New knitters, new skills, new friends.

A couple of months ago one of my DB’s work colleagues contacted me to ask if I would consider teaching her to knit. It was an easy decision, of course I said yes. We had already met a few times at work functions so I knew we had plenty in common as fellow antipodeans and the idea of being able to pass on the knitting spirit along with some skills to young knitters delighted me. In a flurry of emails we finalised arrangements and by the time we met for our first lunchtime get-together our party of knitters had already grown to four. The following week another new recruit, then another and another, and now we are regularly 6 or 7: a New Zealander, an Australian (of Italian descent), 3 (or more) French and 2 Venezuelans. Knitting is a globally transmissible addiction!

It’s been quite illuminating for me to think about how I knit and explain that. At our second meeting I proposed that I would try and explain as much as I could in French and the knitting pupils, all fabulously multi-lingual, enthusiastically assisted with the language; a fair exchange, a win-win and a lot of fun. Some had no knitting experience, even holding the knitting needles felt uncomfortable at first, others had tried before, two are left-handed – oooh challenging for right-handed me – and now they are all knitters.

The transition from careful d-e-l-i-b-e-r-a-t-e movements w-r-a-p-p-i-n-g the yarn r-o-u-n-d behind the needle, p-u-l-l-i-n-g the stitch t-h-r-o-u-g-h the loop and o-f-f the needle to the rhythmic click clack of needles in nimble hands is a lovely reward for all of us. These debutantes have mastered cast on and off, knit and purl and conversations are peppered with discussions of point mousse (garter stitch), point jersey (stocking stitch), point de riz and point de blé (seed or moss stitch and double moss) , dimunitions and augmentations (increases and decreases).

PicMonkey Collage2 OIE

New skills are added week by week, the first projects have been finished and new, more challenging WIPs are on the needles. I am so proud of them.

I’ve reflected on my knitting year with a sense of satisfaction that in addition to the knitting projects completed and the new skills gained through those, I’ve been able to pass on the baton – or should I say the needles – to a new group of knitters to enjoy knitting as a social activity, a means for mental stretching and an effective antidote for stress in busy lives. Here are some of my knitting projects from 2015 that haven’t already made it into a blog post.

 PicMonkey Collage may projects



12 thoughts on “New knitters, new skills, new friends.

  1. Lovely work Keiry ! I see you apparently hold your wool in your right hand. That is what my mother did but she taught me the left-hand version which she had read about in the Agricultural Journal: the so-called “continental knitting”, said to be faster. It is in fact a crochet-hold and I have always stuck to it. But I was subsequently a bit peeved not see people knitting like that in France !!

    • keiryberry says:

      Thanks Lois, yes I am an English style knitter, I “throw” the wool. I had never seen continental knitting until I came here and could not take my eyes off the knitters at tricot soirée. I am going to try and learn continental this year. It is so fast when done by experienced fingers.

  2. Thanks Keiry, so lovely to see and read about your knitting. I am in holiday mode and as such I come up with all these fantastic ideas and as soon as school starts again the going is slow. But I have finished my Shetland Island lace scarf and am thrilled with the results. I would love to have a go at a lace fence sometime! All the best to your knitters it is wonderful to pass on the skill. Heather is learning the knit and I am conjuring up images of my Mum knitting and teaching me as I teach Heather.

    • keiryberry says:

      Having leisure time certainly makes a difference, I surprise myself with how fast things can grow sometimes. The Shetland lace scarf sounds lovely, I shall see it later this year perhaps, and glad to know Heather is picking up the needles. Bonne année.

  3. ingridcca says:

    Love to re-learn who to knit with you, Keiry! Your always positive point of view makes a lot easier to imagine new projects. Your help has been sooo precious… Thanks, thanks, thanks!

  4. Michael Wignall says:

    Hi Keiry

    Seeing your latest posting I have to say I am seriously impressed by your craftsmanship – take a bow my friend! The garments you have created looked gorgeous – you have a real talent there.

    Liz is just back from Scotland where she had a great time – apart from the weather! Looking forward to catching up when you get back.

    All the best for now.



  5. soknitsome says:

    Congratulations! It sounds like a lovely experience for all of you. Now I’m off to have a look at these lovely new projects on Ravelry!

  6. achka says:

    How lovely to pass on your knowledge and knitting passion Keiry. Paris will be the haven of knitters!

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