Mo Knits

She also gardens, bakes, reads and exercises. But mostly Mo Knits.

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How I discovered Elizabeth Zimmerman

In February 2008 I started a book group. One of the women always brought her knitting. She and I talked, and we decided to start a knitting group. We set the time and place and publicized on Craigslist, Meetup, and Yahoo Groups. My friend was an experienced knitter, while I only knew how to knit and purl. So of course, she quit the group within a few weeks.

Suddenly I was the sole organizer of a new knitting group. People were asking me questions all the time, and I really didn’t know a thing! I began checking out every book I could find at the public library. I came across Knitting Without Tears on one of those first fact-finding missions to the library. I began reading it before bed, and read it all the way through that very night. (Who needs sleep?)

EZ gave just the advice I needed. You made a mistake? No big deal, it’s just knitting. You think a hat would look better with a different decrease at the crown? Give it a whirl. You basically like this cardigan, but you want those shoulders? Unvent it! You can do it. EZ demystifyed garment construction. And best of all, she wrote in a tone so hopeful, so friendly, so funny!

Not only did I feel better about being the organizer of a knitting group, I felt more comfortable that I didn’t know everything about knitting. I bought the book Knitting School and kept it in my knitting bag. When someone asked me for help with an unfamiliar technique I pulled out “the manual”. When another knitter seemed overly stressed out with their knitting I’d talk about how much I loved Knitting Without Tears, then strongly recommend they read it.

Now I am “the boss of my knitting”. I have tried techniques, not for a specific project, just to learn. Turkish sock cast-on? I can do it. I have made projects that I never would have attempted. Adjust a stranded knitting pattern from bulky to worsted? Done! Improvise a pattern for a project? No problem.

I attend two groups every week, and they have attracted knitters with a wide array of skills: a great opportunity for sharing knowledge. I love my knitting groups and have made more friends than I can count.

One of the biggest surprises is (next week) I will become a volunteer knitting teacher at a local women’s shelter. Where once I felt embarrassed that I didn’t know enough, now I feel confident to share the skill with others! Thanks to my groups and EZ!


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If Only I Didn’t Need Sleep

I wonder what I could accomplish if only I didn’t need sleep.

I slept in nearly every day while Rachael was out of town over Winter vacation. I’ve been going to bed and getting up late for two weeks, and now I can’t sleep. I have to get up at 5:00 and take Rach to swim practice. But I’m not sleeping. (I DON’T THINK SHE IS SLEEPING EITHER!) I’m reading, and knitting, and blogging, and updating my Ravelry pages, but not sleeping. I’m really getting lots done in the calm and quiet, tiny hours of the extra early morning. But alas, the cost is high.

I do need sleep, and I’m going to pay for this! Productivity now, crash and burn tomorrow!


Heifer International

Yesterday (November 1st…I’m a little behind) Paul, Rachael and I attended the volunteer orientation for the Heifer International Project. It was held in Berkeley, CA at the YWCA.

Heifer is a wonderful charity organization committed to ending world hunger using the concept of teaching a community to fish rather than giving fish to the community.

Steve West was one of the presenters at the orientation. He is the son of Dan West, the founder of the Heifer organization. He lives in the Bay Area, and is a linguist at UC Berkeley. As you would expect, he is well-spoken, and he is a very inspirational figure. I enjoyed meeting him, and listening to his experiences growing up in the family of an important figure in major world charity organization. I am honored by having the opportunity to chat with him, learning his thoughts about the state of the world. So interesting.

The organization, of course, wants people to spread the word. I am a little concerned about advertising an organization that esentially needs donations. Especially at a time when prices are high, and folks are pinching pennies. However, I really believe in Heifer, and I feel I need to overcome my worries, and share my experiences I’ve had with this group.