Changes

Funny that it’s been over a year since I’ve been on here.  A lot has changed in that year. The biggest change is the store is closed.  I needed change in my life, so I changed.  I closed the store and returned to my other calling.  Sort of returned.  Returned with a small side-step.

Before I opened the store I was a grant writer and worked with coalitions in South Central Kansas as a consultant. Now, after closing the shop, I write grants and coordinate a coalition.

And now, I don’t knit quite as much because I’ve also rediscovered the joys of cycling and fitness – now it’s workout before knitting rather than knitting and ignoring everything else.  I still knit – getting ready to start a new project today!  And I still get asked if I’m going to reopen the store.  Maybe.  Someday – but I’m not going to loose myself in another store, so I won’t do it by myself if I do open another yarn shop.

So, that is what has been going on.  We’ll see if I actually start blogging regularly again (I don’t recommend holding your breath!).

Happy Holidays

Happy Christmas! And Thanksgiving, and Hanukkah, Halloween and whatever other holidays I missed in the frenzy of commissions I’ve been in. I usually don’t take Christmas knitting commissions after October; I made exceptions this year.

Anyway, there is a lot new going on around here. We have another new open knitting/crochet time (well, technically you can come knit and crochet whenever you want if we are open) – Sip and Knit is Tuesday morning from 10am to whenever.

I’m also carry Noro now! It will be coming in slowly over the next 4 months. The first shipment of Silk Garden came in today. Happy dances were done!

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I’m adding more yarn lines – planning on 4 new lines (plans change a lot when I’m involved so that may change!) by next Yarn Hop.

I am also working in adding patterns to the blog – keep an eye out for that!
Have a great Holiday and happy yarning!

You Are Not Knitting Wrong!

I have a pet peeve.  Technically, I have a lot of pet peeves, but this one really gets me.  If you are knitting, and you get a finished product that doesn’t fall apart when you take it off the needles, you are knitting correctly.  If someone tells you otherwise, ignore them!!!!!!

Do an internet search for knitting styles or knitting techniques.  I use Bing for searches – I had over 5 million results.  “Continental.”  “English.”  “Portuguese.”  “Russian.”  “Norwegian.”  “Combination.”  Those are the ones I can do.  There are a lot of methods I can’t do (I will conquer “Lever/Irish Cottage” one of these days!).  There are probably a lot I’ve never even heard of.  Not one of these is intrinsically better than another.  As far as I can tell, from my exploration in knitting techniques, the difference is in how you tension your yarn.  If you pick your yarn, you tension with your left hand; if you throw, you tension with your left hand.  Or you can tension with your neck or a pin on your lapel and leave your hands more or less out of it!  How you manipulate your stitches change depending on how you tension.  But the knitting part of it is pulling a loop of yarn through another loop of yarn to make your fabric.

A customer came by the other day and said that someone told her that you can’t get good tension with “Continental” style.  What is good tension?  Matching the guage the pattern tells you?  What if the designer knits “Continental?”  Does that mean the designer has the wrong tension?  Did you know in England tension is what the U.S. calls gauge?  This is why you do a swatch!  Different yarn, different needles, my mood – all these change my tension.  And yes, how I hold my yarn changes my gauge/tension.  My gauge is tighter when I throw my yarn than when I pick; a friend who normally throws has tighter tension when she picks.  It depends on the individual. 

I suggest experimenting with different techniques.  Personally, I like to use double-points and throw when I’m knitting socks in public because it looks impressive, but otherwise I do what ever strikes my fancy that day.  I try to mix it up (not in projects; if I start a project throwing, I finish it throwing because switching back and forth changes my tension!) so I don’t over work my hands and wrists.  But there is no wrong way!

Fall Finishing!

Evidently the lead up time to the Yarn Hop puts me in a finishing mood.

First off, the Central Kansas Yarn Hop 2013 is October 17 – 20. There are prizes and free stuff and lots of fun on the schedule. http://www.centralksyarnhop.com

So what has getting ready for this year’s hop done? Make me want to finish all my projects – knit, crochet and sewing! I’ve finished a costume for a friend, finished 2 shawls and a hat for another friend (she lives in England so she gets a years worth of knitting at one time), and the knitting is done on a sweater for me! It’s been a good week.

