Friday, November 14, 2014

Arctic Vortex? Or just winter coming

This week in my small corner of the planet, we've had temps in the mid 60's, rain, temps in the mid 30's, snow flurries, and wind.  I'm amazed by the diversity we have experienced.  It also brought home the state of accessories.  The accessories I think of are hats, scarves or cowls, mittens or gloves, slippers and socks. Then I went to work at my day job and it's cold there in some of the locations I work in.  Then I went to Michaels for classes.  Students and co-workers alike are looking for winter woolies.

There are requests for mitten pattern help, Christmas stocking help (socks), scarves and hats.  Before too long there might be a request for baby items. Gotta love babies!

It also made me think when I saw the stacks and stacks of blocks in the classroom of the homeless people.  Warm up America gets blocks donated to be joined into afghans to help keep people warm.  Lebanon Hopes is the local homeless shelter.  This joint effort has contacts with different churches to use their social halls/cafeterias for people to sleep in during the fall/winter/spring seasons.  Even though these are enclosed areas with heat, electric, and running water; these spaces lack the comforts of home.  An afghan goes a long way to helping the comfort.  Consider coming out to help join at your local Michaels.

Stay warm and have a very happy Thanksgiving!

Sunday, November 9, 2014

New Class Schedules and a sale

Hi all,

Today thru November 15 all yarn classes over $15 are on sale for $15.  So all my 2 1/2 hour classes are $15.  The sale does not affect arm knitting or kids classes.  There is also a bar code at the bottom of all syllabus pages that gets you 10% off class supplies.

Even if you don't want a class now, please consider passing the class schedule to someone who might want to learn.  Also consider bringing a friend to class.  Learning or relearning is more fun with a friend.

Now for the new classes.  First up are the crochet classes.  I have the schedule from November thru March.  Lot of new things in there.

All Classes are Mondays 6pm – 8:30pm
Crochet Beginner 1 – Skinny Scarf or Phone Cover
November 10     December 1     January 5     February 2
March 2

Crochet Beginner 2 – Pillow or Scarf
November 17     December 8     January 19     February 16
March 16

These advanced beginner classes will be held every Wednesday 6 – 8:30
Boot Cuffs                 November 12   December 10
Strawberry Cake Scarf                November 19
Fingerless Gloves                        December 3
Discover Time to Crochet Classes

Filet Crochet     January 7
Illusion Crochet         January 21
Hairpin Lace     February 4
Entrelac Crochet        February 18
Tapestry Crochet       March 4
Crochet Cables      March 18

Please see a store associate for details about any classes or sign up online at  Look for store 6740 for these classes.

Yarn Nights are times for you to get a question answered about a stitch, yarn or pattern question that don’t require a full class.  You can also sit and stitch with me at this time.  Starting January 2015 this will be 1 – 3 pm.

November 15     November 22     December 6     December 13     January 10
January 24         February 7     February 21     March 7     March 21    

Warm Up America Joining Parties are times to help join afghans blocks to help the homeless here in Lebanon with the donation of warm afghans.  Starting in 2015 this will be from 2 - 4 pm.
November 16  November 23  December 7    December 14
January 11     January 25     February 8     February 22          March 8          March 22

Now for the knit classes

All Classes are Thursdays 6 – 8:30 pm
Knit Beginner 1 – Garter Hat or Cuffs 

Nov 13     Dec 4     January 8     February 5      March 5

Knit Beginner 2 – Neck warmer or Tassel Hat

Nov 20     Dec 11     January 22     Feb 19     March 19

New Classes Fridays 6 – 8:30 pm
Cup Cozies  November 21                    Slouchy Hat          December 5
Baby Hat and Booties      November 14         December 12
Discover Time to Knit Class Fridays 6 – 8:30 pm & Saturdays 9 – 11am

Fair Isle January 9
Knitting Machine Basics 1 January 10  (put together, set up, cast on, knit, bind off)
Illusion Knitting January 23
Knitting Machine Basics 2 January 24 ( review, increase and decrease)
Cables February 6
Knitting Machine Basics Ribbing (how to make ribbing and other knit/purl combos)
February 7
Entrelac February 20
Knitting Machine Basics Cables (how to make cables
February 21
Socks March 6
Knitting Machine Basics Color work March 7 (starting with stripes, then fair isle)
Intarsia March 20
Knitting Machine Basics Patterns (how to read knit machine patterns, how to find gauge, and other tips and tricks)
 March 21

Arm Knitting is still available.  Time will be 10 to 11 am.  Dates are
November 8           December 6           December 13

I'm excited to introduce the machine knit classes.  These are primarily for those who have purchased an Ultimate Sweater Machine but any single board machine will be welcome.  The basics are the same for most.    Please share this information with anyone you know that has a knitting machine but doesn't use it for whatever reason.  It can be a fun and quick way to get a finished item.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

A Knittervention of sorts

Yes, you read correctly.

