Thursday, October 22, 2009

Knitting with cashmere...

is the best knitting I've ever had! I stitched up this "Pretty Thing" with some lovely Jade Sapphire Cashmere this week. Stephanie Pearl-McPhee designed this cowl and I've been dieing to get my hands on the pattern, which she just released after months of anticipation from her many blog readers. It's a very quick knit which doesn't use much yarn at all, and the lace pattern is very easy to knit. I think I've found my "go to" pattern for quick gift knits.

Now, I don't have a dog, but I know that those of you who do would love to have a nice cozy wool sweater to put on your puppy to keep him warm this winter, wouldn't you? I will be teaching how to knit a sweater for your dog at Cast Away on November 1st and 8th.  I knit up this green mock cable sweater for a small dog, but I've got a pattern that can be knit up in several sizes for bigger pups, too.  The Fiber Trends pattern also has 2 other stitch patterns that can be used instead of the mock cable.
Come take a class with me, your dog will love you for it!

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Knitting has become more than a passion for me lately. I've branched out from just knitting my own projects to teaching, as I mentioned in my earlier post. I've also done some sample knitting for Melissa Leapman, designer for Knit 'N Style and author of numerous knitting and crochet instruction books. In April I crocheted a jacket in silk yarn that will be in Knit 'N Style this fall. It was a nice simple pattern and I can't wait to see it in the magazine! Melissa is great to work with and I really enjoyed the whole process. Here's a sneak peak:

Melissa has asked me to knit a jacket for her and the yarn just arrived from Cascade yesterday so I'll be casting on this week. This one will be denim blue in bulky yarn.

On another note, sock knitting is what I love to do and Cookie A, sock designer extraordinaire, asked me to participate in a test knit for a gorgeous cable twist sock this past week. This was my first time doing a test knit and found the process to be quite interesting and challenging. The sock had to be done in 6 days and was quite a complex pattern. Fortunately, I knit slower than many of the participants so the pattern revisions all happened before I knit to that place in the pattern. I knit fast and furiously all day yesterday to get the right sock done and it came out great! I can't post a photo until May 1st and hopefully by then I'll have a pair done!

Since January I have completed a few projects and below are photos of most of what I've been up to for the last few months:

The Sipalu bag from KnitPicks. This was a kit full of beautiful shades of blue and green, done in fair-isle knitting.

These are Through The Loop mystery socks that I knit one clue at time. A very nice pattern, knit in Berocco Ultra Fine Alpaca.

The Inside-Outside scarf from "Knit One Below", knit in Noro Kureyon. I taught a class for this scarf and found it a bit challenging to teach.

The Swallow Tail Scarf by Evelyn Clark, knit in Noro Kureyon Sock, with beads where the nupps would be in the lily of the valley lace.

My favorite: the Fake-A-Gamo bag! I just love it for the spring. Knit with Sugar and Cream and Arucania cotton. Lots of fun to knit!

These are Cookie A's Twisted Flower socks knit in Cascade Heritage sock yarn. Another fun and challenging pattern!

Finally, this is the circular shrug, knit with Caron Simply Soft Shadows.

Lots of fun projects finished and several more on the needles now: Little Blue Sweater, Turkish Heels and Bosnian Toes, Widdershins toe up socks, Cookie A's left sock test knit, Be Sweet diagonal scarf, and the sample jacket for Melissa. I guess I better get back to knitting.......

New Spring Classes at Cast Away

Last December I began teaching knitting at a new LYS that opened in historic Railroad Square in Santa Rosa, Castaway. I love teaching and have had a fabulous bunch of students. I started teaching socks, which is my preferred project of choice, but I am branching out and teaching some other projects this spring.

First up is the Be Sweet Diagonal Scarf. It is a nice airy spring scarf done with large needles and fine lacy boucle yarn. Although it can be done in the yarn of your choice, my sample is actually going to be done in Noro Kureyon Sock. This photo is of Be Sweet's Mohair Boucle. The class is two Mondays, April 27th and May 4th from 5:30 to 7:30 pm. Cost is $40 plus cost of materials.

In May, I'll be teaching Elizabeth Zimmermann's Baby Surprise Jacket. This jacket is really fun and interesting to knit, all in garter stitch with strategically placed increases and decreases for shaping. This class will be taught on Sundays, May 17th and 24th from 1:00 to 3:00 pm. This class is also $40 plus materials.

Please come join me for some knitting! Hope to see you there. Castaway is located at 111 Fourth Street in Santa Rosa. (707) 546-yarn.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Wanna see some knitting?

I know, I am a poor blogger... I wish I could do better. Although I am on my Mac quite a lot of the time, I really do spend most of my leisure time knitting. Therefore, less time for blogging. I do like to share my knitting pics so I will try to make more of an effort to stay current. Okay, here goes...these are my latest endeavors:

A pillow for our bed, twin trees on one side, the Tower Eiffel on the other.

Hooray for me gloves for Dillon:

Demo socks for my knitting classes:

A colorwork bag from Knitpicks (not quite finished, but almost):

Cat Bordhi's Coriolis Socks in Jitterbug and a Mystery KAL sock in Lisa Souza Sock!:

And finally these two are still a work in progress:
Darren and Dillon (1992 and 2009)

An awesome new yarn store in town...

(and I'm teaching sock knitting in it!)

There is finally a wonderfully charming yarn store in downtown Santa Rosa. Cast Away opened at the end of November in Railroad Square and its owner, Justine and her daughter, Cleo, have really outdone themselves. The shop is in a great location with a big city feel inside. I love the brick walls, the gorgeous lamp shades hanging from the tall ceilings, the loft for teaching and knit nights, and even live music on occasion. There are various antique chairs and couches for knitting on and hot water and loose tea for sipping on. Justine has a wonderful selection of yarn, all displayed in very creative ways. She is always moving things around, making room for all the new stock and everytime I shop there is something new to tempt me.

Cast Away has several knitting classes going at all times. Scarfs, hats, mittens, felting, and socks are just a few that I know of. I was asked if I wanted to teach and I so far have been teaching sock knitting. I absolutely love it! I so enjoy sharing with others what I have learned, as I have immersed myself in knitting, eager to learn all I can about the craft. I have educated myself with books, DVDs, podcasts and weblogs and websites on knitting. There is such a wealth of knowledge to be had! I am eager to teach some other classes, as well as socks, and I am putting together some ideas for some project classes. I hope to see some of you in the yarn store because I know you're going to love it as I do. And come have some fun and take a knitting class!