Tag Archives: OFFF

Cast on tricks, fixing mistakes, and classes at OFFF

The Go Tell the Bees KAL is underway, and we’re having a grand time chatting over in the Ravelry thread. It’s not too late to join the KAL; we’re knitting at our own pace and just having fun. Some of the tips that have come out of the cast on thread are particularly helpful, so I thought I’d share them here.

I chose the cable cast on for the beginning of this project, which starts at the lower edge. Why not use a long tail cast on? Because the cast on is huge, 350-400 stitches. I’d hate to run out of yarn just before my goal.

Why not use the two ended long tail cast on? Because I’m using a gradient/ombre ball of yarn, which means that the other end is a different color. I thought it might be pretty that way, but I tried it and it wasn’t at all pretty.

Also, the first row after a long tail cast on is the purl/bumpy side, which is part of why it wasn’t pretty, for this particular pattern. The first row after a cable cast on is the knit/smooth side, which is what I wanted.

The tip for any long cast on is to use markers to help you count. You can place them after every 20, or 50, or whatever number of stitches, and then not have to count all the stitches at once after you’re done. Much better than long counting, and coming up with a different number several times.

If you think ahead while you’re casting on, you can place the markers at your stitch repeats. Figure out how many stitches are outside the repeat and add them to the first section, then place the following markers to note your repeats.

A very common error is either missing or dropping a YO. You don’t notice until you’re on the next right side row, when you don’t have enough stitches between markers to work your repeat. I posted this in the last post, but I think it bears repeating. Here’s how to fix it:

I once took a class in fixing mistakes, and that teacher said you should count on the WS rows to make sure you have the right number and kind of stitches. Me, I’d rather relax on those WS rows and deal with mistakes on the next RS row. Both ways work, but I use those WS rows for reading or chatting!

I’m going to be teaching two of my favorite classes at Oregon Flock and Fiber Festival in September. This year’s festival runs from Friday Sept. 22 (classes only on Friday) through Sunday Sept. 24. The theme at OFFF this year is lace, and you know I love that!

I’m teaching Tink Drop Frog, Fixing Mistakes: Lace Edition on Saturday Sept. 23 from 9:30 to 12:30. We’ll be learning ways to fix lace mistakes when you’ve noticed them in the same row, a row or two later, or even later than that! This is an empowering class; you are really the boss of your knitting when you can use these techniques.

I’m also teaching Be Manipulative, Elongated Novelty Stitches on Sunday Sept. 24 from 1:30 to 4:30. The honeybee stitch from Go Tell the Bees is just one of the stitches we’ll be practicing. If you like the lacy look of these stitches, come learn them with me!

Enabling your inner knitter

Looking around the blog universe, Facebook, and Instagram, it’s clear that I’m not the only one who feels euphoric about September knitting. Social media is full of posts about new cast ons. I’m here to enable you! I love teaching people to be the boss of their knitting. I’ve filled out my teaching schedule at Twisted and For Yarn’s Sake here locally; you can see my classes on my teaching page here.

pdxknitterati braided wristlets

I’m also looking forward to teaching at Oregon Flock and Fiber Festival on Saturday, September 24. We’re making braided wristlets, with several kinds of braids worked in, as well as lessons on color and yarn dominance, and managing your yarn for stranded knitting. Class description is here; “out of stock” just means that pre-registration is over. You can sign up on-site at OFFF; class starts at 9:30 a.m. Come a little early if you want to pick up yarn from Knitted Wit for this project; she’ll have these colors kitted up for you.

And I’m really excited to be teaching at the Sheeper than Therapy retreat in Fresno, CA, at the end of the month. We have a full slate of fun classes for the weekend: Log Cabin Squares, Braided Wristlets, the Tilt Shift Wrap, and Photography with iPphone/iPad. Looking forward to it!

All in all, September is a knitting whirlwind. I love it! What’s on your needles? Are you going to OFFF?

Braided Wristlets Class Debut, singing, and more

I had a super busy weekend, and knittingly, this was the highlight.

pdxknitterati braided wristlets

I taught my new Braided Wristlets class at Twisted. I designed this pattern to be a workshop in herringbone and other braids, two color stranded knitting, and color dominance. We did cover all these things, and had a great time, too. And I made a good start on another one of these for me.

braided wristlet

I’ll be teaching this class at Oregon Flock and Fiber Festival in September. It will be an all day class on Saturday, September 24. Come and learn new skills with me!

But the weekend wasn’t all knitting. Sunday was Pentecost, and I organized and led music with the Pie Birds for worship. (The Pie Birds are a 3 part harmony group with guitars and mandolin: My friends Claudia and Becky and me.) So much work, so much fun. We sang Somewhere to Begin for the prelude; link provided if you want to give a listen. We closed the service with Turning of the World, with the congregation joining in.

We had a guest chorus from the Randolph-Macon Academy in Virgina sing for us. What a talented group of young people! They sang We Sing and All Creatures of Our God and King (not the version you might expect). Really wonderful. And they joined our choir for Spirit Come Down; it was so much fun to have all these voices singing with us.

