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Not my style

When I started this blog, I had a pretty clear idea what I wanted — a resource about wooly things that are needed around Halifax, NS. I thought that the new ideas would pop up as I contact more non-profits and ask what they need each season. Also, I decided not to post things that I personally knit and donate — other than samples — mostly I publish pictures of someone else’s work.  And finally, I don’t usually follow knitting patterns but improvise something — from slight modifications to completely new designs.

Now, I am about to break all these rules in this post. Because, look.

hat2
First, I knit it and plan to donate it. Secondly, I have no idea where this hat goes — I have a few organizations in mind.  And thirdly, I used this pattern.

book4
And the same thing happened to this hat

hat1
(that’s the pattern)

book5
and this hat (the pattern is Jacques Cousteau Hat available for free on Ravelry)

hat4
and these Ribbed Wristers and a matching hathat5
(the pattern looks like this).

book3
Ok, I did improvise the slouchy hat to match the mitts, and this blue hat with a pom-pom was originally a machine-knit front of a sweater — the only manifestation of my previous habits.

hat3
I have two more hats in the making and I am using these two books, available from the local library.

book1

book2

So, here is what happened. First, I needed to knit something “mindless”, and I was hoping that “a hat a day” might keep my worries away. Making up a pattern usually takes time and often produces unexpected results — like that skein of yarn that recently became a knitted hula-hoop instead of a cowl and then became a skein of yarn again. So when I saw a book with a cute collection of baby hats, I decided to give it a try. And after I tried, I just wanted to show you how cute those hats turned out — here, I said it. Since none of the non-profits listed on my blog can use hats that fit school-age children, I contacted a few organizations in Spryfield, such as Hand in Hand store and the Single Parent Centre. In September, I will also ask the local schools if they could use hats and mittens for kids.

I still believe in the ‘goodness of fit’ when it comes to charity knitting —  the items should meet the needs of their recipient and only then our need of being good citizens and connecting with others. And while my pile of hats is growing, I will try to find the best home for it.

I am back

I am back from my home country, Ukraine, that I visited this summer. It was lovely and strange at the same time, like a parallel reality.

vinnytsia1

vinnytsia2

kyiv1
Also, I am back to knitting. I have five pairs of children’s socks to prove it.

socks1

socks2

socks3

socks4

socks5

I even inspired my mother-in-law to knit a dishcloth! She learned how to knit long time ago but hasn’t touched the needles in decades.

Upon arrival to Canada, I received an email from the Parkland at The Lakes that another pile of squares made by the senior residents is ready for pick up. Now the squares are waiting to be stitched into a blanket and will be donated to the Phoenix Youth Shelter.

Also, I am starting a new knitting group in Spryfield as a way to connect  with local knitters and share our resources with the neighbours. It’s a different approach (for me) and I would love to get your feedback after I post about it.

I have to tell you something strange — recently I almost stopped knitting. I knit some things here and there, but in general I don’t pick up my knitting every free minute, as I did before. For the last three months, I was spending every free minute online trying to figure out if my home country, Ukraine, still exists. I won’t go into political stuff here, but you can imagine that a question of that magnitude can distract from.. pretty much everything else.

That’s why I was happy to hear that Phoenix Community Center offered me to teach a knitting class to its clients. The class is scheduled for six weeks, every Monday morning. Some people who signed up wanted to refresh their skills, and some wanted to try knitting for the first time. I started thinking about a useful project that would allow my students to practice basic stitches. When I was buying yarn, Louise from LK Yarns suggested making wristwarmers. I thought it was brilliant, and made one when I came home that very day. (There is no pattern — I cast on 40 sts and knit all stitches until the piece wrapped “snuggly” around my wrist. Sew the seam leaving the opening.)

Wristwarmers
My students liked the idea and three of them already finished their mitts! Another idea came from an experienced knitter who showed up with a dishcloth in progress. Suddenly, everyone wanted to make one. So we got some cotton yarn and learned to read a dishcloth pattern called Grandmother’s Favourite.

Dishcloth
Teaching knitting techniques to a group of knitters with different skill levels is tricky. It’s a bit chaotic, but also very fluid. I am just trying to meet everyone where they are and take it from there. Making samples boosted my knitting mojo a bit, and I was able to finish a sweater that was a WIP (work-in-progress) for almost two years.

DinosaurSweater

I don’t know what it says about me as a knitter, but I have no projects on the needles right now and no interest in starting one. Which is good, because I am going to sew another Ukrainian flag.

Ukrainian Flag

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