Let's start with me, Uncle Stashley. That's a nom-de-plume, by the way, which is a French expression that means one is jealous of Stephanie Pearl McPhee's success as the "Yarn Harlot." Nom-de-plumes are tricky, because unlike nicknames, which tend to be cool like "Truck," "Badger," or "The Whopper," they aren't given to you by friends: you have to choose one for yourself. If you choose a particularly cool name you are clearly trying too hard and no one will read your blog. So, I figured Stashley rhymes with Ashley (my actual name), and I'm a proud uncle to three reasonably good kids, hence "Uncle Stashley." And it's way better than my second third and fourth choices, "Stefan Knit Purl Mit Me," "The Stitch Stud" (sadly, already taken), and "The Woolly Bully."
(And I do have far too much yarn, so Uncle Stashley is at least apt. I have no claims to being studly, bullying, or German).
I've been knitting for about four years and love it and talk about it all the time, so writing about it frequently should be a piece of cake. I also run a musical theatre company and mount semi-annual shows (www.thebroadwaychorus.com) which the above picture is from. I was torn between actual knitting (a baby sweater) or a show picture, but I think the show picture is less deceptive. Despite my love of knitting, I am more of a theatre creature than a baby sweater knitter. Oh, and I'm the one on the floor.
Here is the baby sweater photo that didn't make the first photo slot. Sorry, sweater.
I knit it for a baby (surprise, who'd have guessed), from the Baby Tea Leaves pattern. So if you're new to knitting, and are thinking "Gosh, I'd never be able to knit a sweater," well, in four years you can. One year is too soon, unless you have constant knitting help. I tried, and had my first frogging* experience. But after four years I felt this would be a cinch. Babies are also smaller, so it's less of a time investment--if you think of it as a really large mitten with two thumbs and no need to close off the end, it's about that size.
I'm hoping to be able to use this blog to (a) talk about knitting, just to get it out of my system and maybe annoy friends and relatives less as a result, (b) help beginner (and intermediate, and possibly advanced) knitters by noting things I have learned over time ... almost every day I learn something, and I am keen to share it.
Today's purl of wisdom: when working the Magic Loop* (or Travelling Loop*) on a ribbing pattern (three knits, three purls), it dawned on me that when I must tug the circular needle into its next configuration, if I make sure I've pulled my working yarn forward or back as appropriate for the next section, it WILL be where I need it to be after I tug the needles into place. For some reason it seems a lot easier to do this before the tugging, and I'm pleased to see that yarn generally stays where I've put it.
I'll close with what's on my needles today, define anything marked with an asterisk, and will post again soon!
WHAT'S ON MY NEEDLES:
GGN Norwegian Ski Sweater (the initial ribbing)
Persian Dreams Blanket (row 16 of the second hexagon)
Feather Duster Lace Shawl (I'm repeating, for the first time, the body section)
A Church Mouse sock (prior to heel)
World's Simplest Mittens (prior to thumb)
*frogging = unraveling entire garment for any reason
*Magic Loop = a method for doing very small circumference circular knitting (e.g. a sock) on 1 single circular needle
*Travelling Loop = a method for doing slightly larger small circumference circular knitting (e.g. a hat) on 1 single circular needle