December 6, 2012

Classes From the Summer

I did a lot to push myself as a knitter over this summer.  Finding balance between my different little lives.  I knew the house and work would push me mentally, so I wanted a challenge I could throw myself into.

I made it a resolution for 2012 to take a spinning class.  I signed up to take 'Spinning for Knitting' at Stitches Midwest this year.  The teacher was Merike and she'd been teaching knitting since I was an infant.  She knows her stuff, and really made me feel confident.  I was one of 3 in a class of about 12 that had spun before.  I was confident on my spindle and just gotten my electric spinning wheel and was feeling good about that.  I wasn't too sure about proper techniques to ply and I wanted to play around with different fibers.  This class helped a lot on both those fronts.  Next I'd like to try spinning woolen (vs worsted?  I get the two confused because the terms hold little meaning to me yet).  I left with a bunch of samples of fibers to try, and some wonderfully balanced 2 ply.

What did I learn from this class?  I learned that a lot of things I've heard on spinning podcasts were not true. You cannot balance your yarn with 'blocking' and that water re-energizes your yarn.  It also made me realize how picky I'm going to be about my own handspun.

I took a couple classes from guest teachers at Fuzzy Wuzzy this summer.

I had a class on the History of Lace Knitting with Franklin Habbit.  He is such a wonderful, patient teacher.  Talking about knitting and lace for 3 hours just seemed so short.  I think I could sit and listen to this all day.  It was great information and fun to learn a few new tricks for making polished lace projects.  Thanks!

I had a class from Marly Bird on Entrelac Crochet.  The class was fast paced and really challenging.  Learned the 3 basic blocks and how to put them all together to make different types of entrelac patterns.  I ended up settling on the easiest set for a project.

I left class and started a baby blanket for a co-worker.  That was the original plan, rather than stripes I wanted to do something fun.  The coworker had me show her how to knit so she could start a blanket herself.  She had learned to knit a long time ago and had put her needles down.  I don't know that she's gotten very far, but at least she'll have one right away :)

December 5, 2012

The Check-in

I have been busy!  Not just with the new house, but crafting!

I have 3 holiday gifts to finish.  And I hope I can make it.  1 pair of socks, 1 table runner, and another pair of house socks.

I'm going to be keeping the socks pretty simple, my own pattern of women's socks in some fun fall colors for my unofficial SIL.  You can check out the pattern - Lazy and Cabled Socks on ravelry here!  She actually ASKED for hand knits, which makes you knit-worthy in my book.  I dug around in my stash for some yarn that would be durable and cozy.  I came up with some Trekking XXL that I think I won from the KnitPurlHunter KAL last winter.  I love the colors, I think I have these tones in at least 2 other brands of sock yarn!  I hope she loves them.

The table runner is for my mom.  She reads this blog so, no details.  I'm making it up based on the basic scarf we all make as our first project.  You know - knit every row until you run out of yarn?  Oh, but I have the right number of stitches on my needle for the width I want it to be and I'll stop at 5 feet.  I also made pointy ends.  POINTY!

The last pair of socks is for my buddy Evan.  He got one of my first scarves when I was learning to knit.  And now that I'm considerably more skilled, he should be rewarded for having suffered through my learning curve right?  He's getting hipster pink house socks.  Big man feet are my sock kryptonite, so I hope I can power through them.  I am kind of making it up as I go based on basic sock patterns.  I don't know if I want to put an afterthought heel or a heel flap on it.  I think the flap would be more durable, and I could put a heart back there, but I know a short row after thought would be quicker.  So I haven't touched them in a while.

Thems the holiday knits.  I will be back next week to touch base on the adventures over the summer.  Highlights being some classes I've taught, Stitches Midwest & Vogue Knitting Live, Guest Teachers at my LYS, Some KALS, and a new wheel  :)