Tag Archives: classes

Astoria StitchFest: Check!

Last weekend’s first ever Astoria StitchFest was a delight. It was a small event, but very nice. The weekend began with a delightful Stitch Feast at the Baked Alaska, right on the river. We had a little show-and-tell fashion show after dinner.

The classes were held in the light and bright rooms above the Liberty Theater, across from the historic Hotel Elliott. Mary Scott Huff and I taught knitting, and Laurinda Reddig taught crochet. I taught Cast On Bind Off, Slip Stitch Cowl Design, and Blocking: It’s Magic. I think everyone went home with new skills.

blocking with pdxknitterati

I had a free afternoon, so I sat in on Mary Scott Huff’s Sassy Selbuvotter class. She is a fabulous teacher, and also fun to hang out with! Here’s the beginning of my mitten.

selbuvotter

Classic Selbuvotter (mittens in the traditional style of the town of Selbu, Norway) have a gusset thumb, but these sassy mitts will only have a slot thumb. I was curious about Norwegian mittens, because I had knit these many years ago.

selbu mitten

These are the Selbu Mittens from Folk Mittens by Marcia Lewandowski. The have a fake gusset (no increases, just patterning to look like a gusset) and a slot thumb. They’re kind of a mix of thumb techniques. My next Selbuvotter will have a traditional, real thumb gusset, because I like the way they fit!

Astoria sits at the confluence of the Columbia River and the Pacific Ocean. It’s a fun mix of the old and the new. I didn’t have a lot of time to explore, but I popped on down to Coffee Girl for lunch on Saturday because my singing buddy Claudia loves it, and used to sing there.

image

I didn’t realize that Coffee Girl is right on a pier that houses the West’s oldest cannery building.

bumble bee logo

I worked at a salmon cannery on Kodiak Island for five summers to pay for college. We even canned for Bumble Bee. This brought back all sorts of memories.

cannery workers

We didn’t look quite like this, but aprons, hair nets, and steel toed rubber boots were the uniform!

pier 39 astoria

Canneries were a big part of Astoria’s history. Even the waste baskets on the streets downtown acknowledge this.

astoria

Mary and I had rooms at the Grandview Bed & Breakfast, a very interesting Victorian house. My room was breathtakingly gorgeous, with lace draperies around the bed, and at the entrance to my sitting room

grandview b & b

which was a great place to relax.

Grandview b&b

The sitting room had a view of the Columbia River, and the bridge that crosses to Washington.

image

Many thanks to Bonnie Lively and LeAnn Meyer, the organizers of Astoria StitchFest. I had a fabulous time, and hope that all the participants did, too. I’d love to do this again next year, and you should come, too!

New classes for fall

I’m teaching several new classes this fall. I’m most excited about this one, because it has the most possibilities: Slip Stitch Cowl Design. It’s an intro to slip stitch knitting, and we explore this fabulous colorwork technique that uses only one color per row/round.

pdxknitterati knitting

Using only one color per row/round makes it really easy to manage your yarn. We also explore how light and dark colors interact with each other, and why. After the introduction to slip stich techniques, we figure out how to apply this to a simple cowl. A tiny bit of math, and you’re the designer of your own cowl! My ZigZag Lightning Cowls are based on this slip stitch technique. Remember, it’s only one color per row/round!

ZigZag Lightning Cowls

This class is being offered at the first ever Astoria StitchFest on Sunday, October 12, and at Stash in Corvallis on Saturday October 25.

beanstalk scarf and mitts

I’m also teaching an introduction to lace class using my Beanstalk Scarf. It covers basic lace stitches, and working with written instructions and charts. It also includes a fabulous knit-in i-cord edging. This class is offered at Twisted in Portland on Tuesday October 14 and at For Yarn’s Sake in Beaverton on Sunday November 2.

snowy woods cowl

My third new class is an intro to cables class, using my Snowy Woods Cowl pattern. This class covers cabling with and without a cable needle, twisted stitches, and using charts and/or written instructions. It also features the two-ended long tail cast on, which prevents you from running out of tail before you run out of cast on. This 2 session class is offered at Twisted on Sundays November 16 and 23.

I love teaching knitters new techniques, and how to be the boss of their knitting. Come join me and rule the world!

Astoria StitchFest 2014

Do you love knitting and/or crocheting? Do you love the Oregon Coast? Here’s a winning combo for you: Astoria StitchFest. This is a brand new event October 10-12 in Astoria, Oregon. I’ll be teaching there, along with Sivia Harding, Mary Scott Huff, and Laurinda Reddig.

