3.30.2011

Workshops at Loop!

I've been having so many "pinch me" moments lately, and had another this morning I just had to share with you.  I went to Loop's homepage, and guess what?  My name was ON IT! 

I am thrilled to be leading three workshops there next weekend.  I'll be teaching Beaded Cuffs and Eventide on Saturday, and Undulating Waves on Sunday.  All of these classes focus on different techniques for working with lace and beads.  Go here to read more about the classes and sign up! 

I absolutely can't wait for so many reasons... 
1.  I get to work with the knitter's of Philly!  
2.  I get to drop off a super secret project in person!
3.  I get to finally meet Rabiesonmyshoe (and her family)!
4.  I get to shop for yarn in a store I have been dying to get to for a WHILE.  Thinking I might just have Craig give me yarn store credit... my hubby would look really good in a new Shelter sweater next winter!

I truly look forward to sharing my passion for knitting (and beads!) with Loop's knitters and hope to see some of you there!

3.29.2011

Learn to Knit- ONLINE with Stefanie Japel

Are you familiar with the designs, books and workshops of knitwear designer Stefanie Japel?  I've admired Stefanie from afar for years (and even knit one of one of her designs from Fitted Knits, a MUST HAVE book!)

A few weeks ago Stefanie tweeted that she was looking for people to help her spread the word about her new online class with Sympoz: Knit Lab.  I jumped at the opportunity to be able to be a virtual fly on the wall in her classrooms. I have heard so much about her on-line workshops from others and wanted to be able to experience one in person!  All I can say is WOW!  Knit Lab is the perfect learn-to-knit online experience.  The chat rooms, videos, and content are open 24/7 which means once you sign up you have the ability to access it forever.  This is so wonderful for those of you who have been wanting to learn how to knit, or learn how to knit better!  Skills Stefanie covers in the course are:  choosing materials, casting on, knitting, purling, purl ridges, increasing and decreasing, buttonholes, weaving in ends, blocking, pattern reading, and even knitting with alternative materials.  Stefanie used to be a professor and that comes across in her clear concise teaching style and presence. 

The Sympoz classroom format is also intuitive and easy to follow.  I had no problem jumping around, stopping and starting videos, scanning chat rooms and finding information.  This means that once you go through the course you know it will be easy to go back and find something you want to review again!

To help introduce this new product Sympoz has offered my readers a special offer, for one week the class is available for 50% off the regular price PLUS, 1 out of every 3 people who sign up for the course at the 50% discount will get a full refund (ie everyone gets the course at a 50% discount and 1 out of every 3 people who sign up will get a full refund on the course)  Go here to sign up!

We all know that my patterns tend to be on the more complex side of things, and my gutt is that if you took this workshop, you'd be more than ready to tackle one when you have completed it!  How cool is that?

3.28.2011

40!

Photo:  Maya*Made, aka "my person"
Thankyou so much for all the thoughtful comments in my last post... I have to say at first I was surprised by the brevity of some of them and then I realized that as much as I may joke about aging, it does have it's challenges and serious moments. It behooves us all to consider these transitions and then embrace them with all the grace and good intentions we can muster, right?

That said, my 40th was not so serious... so much laughter that my belly ached all day Sunday and I had what I can only describe to be a social hangover... too much chatting!!!!  Dear friends from near and far came to celebrate... I feel utterly blessed by them all!

You want to know who won the weekend giveaway, right?

Andrea W.- During the years you live on this earth there are many times you realize that you "are" growing up but, you know you've really "grown up" when time turns around and you find yourself taking care of your parents. My turn to show them the same caring love as they have shown me...

Studerus- when you get excited about "cute" washing machines and dryers.
When my best friend got her new energy-efficient top-loading model with the see-through top, I had to go over and check it out - after a few minutes of our excited chatter we started to laugh about how we were all excited over laundry appliances.

RevL- your snow angels are THAT much deeper than those of your kids

DiannePF- you hear a song 'remake' that was popular when you were 'young'....Have a wonderful Birthday weekend! I honestly didn't think you were a day over 30!!  (How could someone not win a pattern when they say this to me?)

Kae- When a dinner and a movie is 'the WHOLE date,' not the beginning of one! 

It was not so easy to narrow it down to five comments... thanks so much for playing!  (and if you did win, get in touch to claim your pattern!)

3.25.2011

You Know You are Grown Up When...

This weekend I am turning 40... I haven't had any histrionics about it (yet), frankly I welcome it!  I've felt a wee bit "young" my entire adult life, it's as if I never really stopped being 29, and I actually relish the credibility I have decided being 40 will give me!

To celebrate my 40th birthday I would like to play a game with you.  I made it up (because Birthday Girl's are allowed to do that) and it is called "You Know You are Grown Up When..."

Here's how you play:  
1.  Meditate on the phrase You Know You are Grown Up When...
2.  Leave a comment with your answer to this age old question. ('cuse the pun, couldn't help myself!)

On Monday March 28th, when my birthday weekend is officially over, I will choose five of my favorite entries and gift them with any pattern of mine that they want!

