for half of the staff that is pregnant and they’ve also seen me working on my socks. I don’t think I’ve ever kept track of the number of projects I knit in a year.

I also took out the scarf during Guided Study period.  This is a half an hour period for enrichment, extra help or catching up on homework that changes every 5 or 6 weeks as the marks are handed in by teachers and students who are struggling or excelling are identified.  I’d planned to read a bit since every student who doesn’t have work to do is encouraged to bring a book, but I realized that I couldn’t keep an eye on the entire class that way. Hence the knitting.  I knit by feel.  I’ve always been able to handle basic knitting stitches (anything short of cables and patterns with lots of counting) without looking since University when I would knit and study or knit and watch TV.  This has come in handy when I’ve had to divide movies into which ones I need to watch (knit) and which ones I can listen to while glancing up now and then (stitch).  It also keeps me from being a nagging passenger on long car trips and I can knit in the dark if I have to talk to Nick to keep him awake at the end of a long journey.  It is also really good for freaking high school kids out.

I began to knit while the kids were working on their projects.  Every now, one of the teenagers would glance up and find me watching them while my hands knit.  Whispers began, nudges as I continued to glance around the room surveying them.  Finally, one brave girl put up her hand and spoke. “Excuse me, miss, are you doing that without looking down at it?”  I just grinned and nodded.

Who says knitting is boring!

Even when you are fairly well practiced at a skill, you can also continue to learn and be inspired.  While I was up in Toronto, I found this wool for Bethany that brings a  hint of orange into the blue, white and pink mix.  The soft colours will be perfect for her and they also tied in nicely with my “use more of the colour you like the least” challenge.  By now, I am actually growing a little fond of orange.

While I was in Toronto, Jocelyne was knitting a cool scarf pattern before one of the classes.  When I commented on the pattern, she showed me how it was a  short pattern that you repeated on EVERY row until you either ran out of wool or got sick of knitting the scarf.   You can find it on Yarn Harlot’s website here .  This is what mine is starting to look like:

Go ahead... practice being Creative in public and see what happens!

INHALE:  Being Creative in new ways or learning a new variation of a skill we already posses can bring a deep enjoyment into our lives along with an excitement that keeps us hooked.  When things become routine and predictable, they can also become boring.  I don’t ever want what I create to bore me. If it does, then it’s time to find something new to try.

EXHALE:  Which hobby, craft or skill do you feel most confident in?  It may be one that you have practiced for a long time or one in which you developed a sense of mastery quickly.  In order to keep this well-practiced skill from growing stale, try one of the following.  Try starting something that you have never attempted before (a new style of pattern, a new stitch, a different technique).  Visit a craft store, website or guild meeting where you could learn from someone else who practices this skill and get inspired.  Look through books and dare to try something you think might be too hard for you.  When we push ourselves, we can grow.  Or, find something new that absolutely delights you, as I did with this scarf pattern and savour the new experience.

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