I’m teaching Cast On/Bind Off, Blocking, Entrelac, and a new class, Slip Stitch Designing. I’m especially stoked about sharing the magic of slip stitch knitting, which results in colorful patterning, but only one color is worked per row. Here’s an example of a slip stitch cowl I designed.

starwood detail

I hope you’ll come join us in Astoria this fall. More details about the classes, the StitchFeast dinner on Friday, and places to stay in Astoria are on the website.

Oregon Flock and Fiber Festival is just a month away

September is my favorite month; it’s my birth month, our anniversary month, the beginning of school, and the beginning of autumn. There’s a chill in the air in the morning that makes me want to wrap myself in wool.

The Oregon Flock and Fiber Festival is less than a month away, September 28-29. I’ve been going to OFFF for years now. It was my first, and continues to be my favorite, fiber festival. It’s a great chance to see the animals that provide our fiber, shop for more fiber, meet up with old friends, and take classes! To get you in the mood, here are some pix from past festivals.

shetland

baby

booth

jen teri

This is the first year I’m slated to teach at OFFF, and I’m really looking forward to it. My Cast on, Bind Off class is scheduled for Sunday, September 29, but it won’t happen unless I have two more people sign up. Knitting classes don’t fill as quickly as the other classes, but we like to offer them! You can help make it happen, and learn something fun and useful, too. Pre-registration needs to be postmarked by September 6 for all OFFF classes; classes may be cancelled if a minimum number of students aren’t registered by then. You can browse all the class offerings here. I’m hoping you’ll come join me!

Here’s the scoop on Cast On, Bind Off:
How many cast ons do you know? Why do you use the one that you use? Tired of running out of yarn with your long tail cast on? Come to class and learn some new tricks! We’ll cover long tail, knitting on, cable cast on, crochet provisional cast on, and more. We’ll also talk about when/why you might choose one over another, and some bind offs that go well with your new cast ons.

Winter is coming…time to knit!

Where I’ll be…teaching!

I’m teaching a little further afield in September. On Saturday, September 21, I’ll be at Stash in Corvallis. We’ll do Tink Drop Frog: How to Fix Mistakes in the morning at 10:30 a.m., and Cast On, Bind Off in the afternoon at 1:30 p.m. Both of these classes are intended for advanced beginners and beyond.

On Sunday, September 29, I’ll be at Oregon Flock & Fiber Festival (OFFF) with an expanded version of Cast On, Bind Off. I hope to see you there! Pre-registration needs to be postmarked by September 6 for all OFFF classes; classes may be cancelled if they don’t have enough students registered by then.

Here’s the scoop on Cast On, Bind Off:
How many cast ons do you know? Why do you use the one that you use? Tired of running out of yarn with your long tail cast on? Come to class and learn some new tricks! We’ll cover long tail, knitting on, cable cast on, crochet provisional cast on, and maybe more depending on time. We’ll also talk about when/why you might choose one over another, and some bind offs that go well with your new cast ons.

And I’m teaching at Twisted here in Portland throughout the fall; contact Twisted to register.
Intro to Circular Knitting (hats): Sept. 23 & 30
Tink, Drop, Frog: Oct. 12
Garland Sideways Lace Shawl: Oct. 26

Photo May 13, 3 29 09 PM

Intro to Entrelac (Athena Cowl): Nov. 16

Athena

And I’m looking into adding a class about blocking. Stay tuned!

Hope to see you around!

Have some class(es)!

I spent all day Sunday learning about Sideways Lace Shawl Design in an inspiring workshop with designer Sivia Harding. She’s a perfect teacher, patient and full of great tips. This particular crescent shawl construction is new to me. It’s nice to have more options. I loved the class, and have fallen down the rabbit hole with many, many ideas. How to choose just one?

Untitled
(Some of my stitch dictionaries. Sivia has more than I do…)

Swatch! I know, the S word. But after frogging the same bit of yarn 3 times, I realized that I should really swatch on something other than the good stuff. Now I’m playing with swatch #5, in a dk weight yarn and size 7 needles. I’m saving my lovely Knitted Wit Cashy Lite for the real thing.

pendant

I love taking classes. It’s so much fun to learn something new with a group of people who love the same thing you do. I’ve done this with piano (camp), and do this with knitting. Books and videos are great, but they will only take you so far. Sometimes you just need to see it live in front of you, and discuss it with your friends! Have you taken knitting workshops? What do you think?