Recently, I was at my guild's, Lebanon Valley Knit 2-Gether, retreat.  There was good food, good friends both old and new, good teaching (thanks Cathy Briscoe) and a knittervention.  A knittervention is an intervention for knitters.  There had been a contest to see who had the most UFOs (Un Finished Objects).  I brought all my unfinished class samples only and got a fair number, 8, done.  I was not the one who was knittervened. 

This post will not disclose more about this event though.  I follow the line of what happens at knitting retreats will stay there.  You can join the fun and education by joining the guild.  We meet the 2nd Tuesday of each month.  The location is St. Andrew's Presbyterian Church in Lebanon.  If you want more details, you can email me, leave a comment on this post, or check out the guild on Ravelry.

This post will be much more concerned with my personal UFOs not taken.  I would have needed a truck to transport them for one thing.  Yes there are that many.  Why???  Good question.  Possibly because I get side tracked by the new and shiny.  Definitely when the new class patterns come out and I think I have to get new samples made.  (I have found after long and hard study that people like to see what the finished thing will look like in real life.  Pictures are fine for books and magazines.  When taking a class, people want an actual whatever to hold, see and investigate.  I'm that way.  I got to see the Galaxy Shawl by Cathy Briscoe before I went.  It helped me decide what yarn to use.  Some of the shawls were done in really interesting yarns and others, one in particular, in yarns that didn't speak to me  Colors and textures had a lot to do with my choice after seeing the samples.)

But back to UFOs.  I recently started rounding them up from the far reaches of my home.  They had been threatening to take over certain areas.  Each bag held a project.  Each basket too.  Then I had a bright idea to catalog them.  I'm not sure what that was to accomplish but it felt right and so I started.  In an Excel spread sheet, I put the name of the project, the recipient if it was a gift or class sample or guild project, etc.  I put a starting date or as near as I could get and a finish date if I needed it for a present.  I hit 36 UFOs, not counting guild or class samples.  I don't think I'm done with the hunt though.  I haven't been through my craft room or other parts of our basement.  I may have missed some as well in chests and closets also. 

As I did this I discovered that some projects had missing instructions.  Some were missing tools like needles or hooks.  Two items had no yarn with them.  That's not a good thing.  I did my best to get each bag what it needed.  Then I started packing them away within easy reach.  Class projects were 1 to a gallon or two gallon zip bag, then lined up in a re-usable shopping bag, one of the big ones.  I did the same with the guild projects.  The rest that were personal or gifts went into large Rubbermaid containers as a way to contain the totes and baskets and such.  Boy are there a lot.

Now I will have to make some decisions.  Do I keep or frog the ones that need something like instructions or yarn to finish?  What size needles or hook did I use to get the gauge of the item here?  Where am I in the pattern?  Why did I stop this project?  Do I need outside help to work through either my mistakes or pattern mistakes or understanding confusing directions?  A further sorting will get the ones that need to be frogged (ripped apart, rip it rip it.  get it?) back into hank form so I can wash the yarn carefully to get any kinks out.  I can take the knit projects to guild meetings for those I need help with.  And sometimes it's just a  fresh set of eyes on what is being really said in the pattern.  I can mark the patterns for those that I lost my place in and keep 1 in the car for travel creativity and get it finished a little faster.

The only good thing that came out of this is that I now know what I have going.  I've got a good reminder of who they are for and I am reliving the good feelings I had when I picked the yarn and pattern for each one.

A knittervention can be a very inspiring thing.  It can also be pretty funny, but you have to be there.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Another Sale!!!! And the new classes for October, November, December

Here's a shock for us all.  The Discover Knit and Crochet classes are on sale until Halloween for $20 each.  Those that are priced less than that stay the same.

And finally pictures of the new classes.  For Crochet the new offerings for project classes are

Crochet Cowl featuring woolspun from Lion Brand Yarn  A very warm garment that can be made larger or smaller or glammed up with a different yarn choice or ribbon choice.

Cross Stitch Potholder using Sugar and Creme  A great gift idea for the hunters in your life!  They can use this while cooking up their catch.

Fingerless Gloves using Vanna's Choice  A great gift idea for a lot.  Change them up by doing in different colors for each recipient!
Boot Cuffs using Red Heart Super Saver.  These are well loved by the twenty something women in my store!
And finally the strawberry cake scarf in color choice 1.  This is just fun and exciting.  Makes me hungry for cake.

