Meander sock pattern is now available.

If you want to knit the Meander socks, the pattern is now on Ravelry.com.

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Click here to go to Ravelry to buy it now. $5.50 | three sizes. Those who were signed up in time to receive their April newsletter from me can now use the code for their discount. Attendees at the Carodan Farm SoXpereince retreat this weekend can do the same. Thank you.

I used Blue Moon Fiber Arts Socks That Rock Lightweight shaded solids for the main color, and oddments of The Plucky Knitter Primo Fingering for the contrasting vertical strands. Find some technique help here.

This pattern uses text and charts in the form of Stitch-Maps.

real bodies

A while back on Facebook someone posted a link to this site.

TracingRealBodies.org invites designers to print, trace, and use their real body models as templates for design. I have found it incredibly useful to design a garment onto a real body as opposed to designing within the flatness of a sweater schematic.

Here’s how I use it with my MacBook and Pages. I open their website, and open a blank Pages document. Drop the “real bodies” into the document. I put two views of the same body (there are lots to choose from) on one page. Set the opacity to 10%, which is barely visible. When I print that, there is enough to see for sketching, but not so much that is shows through. Perfectly useful.

I’ve just printed a stack of 15 different bodies and have them at the ready to sketch whenever I have an idea. This is working so, so, so much better than what I used to do.

I even enlarged a few and blocked out most of the body, leaving legs upon which socks can be drawn.

Let me know if you give it a go.

‘Meander’ ~ a new sock pattern

In a little over two weeks I get to play with knitters and see wild horses on Chincoteague Island. Carodan Farm hosts their annual SoXperience Retreat there, and I get to teach! I am so excited. Carodan Farm is a farm that’s a wool shop, or a wool shop that’s a farm. I’m not quite sure how they do it all, but I hear lovely things and can’t wait to get there to experience it all with a bunch of knitters willing to learn new things.

From the event name, you get the idea that the focus is on socks. I love that. And I love that I get to teach Vertically Stranded Color Work which works great on socks as well as anything else.  You can read more about the event in this link to their newsletter. Here. Won’t you please consider joining us in Virginia?

This has been on my schedule for a while, but just a couple weeks ago I decided to design a sock just for the event, so students can apply what they learn using a pattern (in case they don’t quite dare to wing it). Students get the pattern free, and afterward I’ll put it up for sale on Ravelry.

It’s a straightforward top-down sock, except for the stranding bits. The photo here is a bit misleading. See the patterning extending down the heel flap? Well, I decided a standard reinforced flap might wear better, so that is how the pattern is written, and it will include a photo of the second sock done this way. Clog wearers can make  modifications if they like the pattern on the heel.

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I used Blue Moon Fiber Arts Socks That Rock Lightweight ‘Every Day Grey’ for the main color, and oddments of two colors of The Plucky Knitter Primo Fingering for the contrasting vertical strands.

play date

Several times a year I get to board an airplane and fly to a knitting event far from where I live. It would be a shame not to add a day here and there to see things I’ve never seen or visit with people I rarely see.

This strategy has gotten me to museums and public gardens on my bucket list, and it has let me spend some time with other knitting instructors I may not know well, but would love to know better.  I’ve done this in Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, New York (where I got to hang out with my sister), and Minneapolis.

Now that I live in Seattle I get to play hostess and do some inviting. This month before Vogue Knitting LIVE! I invited Amy Detjen who in turn invited Amy Singer. (This made it very easy for my family to correctly use their names.) D got the guest room and S was a good sport getting the sofa. We did some shopping at Churchmouse Yarn and Teas, the fabric store, the bead store, and more on Bainbridge. “More” is code for ice cream and shoes. Most of the time we were content to relax, hang out, and get to know one another. It was a treat.

The time came to check into our hotel for the weekend of work. As predicted, we hardly caught site of each other after that. Knitting teachers work hard, we really do.

Cheers and thanks to Amy and Amy, and to future play date buddies.

 

 

bold move

My first collaboration with The Plucky Knitter goes live tomorrow (March 9). This ought to be fun! I hope to see many of you sporting these skirts in the coming months. The colors she has selected are stunning. I’ll be knitting one for me in “L2″ color combo. This will take a little longer than the one knitted for a runway model, but I won’t mind. Maybe we can knit along together.

Read all about it over on the Plucky blog, two posts dated March 7.

If you are working on yours, find some tips here.

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mosey over

Students from my Vertically-Stranded Color Work classes may be interested in a new pattern I just posted on Ravelry. “Mosey Over” is a hat pattern that uses the technique. In this case, the contrasting vertical strands are harvested from a skein of Cascade Yarns Casablanca, a self-striping yarn I found lovely to work with. One skein’ll do it. The contrast yarns are knitted in as you work. Plus, look at all the pretty colors!

