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Sunday, August 16, 2015

My First Knitting Retreat

Vogue Knitting held a knitting retreat on Block Island in May.  I've been wanting to attend a knitting retreat for a long time and this one seemed an ideal first experience.  It was a wonderful experience.  The retreat was hosted by North Light Fibers.  A micro-mill and shop on the island.  Their yarns are excellent.

The hotel was perfect with an ideal front porch for knitting.






The retreat included 3 classes.  They were all worthwhile.  Deborah Newton taught a class on Guernsey patterns.  As part of the class, we each received a skein of North Light Fibers Beach Avenue Yarn.  This yarn is Worsted Weight 70% Baby Alpaca/30% Fine Merino.  I absolutely love this yarn.

When class was over, I walked to the shop and purchased 3 additional skeins in a variety of colors so that I could knit this scarf.  It is an unexpected souvenir of the retreat.



I really want a sweater knit with this yarn.  Each skein is 135 yards so I'll have to save up as it will be a pricey sweater.  I know it will last indefinitely so I think it will be worth the investment both is time and money.

I did leave home with a yarn purchase and a project in mind as my souvenir of the trip.  I enjoy knitting gloves, fingers and all.

Here's the yarn that I purchased.  It's the North Light Fiber Water Street.  The color is called Summer Ocean and it is 40% Cashmere/60%Super Fine Merino.  I wish that you could feel the texture of this yarn.  It is amazing.







Here's 2 of my favorite sites of the weekend.  The lighthouse and one of the resident alpacas sitting outside of the shop and mill.



 I will most definitely be attending more knitting retreats and hopefully Vogue Knitting will offer this one again next year.





Sunday, July 26, 2015

Learn to Knit Purse

Teaching children to knit is always such a wonderful experience.  I use this purse as their first real project after they knit a small square to get the feel of the process.  Here's the purse and the pattern


Materials:
U.S. Size 11 knitting needles
One Pair of Oval Wooden Handles 8 ½ inches by 5 ½ inches
¼ inch ribbon
Yarn needle
Learn to Knit Purse
Directions:
Cast on 32 stitches
Knit 30 rows (15 ridges) will measure approximately 6 inches
Next 42 rows are as follows:
Row 1-Knit across
Row 2-Purl across
Repeat rows 1 and 2 until all 42 rows are complete.  This is called Stockinette Stitch.
Final 30 rows are Knit across
Piece will measure approximately 23 inches long.
Cast off all stitches.


Assembly:

Thread ribbon through eye of the yarn needle

Fold end of knit piece over the handle and sew through both layers of the piece.

Sew a second row of ribbon and pull to gather the knitted piece.  Tie a bow with the ends of the ribbon.

Repeat on other end with second handle



Turn knitted piece with the purl side of the stockinette stitch section showing.  Sew the stockinette sides of the purse together.

Turn purse so that knit side of stockinette is on the outside

Enjoy your knitted purse!


Saturday, June 27, 2015

Knit Stitch Pattern Saturday

This is Week 4 of Stitch Pattern Saturday.  This week I knit the stitch pattern used in the Plymouth Yarn 8 hour Baby Blanket Book.  I finished a blanket using this stitch pattern recently.  I love the ease of stitching this pattern.





 Here's the stats on my swatch:
  • This pattern is a 4 stitch repeat.  My swatch is 9 repeats of the pattern 
  •  It was done on U.S. Size 7 needles with worsted weight cotton.
  •  I repeated the 4 row stitch pattern 9 1/2 times. 
  •  It measures 7 1/2 inches wide and 6 1/2 inches long.




This is a great stitch for dishcloths.    I'm adding this to my stitch pattern notebook for future projects.

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Knit Stitch Pattern Saturday

This is Week 3 of Stitch Pattern Saturday.  This week I knit the Garter Stitch Cobblestones pattern in the 400 knitting stitches book by Potter Craft.

