March 25, 2010

Not So Continental

I took another class at Arizona Knitting and Needlepoint ... the method of Continental knitting. It is also known as German knitting, European knitting and left-handed knitting. Apparently, I'm not Continental, German or European ... well, one out of four ain't great.

It was a 2-hour class simply on how to hold your needles and yarn, feeding it wrapped through the fingers on your left hand. Then you "pick" the yarn rather than "throwing" it, which is the method I've always used. It's really hard!!! Actually, it's not that hard but it's going to take a LOT of practice to master. I'm going to cast on a narrow scarf in an easy to work with acrylic yarn and knit the whole damn thing Continental if it kills me. In the meantime, I'll keep throwing, aka English knitting.

It is Arizona Knitting's 28th Anniversary and they are holding a 25% off sale on yarn this week. I bought 3 skeins of luscious 100% silk yarn -- Nashua Handknits Creative Focus Silk. I'm going to use at least one to make one of the Knitted Neck Scarves (from the Martha Stewart website), but a little narrower this time, going more for style than warmth.

I'm thinking I'll try stringing a bunch of small crystal beads on another skein and making a lacy fashion scarf. You can buy yarn with the beads already strung, but it is four times the cost. For that, I'll try stringing my own beads. At least once ...

And I think there's enough yardage in a skein to make a pair of fingerless mitts. Not sure which pattern I'll use yet, but I think a pair in silk would be so nice.

I'm currently working on the last sleeve of the Lion Brand Soft Rib Cardigan. It is a gift and I'll need it finished soon, so will keep plugging away at the pieces. Then I'll just have to seam them all together and pick up stitches for the collar. I'm just over halfway through on a prayer shawl for a friend. It's taken longer than I had wanted, but I have had other projects that had to be finished first. There is a surprise gift on the way to someone right now that I just finished over the weekend.

Happy Spring ... Happy Knitting!


Sara said...

Your surprise gift recipient is beaming with pride that she has a gorgeous snuggly afghan and a dishcloth in her kitchen colors in her new house! I am so lucky to have someone who can knit beautiful things and loves me enough to share her talent! Thank you again!

And the funny thing is you have TONS of German ancestry through Mom's side....I'll have to show you the tree. I traced one line back to 1302 in Hesse Darmstadt.

jayaycee said...

So glad you love the afghan and dishcloth. I made the afghan extra long because I have when you can't be covered toes to neck. Enjoy!

I am very interested in the family tree. We have been watching the "Who Do You Think You Are?" show and it's just fascinating. I remember hearing that we had an ancestor on Mom's side who signed the Declaration of Independence. What do you think?

Sara said...

Never heard the D of I signer rumor.....but would love to check it out and see if it can be confirmed. As soon as I get this house a little more settled and my garden started I am tackling the family tree again. "Who Do You Think You Are" started off right when we moved so I always ended up missing it, much to my dismay. I finally saw last Friday's episode -- Mathew Broderick and his military ancestors. So interesting on many levels! Btw, I have confirmed 3 Union soldiers on Mom's side.

jayaycee said...

I love it and am very interested in seeing what you've found. Thanks for doing all the work!!!

Matthew Broderick's was great -- gave me goose bumps when he was standing on his great grandpa's grave, the last unknown soldier. Sarah Jessica Parker's was awesome, too. She had an aunt that was accused in the Salem witch trials but they disbanded the tribunal the month before she would have been convicted, so she lived.