I have childhood memories of sitting on my dad’s lap and “teaching him” how to knit. I remember he would half smile as he watched me, 5 years old, knitting so seriously. While I do not recall that he ever actually held a needle, I demonstrated the process to him often.
Now Thor’s quite different. After regularly seeing my needles click away most days, a bag of knitting accompanying us on any trip, and my excitement at finding a new yarn store, he asked me to teach him how to knit. (He didn’t have to ask me twice!)
I went on a hunt to find the “perfect” fiber. I didn’t want to give him a skein out of my (considerable) stash; he is one of the poor people truly allergic to all protein fibers except silk. (And yes, I made sure by all sorts of fiber contents touched his skein. His allergy to angora almost took us to the hospital. Oops.)
I bought a couple of balls of Aimeé (Louisa Harding). Aimeé is a soft blend of cotton and silk (90%/10%, 50g=145m/158y). The yarn is a 5-ply so a stitch definition would show up well. (Of course, stitch definition is not always a welcome sight to new knitters as that will also show up gauge/tension changes and dropped or added stitches.)
Using the Continental method, a size 5 circular needle, and the cream yarn (easier than the blue to see stitches), I taught Thor how to cast on (he quickly picked up the long-tail cast on), the knit stitch (ditto) and purl stitch (a little more challenging).
He steadily knit a hat! He was about half way through when, one night, I finished a project on the needles but was itching to keep knitting. I didn’t have any new projects planned out and no simple project I could just pick up and knit and was starting to feel rather fidgety. Then my eyes fell on the bowl holding his half-finished hat by the side of the bed. I picked it up (with his permission, of course), and finished the hat by bed time.
Thor’s father turns 90 years old soon, and this will be one of his birthday presents. I love useful presents. A hat like this is the perfect garment for an older person to wear to protect against chill from an air conditioner or draft.
While people always make a big do when they see a picture of a man (particularly a famous man such as a future U.S. president) with needles in his hand, Thor actually cast on (88), ribbed (1 in.) and knit! (Note that Franklin Roosevelt is only holding the needles, having given Eleanor his cocktail glass.)
By the way, has anyone heard the song “Eleanor’s Knitting” by folksingers Talis Kimberley, Chantelle Smith and Simon Fairbourn.
Thor liked the yarn so much (as did I), that I will make a two color hat for him from an old Norwegian pattern I have long-admired. I will need only one ball of each color, which of course leaves two more balls of Aimee for Thor to use to knit another hat or two!