Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Workshop Wednesdays: Stretchy Bind Off & Handpainted Yarns

What can I say about Chrissy Gardiner? Well she has been my friend for a long time now. I was her first sample knitter back in the day. She got me involved with doing shows. Our first was the Knit & Crochet show when it first came to Portland a few years ago. Then I did Oregon Flock & Fiber with her and the rest is history! Over the years I have knit quite a few of her patterns out of my yarn. I love how her patterns are very detailed and tested so completely they rarely have an error. She is a genius for inventive design. Over the past couple of years she has been working on a book called Indie Socks, which should be out soon! Chrissy's idea for the book was to choose several indie dyers and design a sock pattern for each one of them. The socks she designed for the yarn I gave her can be found on Ravelry as the Owenburger Socks!

So what does this have to do with her classes? Well her Designing with Handpainted Yarns (Sunday, 9am - 12pm) is entirely derived from what she learned working with all of the indie dyers for the book. The class goes through different types of handpainted yarn and how to get what you want out of the yarns. Whether it's avoiding pooling or making it intentional. Pretty much making the yarn do what you want instead of the other way around!

The second class she is teaching is a one hour wonder on Stretchy Bind-Off (Saturday, 4pm - 5pm) techniques. Chrissy's first book, Toe-Up Socks is where she learned these special techniques. Learn tips and tricks from the master! Stretchy bind offs are definitely useful for toe up socks, but can also be very handy for other things such as sweater cuffs, neck holes, shawl edgings, and so much more!

For more information on Designing with Handpainted Yarn, check out here:

For more information on Stretchy Bind-Off, check out here:

Monday, February 27, 2012

Moonstruck Cardigan & Forest Canopy Cowl

I am definitely playing a little catch up, but I think it's worth it:

I finished my Moonstruck Cardigan (rav link) on January 2nd. It's my first official FO of 2012! I am so proud of it. I love this sweater so very much. I wear it every Sunday when I go to knitting. It is so warm and stylish, which is perfect for these still cold January / February days. I ended up using every bit of my Peru yarn. In fact I had to bind off a couple of rows short on the collar because I ran out of yarn. I have plenty of the Woobu left from Blue Moon. I just need to figure out what I want to do with it. There is definitely plenty to make a hat or something. So I will put it in the stash for now. 

One thing I realized when I started wearing my Moonstruck Cardigan was that my cowl was too short. The cardigan comes down pretty low, leaving a gap between the cowl and the sweater. I searched through my favorite patterns on Ravelry and then through my stash and came up with this combination. The yarn is Manos Silk, which I purchased a few years ago when I did the shop hop with the Tigard Knitting Guild. The pattern is the Forest Canopy Cowl (rav link). I knit the Forest Canopy Shawl a few years ago and taught a class on it at Knot Another Hat. I really loved the pattern, but rarely wear shawls. So it was nice to see the cowl version. I definitely love how it turned out. Though it is now getting warm enough I will have to put it away until next winter. 

Here is the cowl with the sweater, just so you can see the overall effect. I'm hoping one of these days to get Blair to take a photo of me wearing both, though it may not happen until next fall!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Workshop Wednesdays: Judy's Magic Cast-On & 2 Socks Toe up

This year I wanted to try something a little different for classes. I wanted to try doing series of classes, so a person can take exactly what they want and leave behind what they don't. For instance, I got to talking to Judy Becker about her 2 Socks at the same time Toe up class from last year. She said everything went pretty smoothly, but some people took more time because they hadn't ever done her magic cast on before. So I came up with the idea of adding the Magic Cast On class as a separate 1 hour class before the 2 sock class. So if you haven't ever done Judy's Magic Cast On you can take the class by itself for one hour with the person who invented it! Then you will be ready to sail right into 2 Socks at the Same Time Toe up! Alternatively you can take just the Judy's Magic Cast On class and then be ready to knit all of the patterns in Judy's new book Beyond Toes, which uses her Magic Cast On technique to make everything from scarves to hats to shawls, and more! It's a pretty impressive technique!

Speaking of Judy's Beyond Toes book, I have been working with Judy Becker on a separate project which will be running all weekend long. We are going to have a special Treasure Hunt in honor of Beyond Toes. Simply bring the book, or pre-order one from the website (we will have a limited amount available for sale at the info booth too), get a treasure map from the info desk, and find the various contributing designers and artists in the book around the marketplace. Judy will be signing books on Saturday from 11am - 12pm. If you find 3 signatures then you will receive a special bookmark for the book. If you find everyone on the list (we currently have 9 for sure), then you will be entered for the grand prize, a treasure chest of items donated by contributors to the book, including Blue Moon, Plover Designs, Abstract Fiber, Pico Accuardi, and more!

For more information about the Magic Cast-On Class check out here:

For more information about the 2 Socks at a Time Toe Up class check out here:

For more information about the Treasure Hunt check out here:

For more information on Beyond Toes by Judy Becker check out here:

Monday, February 20, 2012


I wanted to share a little upgrade I got this year for Christmas:

This is an Mini Spinner made by Hansen Crafts. I was talking to Blair about how difficult it is to spin on my regular spinning wheel because our toddler likes to play with it so much. I also really have wanted a small wheel to take to shows as well. I love my Lendrum, but it takes up quite a bit of room in the car. Room which could fit more yarn to sell, so it usually gets left behind.

The solution was this small electric wheel. It can fit in a small bag for travel and, thanks to the addition of a portable battery, can spin anywhere I need to go. I love it! I can spin while watching tv in the evenings and the yarn comes out very pretty and even.

