1.31.2010

My beading Saturday with 4-H!

We all wear many hats, one of mine is to co-lead my daughter's SUPER FUN 4-H group. I'm a huge fan of 4-H, the opportunities it allows for children (and adults), and the community spirit it inherently generates, keep us coming back for more (more about this in another post one day!) 
This Saturday I was in charge of leading our 4-H meeting. I decided to teach the kids a few new beading techniques with the hope that they could build some skills AND crank out some beautiful jewelry and accessories.  With the goal of selling their handcrafts and donating the proceeds to a charity of their choice. (We certainly discussed Haiti.)

Our group has a wide range of ages in it. I taught the older kids (8+) how to make Woven Seed Bead Rings, and the younger ones how to make these super cool lizards. The basic technique is the same, so some of the younger ones started out making lizards and quickly moved up to be able to make the rings. I'll be posting a tutorial showing you how to make these rings. The materials you need are quite minimal, and the results are superb.  Some of the kids even discussed making bracelets with the same technique... we didn't have enough wire on Saturday, but I am rather looking forward to trying this one day soon.
Our group is well on it's way to amassing a good amount of handcrafted goodies to sale later this spring, I can't wait to see what else they come up with... I am SO proud of them!  What did you do this weekend? 

1.25.2010

SQUAM ART WORKSHOPS

I'm OH SO happy to announce that I'll be teaching at SAW again this June!  My experience there last June was phenomenal!  The line up of teachers this year is unbelievable... once again, I am honored to be teaching workshops among such a gifted group of knitters and artists




Here's a video that was made last year.. if you watch the whole thing, you'll get to see me teaching socks at warp speed!  Seriously, I don't bounce that much in real-life!

I'll be teaching Entomology on all day on Thursday, Circulate all day on Friday, and WIP 'em OUT on Saturday morning.  Jenny Doh is scheduled to speak on Wednesday eve, followed by a campfire acoustic performance by one of my fav musicians, Jonatha Brooke and (I'm psyched about this!) The Yarn Harlot will speak on Friday.  

If you have any questions about SAW, and what it is like there, please feel free to ask. I'm more than happy to fill you in on the whole experience, from the ice cream sundaes and belgian waffle bar at breakfast, to the amazing scenery, to the indescribable energy and environment, to the extraordinary attendees.  (This list could go on and on). 

Elizabeth M, the visionary Mama of Squam, has put together a weekend that is destined to be legendary!  Registration opens Feb 1, won't you join us?

1.20.2010

Knitscene Winter/Spring 2010


Tourmaline 
simple lace triangular shawl worked from the bottom up
One skein Schaefer Anne in Sage

This issue is chock full of incredible designs, including a whole collection by my friend, Connie that I just adore.  It's just hit the LYS's... go pick up your copy before they sell out : )!

1.18.2010

Beaded Cuffs for Haiti

I'm so inspired by how knitters and crafters around the world have joined forces to help the people of Haiti survive the devastating earthquake that shook their country last week.  Among others, look at what Craft Hope, Ravelry, and the Yarn Harlot have done!  As soon as I heard about Ravelry's new feature of allowing designers to designate their patterns to have a portion of proceeds to be donated to "Help for Haiti" I knew I had to join in.  At first, I listed my two most popular patterns, Susan and Heather Undulating Waves Scarf to be sold with 100% of proceeds to be donated to MSF. I've sold more of those patterns in the last 36 hours than I do in a month, so I figured maybe I could list something NEW to help more! 

Do you remember this post?  I designed the Beaded Cuffs for It's in the Bag, last fall. The pattern copyright has finally reverted back to me and I can make it available to the public.  I am seriously in LOVE with these Beaded Cuffs.  I've knit TONS of them, I almost always have one going in a little bag in my purse for when I run out of other knitting, they are small, portable, light weight, quick and FUN to knit!  Best of all, people love to receive them as gifts, I haven't run out of recipients yet...



I've decided that for between now and Feb 5 50% of all sales of Beaded Cuffs will be donated to Doctors without Borders to help in Haiti and where ever else their help is needed!

The pattern includes two different designs, a wider lace diamond cuff and a beaded twist motif.  Worked over 17 and 12 sts respectively, this is not lace that will hurt your brain, I promise!  Also, the tutorial will help with any of the tricksy beading bits.  

1.13.2010

Gone and Back Again

Phew!  I'm back from a whirlwind trip to Southern Cali for TNNA.  As usual I was too busy and involved to take pics, but I'd love to share some highlights with you!

