4.28.2009

My NEW Kind of Teaching

I started teaching knitting a few years ago, and found out that, for me, it is one of the most rewarding, inspiring, and amusing aspects of my job. I've always been creative and personable, but a serious teacher, responsible for the eduction of others? Who wouldda thunk it? Thankfully, I love it and as it turns out, not so bad at it!

That said, I also LOVE knitting, and LOVE my friends, and NEED them to knit with me. I only learned to knit 5 years ago and none of my friends were knitters. I've slowly been teaching them, one at a time, turning them to the "dark side" and "making" them knitters. I did this carefully so no one would suspect it was really my own selfish need to have my buddies knit with me. Sorry folks, I did it out of love, I promise.

Well, many of these knitters were ready to make socks, and instead of spending many nights with them one-on-one I decided to hold a class at my house on a chilly Sunday afternoon in March. My new favorite kind of class was born! Seven women converged on my kitchen, there were snacks and coffee and giggles, and serious moments. I discovered that it was okay to curse a bit, these are my friends, gosh darn, we were it's at my house, and I didn't have to watch everything I said. I was myself times ten which was a blast! I don't even think I knit that much I was having so much fun educating them on the anatomy of a sock.

One decision I made which turns out to be the smartest one of the day was that NO ONE could have a "real" drink until they turned their heel. Alcohol and new sock knitters do not go together, I promise you that. Things did fall apart a bit once the bottles got broken out, and a few toes got frogged, but that only added to the amusement of the day.

All in all it was a blast, I can't wait to teach socks at SAW in a few weeks, but think we'll wait for the bottles until we hit the campfire that night.

What do you think I should teach my unsuspecting ladies next?
Lace with Mojitos?

4.07.2009

Vaya Shrug is Born!

yarn: 1 sk Schaefer Anne in Julia Child
Vaya Shrug is the perfect "go to" shrug for dressing up a tank or long sleeve shirt or for popping over a dress when you have a chill. Designed with Schaefer Yarn's Anne in mind, the shrug is worked in less than one skein of yarn*, and will easy fold up small and fit in your bag when not needed! Vaya is worked on big needles so the fabric has a loose draping hand that allows the mohair content of the yarn to "bloom" wonderfully.

yarn: 1 sk Schaefer Anne in Chamomile
Vaya is worked top-down, flat, (i.e. back and forth) on a circular needle. Virtually seamless, all you need to sew is 2 small sleeve seams.... not so painful! I tried and tried to make it seamless, but the yarn kept pooling in the sleeves in a way it didn't when worked flat and I found the pooling to be "unacceptable!"

There was approximately one ounce of yarn left on the skein when the shrug was complete. Therefore, the shrug could be worked an inch or more in length if desired. This is suggested if the shrug is to be worn by those with an ample bosom. The shrug in Chamomile is worked with one inch more in length than the shrug in Julia Child to allow for the difference in my models chest sizes. One thing I LOVE about this shrug is how good it looks on a variety of body types.
I have to admit I've worn the Julia Child version, alot since I made it. Last week I am embarrassed to say, I wore it three days in a row (with different shirts underneath, no worries.) Luckily I saw different people everyday and so avoided being busted for my fashion faux pas!
It is quite easy to make this shrug wider (or narrower) by working more (or less) increase rows before you put the sleeve stitches onto holders. You might want to put the shrug on scrap yarn and try it on at this point to decide if you want to increase or decrease the width. Remember, though, if you have only bought one skein of yarn you won’t want to go too much bigger, or you’ll run out of yarn!

The border is attached to the shrug perpendicularly by working across the border and the working the last st of the border and next stitch of the hem of the shrug together. This is all explained in detail in the pattern!

Thanks to Hadley and Joan for tech editing, and Sheri for her awesome quick test knit! And of course to Caitlin and Diana, what would I do without you two?

*Anne has 560 yards on a skein and is one of my favorite yarns to work with.