Knitting By Example

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.)

LarryYarnI 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).

LarryHatTopHe 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.

LarryHatI washed and blocked it the next day.  Interestingly, the change in the sizes of his stitches (normal for new knitters) looked like an interesting pattern in the cream yarn!

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.

FDR_knittingWhile 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!


About sweatyknitter

Fiber art devotee, author, and amateur artisan bread baker.
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12 Responses to Knitting By Example

  1. Marie-Adeline says:

    congratulation to the little one the hat is so cute, and very well done for a first project!!!


  2. Hello, me again…Just dropping in to let you know that I’ve nominated you for the Super Sweet Blogging Award ❤ I think you have a sweet blog so you definitely deserve this! To receive it, simply visit and follow the rules to start spreading some sweetness of your own 🙂 Congratulations!


  3. cleo14 says:

    I love that you taught him to knit!


  4. ro848 says:

    Excellent! What a wonderful gift for his Dad. Love the team effort.


  5. I love the ‘pattern’ that turned out on the hat…it’s something so unique and has its own story for a first time knitter. I say ‘Great job!’ 🙂


  6. I am jealous Thor has taken an interest in knitting! Wish my husband would!


  7. starproms says:

    People will learn when they are ready to do so. Thor has made an excellent start and I’m sure it won’t be the last garment he makes. A hat was an ambitious start too!


  8. I ‘taught’ my two daughters to knit about two years ago, but they didn’t take to it. Maybe the projects they chose were too long in completion and they moved on to other things. They now tell me that knitting is a ‘mother’ thing, even though I am the only mother they know that knits regularly. Ah well. They know the basics if they ever want to take it up again. Congrats on getting Thor to knit. My son actually picked up crochet a number of years ago and made his father a scarf. It’s fun when you can pass along your obsession and, also, make useful presents.


  9. Well done! I’m always telling my husband he should learn to knit– to relieve stress. Plus I don’t understand how anyone can watch tv and not do anything!


  10. Impressive job Thor! Your Dad will love it. 🙂


  11. jengolightly says:

    Well done Thor! Superb hat!

    I would be afraid of Jon looting my stash if he took up knitting. Mind you, he already does my blocking…..


  12. Congratulations on learning Thor to knit and for choosing a clever project for him to start on! I agree I love useful presents too!


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