I needed a recovery day on Monday!

PIe Birds mimosas

It’s a wrap! OFFF 2014

What a glorious weekend: Slightly chilly mornings (sweater weather!) giving way to sunny afternoons and smiling crowds. Perfect. I taught Blocking on Friday, and Tink Drop Frog (how to fix mistakes) on Saturday. My students were charming and eager to become the bosses of their knitting! We blocked my Snowy Woods KAL cowl, among other things.

Snowy Woods Cowlbefore blocking

imageafter blocking

Sunday was my play day. I headed for the barns first, and I was not disappointed. This is Amy with one of the angora goats from The Pines Farm. Mohair on the hoof! Amy is wearing a sweater knit with mohair, and it is the most decadently soft fabric, with a luminous halo.

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Can you even see where you’re going?

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Haircut day!

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The coat of an angora goat grows an inch per month. These goats are shorn every six months, now and in March, but they still won’t be cold this winter!

I was captivated by this display at Upstream Alpacas.

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naturals?

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or colors? I liked them both.

Natural colors are not boring.
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For me this year, the fiber and spinning supplies were most enticing. Maybe because I already have more yarn than I can knit. No matter. Look at these spindles. The gateway drug to spinning.

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Spindles at Carolina Homespun

I have several drop spindles, but haven’t yet heard the siren song of the wheel. Then I saw people trying the HansenCrafts miniSpinner. Look how portable this is. I had to try it, too. See my blue yarn?

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There’s always a fleece sale on Sunday. The woman who lured us in here said that the first time she went, she bought two fleeces. And she didn’t have a spinning wheel, just a drop spindle. Uh-oh.

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I bought a Kromski…

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Kromski niddy-noddy, not a wheel! I wanted an upgrade from my one yard niddy-noddy; this one is a two yard model.

I did buy one skein of yarn, from Huckleberry Knits.

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It’s Teri’s fault. I loved the glowing colors in her Glitz on the Ritz shawlette, so I had to check out this dyer, too. Oh, and see Sherece’s Hitofude? Teri knit that for her. What a great friend!

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All in all, a perfect weekend. I spent some time with Lorajean and the divine Miss F in the Knitted Wit booth.

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You have to start them young!

Did you go to OFFF? What tickled your fancy?

OFFF 2014 is this coming weekend

Oregon Flock and Fiber Festival is this weekend. I’m really looking forward to it! I’m teaching on Friday and Saturday afternoons, and playing the rest of the time. The weather report is looking decent as of this moment, which would be great after last year’s monsoons.

Things I’m looking forward to:

booth

Knitted Wit’s booth. Always lovely things there, and this year she’s debuting her Cotton Candy yarn, 100% merino super bulky. You can see my Big Leaf Scarf and pattern in her booth this weekend.

Big Leaf Scarf

Hanging out with the Portland Spinnerati group. Always entertaining, and always inspiring!

spinners

I went to the group’s meet-up at the Oregon Historical Society for Worldwide Spin In Public Day last Saturday. I was the only drop spindler in a group of wheels, but it was all fun.

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I’m also looking forward to shopping, and visiting the animals. For a much more comprehensive list of things to do at OFFF, see Mary Mooney’s post on the OregonLive Knitting blog. If you see me, say hello!

Snowy Woods Cowl

What’s on my needles? I’m almost done with my Snowy Woods Cowl that I’m doing for the knitalong. This is the last official week of the KAL, so there’s one more prize to be drawn next week. This week’s prize? Stitch markers, made by me. These feature leaves, snowflakes, and the blue of the custom dyed Snowy Woods colorway from Knitted Wit.

pdxknitterati stitch markers

This cowl is coming with me to OFFF, where it will be part of my blocking class on Friday, 1 to 4 p.m. There’s still a little room in the class, and there’s no homework! Registration is onsite only at this point.

Are you going to OFFF, or another sheep and wool festival near you? Who’s going to Rhinebeck? (Someday, me…)

OFFF 2014 is just around the corner

Oregon Flock and Fiber Festival is coming right up! September 27-28, and there are workshops on Friday, September 26, too. I’m teaching two classes, Blocking on Friday afternoon and Tink Drop Frog: Fixing Mistakes on Saturday afternoon. These are expanded versions of classes I teach in yarn shops, and we’ll have three hours to go through even more fun and demonstration on both of these topics. I hope you’ll join me.

If you’ve already mastered these knitterly topics, there are a lot more fiber-related classes available; you can see the full list here. Taking classes at OFFF is fun, and encourages the organizers to keep offering them from year to year. If you want more knitting classes, sign up for knitting classes! The same goes for spinning, weaving, felting, livestock management…The early registration deadline requires a postmark by September 5. This is the make or break day; if a class doesn’t have the minimum number of students by the registration deadline, the class won’t be offered. You can sign up for classes at OFFF, but only if they make the minimum by the early deadline, so why wait?

What else is fun at OFFF? Well, there are the adorable animals.

shetland

baby

And the vendors! I love shopping the booths at OFFF. I’ve purchased spindles, yarn, fiber, books. There are vendors both outside on the lawn, and in the exhibition halls. (These pictures are from previous years.)

