Day 3: April 25, 2012. Your Knitting Or Crochet Hero
Blog about someone in the fibre crafts who truly inspires you. There are not too many guidelines for this, it’s really about introducing your readers to someone who they might not know who is an inspiration to you. It might be a family member or friend, a specific designer or writer, indie dyer or another blogger. If you are writing about a knitting designer and you have knitted some of their designs, don’t forget to show them off. Remember to get permission from the owner if you wish to use another person’s pictures.
This is Mami. Mami is my great-aunt and totally rocks. She’s 85 years old and still fit as a fiddle – she obviously suffers from of the pains and aches that you get as you get older, but mentally she’s really fit. She putters around on her computer and has figured out how to Skype on her own and regularly calls us, sends us emails and so on. She’s full of stories which she tells with that humor that’s so much a part of her personality. She loves all of us so much and gets worried any time she hears that we’re not well. And how can you not love someone who still makes you Mickey Mouse or bunny pancakes (with a fluffy little bunny tail!) pancakes even though you’re an adult. Ok, they look more like mutated bunny pancakes, but still! Mami is just full of awesome. I think she just signed up for Ravelry, so I look forward to see her on there two.
Mami telling us puppet stories that she used to tell us when we were kiddos
Mami learned how to knit in India – South India – which I always thought was strange since I think it’s pretty much too warm to knit lovely wool items. But apparently many in that generation learned how to knit, and I’ve seen plenty of babies there packed up in layers of wool, despite the weather. Anyway, Mami can really craft. She taught me how to embroider when I was younger. I have a few pillow cases and table cloths that I’ve made, and a few that are still waiting to be finished. I’m the one who really enjoyed it – the rest of the family wasn’t so thrilled. When I started to knit, my family’s response was “Finally, something more useful than embroidery!” So when I originally decided to learn how to knit in order to knit the Shaun the Sheep mobile for nephew #1, I was so glad I could ask Mami for advice. She has been knitting and crocheting since she was a little girl, and has created many many lovely projects, including beautiful blankets for the family.
Mami taught me some of the techniques that she’d been taught, passing on her knowledge. For example, after casting on – she prefers the knitted cast on – she then knits the stitches through the back loop on the following row. She says it creates a neater look. I haven’t used the technique much though – I usually use the long-tail cast on. But still, as I was getting started on my first knitted project, a scarf with a bunch of different stitch patterns, I could ask her all kinds of questions, about the tensioning of my yarn, how to keep the stitches even, whether I was knitting and purling properly, and so on. They’re all those questions that you have as a newbie, where it’s so good to have someone to help you out in person. Online videos only get you so far when you’re starting with a new craft. And Mami mostly knits without a pattern, basing her projects on the recipient’s measures and desired design. That takes some serious skill in my opinion.
Mami meditates every day, and goes for regular walk - she really keeps herself fit, even at her age
Mami however would probably be shocked by my yarn snobbishness. She probably would be horrified by the thought of paying upwards of $20 for a skein of yarn. She’s always used what’s at hand, and her yarn stores were Michaels, Hobby Lobby etc – not that there’s anything wrong with that, I just don’t think she’s ever been in a local yarn store or has knit with indie dyer yarn. She’d probably be amazed by all the types of yarn, and the different fiber combinations that are out there. In fact, I know she’d be interested in the yarn that I’m using for my current wip.
The yarn is Habu, which is known for its unusual yarn bases. The two yarns are Habu superfine merino, and Habu silk stainless steel, and the pattern is the ubiquitous Kusha Kusha scarf (you can buy this as a kit and they can also do custom color combinations for you, or you buy the yarns individually). This is my new endless project – plain stockingette, with a few interesting elements here and there. It is a bit harder to knit than my provence shawl since the yarn is so much finer and you need to make sure to catch both strands. Then again, the project is pretty forgiving of any errors since I’ll be felting the part with both strands of yarn. The texture will be quite interesting and it’s already quite scrunchable, as you can see, due to the steel in it.
The book btw is a German book, ‘Jim Knopf und Lukas the Lokomotivfuehrer‘ (Jim Knopf and Lukas the train conductor). The author is Michael Ende, the author of the ‘Neverending Story’ – but this book is waaaay better. It’s a childhood favorite – I have fond memories of the story being read to us, in bits and pieces as a bedtime story. There’s also an excellent puppet theater version of the book, a toddler version with short stories based on the book, and the audiobook version is really good, too. And the best part is that there’s a second story, too, ‘Jim Knopf und die Wilde 13’ (Jim Knopf and the wild 13), where the 13 are pirates. Unfortunately I haven’t found an English translation of the books which is really quite a pity.
So, that’s it for today’s blog post. If you’re interested in more of my knitting shenanigans, you can find me on Ravelry, username anji. And if you’re interested in seeing other posts on the topic ‘My Knitting or Crochet Hero from other bloggers who’ll be blogging today on this topic, just search on Google (or another search engine) for the tag 3KCBWDAY3 or Twitter for hashtag #3KCBW. And for all of you Yarn Alongers, I’m still participating in this week’s Yarn Along. If you’re interested, check it out – there are links to other great Yarn Along posts there, with information on how to participate yourself. You can also find a link to this post through Tami’s Amis,through Ambassador Crochet’s Wip Wednesday and Frontier Dreams’ Keep Calm and Craft on (KCCO) series. Happy crafting!