This pattern uses written instructions and is also “charted” using JC Briar’s Stitch-Maps, a website I also find lovely to work with.

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they’ve made an impression

It’s been fun this week. On facebook many of my knitting friends are listing the ten knitting books that have left a lasting impression. One friend went another direction and listed people who have left a lasting impression.

It got me thinking, or more precisely, fondly remembering a bunch of folks in my personal knitting history who have left a long-lasting impression. These three were students that taught me a lot.

Persistent Curiosity:

Trudy was ninety when she wandered into the yarn shop to inquire about this new-fangled way to knit socks on a circular needle. Over the course of a day of patiently waiting for instruction while we also helped others, she learned to make two-at-a-time socks on one long circular using the magic loop method and working them toe-up starting with Judy’s magic cast on. I can remember the thrill in her voice when she said,”I haven’t learned anything new in twenty years!” I do hope she just meant that in regards to her knitting. Still, here’s to never stop learning new stuff!

Perfecting a Craft:

June 21, 2006 was Rowan O’Dougherty’s knitting birthday. (Real name, I don’t think he’ll mind.) He was looking around at the yarn, so I asked him if he knitted or crocheted. He explained that he did neither, but he sewed. And, as intriguing as it was to make something three-dimensional out of two-dimensional fabric, how much more interesting might it be to make something three-dimensional starting with just one-dimensional yarn. He wondered. I sat him down.

What an opportunity that was that he was willing to learn right then and there! He has devoured many books since then, achieved the Master Knitter level from the Craft Yarn Council, and had designs published in Cast On Magazine.

Those interested can read more about Rowan here: http://paveeknits.blogspot.com/

What handicap?

To the veteran with a left arm extending only to the elbow taking a class that used 60″ long circular needles size US 15 needle, doing magic-loop and magic cast on using two strands of bulky held together: When I noticed you in that big class I was trying to figure out what special accommodation I would need to come up with to help you. The answer was quickly apparent. None. None at all.

 

really big hands

This post is for fellow fiber event teachers who are continually trying to figure out how to best serve our students.

Giving students individual attention is really important, and I will continue to do this, but recently I’ve discovered the joys of teaching with live video projection. Students really like it. At the same time, everyone in the classroom can see my hands moving, demonstrating something in particular.

Teachers need to ask for their host venue to have a projector and screen, or, for smaller rooms, a large flatscreen ready for them. A video-camera, smartphone, or ipad (anything with quality video taping ability) + proper device-to-projector connecting cords + tripod + black background = all you need.

I wish I had a smartphone, but I don’t. So I tote my small Canon video camera with me to events. With it are a black shirt that serves as my background, one cord to output video (no sound needed) to the projector, and my makeshift tripod.

You’ll need to set it up at home first to be certain you have what you need. The advantage to my camera is that it has a remote zoom and a light, so I can get really close! Students can see individual stitches even in a large room. The tripod was going to be an issue for me financially, so I used something I already owned. I used the stand to my dress-maker’s form. It has a stable base. It collapses somewhat for travel. And, importantly, it has an “arm” to which I can attach the camera directly overhead my hands, about 24 inches above the table top.

Here are some photos from recent events. I used it at Vogue Live in Chicago in a huge room, the Empire Room.

And I used it in a more typical event classroom setting at Interweave Knitting Lab in San Mateo. I plan to use it at future Stitches events, and wherever I go. I just love this teaching tool.

Here is a student, Martine (spelling?) helping me out.

Just set the camera to record, without taping anything. I keep the camera plugged in, as opposed to relying on battery life, and I bring an Ott-light in case conditions require it. One could use a web-camera or a document projector as well, but I think those of you already owning and iPad or iPhone will be ready to try this.

Good luck.

felfs

Cat Bordhi has a new project.

Please read her post “The Art of Felfs” over on her blog.

Here is an important excerpt:

All proceeds from this 70-page ebook  are going directly to the research lab of Dr. David Krag at the University of Vermont Medical School. Dr. Krag, who pioneered sentinel node location, which has been used by over a million women with breast cancer, is now on the cusp of starting clinical trials for a cancer treatment that is as gentle as chemo is violent, and likelier to result in a complete cure.

Of course Cat has made it fun for knitters with a clever collection of many patterns that can be knit for any size foot. Only $20, and remember Cat keeps not a penny. Let’s help support her labor of love! Share her project with every knitter you know and get your download today. I dove in already and as a reward, I am enjoying my own very cozy pair that knit up quickly.

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