UntitledKnitted Wit on the lawn

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Sincere Sheep, on the lawn

StitchJones
StitchJones inside

And you can always find people to knit and spin with.

turkish

spinners

So mark your calendar, and I’ll see you there, either in class, or shopping, or on the lawn spinning or knitting, or?

And here’s a teaser for you: My Snowy Woods Cowl KAL casts on September 1. I’m extending the discount on the Snowy Woods pattern through Thursday September 4; use the discount code FROST when checking out to get $2 off your pattern. Here’s the link to the pattern page on Ravelry. You can join the KAL on my Ravelry page for chatter and support.

snowy woods cowl

Check back tomorrow, September 1, to learn how to avoid running out of tail for your long tail cast on!

OFFF report, 2013

It was rainy! And windy! And fun.

My class was great. Thanks to the intrepid students who made it out to the fairgrounds. They all went home with little swatches of cast ons and bind offs. And now they have many to choose from when they start and end their next projects. Me? I’m kind of in love with the Chinese Waitress cast on. It makes a lovely chained edging on both right and wrong sides of the fabric. I want to use it to edge some fingerless gloves…

After class, I went upstairs in the main pavilion to find my peeps. In normal years, we knit and spin on the lawn. This year, groups moved inside.

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I didn’t bring my Turkish Delight spindle because I knew I couldn’t linger. But I should have brought it for a photo op! OFFF is the time the Turkish Delights get together. Leila, who tempted me into buying *my* spindle, has a tinker toy spindle here. And Rachel, whom I tempted into buying *her* spindle, has hers here.

At OFFF 2009, we were spinning on the lawn with our new spindles. Time flies!

rachel

Duffy had this awesome shirt:

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I chatted a bit with Ed and Wanda Jenkins. Ed makes these beautiful Turkish spindles. He remembered me and asked if I was spinning. Not much these days, unfortunately! Knitting away.

I spent a little time in the barn.

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Alpacas always make me grin.

Is it weird that I was munching a lamb sandwich while walking through? The lamb is from SuDan Farm. They raise sheep for both food and fiber.

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(Sorry about your bro, guys…gals? It was delicious.)

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I spent some time chatting with Susie from SuDan Farm about her hats. I want to make one! So I bought some green and yellow dyed locks to play with. I can’t quite capture the awesome kelly greenness, sorry. (Go Ducks!)

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I did a little shopping. I picked up a skein of Socks that Rock mediumweight from Tina at Blue Moon. This is her last year at OFFF (going to concentrate on wholesaling rather than shows), so she dyed this gorgeous commemorative colorway.

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I also bought a shawl pin from Michael and Sheila Ernst. They make glass pens, knitting needles, crochet hooks, buttons. I have admired their work at many shows over the years. Isn’t this lovely?

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How was your weekend?

This is what 10,000 stitches looks like

after they’ve been frogged.

frogged!

Approximately 10,000 stitches. Why didn’t I listen to that little voice sooner? But I love the revised version that I’m knitting, and I think I’m back up to about 7500 stitches so far. The little voices are laudatory this time…or are they just playing me? o_O

It’s rainy and windy today, perfect for knitting. The forecasst for tomorrow looks worse. I’m teaching at OFFF in the morning, and shopping after that. I’m not sure the outdoor vendors will hang on that long! I helped Lorajean set up yesterday, and she just messaged me that they’re going to pack it in today. Some of the outdoor vendors didn’t come at all, and the one scheduled to be behind us looked around and decided not to set up. There’s still shopping inside, though, and the animals in the barn, so I plan to enjoy it all anyway.

black and white bfl, dyed

I’m kind of coveting this fiber, even though I’m not currently spinning. Isn’t it gorgeous? Black and white BFL, hand dyed by Knitted Wit. Even prettier in person.

If you’re local, I hope you had a chance to get to OFFF today, or are planning to do so tomorrow!

OFFF is right around the corner

I had a great time at Stash in Corvallis on Saturday. Tink, Drop, Frog is my favorite class to teach, because of all the aha! moments for the students, and the dawning realization that yes, they can be the boss of their knitting. Once you can fix your mistakes, you’re golden!

at Stash
(Photo courtesy of Liz Arrow, Stash Enhancer at Stash)

Cast On, Bind Off had its maiden voyage on Saturday afternoon. It was fun and enlightening, and I discovered that I have way more than enough material for my workshop at Oregon Flock and Fiber Festival this coming Sunday. I am really looking forward to teaching it!

Until the weekend, I’m knitting away on my secret design project. I’ll also be helping Lorajean (KnittedWit) label spinning fiber tomorrow, and helping her set up her booth at OFFF on Friday. There are classes at OFFF on Friday, and the Festival is officially open Saturday 9-5 and Sunday from 9-4. Fiber, food, cute animals; y’all come! Admission is free. This event is at the Clackamas County Events Center in Canby, Oregon.

Do you have fiber fun planned for this weekend?

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!