Saturday, August 21, 2010

School is in, Knit time is out

So the students come back this Wednesday.  I am a little excited about a new year with a new group of kids.  The down side is that I think like the t-shirt I recently saw: "My job is cutting in on my knitting time."  Fortunately I have finished 2 projects this week and may finish one this weekend.  I am going to try to include the pictures of each project.  One is an afghan which will be donated in my Knit and Crochet group for our Charity Project (10 afghans by Christmas, we started in January and I have 6 confirmations).  The other is a shawl I had the yarn for and just wanted to try.  It is acrylic yarn and a free internet pattern.  I am dying to try it with a more luxurious yarn.  My daughter is modeling it and liked it so much she wants one for herself.  I will have to see if I can make one half that size for her.  I am very lucky to have children who appreciate all the things I make for them.  The weekend project I need to finish is a baby afghan, which is unfinished because the baby came almost 2 weeks early.  I will make a picture of the afghan, which was knit corner to corner, next week.  By the way, all the pictures were taken with my new camera which I purchased for my upcoming trip to Seattle, Washington for the West Coast Men's Fall Knitting Retreat.  This is still the bright spot on the horizon for me.  I will have to bring my wife something nice back from Seattle. 

Saturday, August 14, 2010

What an amazing week!!!

Several months ago,  I read about the West Coast Men's Knitting Retreat in Seattle, Washington.  Since I am "Small Town Knit Guy" and the only man in our local Knit and Crochet group, I thought, "How nice it would be to get together with other men who knit.  However, being a public school teacher with an obsessive yarn habit,  I knew a cross country trip was out of the question.  Then an unexpected surprise came.  About two weeks ago, a scholarship contest was announced for the Men's Fall Knitting Retreat (MFKR).  All it took was a nomination from someone who knew you or yourself.  Not being one to toot my own horn to get a prize, my wife nominated me.  For those who are on Ravelry, the nomination can be seen on the Fiber Beat page there.

Now comes the waiting.  August 6th was the deadline for nominations and I was checking Ravelry and Fiber Beat website everyday, to read the other nominations and check for news.  I left last Sunday afternoon to visit friends in Fredericksburg, VA.  My wife and I busied ourselves with shopping and talking with old friends.  I got some great deals on yarn: novelty, beaded,  Patons SWS, and the real find of the week....At the Goodwill store, my friend's daughter found a cooler full of yarn (I was teaching them how to knit while we visited).  She wanted the yarn for knitting practice, lots of worsted on top of the cooler.  Her mom said 10.99 was too much, so she came to find me.  Upon digging through the cooler, which was taped across the top (no lid) I found a cone of lace weight yarn, A 5 POUND CONE of lace weight yarn!!! (and a little white lace weight  wound in a 3 strand ball.  Needless to say we bought the yarn cooler.  I gave the girls the worsted and I took all the lace.  What a find!!

So back to the scholarship...On Tuesday night, in between shopping, talking and knitting, I checked all the sites again.  The Scholarship committee chair wanted my phone number.  I gave it to him and said I would await his call.  To make a very long story short:  my wife's nomination won me the scholarship!!!.  I can't believe that in a month I will be attending the MFKR in Seattle, WA.  In Small Town Murfreesboro, NC, I am the only man I know that knits.  Now I finally get to meet others who share my passion for knitting.  Check back for updates as the Retreat approaches.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

What an addiction!

When I started my knitting journey over 5 years ago, little did I know it would become a complete addiction.  I had always wanted to learn to knit, but only learned to crochet.  Between my mother and my great Aunt Elsie, I mastered crocheting at the early age of around 9.  I was content with crochet, and thought knitting was hard at that age because of the 2 needles.  I still yearned to knit.  When my Aunt Elsie passed away, I thought all was lost because she could never get my mom to take up knitting.  So my wife and I checked around and around and found a Michael's store that taught knitting classes.  We both signed up.  In just one hour we learned the basics: casting on, knit, purl, and casting off.  From that day on, I have been on a mission to learn everything I can about knitting.  I have been on a second mission to share my knowledge with others.  Last Fall I taught a group knitting class at my local library. In January, I started a once a month Knit and Crochet group at the same library.  I cannot get enough yarn.  Every time my wife and I go on a trip somewhere, I Google the local yarn shops in hope of finding some fabulous fiber with which to work.  I have come to love the art of knitting (and I do still crochet from time to time) so much that my wife converted a section of our sun porch to house yarn and make a comfortable area to teach knitting lessons.  We call it "The Knitting Knook."  I am hoping that this fall the "Knook" will take flight and regular lessons will be offered.  I hope to offer some free patterns here as well as pictures of finished items.  Come back often and see what is going on with me, Rusty B., the Small Town Knit Guy.