There is a new knitting group in the old part of the big city near me. It is meeting at a neighborhood coffee cafe, and usually has about a dozen knitters meeting each Sunday afternoon. I do not make it every week, but I got to go today, and really had a wonderful time.
One highlight was a reporter from the local paper, joining us and interviewing anyone that was willing. She asked things like how long we had been knitting, why we knit, was it surprising that the group was mostly 30 somethings, and many more questions. We were all willing to talk, because we were all talking about something we love.
The group really ranges in ages from preteen, to retirement age. The skill level runs from just learned to knit (my daughter being in that category, having finally taken up the needles and learning to knit last Tues) to those like me that had to admit they had been knitting for more than 40 years.
It is relaxing to knit in one of the comfy chairs the cafe provides, hot drink at hand and just to listen in to all of the conversation. Suggestions are made, stitches are taught, and yarns are fondled and admired. Several learned the beginnings of spinning several weeks ago, and the one new spinner now has enough yarn for a shawl. She is being very picky too, about this shawl she will knit with her first handspun yarn, looking over all of the patterns offered, and deciding she would make up her own pattern.
I worked on the final part of a paid knitting project. One of my coworkers wanted tiny sweaters for her tiny poodle. She brought me a sweater made for the American doll, and asked it she bought the yarns, would I make sweaters for her poodle like that sweater, only smaller! So I agreed and she purchased Lion Brand yarns in a pink boucle, a very bulky and fluffy yellow, a vivid purple, and also a Sugar and Cream cotton in lovely spring variegated colors.
I winged the pattern. I figured out how many inches around it needed to be at the bottom, cast on that many on a circular needle, and worked my way up the sweater in a plain knit stitch. It was fast knitting, and I just laid it against the sample sweater to judge my progress. I was flying along fine until I realized I was going to have to go to DPN and work back and forth for the front and the back seperately. It's been so long since I've knitted a sweater, I had forgotten it couldn't be circular needles all the way!
Another first for me, as I did these, was I jotted notes for it in my PDA instead of on a scrap of paper. So after I completed the first one, I had the pattern in that, instead of on a sheet of paper. The advantage was that it will now transfer over to my computer, and I have it saved for future use, instead of just scribbled and probably unfathomable notes.
After the first sweater, the rest went quick. I figure it took me about 3 total knitting hours to make one. The coworker added one extra thing, she brought in the tiniest hat I have ever seen and asked if I could make one out of each color to match the sweaters. I really couldn't refuse, the hats were all of four crocheted rows! Actually I had to adapt that pattern some, adding her requested crocheted ties to the hat, so she could tie it under the dogs chin.
Pity this poor dog, but I have been told by other coworkers that the dog patiently allows this attire, and actually loves wearing the sweaters in the colder weather.
So those are now done. Next is to finish the brioche gaiter, because I have seen in the Winter 2003 Interweave Knits, that there is a brioche vest, and I really like the way it looks. It is just begging to be knit for my hubby, in a lovely tweedy handspun.