 And now for the new Knit Classes......

This is the Knit baby hat and booties.  

These cup cozies are a quick knit and great for co workers presents! 

This slouchy hat is also a great gift idea for teens

And finally the new kids projects.

The mannequins are wearing the multi strand necklace and headband.
In front are the basketball necklace and bracelet.  Super easy and stylish for the kids!  

Kid Crochet 2 are cuff bracelets.  Individuality is gained by color choices and the buttons chosen.

The animal pouches are #3 even though they use the same stitch as the cuff bracelets but there is more to do for these.

Monday, September 15, 2014

New Schedule!! Sale on Classes

The sale on classes!!  Saturday, September 20, is our Open House.  All day classes over $20 that are purchased will be given a $20 coupon good for class supplies.  Open House will be running from 11am to 2 pm in the Lebanon store.  Come in and see me.  

Here are my new schedules through December.  As you can see from the calendars, there are new projects for Adult crochet (Monday and Wednesday nights), Adult knit (Thursday and Friday nights) and Kids Crochet (Saturday mornings).  We are still running the beginner classes, arm knitting and kids weaving classes.  Samples will be available for everyone to see.

Hope to see you on Saturday!  

Please note the October 11 class for kids crochet has changed time from 930 - 11 to 1030 - 12.  

Friday, July 11, 2014

Just a quick flower posting

I have patterns for all the ornaments for the ornament classes with one exception.  The flower.  I can't devote much time to it for another week.  But I do think about it in odd little moments when carnival thoughts allow it in.

I have the basics worked out.  I'm just having trouble with finding an increase that works like I want.  I even asked my husband one morning at breakfast what he thought of using yarn overs.  Before you all yell that he won't understand, this is one he does.  He knows this makes a hole.  He didn't like it.  I did a petal in it anyway to see what it would look like.  Jury is still out on my thoughts.  I might pull out "The Principles of Knitting" to see what I can find there that is along my thoughts for increases.

For the crochet ornament class, there will be a stocking, bird, butterfly, popcorn garland with and without cranberries and a stocking.  For the knit ornament class I have planned for a stocking, a sweater, a hat, a bell and this flower.  Some patterns will have size variants or variations to make it look different but still the same.

Pictures will come in 2 weeks.  Next week is the carnival and I have a ton of details to finish for my jobs.  These are all last minute things that can't be done ahead of time.  Then comes the carnival and a day of rest.  Two Mondays from now will be clean up day and then I'm back in teaching mode again.

Have a safe July.

Saturday, June 28, 2014

What makes knitting and crocheting affordable?

What makes knitting and crocheting affordable? How do I define affordable?


If I choose to make my sweaters and accessories and only count the cost of the tools and yarn, I'm not getting a complete picture of how much I'm spending for each item. What part of my budget do I take these items from? My clothes budget? My hobby budget? Entertainment? General household?

It would seem logical to take clothing made from a hobby from the clothes portion of my budget, but what about the time I spend doing these things? If I take the money from the hobby portion of my budget, I get a better idea of the complete picture. If I take the budget from the entertainment portion, it's an even better picture of my total budget for spending.

If I take a small percentage, say 15%, from my clothes budget for the clothes I make, I still have money for clothes that I need immediately. If I take another small percentage, say 25% from the hobby budget for the hobby aspect, I still have money left for more yarn and tools. Tools get depreciated which means I can spread the hooks and needles and other notions costs across the years I do this hobby. If I take another small portion, 15%, from the general household part of my budget, I can count it because it can be used to enhance my work appearance. It can also count from the household budget, if it's a gift. Mostly, I count it from the entertainment budget. Knitting and crocheting are entertaining for me. I can still get movies, go places, and do other fun things as they appear. There is still money from my husband's portion of the entertainment budget for us to do things together. I can watch movies, listen to music or audio books, converse with friends, walk while knitting or crocheting.

Now the best thing about this plan is that if I follow this, I have a bunch of money in my budget for yarns. This is because knitting and crocheting take time. If I use fine yarns with fine hooks or needles, I have a bunch of hours of entertainment for my investment. The larger the project, the more hours I have for entertainment and the less money per hour of entertainment I spend. If I use fat yarn and big needles or hooks, my investment goes down a bit, but these are usually accessories rather than a sweater or skirt. Super bulky yarn doesn't make a good fashion choice for most people.


