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33 Comments
  • What a joyful story…particularly the knitting niece! Thanks for sharing, Ann. Happy Thanksgiving!

  • Love that there’s another knitter on the planet! When kids (or bigger people) ask to learn to knit, I always hesitate on where to start… teach them a way to cast on? or cast on for them and teach them to knit? Purling? Seeing the stitches so they have some place to start when it all goes sideways? I’d love to watch someone else teach a newbie. Wait, I can search Youtube for that! 🙂

  • How about a tassel on a long cord, swedish-style?

    • Yes! And, for the holidays, you can braid or sew or knit into the cord little bells (Michaels, a package for a buck or 2, varying sizes) and jingle all the way as you go about your business.

  • I taught my 9 yo grandson to knit over Thanksgiving weekend but I didn’t have that nifty rhyme to help him. Guess I’ll text it to his Dad today. Thanks, perfect timing.

  • What a great post! Can you please tell me what the item/pattern is of the beautiful multi stitch grey item that I see popping up in pictures as a backdrop? Lovely.

    • Hi Winnie! That’s a piece I made as a prop for Field Guide No. 5: Sequences. It’s log cabin knitting with each strip being a different knit-purl sequence. HIGHLY addicting–I could imagine a whole blanket made this way.

      • Thank you Ann! I keep wondering about that backdrop too; beautiful!

  • I love this post so much. As much as I enjoy a squishy pom pom–that goes double for a floppy tassel. Just the other day I was thinking about those long stocking caps that used to be far more common than in current times. They had to have a tassel on the end. Then there’s the swizzle stick improv….genius reigns in the family!

    • Yes, a stocking cap has such style–and that long end makes a tassel inevitable.

  • I have made 3 so far and plan to make 3 more – easy and fast, but no toppers – my clan would hate them. The hats they will love and it’s a great, easily memorizable pattern. I am using leftover Lettlopi on sizes 8 and 9 but the same stitch and inch counts. After blocking they are perfect, warm and lightweight. I love this pattern altho’ I may be tired of it after 3 more!

    • Lettlopi is such a good idea!

  • Love the big, squizzley tassel, perhaps even more than the plump poms. Squizzley’s the way to go for me. Also love that you didn’t let the chance to create a knitter fizzle. You opportunist, you.

  • Oh, and the drawings…made my day.

    • mine too!

  • I did a braid and tassel for my knockoff 2018 Winter Olympics hat and it was a lot of fun. You should try it!

    https://www.ravelry.com/projects/deeni/2018-winter-games-hat

    • Your Olympic hats were great! That braid with tassel is a nice finish for a boy!

    • Wow! That’s the jauntiest hat ever!

  • Absolutely love the end of this story! I can only hope my granddaughter asks this someday!

  • Those floppy tassels are perfect!! Your nieces’ drawings are so sweet, as well as the story of turning your niece into a new knitter – the world rejoices every time someone learns to knit!

    I taught 2 of my friends in the past couple months, and they are both LOVING it. Is there any question more fun to answer than ‘can you show me how to knit?’

    • Yes! My niece kept saying, “Why is this so FUN? It’s just so FUN.”

  • That is the best “teach me to knit” story I have ever heard, bar none. My handknit hat is off to both of you!

  • Another knitter born! Huzzay!!

  • And then there’s the very simple “under, over, under, off” I was taught at the age of 5 (many, many years ago) and never forgot. (First project a potholder knit with strips of cloth on big fat needles – such a clear memory of sitting in the California sun feeling so awkward and then triumphant.)

  • When I was a kid, my Mom and everyone else’s Mom were making Fast Caps. Helmet-like hat with ear flaps and I-cords that tied under the chin. (It was cold in my childhood!). Fast caps absolutely HAD to have long I-cords coming out the top with a tassel at the end. The longer the better. It was a status symbol to an 8-year old. It’s the closest I ever came to having braids.

  • I love that Elliott makes an appearance for Thanksgiving. Always with us!

  • Also I hate to be That Guy but STEAM! Steam! S t e a m

    P.S. I actually enjoy being That Guy.

  • LOL! Great lost needle story there! Loving it, of course, as one who, too has lost a needle…..haven’t we all…..? Broken a few, too. I love those metal needles, of course. I’m good, also at hammering out a bent knitting needle after stepping or sitting on a few. Hubby will fashion me 10″ needles out of surplus 14″ ones. Yup.

    Swizzle stick, eh? I’ve messed around (for fun) with all kinds of items to replace a knitting needle: Chop sticks, skewers, homemade anything…..my worst one yet = shell casings forged together somehow leaving the bullet in the last one for the knitting tip…..worst knitting needles ever but I had to have them.

    Wait, the op rod (operation rod) out of a an…..duh…..rifle (M1 Garand or Mauser…..?)…..nicknamed ‘Italian knitting needle’. I hit him up for two of them…..he had three…..and they’re worse than the bullet casings….but, you can indeed knit with either. LOL!!

    Plastic items…….When a hook gets busticated here, it gets relegated to the craft junk drawer to later get glued to a bulletin board, while broken knitting needles can be repurposed as lapel pins. LOL!! I also turn up a yarnie cap edge and pin down with a broken knitting needle……..oh, I sharpen the ends first in my old timey pencil sharpener.

    Odd pins. Heard of that process? It’s Brit in nature, I think…..Take a size 15 (or so) needle and pair it up with a size 0 (zero; or so) needle, toss on some ww stitches, *K1 row with the biggin’, knit one row with the tiny one*; repeat from * to * to desired length. Odd, right? LOL!!

    Thanks for listenin’!

  • Love poms and tassels! Your hats are so cute. The Norland hat on Ravelry’s home page has a tassel that doesn’t look steamed. I’m guessing either way is good.

  • How about topping the hat/cap with…..anything ‘but’ yarnie stuff? First thing I’d put up there………..(it’s a secret). ((:

  • Most take out wooden chopsticks are equivalent to a US 6 or 7 needle. I knit a dishcloth on a set of chopsticks from Noodles and Company when I finished both of the projects I had brought to a hockey tournament (faster than expected obviously) and found a lone ball of cotton in the bottom of my bag but had no corresponding needles. Just watch for splinters (in a pinch, brown craft paper from the carry out bag or an emery board from the bottom of your purse are great sandpaper substitutes).

  • My favorite knitting instruction, found in Instagram: 1, Stab it; 2, Strangle it; 3, Scoop out the guts; 4, Throw it off the cliff. Found here. http://batbetbitbotbut.tumblr.com/post/179496865921/knottingstring-you-have-probably-already-seen