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Minnesota, United States

29.1.12

Ch-ch-ch-changes...

 I have worn the new vest a few times and love how it turned out!  I also went through my sweater chests and took new photos of old favorites.  I just noticed the others are all Noro!  I particularly love the colorway of the vest.  The yarn was from the shop in Texas and was the first Noro I purchased.  I wish they still had that colorway, as it had tweedy neps in the yarn.
Upcoming classes are listed below.  Please note--the February FINISHING TOUCHES WORKSHOP date and time change (thank you!).
SWAK & Hugs (Naturally Tussock)
Short row scarf (Noro)
Nopi jacket (Noro and Lopi) 
Sakori II (Noro)
Vest (Noro)
UPCOMING CLASSES (Shepherd's Choice):
EXPLORING COLOR AND TEXTURE
Date: Tuesdays, February 7, 14, 21, 28, and March 6, 13, 20, 27
Time:  6:00 pm to 8:00 pm
Cost:  $48.00  plus supplies (four 2-hour sessions)
Skill:  Advanced beginner and up
FINISHING TOUCHES WORKSHOP
Date:  Saturday, February 4 and Saturday, March 24
Time:  10:30 am to 12:30 pm
Cost:  $15.00 (one 2-hour session)
Skill:  Beginner and up
IT'S YOUR CHOICE--DAY
Date:  Wednesdays, February 29, March 14, 28, and April 11
Time:  11:00 am to 1:00 pm
Cost:  $48.00 plus supplies
Skill:  Advanced beginner and up
IT'S YOUR CHOICE--EVENING
Date:  Wednesdays, March 7, 21, April 4, 18
Time:  4:00 pm to 6:00 pm
Cost:  $48.00 plus supplies
Skill:  Advanced beginner and up
DROP SPINDLE SPINNING
Date:  Thursday, February 9 and March 8
Time:  6:00 pm to 8 pm
Cost:  $15.00 plus supplies
Skill:  Beginner with patience
BEGINNING WHEEL SPINNING
Date:  Thursdays, March 15, 22, 29
Time:  6:00 pm to 8:00 pm
Cost:  $36.00 plus supplies
Skill:  Beginner
SPIN-IN!
Date:  Saturday, February 11 and Saturday, March 10
Time:  10 am to 3 pm
Cost:  FREE
The Spin-In is not a class, but an informal gathering of spinners (spindle and wheel spinners) to spend some time together spinning, chatting, and sharing their love of spinning and fiber.

22.1.12

The sweet smell of success!

This week I received a giveaway from Fleur.  Two lovely little hand knitted bags filled with lavender.  The smell is heavenly!  Thank you, Fleur (Fleurtje-Eliza on Ravelry).  I was feeling a bit low the day they arrived and it was a wonderful surprise to see the package from you.
Heaven scent!
I finished the SWAK & Hugs vest.  I love it.  It blocked beautifully and the Naturally Tussock is wonderful yarn--a perfect choice for the project.  The buttons are absolutely perfect--success!
Blocking the vest.
Now on to finishing the Kasuri Chanchanko (or as I dubbed it, Tangled). That has more to do with the yarn than the project.  The first skein I wound into a ball turned into yarn barf and I had a heck of a time untangling as I wound.  Knitted up, the yarn creates beautiful fabric with a lovely hand and drape.
Eeek, steeks! They have been cut
and it was relatively painless (to me).
Kathryn plied her singles together and has hanks of her first hand spun yarn.  Well done, Kathryn!  We have our last session this week, so it is time to get out the calendar and get more classes on the schedule.  Upcoming one-session classes:  Thursday, February 9, 6 pm to 8 pm, Drop Spindle and Thursday, February 23, 6 pm to 8 pm, Finishing Touches.  The next Spin-In is on Saturday, February 11, from 10 am to 12 pm!  Exploring Color and Texture begins on Tuesday, February 7, and continues the 14th, 21st, and 28th.  I have two more evening sessions of It's Your Choice on Wednesday, February 1st and 22nd.  Look for another evening and a daytime class on the schedule!
Happy knitting and spinning!
From bottom to top (Blue-Faced Leicester):  2-ply hank,
bobbin 1--good, bobbin 2--better, bobbin 3, best.

19.1.12

When the planets align...

...there is magic!  I had a spindle class on Saturday and there is a great sense of satisfaction and fun when a student has their a-ha moment of knowledge.  Whether it is controlling the drafting zone in spinning, or as in my case, picking up stitches for a neck band in seed stitch, when executed correctly it is a magical moment.
Sara shows off her first hand spun yarn.  
I picked up the stitches around the SWAK & Hugs for the seed stitch neck band.  So far, so good...the yarn is quite lofty and I hope it does not look too big when I wear it.  Humph, I am not happy with the collar or the arm band.  I did, however, find the perfect buttons.  Luckily I bought some a few months back when JoAnn, ETC had them and I needed two more.  They had them again!  Once I regroup and re-knit, I'll sew those lovely buttons on, block, and have a new vest to wear!
My current NBK (No Brain Knitting) project is a Baktus scarf knitted with Noro lace weight yarn.  I like the way the yarn over increase looks.  I began making the Lacy Baktus, but did not like the look of the fabric.  Noro has a thick and thin texture which lends itself well to plain stitching.  

So Fine Scarf on size US 1/2.25 mm needles
SWAK & Hugs Vest with the perfect buttons!
Last night at It's Your Choice, we had a good time.  The entrelac projects are progressing, a Fair Isle bag needed a bit of math adjustment and is looking good, some beautiful knee socks benefitted from a quick lesson in duplicate (Swiss darning) stitching, and some warm slippers are going to keep some feet warm, soon!  I thought I would be able to wear my vest, but I am pushing to have it finished along with the Tangled Vest by our next class!