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AND I’ve decided to clean my projects out. You know how I normally have 10 to 15 projects on needles and hooks? I only have 6 WIPs – a miracle, I know!

Now I need to cast on Christmas Gifts. Eek! Again I didn’t follow my own advice and start them in July.

Upcoming Classes

I’ve had a lot of beginning crocheters lately.  One of the new crocheters made a comment the other day – she said she needed to learn to knit now so she could make sweaters.  When I told her you could crochet sweaters, she was amazed.  So, I scheduled a class on how to crochet sweaters!

I’ve been wanting to crochet a hoodie for the Fall – I like the warmth of crocheted hoodies!  This gives me a perfect excuse opportunity, to start one.  I haven’t decided yet which style I want to do, zipper or pullover.  But since the class is in less than two weeks, I better get working on it!

I also get in new yarn and saw a picture of a teddy bear than SCREAMS for the new yarn!  The pattern is Vera by Annita Wilschut. http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/vera-11  And the yarn is Pinwheel by Cascade. http://cascadeyarn.com/pinwheel.asp  I have all the colors of Pinwheel in right now (they are selling REALLY fast though).  Now I just have to figure out which color I want to use.

Wanting to knit Vera made me realize we haven’t had a knit toy class in a while, so I scheduled one for the 26th of September

Back in junior high, I saw an afghan with Irish roses worked on it.  I’ve wanted to make one ever since.  Then the other day a friend brought in an afghan she was working on – with roses on it!!!!  Another excuse (I’m giving up on denial and being honest, it’s an excuse!) to start the afghan – schedule a class!  October 5 for it.

Several people wanted to take the stranded colorwork class back in February but couldn’t make it.  So I’ve scheduled another one on October 12 – I don’t know if Kim Neufeld or I will be teaching it; I’ll let you know soon!

Many of my ideas come from conversation during Knit, Crochet, Socialize! on Thrusday evenings.  A couple of weeks ago Heather commented that she wanted to knit a sweater but didn’t want to have to sew it up.  This led to a discussion on knitting in the round and if you can change the pattern to knit pieced sweaters in the round.  So, there is a class for how to do that scheduled for October 26.

And if you are paying close attention, that leaves a weekend with no classes – gasp!  Why would I do such a thing?  Because… YARN HOP 2013!!!!!  Save the dates – October 17 to 20.  Passports will be available soon!

(having troubles with photos again – will keep working on it!)

Photos

Cherub Hoodie

Cherub Hoodie

Dreambird

Dreambird

February Lady in Linen

February Lady in Linen

Saartje's Booties

Saartje’s Booties

I’ve been having issues with posting photos on here.  This is an experiement to see if I can get some unfinsished and finished objects posted.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

September 2013 Classes

Fall is here! Here is the class schedule for September to get Fall off on the right needle!
Saturday mornings from 10 AM to Noon are for the beginning classes (as usual). The are for absolute beginners or people who need a booster to get going again. The 7th and 21st are beginning crochet; the 14th and 28th are beginning knitting.
The afternoon classes are the advanced classes (meaning just not absolute beginners not meaning you have to be an expert to take them).
The 7th is Knit Fixes. Want to learn how to correct mistakes WITHOUT ripping out your work? This is for you! Learn to read your knitting to see where the mistake is and how to fix it. Bring mistakes if you have any, otherwise everything is provided.
The 14th is Entrelac Knitting. this is part of our Color and Texture series. This interesting texture is created by knitting tiers that run in opposite directions. Much easier than it sounds!
The 21st is How to Crochet a Sweater. Crochet sweaters are fabulous for winter wear because crochet creates a double thickness fabric, and the textures can be beautiful!
The 28th is Knitting Stuffed Animals. Knit a stuffed teddy bear that can be packed around by the kids or dressed up for display on the holidays.
Patterns are provided with all of the advanced classes and you’ll just need to appropriate yarn and needles. Call to discuss the options. All classes are $20 plus supplies.

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