Friday, January 29

The Magic of Friends

Last night my house was full of Knitting friends.
How lucky am I?

Saturday, January 23

The new classes have been up for a week now and the sign-ups have been going really well. Putting up the classes always increase the number of people checking out my site.

While looking at stats to see what was going on, I realized that I actually have people reading my blog.

Yup, not only are people coming during the week I have put up new classes, they come back on a regular basis.

Yup, there are people reading this blog. And the numbers are actually higher then the number of my friends and students.

I find this amazing. I am not a writer by any stretch of the imagination. I am so greatful that someone, or as it turns out several someones, are actually taking the time to read my pages and then come back and do it again.

Thank You Thank You Thank You.

On with the knitting!
Since putting classes up, I have been busy knitting the samples for the classes. I selected the classes a little differently this time around. Instead of thinking about what I thought you, the student, might want to knit I decided to pick things I really wanted to knit.

What a difference that made. I have found that because I am excited about what we are going to be knitting so are you. I am also having a blast knitting everything up.

First up is the Mosaic Stole. This is a slip stitch pattern and it has been really fun knit. I have had to do some color managment with the noro silk garden lite I am using. There are 4 shades that are in the same family (pinks and corals). I don't want them coming up at the same time because, well, that would be too much pink and coral going on.

Solution? I rewound the balls so I could see what was happening with the colors and then figured out where I should start the two strands so that, in theory, those color families will not show up at the same time. I have a feeling I will have some more management to do before I get to the end of this project.

In hindsight, (don't you just love hindsight? I only wish we could have it more often as foresight), I would use noro colors that had more, distinctly different colors in one skein. The whole project would probably flow better.

Next up is the Hemlock Ring Blanket. It is finally on my needles. I have wanted to knit this for a very long time. I have had the yarn in my stash for maybe a year now. Any time it came to the top of my list I would place it back down to the bottom in favor of projects that were more pressing at the time. Now it is on the "I need to knit list" and guess what??

I am loving this pattern. It took me a couple of times out of the gate to get it going but it is moving right along now.

I started with an alpaca yarn I bought for this project a long time ago. It was a light worsted weight yarn and this pattern really needs the heavy worsted. I could have gone down needle sizes and it would have worked just fine but I really wanted to use heavier yarn so it would be a thicker blanket and it would work up faster.

So into the stash I went and came up with 7 skeins of City Tweed from Knitpicks that I had originally bought for a cardigan. Now it will keep me warm as a blanket. I am about done with my 3rd skein as I write this and it really is coming out lovely.

Next on my needles will be the rainbow scarf (rav link) and the Nona's Garden Pillow. I know, it is a shawl, but I just have this feeling that I will end up with a pillow. Which suites me just fine.

Thursday, January 21

Craft of Hope for Haiti

Craft Hope for Haiti Shop Spreading seeds of hope one stitch at a time
"spreading seeds of hope, one stitch at a time"

Craft of Hope was started by Jade Sims and has been creating handmade items to share with those that are in need. They have had some very successful projects but their Haiti project has taken off over night.

Craft of Hope has created an Etsy shop with a 100% of the proceeds going to Doctors Without Borders

Edit: 1/25/10 - Over $27,000 raised and over 1400 items sold!
That is a lot of product being donated by a lot of artist and a lot of product being listed and organized by just a few woman.

The creative community is the best. If you have wanted to help the people in Haiti and just not sure where to send your money this may be your answer.

Monday, January 11

Year of Color

I have been putting together the classes for the next few months. Almost everything I am drawn to right now has a lot of color in it. There are so many things to choose from it is hard not to just start one project after the other.

Luckily I have friends to help me make my choices. Because I teach knitting I am able to pick out some of my favorite things to knit and then see if there are others who want to learn to do the same thing.

I used to have to guess at this. But now there is a great online site, "survey monkey" that allows me to send my ideas out to my mailing list and see what everyone thinks about my choices before I schedule them. Of course I still knit things that are not on my class list. But I love that I can knit some wonderful things and share the joy with others.

Here are some of the projects I am really excited about.

Byzantine Scarf by Susan Pandorf
(thanks Debra for finding this one)

The magic of these beautiful colors are accomplished by using a technique known as Mosaic knitting. Only one color is used per row along with some slip stitches. Looks much more involved then it is. Love that!

Then there is this lovely Rainbow scarf. (rav. link)

Double knitting and one skein of yarn used from both ends is the magic behind this color wonder. Another very impressive scarf for such a simple technique.

The one project I am really going to sink my teeth into is the "Mona's Shawl".

This is going to be a KAL with some of us knitting the shawl and then several people have opted to knit the "East meets West" bag. Knitpicks

Both projects are what color knitting is all about.

This is the Year of Color for me. I want to really push myself and see where it leads me. Want to join me?

Harika Socks by Stephanie van der Linden
(thanks Lisa for pointing these out)

What are some of your goals for knitting this year?