Check out the previous post for upcoming classes and Spin-Ins at Shepherd's Choice.

9.1.12

Class Notes for the week...

I teach knitting and spinning at a LYS (local yarn shop) in Anoka, Minnesota.  Now it is time to talk about my upcoming classes at Shepherd's Choice. Minimum students per class--3, maximum--6.  The Spin-Ins are for as many as we can fit!
This is the painting that used to be on  Kathy's barn.
It is now in the shop and is one of my
favorite things in Kathy's shop!
EXPLORE COLOR & TEXTURE
Date/Time:  Tuesdays, 6 pm-8 pm, February 7, 14, 21, 28, 2012
This class will focus on color work and cables/textures (Fair Isle, intarsia, cables, lace, etc).  this is a good opportunity to kick your knitting skills up a notch to a whole new world of knitting.  Currently, I'm working on Eala Bhan by Alice Starmore, and XO Cardigan, and Kasuri Chanchanko by Cheryl Oberle.  Students can pick their own projects.  Recommended books are:  Kristin Knits, Color by Kristin, Aran Knitting, A Fine Fleece, or Folk Vests. 
Skill Level: Intermediate to Advanced
Cost:  $48.00 plus supplies

Below are some color and texture samples that would make great choices...
The hat's bi-color cable is worked as Fair Isle.
(Kathy's shop sample)
For intarsia knitting, the different colors
are knitted separately making a single layer of fabric. 
(Pillow knitted by me)
Fun hat designs with lots of color
and texture can chase away the winter cold.
(Kathy's shop samples)
Slippers from Color by Kristin are
a good way to try out Fair Isle knitting.
(Slippers knitted by me)
Extra-Long Scarf from Color by Kristin
is knit in the round and a fun way to
learn about combining colors.
(Scarf knitted by me)
One of my students, Dawn, made these slippers.
I love the bells on the toes!
IT'S YOUR CHOICE--EVENING
Date/Time:  Wednesdays, 4 pm-6 pm, January 4, 18, February 1, 22, 2012
We started last week and have a full class of six students and a good variety of projects. Fun group with lots of chatting, laughing, and knitting!  Students pick their own project/s to work on during class.  This is a good time to try a new technique.
Skill Level:  Advanced Beginner and up
Supplies:  Pattern, yarn, and needles of choice
Cost:  $48.00 + supplies


IT'S YOUR CHOICE--DAYTIME 
(Wednesdays, 11 am-1 pm, January 11, 25, February 8, 22, 2012)
This is a daytime version.


FINISHING TOUCHES WORKSHOP
Date/Time:  Thursday, February 23, 2012, 6 pm-8 pm
Just the workshop to learn those finishing techniques such as seaming, Kitchener stitch, blocking, picking up stitches, etc.
Skill Level:  Beginner and up
Supplies:  A project or projects ready for finishing, finishing tools--yarn, scissors, buttons, and tapestry needles.
Cost:  $15.00 + supplies


WHEEL SPINNING 
Date/Time:  Thursdays, January 12, 19, 26, 2012, 6 pm-8 pm
A beginning course for learning how to spin your own yarn on a spinning wheel.  (For this class you will need a functional spinning wheel.)
Skill Level:  Beginner
Supplies:  A functioning spinning wheel, and about 8 ounces of wool roving
Class Price:  $36.00 + supplies
Go small with a spindle,
or go big with a wheel!
Lovely hand-dyed roving on the railing upstairs.
Locally raised Alpaca is a dream to spin.
I spun and plied the sample skein with a drop spindle.
The small bags contain more of the alpaca
and the larger bag is raw fleece. 
Dawn made mitts with her first handspun yarn.
DROP SPINDLE SPINNING--Learn how to spin your own yarn!
Date/Time:  Thursday, February 9, 2012, 6 pm-8 pm
Skill Level:  Beginner
Supplies:  Drop spindle (top or bottom whorl), 4 to 8 ounces of wool roving (the shop has a good supply), and PATIENCE!
Class Price:  $15.00 + supplies.


SATURDAY SPIN-IN
(This is not a class, it's free, and a fun way to meet other spinners in the area!  Bring your wheel or spindle, some fiber, or add to the stash from Kathy's selection of spinning fibers, and a show-and-tell if you wish.)
Our first Spin-In of the year was on Saturday.  It was fun!  Thanks to all attendees.  The next two dates are:
February 11, 2012 from 10 am-1 pm
March 10, 2012 from 10 am-1 pm

2.1.12

What's new?

The year, for one.  Welcome 2012!  This is a big year for Ben, as he will graduate in the spring.  We are excited for him and he is ready.  We had a nice holiday when he was home and had another couple over for New Year's eve.  We all stayed up long enough to welcome 2012 complete with champagne and poppers.  The weather turned and we now have some snow, which will probably be gone in a few days due to the unusually warm temperatures predicted later this week.
I took down the tree and decorations yesterday.  Now begins the tedious task of putting everything away for another year.
Gery Grey Wolf was in a festive mood.
Eevee found a spot by the door.  She likes Gery. 
With the warm temperatures, Jim took
the opportunity to take down the lights.
Up on the rooftop a little behind schedule.
We finally got snow on New Year's eve.
Happy New Year 2012!


In the New Year, may your right hand always be 
stretched out in friendship, but never in want.
~Irish Toast