Thursday, October 16, 2008

Knitting in Yokosuka

So, remember a while back when I said I was starting a secret new project? It is KILLING me that I can't post more about it - photos, stories, the challenges and pleasures of working on this, um, thing. I can't wait to tell you more about it, Internet.

But in the meantime, I'll share a couple pieces from the past. The first is one of my first projects, completed almost exactly two years ago. It's the Big Bad Baby Blanket from Stitch 'n Bitch: The Knitter's Handbook. I knitted it in orange and blue superwash merino wool for my dear friend Levi, who was expecting a baby at the time.

Baby Amelia is a happy toddler now, and it was a joy to make my first big project for her. I may well revisit that pattern in the future - it made a great, heirloom-quality blanket, and it was fun to knit the seed stitch border and stockinette panels.

The only things I've made since arriving in Japan (other than a whole lot of SECRET) are two mesh grocery bags, which I use all the time. The pattern is Everlasting Bagstopper from, and it is GREAT.

There's a funny story about this one. I had a knitting pattern-a-day calendar last year (thanks Scott, Amanda, and Ben!) and there was a mesh bag pattern that caught my eye. I started it back in Newport in June, intending to finish the bag in transit to Japan.

Well, that was not meant to be.

First, I left the needles on the bed when Josh and I lived in a B&B in Newport for two weeks. We got to wrasslin' (it's ok, we're married) and I put my knee into my beautiful wooden needles, and snapped them both. Crap. I had new needles expressed to Mom and Dad's house, and kept working on the bag from there. But I have to tell you, that pattern had to be one of the worst ever written. It was convoluted and confusing, and required a DOZEN stitch holders at one point.

I worked on that damn thing for two months, and got all the way to the last inch of the last strap before I ripped it the hell out. Then I found Bagstopper, and promptly slapped myself in the face. Figuratively. That pattern is simple, effective, and gorgeous - here it is!

It's brilliantly written, and includes a drawstring around the middle - you can fold the top half of the bag into itself, pull the drawstring, and toss the bag into your purse, just in case you need it.

I use them mostly for library books and produce. Love them.

I've taught a few knitting lessons here in Yokosuka, and I'm hoping to do more. So many people are afraid to knit - I love sharing my enthusiasm and watching them get the bug.

As for the secret project, well, time marches on.


Cheryl said...

Are you still in Yokosuka? We just moved here and I would love to learn to knit, if you are still here and wanting to teach!

EmilySullins said...

Cheryl, I'm sorry I can't be of help! We left Yoko in 2009. There are some great online knitting courses and you can email me at the address under my photo on the main blog page - maybe we could Skype sometime and help you get started? I love knitting so much and I hope you can make it work!