It's Good to be Needled

Last weekend I managed to drag myself away from the spinning wheel (Not. Easy. There may have been self-bribery of an undisclosable nature).  It's time to start the new book!

The working title of this project is The Creative Kids Photo Guide to Knitting.  Part of a series my publisher is starting, this book is all about adults and kids knitting together.  I'm really excited about it because it's about how kids and adults can spend time connecting and learning together, rather than just another "how to knit" book.

Of course, my handicap is that I already know how to knit.  I have to be really careful that I don't assume too much, or dumb anything down, either.  So I've decided to force allow my family to help me. 

Lindsay, at 15, is almost not a kid anymore, but she learned to knit recently enough that I can count on her to remember what it was like better than I do.  Campbell, at 12, doesn't knit currently, having rejected it at around age 6.  I haven't forced it on him (for reasons I no longer remember), so I'm hoping his ambivelance can be overcome by blackmail my great teaching skill.  And Phillip, my youngest, (45), has never knit a stitch in his life.  The very suggestion of my teaching him to knit causes a vein in his forehead to throb menacingly.  But he's bravely volunteered to help me by trying to learn how.  He understands his value to the project as a brand-new knitter, and we both agree that if I can teach him, then other kids could learn from me, as well.

I decided one of the projects for the book should be to make your own knitting needles.  Campbell and I visited no less than five retail establishments to round up everything we would need.  We got:

Hardwood dowels, in sizes equivalent to US 3, 8 and 10 needles
A multi-hole manual pencil sharpener (more rare than you would think)
A rainbow of permanent markers
Sandpapers and spray lacquer
All sorts of wierd things we thought would be fun to stick on the ends of the needles:

Phillip's are the purple and red skulls hiding in the back.  Campbell rocked the black and red dice.  Lindsay made the squid fishing lure ones.  And mine are the beaded numbers.  You'll notice that we stained each set two different colors.  This is to aid remembering which needle is doing what when we move on to actual knitting.  So far, so good.  Nobody got hurt, and only one kid managed to get their needles glued together with lacquer. 

Yeah, it was Phillip.  Good thing he's cute.