16 July 2010

A New Knitter

My six-year-old niece learned to knit on Tuesday. I was up in Pennsylvania visiting family in June, and the Little Princess asked if I would teach her to knit. I wasn't sure she was really, truly serious. But I did go visit the friendly local yarn shop, Uncommon Threads, and buy a skein of heathered pink Cascade 220 and size 4.5mm/US 7 bamboo Clover circular knitting needles.

When I returned to Pennsylvania in July, she was still talking about wanting to knit. She had discovered some bright, multicolored craft yarn in her mother's stash. I cast on thirty stitches and worked the first couple rows. Then I let the Little Princess manipulate the needles. She made the sticks move, and I wrapped the yarn. It was a little awkward, but it also gave her the chance to learn the dexterity of moving the needles without also tensioning the yarn. By the late evening, she was venturing into working the needles and the yarn by herself, and our tandem team knitting was unnecessary.

In the photograph, her tension is still a little loose. And like so many knitters, myself included, she really has tension issues at the selvage as she turns a row. Sometimes I work the first two stitches on a new row, just to get her started. But she is off and running and very excited. So am I.