About Me

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Recent retiree--35 year's experience teaching reading, English, adult basic education and volunteer leadership skills. Started this blog to exchange ideas and commentary with friends and others having an interest in joining the discussions. Greatest life accomplishments include: 1.organized my 3rd grade class to check out library books for me to get around librarian's weekly limit--Amazon.com, the Mullins Elementary 3rd Grade Class of 1956 is still waiting for "thank you" notes; 2. volunteered in the Peace Corps, island of St. Kitts, West Indies; 3.taught adults to read, earn their GEDs., and speak English as a second language; 4. bought a border collie puppy for $6, got evicted rather than give him up, and began a life-long love affair with all things "Dog"; 5. joined a physical fitness boot camp in my mid-50s--don't mess with someone who's been doing regulation pushups in wet grass at 5:30 a.m.; 6. walked across Northern England with best friend Sally--over 80 miles from the Irish to North Seas; and 7. travelled to many foreign countries for pleasure and work.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Fun Monday - Knitting with Mrs. Moskowitz

Here we are--the first Monday in September and the always on the move Sayre over at Sayre Smiles has volunteered to host Fun Monday for the month. Her question for September 6 is: what would you like to learn? Well, I hope to always be a student and want to learn something new. But when I read her assignment I thought knitting. I learned sewing, quilting, embroidery(crewel and counted cross stitch),and needlepoint from older women whom I knew growing up. I didn't know any knitters though.

I am seduced by the wonderful colors and textures of yarns that are tucked in all the cubbyholes in a yarn shop. I've bought yarn, instruction books, and needles over the years thinking I could teach myself to knit. I've paid good money for classes and in the latest one had the distinction of being the slowest and worst student in the class. Very hard on the old pride. In fact, I dropped out before getting to my simple goal of knitting a granny dishcolth or simple scarf. I'm using the excuse of being a leftie for my inability to knit. In truth, it is more of a challenge because most instructions are for right-handers.

After failing in a live knitting class I did what we all do today--went to the Internet for help. And on youtube I discovered Mrs. Moskowitz, an excellent knitting teacher. She demonstrated the mysteries of making that initial slip knot,casting on and the basic knitting stitch. Look how simple she makes beginning knitting for the most fumble-fingered:

How easy it was to collect my yarns and needles and sit down at the computer for a quick lesson from Mrs. Moskowitz. I could learn at my own pace, rewinding when I got tangled up or stop to practice a certain stitch. I liked having a pile of yarn in front of me when I watched Netflix movies and TV programs. It was very peaceful to have this handwork to do while zoning out on screen. When the weather got so hot I put the yarn away but now with the hint of cool fall weather I'm ready to start learning again. Who know? Maybe I'll finish scarf--or a bookmark-- by November. You can be sure I'll post a photo of what Mrs. M and I have done when it finally happens!

To all the Fun Monday bloggers and readers in the U.S., have a great Labor Day doing exactly what makes you happy. To blogger friends from other parts, you're welcome to celebrate with us.

(Painting: The Knitting Girl by William-Adolphe Bouguereau, 1869)


Lane said...

That's an excellent video. I love how her phone keeps going off. Maybe she has a knitting hotline:-)

I like to crochet but like you, only get the urge once summer is over and I start watching TV again. But I can't knit at all although attempts have been made to teach me. But with Mrs M as a teacher ....:-)

joangee said...

Goodness! What a complicated cast on to begin with! One known as a long-tail cast on; I've never learnt it.
Yet, have been knitting for longer than I care to remember. Hope you enjoy knitting as much as I do...
I enjoy crochet, and used to do counted cross-stitch. Embroidery was taught at school and by 11 I was good at it. Wouldn't have the skill or patience today. Thanks for sharing.

Jan n Jer said...

I learned how to crochet way back when my girls were little, I crocheted them each a skirt n vest to match. Never was interested in knitting. The next thing I want to learn is perhaps..photoshop. I am still trying to master my new SLR camera and am enjoying it very much. I think the internet has anything you want to learn, how cool is that. Good luck with your venture, looking forward to seeing photos of your finished knitted product Faye!

KittyHawk said...

So are you learning to knit like a right-hander or are you translating it for a leftie?

Faye said...

lane--I remember that infinity length scarf you were working on last year--Peggy Flobbins looked so fetching curled on it.

joan--I'm still struggling with the beginning slip knot, but have cobbled it together enough to start casting on. The teacher in my failed knitting class said that her youngster students were great knitters. They'd get a little knit rap going like "first you stick the carrot down the rabbit hole. . ."

janis--the women in my family made mostly decorative crochet pieces like furniture scarves, no clothes. I need to follow your example and learn more photoshop to improve some of my favorite 35mm travel photos.

kittyhawk--due to old age hardening of the brain arteries I decide to learn right hand knitting. Easier than doing a left hand translation of the directions.

KittyHawk said...

"...old age hardening of the brain arteries"

I can't relate.

ha ha ha

Sayre said...

Hmmm... I've learned to sew, crochet and embroider - all badly. I don't seem to have the patience required, though as I get older I yearn for some quiet hobby. Knitting never made any sense to me at all, but perhaps Mrs. M can teach me a thing or two as well?

Congratulations on tackling this. I find that learning new things is a great way to stay young!

Sandy said...

My daughter is left-handed and I could not teach her to knit or crochet for the life of me. Luckily, my mom's best friend was an ambidextrous teacher. Saved my sanity! Good luck and I look forward to seeing the results.

cynicalgirl said...

I never could get the hang of knitting and crocheting! My Girl Scout leader tried to teach me, but found it difficult since I was left-handed. All my attempts at needlework look like tangled yarn. Sigh.

KittyHawk said...

Faye, you might want to befriend Magpie Yarn on FB. They don't post too often, and when they do it's either pics of tempting skeins of yarn or projects knitters have completed. Very inspiring.

Bethany said...

How funny! My thing to learn is knitting and I asked if anyone knew of a good tutorial!

The Church Lady said...

Thank goodness for the internet! It's hard to believe all we can learn from the information highway!

I have always wanted to learn how to quilt. There's just no time in my life right now. Maybe one day.

Debs said...

I like the idea of knitting every so often, but have never really stuck with it. Thankfully, I do stick with my writing, and would love to learn as much as I can about this craft as possible.

Jill said...

I do a little of embroidery or cross stitch on tea towels occasionally and really enjoy it, but the needles have been put away since Keeley started moving around (ages ago). I just picked up another needlecraft, though, visit my blog, it's a big buried, but you'll see it in my fun monday post (which ended up on tuesday, of course).

Molly said...

Hi Faye,
I tried to learn to knit from my left-handed sister. I was able to knit the first row following her directions, but alas on attempting the reverse direction, I was never able to do anything other that undoing my first row. I am not sure whether this was due to the fact that I am right-handed, and my sister is a lefty. But, this may be due to my dyslexia about directions. I never learned to tie my shoes quite right either.

For years, I have wanted to learn to play a Mountain Dulcimer; but now that there is some time for lessons, I cannot find teacher in our area.