This is the first skein I spun on it out of some BFL/Silk roving which came with it from Abstract Fiber. I definitely will need to get some more of this from them at the CGFF! The only downside I have found is I do miss my Lendrum for the whole body experience. I love the rhythm of my feet mixing with the rhythm of my hands to make pretty yarn. For now, until both my babies are much older, I will use this little upgrade to turn lovely fiber into lovely yarn. I'm sure you will see some of the production from this in the near future as I add more handspun to the shop. I should also have it with me at shows for a little spinning action! So make sure to stop by and say hi and check it out!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

40% off all Printed Patterns!

For the rest of the month of February and through the month of March I have put all printed paper patterns on sale for 40% off! This offer is also good with the buy 4 items and get free shipping! It's quite a bargain if you think about it! I'm starting to do some spring cleaning, so hopefully this will be just the start! I am moving some things onto the Sale page. I'm just thinking if I clear some things out then I will have room for some nice new things! So make sure to check out the page here:

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Workshop Wednesdays: Stranded in Your Socks

I love socks! They are a great way to experiment with a new technique or pattern. That's what Stranded in Your Socks (Saturday, April 21st, 1pm - 4pm) is all about. This class focuses on stranded color knitting to make a sock cuff or tube. If you don't want it to be a sock, it can always be a wristwarmer or a very decorative sample! Mary Scott Huff walks you through the intricacies of stranded colorwork from swatching to starting your very own pair of socks!

Mary Scott Huff is an incredible colorwork designer. Her book The New Stranded Colorwork has been a knitting best seller and her new book, Teach Yourself VISUALLY Color Knitting, is sure to be one as well! She has such a great eye for colorwork and design! I have enjoyed reading her blog, Unravelling, for some time now. Her posts are both witty and insightful. I really enjoy how she intermixes her life with really helpful tutorials on a variety of knitting topics. I am sure her classes are incredible too. I'm so happy to be able to add her to the line up of teachers for this year. In addition to Stranded in Your Socks she is also teaching Eeek! Steeks! which I will cover in a future post!

Mary has also agreed to do a book signing at the Info Booth Sunday morning from 11am - 12pm, with a trunk show for her new book Teach Yourself VISUALLY Color Knitting. Preorders will be available at the Info Booth, too!

For more information, check out Stranded in Your Socks!

Friday, February 10, 2012

Photo Friday: Orange Crayon

These are my favorite photos he has taken so far.

I really like the orange crayon against the fabric print. It seems so peaceful somehow. I really like how it all comes together.

Wednesday, February 08, 2012

Workshop Wednesdays: Turkish Drop Spindle

Last year Turkish Drop Spindle was a huge success! The class filled up and there was a waiting list to get in! I promised this year there would be two sessions and now there are! There is one Saturday Morning and one Sunday Morning. In addition Wanda Jenkins and her husband Ed are going to have a booth in the Marketplace sharing with New Hues Handspuns! I'm so excited to have them as a new edition, their spindles are so beautiful!

What can I say about Wanda? Well, she is an incredible teacher. I have seen her demo Turkish Spindling both at Black Sheep and Sock Summit for what seem like hours on end and never tire out. She always has a smile on her face and a spindle in her hands. After her class last year she came and chatted with me for awhile in my booth and it was loads of fun!

So, what is the benefit of taking her class versus learning from her in the booth? Well I would say the one on one time only a classroom can give. Whenever I see Wanda at a show she has multiple people crowded around her trying to see what she is doing. Her classes are limited to 10 people, by her request, so there is plenty of time for each person to ask questions and learn how to spin. Definitely a big bonus!

For more information, check out: Turkish Drop Spindle (both time slots are listed on that page)

Friday, February 03, 2012

Photo Friday: The keyboard

As most of you know I have a toddler. My toddler loves to play with my phone, especially the camera part of it. Every so often he actually takes a shot I think is really good. Those shots I will share here:

I have titled this one The Keyboard. He likes to stand next to me on my chair and play with my phone. This is my laptop, taken from the view of a very busy toddler.

Wednesday, February 01, 2012

Workshop Wednesdays: Kumihimo

Kumihimo is the beautiful art of braiding yarn. I actually have experience with this. As a girl my grandmother's guild had a lesson in kumihimo. She showed me how to use the little cardboard wheel with the instructions to make a braid. Of course my braid was made from acrylic yarn my grandmother had on hand and not anything as beautiful as the works of art Linda Gettmann makes! She is an incredible and talented artist!

Linda first approached me about teaching a beginning weaving class, which is definitely in the works for 2013! However, I didn't have room for her class this year! So many good classes, so little time, as it were! Well, when Sivia had to drop her class due to a time conflict, Linda was at the top of my list to step in! I contacted her, but it simply isn't possible to teach all there is to know about a rigid heddle loom in 3 hours, so she suggested a class in Kumihimo!

Kumihimo is a quick and easy technique to learn! It uses up little bits of leftover yarn, including those high end specialty yarns! I know I want to use up every bit of silk or cashmere yarn when I get it and this is definitely the way to do it. 

What is also great is it works really well with ribbon yarn and other novelties! Linda ordered a couple of small skeins of my handpainted nylon ribbon yarn from the sale bin. These necklaces only take 30 yards, so a small skein works really great! I always have these extras in the sale bin, because the yarn comes in 8 oz skeins, which are never exact. I always have a little leftover skein that I put on sale, because it has less yardage than a normal full skein. This was a quick photo Linda sent me when she was finished. She really liked the yarn and I really like how it turned out! I only wish I had time to take the class as well as setting up my booth and organizing all of the other vendors at the same time! However, you can take this class and learn this really wonderful technique!

For more information check out: Kumihimo Beaded Braid Necklace with Linda Gettmann