Monday, July 30, 2012

And the winner is …

Becca, who wrote: "I'd love to snag this yarn!" Well, Becca, snag it you did. E-mail me at shrinkingknitter AT gmail DOT com (you know the drill) with your snail-mail address and it will soon be on its way to you.

Thanks to all of you for playing.

You need only know six basic maneuvers to knit anything you want, from the simplest dishcloth to the most amazing and intricate lace shawls you've ever seen. Those six techniques are:

  • casting on
  • knitting
  • purling
  • increasing
  • decreasing
  • casting off

That's it. Once you learn those, you're off and running on what could be a lifetime love affair with sticks and string. All of these moves are available for your viewing pleasure on YouTube, or you can borrow knitting books from the library. Most books include instructions for beginners, and many are written specifically for those who want to learn.

I learned from my grandfather's stepmother when I was nine, and I only met her that one time. We didn't plan for me to learn to knit that day, but she – like so many knitters I know – had her "car knitting" with her when she arrived, and I was fascinated by the process. Neither my mother nor my grandmother were crafty in any way, shape or form. I'd never been exposed to the domestic arts, other than sewing on buttons or repairing the hem of a skirt.

But that first lesson from a woman I'd never met before and would never meet again was pivotal. I joined a knitting 4H club and modeled my first sweater at the county fair. I made caps and blankets and sweaters for my children, and their children. I've taught knitting classes, designed knitting patterns, joined knitting groups and bought more yarn than I'll ever be able to knit in my lifetime.

Prior to the internet, knitting was a solitary activity, but once I got online I found knitters (and knitting supplies!) all over the world. I met one of my dearest friends, who has since died, because our AOL profiles were so similar: We were on an Atkins diet listserv, we were both recovering, and we were knitters.

So. If you don't knit (yet), this week's Summer of Yarn Giveaway is designed for you. Sometime this week, go back to the top of this post and download that dishcloth pattern. Check out the YouTube instructional videos. Stop by a Michael's or a Hobby Lobby or a local yarn shop and pick up a pair of size 9 or 10 knitting needles and a small package of ring markers. Then leave me a comment and get ready to win four balls of Paton's Cotton Chunky.

The rules are: U.S. residents only (sorry, rest of the world, but shipping has gotten crazy-expensive!). This week's giveaway begins today, July 30, and ends Sunday, August 5, 2012, at 5 p.m. EDT. Winner will be chosen using's random-number generator. Only one comment per reader will be tossed in the ring, but that doesn't mean you can't comment every day.

'Cause you know how much bloggers love comments!


throuthehaze said...

Pretty colors! I would love to win :)
Thanks for the giveaway
throuthehaze at gmail dot com

MamaKaren said...

Oooh, I would very much like some chunky yarn. I've been doing most of my work in worsted or finer, and I need to do a chunky yarn on bigger needles to give myself some quicker gratification! I've never met a Patons yarn that I don't like.