Archive for July, 2013

Heading to Japan

Thursday, July 4th, 2013

I’m on my way to Japan today, and I’m making great progress on my travelling sock.

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I knit the toe of the sock in June while watching a former student perform a comedy show at the Grand Theatre.

I’m liking the stripes… It keeps the project interesting, and I can work the sock in 6 row chunks. I have a feeling that with the long flight, and hours of train riding, I will have these done to wear home!

I’m writing a travel blog while I’m gone. Check it out here.

A Promise Kept

Wednesday, July 3rd, 2013

It must have been 3 years ago.  I had been knitting little toys, and bringing them in to show my students.  A LEGO man and a minion made lasting impressions on two youngsters.

Here’s the LEGO man, knit from the pattern Some Assembly Required that I got as a prize after completing the Ravelympics 2010.  I knit it on the tiniest double points that I could find, and used sock yarn.  I also went a little overboard and made clothes for it!

Original LEGO man

The minion was knit for a friend who had been going on and on and on about how he needed a minion–whether it was for his quest for world domination, or just to get more things done in his day.  The pattern is Your Own Personal Minion, it’s a nice quick knit with so many possibilities for personalizing it.

original minion

The trick was that he wanted a glow in the dark minion…which I wasn’t sure I could pull off…until I found some glowing yarn when I was on vacation near Boston.

he glows in the dark!

In any case, these two students of mine thought that these toys were the neatest things.  They started campaigning for me to make them their very own LEGO man and minion.  Eventually, after months of pestering, I calmed them down by saying that I might make them something when they graduated high school.

Fast forward a few years….

It was at the end of April that the reminders began…the time when it’s spring…midterms are over…university and college acceptances are coming…and it becomes clear that graduation is indeed looming over the horizon.

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I purchased some good LEGO/minion colours, and set to work.  These projects are nice because they can be done in phases.  I somehow forgot to take progress photos for the minion.  It didn’t really look like much of anything until it was suddenly done!

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Here’s a progress shot for the LEGO man

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The cool part about him is that he comes apart like LEGO does!  There he is, without legs….IMG_0881The legs got finished after school on the Thursday of graduation.  Instead of taking a nap (which I sorely needed), I knit, and stuffed, and sewed the legs to complete this little guy.  It was totally worth my time.  I know that they both will be appreciated for years to come.
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The best part about this story is that I had kept it a secret that I was actually knitting these two.  When asked about the LEGO man or minion, I kept saying things like…”Well, you haven’t graduated yet…so I don’t know about them”.
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As luck would have it, my seat during grad was right beside the owner of a new minion.  I was able to give it to her during the ceremony itself.  She looks pretty thrilled.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe LEGO man got delivered after the ceremony.  Apparently the thought of maybe getting a LEGO man was enough to keep this young man present for the entire event.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThese two are all grown up now, and ready to head off to college in the fall.  Both of them will be bringing little knitted guys with them.  The minion has been given the name Bearse, and I feel rather honoured by that.  The LEGO man is called Wallace–I’m not sure of the story behind that name, but I bet it’s good.

Each is a simple token, made up of many stitches, which represent something that is quite profound to knitters.  The time, and care, and effort made one stitch at a time, can create just about anything…this is a lesson that everyone should learn….the importance of time and care, and that great goals can be accomplished by taking small steps.

For me, the best part of this picture is not the knitted gifts, but the graduates themselves–a great deal of time and care goes into creating happy healthy 18 year olds!  I wish them the best of luck next year.  I hope that they take good care of their new knitted friends.