Here's the stats on my swatch:
  • This pattern is a 12 stitch repeat.  My swatch is 3 repeats of the pattern along with an edge stitch on each side for a total of 38 stitches
  •  It was done on U.S. Size 7 needles with worsted weight cotton.
  •  I repeated the 24 row stitch pattern 1 1/2 times. 
  •  It measures 9 inches wide and 6 1/2 inches long.




This is a great stitch for dishcloths.  Another use might be as the edges for a blanket when used with another stitch pattern.  I'm adding this to my stitch pattern notebook for future projects.

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Stitch Pattern Saturday-Diamond and Garter Stitch Rib

Welcome to Week 2 of my Stitch Pattern Saturday..  I have several stitch pattern books and this week I tried the Diamond and Garter Stitch Rib pattern in the 400 knitting stitches book by Potter Craft.



Here's the stats on my swatch:
  • This pattern is a 13 stitch repeat plus 4 additional stitches.  My swatch is 3 repeats of the pattern along with an edge stitch on each side for a total of 45 stitches
  •  It was done on U.S. Size 7 needles with worsted weight cotton.
  •  It measures approximately 10 1/2 inches wide.
  •  I repeated the 8 row stitch pattern 2 times. 
  •  It measures 3 inches long.

I'm adding this swatch to my stitch pattern notebook although I admit that I'm not thrilled with this pattern.  But it might be just what I'm looking for one day.

Saturday, June 6, 2015

Stitch Pattern Saturday

My Summer project this year is to expand my repertoire of stitch patterns.  I have several stitch pattern books and started with the Tile 1 pattern in the 400 knitting stitches book by Potter Craft.

 



Here's the stats on my swatch:
  • This pattern is a 14 stitch repeat.  My swatch is 3 repeats of the pattern along with an edge stitch on each side.
  •  It was done on U.S. Size 7 needles with worsted weight cotton.
  •  It measures approximately 11 inches wide.
  •  I repeated the 12 row stitch pattern 3 times. 
  •  It measures 6 1/2 inches long.

I've set up a notebook and I'm going to create a collection of my favorite stitch patterns so that when I'm ready to create, I have a personal reference resource.

This idea came about as a result of my recent class with Knitwear designer Deborah Newton.  She stressed the idea of making swatches just for the fun of it.  She had a whole collection of large, beautiful swatches and I was inspired.

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Sewing Class Project Spring 2015

Teaching How to Use your Sewing Machine at the local community school was once again, an enjoyable experience.  I taught the first group in the Fall of 2013, Here's the link to their projects, the second group in the Fall of 2014, here's the link to their projects and now this group.  I did this semester a little differently.  The first class was the Beginner group.  I limited the enrollment to 8 students this time.  A much needed adjustment, class was more manageable.  

As in the past, I started with winding a bobbin and threading the machine and then we proceeded to making the tote bags.  Here's an example of my students finished projects.




 


The second 5 week session was an Intermediate class, open to students of my beginner classes.  I limited that class to 6 individuals.  Each student had a choice of patterns.




We started week one with learning to read the back of the pattern envelope including what type and how much fabric to use, what size to make, and notions and tools that would be needed.  Then we opened the pattern instructions and read through them and picked out the needed pieces of the pattern and loosely cut them out.  My students' reaction to the tissue paper was quite amusing.  They were really concerned with the weight of the tissue paper.

Week 2, each student pinned their pattern pieces to the fabric that they had purchased.  This reinforced my decision to limiting the class to 6 students.  Today's public school classrooms do not have the large tables that are needed.  Luckily we were in a Science lab and the tables were arranged 2 together making a suitable surface to lay out the pattern pieces.

Week 3,4, & 5 were dedicated to sewing.  Here's a few pictures of some of the finished projects.





Hopefully my students will continue to sew.  We had a good time together.  I believe sewing to be an important skill and a wonderful way to express your creativity. 

So have you done any sewing lately?  Do you know someone who would benefit from your knowledge and learn to sew?






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