First off, I arrived on Wednesday, as I knew I'd be teaching all day on Thursday and needed a good nights sleep.  Lo and behold, when I stepped out of the shuttle at my hotel I discovered that my hotel was CRAWLING with European soccer players in town for an event. Many sharp intakes of breath later I got myself checked in, and with eyes (sorta) diverted up to my hotel room.  The next am I got up and took a much needed walk in the sunshine (something I hadn't seen alot of in upstate NY) without a jacket on... heaven, I tell ya!  Then I went and taught for the rest of the day.  My classes were superb, I had many students sign up for both of them and we became fast friends by the end of the day, I know I've said it before, but I really do LOVE teaching!  The day on Thursday ended with the best event of all... a whole evening of eating/drinking/ and talking with one of my bff's from SQUAM, Marisa of Creative Thursday.  We could have talked all night, but I had to be "good" and get rest before my big day on Friday...  can't wait to see more of her in June!

On Friday I got up early to set up the Schaefer booth, which went impressively well with the help of two of my reps, Lisa and Elaine... I don't know what I would have done without those two!  I was in done time to take a class with Jared Flood (of Brooklyn Tweed fame).  I love trying to make time to take classes when I can, it's a blast to see other people's teaching styles, and I always learn something new... and this time I def. did.  It was a class on colorwork, Jared and I decided that the way I had taught myself to do it worked just fine. I did, though, hone my skills on not twisting the yarns in the back... too bad I didn't take the class BEFORE I knit Venezia!  I look forward to hanging with him more in June at SQUAM (more on this in another blog post...).

Then it was off to Sample It! where I had skeins of Schaefer's new yarn, Audrey, for sale (we almost sold out, that yarn is like crack I tell ya!) and then to the fashion show with my Ravelry buddies where I spent the whole show in peels of (muted) laughter, I really liked some of the pieces in the show, but somehow knitwear doesn't always translate well to the runway (and that's all I'm going to say on the subject....).  I went out to dinner with a bunch of old and new friends that night: Jess, Casey, Mary-Heather, and Sarah from Ravelry, Romi Hill (my new friend and roomie for a few nights), Kristi Porter, and Anne Hanson.  It was a great meal, and quite goofy, but that's not surprising : )!

Saturday I was in the Schaefer booth all day and it was BUSY!  I showed Schaefer's Yarn and my new designs, both were incredibly well received.  I talked and talked and talked and showed and laughed and suddenly it was 6 pm and the show was over, a wonderful blur of a day!  That night I went out with the Schaefer reps, it was great to catch up with them on other things besides yarn (though of course we talked about that too!).  Sunday was a repeat of Saturday though it ended with a fabulous glass of wine by the fire pit with the Rav folks, Amanda from Lorna's Laces, Kate Gilbert from Twist Collective (that girl is a hoot, in love with her sense of humor), and Kristi.  Being able to eat and drink outside in January is reason enough to move to California, seriously... especially when it's fish tacos!

I finally made it home on Tuesday afternoon to one of the best family snuggle sessions on the couch... ginormous dog included!  I'm happily settled and ready to work again tomorrow (I think).

P.S.  The Yarn Harlot has sounded the knit signal for Haiti, please consider responding to it, I AM!


1.04.2010

Eventide


It's been quite sometime since I've released a new pattern with beads.  I've had Eventide up my sleeve for quite a while and since TNNA is later this week and I'll be debuting the pattern there I figured you all should get to see it first!

Eventide is seriously one of my favorite beaded scarves ever!  Eventide is based an an incredibly easy 6 stitch "cross stitch" pattern.  It is made by working double yarnovers that add length to your stitches so they float and appear to be woven not knitted.  My inner weaver loves this!  Size 8 beads are used on each end of the scarf creating an arrow of bling!  The pattern includes lots of info on working with beads, including: stringing beads, purling and knitting with beads, working yarn-overs with beads, and more.

Eventide is knit in Schaefer's newest yarn Audrey in Elena Piscopia.  I am seriously smitten with this yarn! We only had a few skeins when we first got it milled and I immediately put my name on this one. Audrey is a single ply, fingering weight, 50% wool/ 50% cultivated silk blend that feels like air to work with.  I was definitely careful with how many beads I strung onto this yarn as I did not want to cause it to bloom as I slide them down.  The beads give Eventide a lovely weight and dimensionality at the ends of the scarf.  (is dimensionality a word?  help?)

You can purchase Eventide from my website or on Ravelry, or from your local yarn store! 

I'm off to TNNA on Wednesday, to teach on Thursday and then be in the Schaefer booth showing (and selling) their yarn and my patterns all weekend long.  I look forward to seeing those of you who will be there, it's one of my favorite events of the year!