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Episode 123: Dances with wool (again)

by Brenda Dayne on November 2, 2012

In this episode: Educational, interesting, funny, agreeable, disagreeable, and lovely ways to dance with wool.

Stay in the P3 loop for news and information about the next event at our P3 Facebook page, or our Ravelry Group.

To Be Knit Next: Leisl Sweater by Julie Wisenberger in Shibui Linen.

On the hook: Kata crocheted squares by Penny Davidson.

On the bookshelf: If you buy one book to learn to crochet, this is the one I recommend. It’s very good. Crochet Tips and Tricks by Lily Chin

Huge Thanks to Shelly Sheehan, from The Yarnery, in St Paul, for taking time to tell me about her new book, wearwithall. And to Tom Podner for sharing his wonderful Civil War Monument story with me, so that I could share it with you.

Live and in person: I’ll be teaching at Vogue Knitting Live, as well as the Madrona Fiber Arts Festival. I’m looking for teaching opportunities in the Southern US between January 21st and 30th. Please get in touch if you’d like me to come teach in your town, or let your local yarn shop know you’d like to take a class with me.

I’m wearing wool! For the month of Wovember I’ll be wearing and working with wool, talking about wool, and joining others in showing our collective appreciation of WOOL by wearing as much of this fabulous fibre as possible, while celebrating WOOL and its unique qualities in stories and pictures throughout the month of November.

Oh, and did I mention? There will be fabulous prizes! prizes! prizes! in Wovember.

This week’s giveaway includes beautiful Estonian wool brooches created by Felix, and a skein of truly Shetland-y fingering weight yarn, handspun by me. To win, simply share your story of the first time you ever knit with wool (or realized you couldn’t knit with it, if you’re allergic) in the comments below. The winner will be drawn using a random number generator on November 10th.

I can’t wait to read your wool stories. Good luck!

This week’s audible pick is: Moranthology, by Caitlin Moran.

Music by Robin and Linda Williams, October Light, and The Proclaimers (with The P3 Family Singers), Be the Man (500 Miles), from the cd Best of the Proclaimers.

Download Episode 123

{ 120 comments… read them below or add one }

101 Charlotte Bech November 10, 2012 at 7:15 pm

My first 100% wool project? Had to digg deep in dusty memory to recall. Was it my first sweater made in schools craft class when I was 15 years old? The one with a kind of square facon and sleeves that seem to grow even longer as I wore it. Made from fat white and purple yarn. No, I think that was made from a cheap acrylic yarn found on the shelves in the class room. No, actually my first 100% wool project must have been the cute woolen diaper trousers I knitted for my baby son some twenty years ago. How time flyes …

102 Janetmelissa November 11, 2012 at 2:09 pm

I had been knitting exclusively acrylic scarves and a few hats for about 3 or 4 years when I decided to make my mother-in-law a “real” gift- my first shawl, my first wool (lion brand LB collection merino), my first lace – I think it might even have been the first time I followed a pattern! That was about 2 years ago, maybe 3. Somehow it seems longer ago!

103 Tera November 11, 2012 at 3:13 pm

My first all wool project was a pair of socks. I quickly learned the importance of separately laundry carefully. A sock – of course it had to be only one – must have been stuck inside a pair of pants. I have learned to use superwash for those items destined to end up in the washer.

104 Ceridwen Davies November 11, 2012 at 5:59 pm

My first wool project? It has to be the scarf I finally completed when I was just seven. But despite the pride with which I could wear that, it pales by the side of the blanket I knitted with different cable stitches from wool I sheared from a sheep on the city farm. Not only was that the first sheep I had shorn, (while I was pregnant, too – yet didn’t know at the time) but also the first fleece I had treated from sheep to finished item: I sheared the sheep, spun the yarn then knitted it up. Satisfaction on so many levels.

105 Juliann November 11, 2012 at 9:45 pm

I have been knitting since age 5. I can’t remember the exact moment that I knit with wool. I do remember that my grandmother would take me with her to pick out yarn at the LYS. She always commented that I had good taste, because my choice was always expensive. She would order yarn from catalogs-remember catalogs? I remember that I wanted to knit a sweater to go with my dress project in Home Economics. She allowed me to pick out my own yarn-a lovely sky blue wool with gold flecks in it. I liked it so much I knit my younger brother a matching sweater. I don’t think he ever wore it. In her last days at the hospital, I was sitting at her bedside knitting socks. She opened her eyes and said, “You could always turn a heel much better than I ever could.” I always remember this when I turn a heel. Thanks for the chance to win.

106 Patty November 12, 2012 at 3:39 am

My first all wool project was a sweater for my then boyfriend, who is now my husband. I was so proud of this sweater, cables and all. Where I went wrong was when I blocked it. It never fit quite right but he didn’t want to tell me. Recently I found it in the cedar closet, our 14 yr old daughter loves it. At least it is getting worn now.

107 Judy11 November 12, 2012 at 6:59 pm

After years of knitting with acrylic (yeah it went with all the polyester double knit I was using to sew the girls clothes) I don’t think I actually got into knitting wool until I finally knit a superwash wool blankets in Navy for the first grand child. In the earlier years of my knitting, so much was given away to non knitters – esp baby items and I knew wool yarn would get felted. I did not move into wool until the fabulous choices of superwash began arriving. Now I am more adventurous and even work on hand wash items for myself and family, who know how to handle wooly wear.