I’d like to take this opportunity to put in another plug for the Columbia Gorge Fiber Festival, April 19-21. There are some great classes available, but they can only happen if enough people sign up for them. Yvonne, the organizer, needs to know by April 1 whether there are enough students to make a lot of these classes happen. I’m scheduled to teach two classes, the Thrill of the Thrum (thrummed slippers), and Tink Drop Frog (finding and fixing mistakes), an expanded version of the class I teach at Twisted, with more tips and tricks. I’ve taken classes from instructors Mary Scott Huff (steeking) and Deb Accuardi (drop spindling) before, and enjoyed them both. You can see a full list of classes and instructors here.

Besides the classes, there is a wonderful marketplace loaded with fiber goodies, and a treasure hunt based on Chrissy Gardiner’s fabulous book, Indie Socks. Entry to the marketplace is free.

Now if you’ll excuse me, my stitch dictionaries are calling! As is the S word. And really, swatching is pretty fun when you’re playing with design ideas. It’s not like knitting a gauge swatch at all…

Be the boss of your knitting

Does your knitting know who’s boss? Are you a fearless knitter? Not yet? Here’s your chance. I’m teaching Tink Drop Frog (how to fix your mistakes) at Stash in Corvallis this Saturday morning, October 6. If you’re local, come learn to whip your knitting into shape in this two hour workshop.

stocking christmas stocking

I’m also teaching a Christmas stocking class in the afternoon. You’ll learn stranded color knitting, and turning a heel. A Christmas stocking is a perfect first sock because it’s knit with big yarn and needles, and you only have to knit one! No second sock syndrome. It’s not too early to get your holiday knitting going. Call Stash to register for either of these classes.

I am definitely the boss of my knitting. I knit a shawl while I was traveling in Europe earlier this month, on trains from Amsterdam to Bruges, Bruges to Paris, Paris to Reims and back. Here’s what it looks like now:

frogged

Yep. Frogged it. I didn’t love the finished object, and this lovely HazelKnits yarn deserves better. I know exactly what I want to change. (What, me swatch? The whole garment is a swatch!) I’m knitting on bigger needles, and I changed the motif of the pattern. I’m already much happier with it. I don’t mind frogging; I enjoyed knitting on the trains and I’m enjoying knitting now.

markers

While I was gone, Leticia (Starlight Knitting) sent me these stitch markers to sample.

marker

They’re square! And also snag free. They fit up to a size 7 needle (although I cast on with an 8 and it was fine), and are light and unobtrusive. I love them! Leticia has teamed up with several independent dyers (Sincere Sheep, Knitted Wit, Canon Hand Dyes) to make stitch markers that coordinate with their color palettes. Canon Hand Dyes (Amy Lee) and Starlight Knitting even debuted a Downton Abbey inspired yarn and stitch marker collection. How fun is that? The blue-green markers above are Lady Sybil. Remember her modern pant suit?

Do you use stitch markers? I like using them when casting on a lot of stitches, to mark off groups of 50 so I don’t have to re-count them, and to mark off pattern repeats when knitting, or just to tell my fingers that it’s time to pay attention to something. I’ve made some of my own before, but I don’t think you can ever have too many. I’ve even made them from a cut up drinking straw, in a pinch, but pretty is better. It’s like jewelry for your knitting. How about you?

The Thrill of the Thrum…for you!

I’m still thrilled with thrumming. I hope you’ll want to thrum, too! My pattern for Thrumbelina thrummed slippers is now available.

These cozy slippers are really posh! They remind me of slippers that I knit as a teen, with one very important difference.

They’re extra cushy inside due to thrums, bits of fiber knit into the fabric. The thrums eventually felt down for a custom fit for your foot. Until then, they make you feel like you’re stepping into a sheep. And I mean that in the nicest way.

The slippers are knit with less than 100g of worsted weight wool, and one ounce of merino roving. If you’re lucky enough to be attending Stitches West next weekend, you can buy a Thrumbelina kit from Knitted Wit at her booth #1041. Or you can just purchase the pattern here. As a special treat, I’m having a Thrumbelina Kickoff sale. The pattern is $1 off from now through the end of February.

I’m also thrilled to tell you that I’ll be teaching the Thrill of the Thrum at three different shops in March. Contact the shop to register. Class includes either Thrumbelina or Thrumster pattern, and there’s a little homework before class begins because you’ll want to spend time thrumming, not casting on!

March 15 at Twisted in Portland, from 6 to 8 p.m.
March 24 at Stash in Corvallis, from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m.
March 31 at Wool N’ Wares in West Linn, from 1 to 3 p.m.

I hope that you, too, will be thrilled with thrumming!

PS: Thanks to Shannon & Emily at Twisted, for giving me the opportunity to design for their Single Skein Club!