PASSION AND GUSHING; KID REPORT

O.K. I’ve gotten quite a few notes disagreeing with the opinion I posted on Friday. That’s fine.

Don’t mistake me though. I’m not against passion or enthusiasm. Both are part of falling in love with a hobby, craft, or other pursuit. Passion is great. It’s the fire in the furnace that feeds us all. To torture the metaphor, mindless gushing is the annoying component of the fire’s smoke that hurts one’s eyes. Sure, tell the world how much fun you’re having. But if you want people to 1) read your comments; and 2) take you seriously, try to limit the LOLs, the "me-too-ism" and group-think, the over-use of "!!!," all caps, the run-on sentences, and mindless statements like, "I love it SOOOOO much, I’m dying." A blush of enthusiasm is like spice; too much is overpowering and swamps any content you may wish to convey.

Kid Report – Learn to Knit Afghan

The Larger Daughter has just started a new knitting project. She’s already done several foofy scarves, a felted bag, and a pair of fingering weight wristlets. She wants to learn a bit about things beyond basic knits and purls. To do this, she’s going to march through Barbara Walker’s Lean to Knit Afghan Book.

Walker presents a series of patterns for squares that can be assembled into a blanket. Each square is for a different texture or colorwork pattern. They’re (more or less) arranged in a sequence, with each new square introducing a new skill or technique. If you work your way through the entire set you’ll have experienced a wealth of styles and stitches, and will have gained valuable experience in following knitting directions.

Yes, one could compose a project like this on one’s own – taking stitch dictionaries and selecting interesting patterns from them. In fact all of the stitches in the Walker book are in either her own stitch treasuries, or in her other books. The advantages of having them in this one volume are portability of the directions (no lugging around a suitcase of books to choose the next square); having the repeats and cast-on numbers pre-calculated to produce a set of (mostly) same size squares; and having the lessons presented in a logical order, with new skills building on previously learned skills. There are other people who have or are writing about this project on the Web. /p[eu]rls of wisdom?/ has been blogging the project, and has a particularly nice set of finished squares up for the enjoyment of all.

The Larger Daughter is going to make her blanket from many shades of green, accented by cream and possibly another framing color to be chosen later. She’s using Cascade 220, 100% wool, and is knitting on US #6 needles. She’s on Square #1 right now – plain striped garter stitch, and is breezing through it. My role in this is to stay on the shelf as a benign source of last-resort help, not interfering unless she’s got a specific question. That and buying the yarn, of course.

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