108 Mioshee Greer November 13, 2012 at 5:44 am

The first time I knit with wool was for a felted bag. The bag didn’t come out EXACTLY like I wanted but after huffing all those wool fumes, I was HOOKED!

109 Erin R. November 13, 2012 at 11:54 pm

Thank you very much for suggesting an early ‘airing of the stash’. I found a lovely wool that my mother and aunt had spun, and I myself had actually carded back in the 80′s. It’s turning into a lovely Aran-looking cabled hat, after being in mom’s stash first, then my aunt’s and then mine. :-)

My first project out of wool was my first project, a very wobbly looking dark green bookmark that was too thick for any book. It is hanging on the wall in my grandmother’s house, where it has been since I first finished it with pride and gave it to her. (She taught me to knit when I was a child). Gran is now 96, and still sharp and living on her own, although not lonely – I spend a lot of time at her house still.

110 Jessica Dion November 15, 2012 at 4:07 am

I took a knitting class with a friend, just after college. With a nice Reynolds pattern for a cardigan in hand, I perused the yarn at my local harvest festival, and purchased a bag of skeins (I had no idea whatsoever how many yards that was, but it was certainly heavy enough to turn into a sweater, I thought) in a wonderful shade of deep cerulean blue. It was such an enchanting blue that I was willing to forgive the bits of “vegetable matter” sprinkled into the yarn. It sat in my stash, intimidating me for years. In fact, it sits there still. I now love the yarn more than the pattern, so we are just waiting for the perfect project to come along. Years later, I found myself again buying wool, in an attempt to knit wool diaper covers for my daughter. The first pants I made were serviceable, but scratchy. I went on a quest for better yarn, found Malabrigo Chunky, and never looked back. Merino, I love you!

111 Laurilee November 16, 2012 at 9:21 pm

My first time knitting with wool was several years ago. It was my first time using wool as I had always been told that wool was to itchy. The Colours in the yarn were just so beautiful I had to have it. Wool has been my friend since them.

112 Melissa November 17, 2012 at 12:07 am

Thanks for the suggestion of Caitlin Moran. I just downloaded “How to be a Woman” in audible- looking forward to a few long drives this weekend now!

113 Sandy November 18, 2012 at 5:01 pm

First 100% wool knitting: a pumpkin hat. I knit a large, it’s too small for me, but well loved by my husband and son. Just the right amount of silliness for autumn wearing.

114 Tina November 19, 2012 at 6:36 pm

The 1st time I ever knit was with wool. I started knitting because I wanted more hats & already knew I loved the warmth of wool. I went into a LYS thinking I’d have to knit the hat & line it so it wouldn’t be itchy. The shop owner introduced me to a soft non-itchy superwash & I’ve been hooked on wool (& wearing the hat) ever since.

115 Dalyn November 27, 2012 at 2:47 pm

Sorry I missed the give away…
My first time knitting with wool, now. A sweater I just recently cast on for myself with wool my mother picked up for me while in Nova Scotia. I must say I was a bit nervous as I caked it up but I am loving it. A belated Anniversary wish to you. Sticks and string are truly more powerful than I ever imagined. I am one of those who happens not to have many ‘knitting’ friends and enjoy the warmth of your voice. That episode you spoke of… was my first. I have been listening to you ever since. Sticks and string keep me sane. Thank you.

116 gale (she shoots sheep shots) November 27, 2012 at 3:19 pm

Oddly, Amtrak has filtered your podcast so I can’t download it while traveling by train. Must be all that talk about natural fibers….

117 Francine November 30, 2012 at 9:32 pm

Hi Brenda! I’m so happy to hear that you’ll be at Madrona. I was hoping you would be! That’s one of the best and walking distance from me! Good to see you back in the PNW. Unfortunately, I was lost in the crush of the crazy Madrona sign ups and didn’t get any of your classes ): But, I hope you’ll be doing some sort of signing event? Mini class?

118 Sarah Young December 1, 2012 at 8:49 pm

Alas, with moving and packing and renovating, work and a wily toddler, I saved this podcast too long and missed the giveaway. And since I failed at the lotto, I’m SURE I would have won the wool! How well I remember my first wool after years of acrylic ignorance. But I was 20 maybe, and crocheted (yes, a hook…I don’t even remember how to use one now) a pretty beautiful heather and grey wool granny square blanket for my then boyfriend. And I think it was from Kmart or something gross, because there wasn’t a LYS in Charleston then. And then I learned better. And then I moved to San Francisco, which is like going from a yarn convent to a wool orgy. Artfibers? Hello!

119 Hallie Ewanus December 4, 2012 at 5:53 pm

I was 7, It was 1957! the very first item was wool. it was all that was sold at my local 5 & 10, red heart knitting worsted in a hideous varigeted green. it was for a 12″ square . My brownie troop was making lap blankests for the local veterans hospital. Those poor guys, what horrors they were dropped stitches and al the mistakes. We felt so proud to have finished our squares.
Been knitting ever since.

120 Rebekah January 16, 2013 at 9:03 pm

I know the giveaway closed a while ago, but just wanted to comment anyway… that ending was so beautiful, where you talked about the timelessness and the quiet of knitting… I found myself nodding in such agreement with you. It is amazing what power some sticks and some string has. :)

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