First Projects Shared: Alpaca Drops Neck Warmer

Over at Ravelry, I asked local Eugene knitters to share their first knitting project with me. I got a few good stories and thought I’d share them here.

From Maureen:

Besides the practice swatches that I used to learn how to knit, purl, yarn over, and test different ribbing, my first finished knitting object was a drops neck warmer. I knit that neck warmer before I heard that cables were too hard for a beginner, so I wasn’t intimidated to try it.

You can get the pattern here.

(p.s. I’m KelliM at Ravelry. Come by and say hi!)

Unraveling the Brain’s Secrets

Associate Professor Ruth Grahn has made a connection between “neuons and knitting.” Professor Grahn is an avid knitter and spinner and teaches all her behavioral neuroscience students to knit.

[from the Connecticut College magazine]

Why do you have the students in your Behavioral Neuroscience course learn to knit?

Students don´t expect to encounter knitting on the first day of a college class, so I like to surprise them with a lesson. It gets discussion started on all kinds of neuroscience topics. One that always comes up is memory.

The lesson takes the students through the course as they talk about types of memory and motor systems. Knitting requires the fingers to process a lot of information.

See? Knitting makes you smarter. 🙂

Knitted brain photo from The Museum of Scientifically Accurate Fabric Brain Art and Karen Norberg

Endless Possibilities: My First Knitting Project

Just two days away from my first knitting class, I’m excited about all the possibilities. They seem endless at this point! While I know I have to grow my skills to do things like this gorgeous sweater, it’s definitely on my wish list. Of course, by the time I’m able to knit this, it’ll be out of style. 

There are lots of scarf patterns out there that are very pretty and I’m making a list of everyone who wants a scarf for Christmas (and their color choice!). My pilates instructor has requested leg warmers, we’ll see.

This one is beautiful! Maybe I’ll give it a try. From fillambulle.

And I’m a sucker for purple. This one looks fairly easy and I’d love it! From Crystal Palace Yarns (free pattern).

Do you have a favorite beginner project? What was your first knitting project?

Knots of Love: Warm Weather Care

Chemotherapy is hard on a cancer patient’s skin, causing very dry skin that can be sensitive to touch and to sun exposure.

In the summer months, Knots of Love, makes two types of caps for chemotherapy patients – caps made from cotton or cotton blend yarns (see brimmed cap picture) and sleep caps for ladies (see purple picture).

Knots of Love is our charity partner at Laurel Hill and we’re pleased to support them. If you’re a Knots of Love volunteer, contact them (or us) for your code. $1 of every purchase at our online store goes back to the organization.

Stitch ‘N Pitch This Summer With Your Favorite Team

The National NeedleArts Association is partnering with local yarn shops and needlework groups to bring you Stitch N’ Pitch 2008.

Stitch N’ Pitch brings together two wonderful traditions — Baseball and the NeedleArts. Come to a ball game and knit, crochet, embroider, cross-stitch and needlepoint. Sit among friends, family and colleagues and cheer on your favorite Baseball Team. Beginners, intermediate and experts are all welcome.

These games are a perfect opportunity to play with your needles in public.

Why Forest Palm?

Palmwood is considered an exotic hardwood. And while it may not be as common as bamboo or metal for knitting needles, all Laurel Hill needles are made of of this flexible, sturdy – and sustainable – wood.

A hardwood timber from coconut and date palms, palmwood is taken from plantation- grown palms ready to be cut down at the end of their 80-year production span. Palmwood is an alternative to rainforest timber and is a hard, dark wood with a unique texture. Tones range from golden to near ebony with dark brown flecks. Since coconut trees have no annual growth rings or branches, palmwood is free from knots and other imperfections.

Palmwood has a very long grain, making it very flexible, which a lot of knitters like (especially in the smaller gauges). We have found it doesn’t splinter like some other materials.

The feel and sound of wood knitting needles is warm and yes, some would say soothing. Knitting, after all is an experience of the senses.

If you have any questions about our Forest Palm needles, please leave a comment or send us an email.