Here are some example's we've come up with this week:
You Know You are Grown Up When... you've cooked a turkey.
You Know You are Grown Up When... you decide to interview financial advisors first. (or even hire one for that matter)
You Know You are Grown Up When... your leg hair crawls up onto your chin!

3.21.2011

A Mystery KAL FAQ

WOW!  Thankyou so much for the great response to my Mystery KAL! As of today there are already 210 knitters signed up... I am thrilled!  Not only does this mean it will be an incredibly active fun KAL, it also means I'll be donating at least $315 to Americares for their International Disaster Relief Fund!

I've been getting a fair number of questions and wanted to answer them here so that more of you can take advantage of the answers:

1. Can I sign up for the KAL after April 1st?
Yes you can!  When you sign up you will receive a link to the most recent version of the pattern which will include ALL the clues released up to that date.

2. Will the KAL pattern be released as a complete pattern once the KAL is over?
Yes!  One of the games we'll be playing in the KAL is to come up with a final name for the pattern... once the KAL is over I will release the completed pattern with it's new name.  Everyone who is signed up will receive a copy of it.

3. What yarn should I use?
There is a GREAT forum going on right now in my Ravelry group that will help you SO MUCH with this oh, so important question.  I have to say I've been having a little bit of yarn envy seeing what everyone is choosing.

4. Is the pattern also written out?
Yes, though I love charts I know that not everyone feels the same way I do... all patterns will be written out as well.

5. Where can I find beads?
If your local yarn store doesn't carry beads, and you don't have a local bead store, then I absolutely love Earthfaire.  Other great places to try are Webs Beads, Beads Gone Wild, and Fire Mountain Gems.

6. Should my beads be similar in color to the yarn, or contrast?
That’s rather up to you… I have one version where the beads really contrast and POP from the yarn, and another where they are more subtle. They are both beautiful and I think you have to go with what you would match your aesthetic more!

7.  Should I string on my beads before April 1st?
No, just wait.... if you can : )!

8. Will there be a local meet-up?
It looks like many of my local peeps have decided to join in!  I've scheduled two free local meet ups at Knitting Etc in Ithaca, NY  (Thanks Hickory and Steven!)  The first meet up is on Wednesday, April 6, 7 - 9 pm. The second is on Saturday, April 16, 3 - 6 pm.  Please feel free to come on over!  

If you don't live anywhere near me (and most of you don't) think about signing up with a friend and scheduling your own local meet-up.  I know a few stores that are planning theirs already!

9. Not a question but...
There just happens to be a giveaway today for the Mystery KAL with yarn and beads over at KnitPurlGirl's blog!  Check it out!

Added 3/22-
10. What level knitting experience do I need?
You should be very comfortable knitting and purling, and perhaps even worked some basic lace before.  There will be video tutorials  included with the pattern to help with any possible new techniques!


11. What materials do I need?
These are listed on the Mystery KAL pattern page on my website and on Ravelry.  They are also included in a pdf that you will receive when you sign up for the KAL.

Anything else you want/need to know about the KAL?  Leave a comment and I'll edit this post to include the answer!

3.17.2011

Beans for Brains

Have you ever "visited" Jimmy Beans Wool?  I have watched this brick & mortar and on-line store blossom over the last 5 years.  I so admire the innovative programs that the owner, Laura Zander has initiated. I love their needle exchange policy (so tempted to send back the size 1 lantern moon needles that I snapped by mistake last week) and their video reviews (ever seen Jeanne talk about my designs?)  

They have recently introduced a new program that I can't wait to share with you!  Introducing Beans for Brains:
2010 Beans for Brains Scholarship Winners (left to right: Lauren, Roxanne, Snowden, Chika and Ariel)
Five $3,000 scholarships are now available to hardworking students who can knit or crochet (that’s $15,000 total)! Jimmy Beans Wool has teamed up with many people in the fiber arts industry to provide the Beans For Brains Scholarship for deserving knitters and crocheters! This merit-based award is for students who will be attending an accredited institution in the Fall of 2011. 

Do you know someone (or yourself) who might be interested?  You can get more information and an application by visiting the Beans For Brains Scholarship page (the deadline for submissions is April 1st).  

Help spread the word and help the next generation of fiber artists fund their dreams of higher education!

A NOTE: And can I just say WOW!  In the 48 hours since I posted about the Mystery KAL I have over 150 people signed up... that is AMAZING! Especially since 25% of the proceeds will be going to help the relief effort in Japan.  Thankyou SO SO SO MUCH!  (Gosh, I sound kinda like my 11 year old when she is ballistically happy, but that's how I feel!)

3.15.2011

Mystery KAL Sign-ups are OPEN!


Folks, it's time to try something NEW!  
How about a Mystery Knit Along with me?

Starts: April 1st 2011
  Clue 1:  April 1st
Clue 2: April 4th
Clue 3: April 12th
Clue 4: April 20th
Clue 5: May 2nd

How it works:  Sign up prior to April 1st to be a part of the KAL from the start to finish.  (You can sign up later and receive the previous clues, but I think it's more fun if you start it right from the get-go!)  

When you sign up you will be sent a pdf with all the information you need for materials and gauge to be ready to cast on.  

On each scheduled clue release date an updated pdf will be sent to you with the next clue.  There will be videos made just for the KAL to help you, and an active thread in my group on Ravelry so that you have lots of support and FUN while you are knitting.  

I plan to be offering prizes for various challenges along the way... 

A clue:  It's got beads (surprised?) and you wear it around your neck!  I think this would be a great first beading project, and will be a great challenge to those of you who are looking to build upon some of your knitting skills.

So, sign up for the KAL here or on Ravelry here, and then get on over to my group on Ravelry and start chatting about your yarn choices!

An important NOTE:  From now through March 31st I will be donating 25% of ALL proceeds of the KAL to Americares in their International Disaster Relief Fund to help Japan recover from the devastation of last weekend's earthquake.

3.14.2011

Lovin' Knit!!!!

Well, I am back from an absolutely lovely weekend at Lovin' Knit, a one year old yarn store in Atlanta, Georgia.  There was so much about this weekend that was absolutely perfect!  Pat, the store's owner, is an absolute dream... she has created an environment that is welcoming, festive and supportive. Her warm and wonderful staff fit the energetic hardworking knitters of Atlanta like a glove.  When I got to Atlanta it was green, the was shining and there were DAFFODILS blooming (this gives me hope it won't be winter forever at home!).  Really I feel so lucky that I get to call traveling to teach knitters part of my job!

Here is a little photographic journey of the weekend, please excuse any pictures that are less than clear, we were indoors most of the time and the lighting didn't always cooperate...

Eventide on Friday Night
Winterlude on Saturday... we did a great job at alternating between FUN and some serious learning
Saturday morning the local bead store, My Bead Hive, opened early for me so I could get some supplies for a secret project I am working on... thanks Laurie!
Pat, Janet, Dawn x2, Stacy and myself ended the weekend with lively BBQ at Swallow at the Hollow ... if you get to Atlanta, ya gotta go here!!!!
Oh, and one more thing! It's PI Day!!!!  So happy that I have a frozen pumpkin pie in my freezer...  guess what we are having for dessert tonight?

3.10.2011

Get Ready, the Ball is a Rollin'!

THANKYOU so much for all the support that has been showered on me in the last week.  Cayden is getting a wonderful reception AND my leap into a new career direction has been met with open arms (and lots of offers of yarn!!!)!

I've got two exciting things to share:

1.  I'll be teaching in Atlanta at Lovin' Knit this weekend... I can't wait to head south.  I teach Eventide Friday evening, Winterlude all day Saturday, and then have a trunk show/meet and greet Saturday afternoon from 4 -6.  Are you in the area?  Please stop by and say hi... I'd love the chance to meet you!
2.  I am planning a Mystery KAL that I'll be announcing details about next week when I get home.  It is scheduled to start April 1st... and yes, it's got beads!

So get ready, the ball is a rollin' as I head out on this indie adventure with you all!

3.08.2011

Cayden

It's time to celebrate the next step in my life with a new design!

Introducing Cayden!  
Cayden is an oversized vest meant to throw on over jeans and a t-shirt, your favorite dress, or whatever suits your mood.  Seamless and worked from the bottom up, decreases occur along the bobble edge all the way up to the neckline so that the front hem falls gracefully downwards. 
I knit two different versions of Cayden; The grey version I am wearing is knit in Fibre Company's Road to China Light in Grey Pearl.  This yarn is CRACK;  a decadent blend of 65% Alpaca, 15% Silk, 10% Camel, and 10% Cashmere this yarn is light and lofty with an incredible drape.  The second version is knit in my tried and true favorite, Schaefer Yarn Heather in Apple Green.  This wool/silk yarn fingering yarn is an excellent example of how much more a sock yarn can be.
For this design I decided it was time to hire a professional for photos... I ran into Caro at TNNA (a few times) and decided to do an impromptu shoot.  With Deb as a stylist the shoot was an utter success, I just wish they lived closer!

For more pics and to purchase Cayden go here

Thanks to Kristen Tendyke for tech editing, Caro for photography, and Fibre Company and Schaefer for yarn support.  

3.04.2011

Independence

It's taken me all week to put it into words... but HUGE change is taking place in my life as I write.

I've worked at Schaefer Yarn as their design director for the last 5 years, and we've decided it's time for me to move on.  I've been considering
this leap for quite some time and have been waiting for just the right moment.  Thankfully I am not severing my ties with Schaefer, merely moving on to a new phase in my design career.   Change is good, right?

This means I get to start designing with other yarns as well, which might be the most overwhelming part of this decision... where to start?  The possibilities are endless, and damn, there are some nice yarns out there!!  I might already have some of this, some of this, and some of this on it's way : )!  I'll also be looking into new opportunities, like clubs, Mystery KAL's and maybe even a book?

And because I am incapable of doing a post without a pic, here's a sneak peak of my new design, Cayden, which will be released next week!
I look forward to taking you along on this next phase of my journey... I PROMISE it won't be boring!