Sunday, June 15, 2014

Summer Fun

Summer will officially start at the end of this week.  Summer started unofficially in May with Memorial Day.  This past month has been hot, warm, cool, sunny, cloudy and rainy.  The weather might be confusing but my knitting and crochet projects aren't.

I'm working on the Tunisian crochet table cover, the knit phone cover, the jersey pillow (the yarn reminds me of my husband's old comfortable t shirts), and the crocodile stitch stole I designed for class.  So far, the table cover is good.  The phone cover is too big.  I need to reduce my needle size, probably by 2 sizes.  The jersey pillow is soft and smooth.  The stole is fuzzy.  I started this with Paton's Lace in Aran color.  The fuzzy yarn doesn't work well with black or navy colored clothes.  It sheds a bit.  It could be my dogs but I don't think so since they are short haired and this is long and lightly kinked.  I'm looking forward to this being done since I intended it for summer for those times when I go to dinner and am seating right in the blast zone of the AC or the store I go to is frigid (grocery store frozen foods aisle I'm looking at you).  

Make a note these are smaller projects.  I will also be starting work on the kids weaving class projects with the weaving sticks soon, also small projects.  What will I do when these are done?  I plan to work on other small projects.  I will also be working on my church's festival for 2 weeks in July.  I won't be teaching those weeks or really be in touch with things.  I won't even be knitting or crocheting.  I know it's hard to believe but I work shortened hours at my day job, long hours at the festival and by the time I get home and showered, I'm too tired.

I know I will be working on Warm Up America blocks.   I keep yarn and hooks/needles stashed in both vehicles for the down times as well as scratch paper for notes.  I will be working on new stitch patterns good for this effort.  I don't know about you all but I get bored with garter, seed, stockinette, single crochet, double crochet and the like.  I need a little pattern to liven my work up.  I might have a post stitch design or a shell pattern.  It all depends on what hits me in the off moment and what I see when I look out the window to inspire me.

Aside from all this fun and excitement, I look forward to seeing family and friends for cookouts and picnics, the fireworks for the 4th, fresh fruit from our trees and bushes.  Our strawberry patch has already produced a pint or so.  I know there are car shows and carnivals coming up as well.

What kind of fiber fun are you looking forward to?  

Thursday, June 5, 2014

New Classes!!! New Schedule!!! SALE!!!

There's a sale!!!  Classes are on sale!!!  
Here are the details.  They will look a bit familiar.  Any class that is $25 or more is now on sale for $20 on June 7 only.  Sign up online here or in the store.  For those who come into the store, there is a $20 voucher good for class supplies!!  Please take some time out from the Good Samaritan Hospital Street Fair to come to the store to sign up.  The sale is good all day.

Now onto the new classes.  Some classes are retired.  Some classes are new.  Please note, most classes (Wilton may be the exception and need more.  I don't know.) will need 2 paying students.  Consider bringing a friend if you want to be sure of a class.

These are the new crochet offerings.  Small enough to not make you hot just thinking about yarn in summer but large enough to be useful and fun.

Child's Purse

Crochet Basket

Tunisian tablet cover

Colorful  Creatures
 These are the new knit class offerings.  Again small enough to not make you too hot in summer with yarn but some useful and fashionable things.
Simple Knit Scarf

Jersey Pillow

Twisted Headband

Baby Hat
 We also have a new pompom class.  This would be a nice, decorative item to decorate a dorm room in the fall for the grad who is heading off to college or for any teen's room in school colors or their favorite team.
Pompom Wreath
 We haven't forgotten the children either.  New for the kids is weaving with weaving sticks.  This is a very old technique but still has some modern and fashionable and fun applications.

Monster Scarf 
Headband with bow

Now for the new schedules.

Beginner Crochet Classes

All Classes are Mondays 6pm – 8:30pm
Crochet Beginner 1 – Skinny Scarf or Phone Cover                     June 16
Crochet Beginner 2 – Pillow or Scarf                                             June 18
Crochet Advanced Beginner – Cloche or Scarf                             June 9  retired after this date but if you started it and need more help, let me know or come to a yarn night.
New Classes
Tunisian Crochet Table Cover                 July 2                   September 3        
    Crochet Child’s Purse                               July 23        September 15           
    Crochet Colorful Creatures                      August 4     September 29

     Crochet Basket                                                    August 18

Advanced Crochet Classes

All Classes are Wednesdays 6pm – 8:30pm, unless noted otherwise
Discover Time to Crochet Classes

Crocodile Stitch June 11
Ornaments for Summer and Winter August 20
Hairpin Lace Sept. 3
Broomstick Lace September 17
Filet Crochet    October 1      
 Last Chance for these classes
       Discover Crochet – Coasters                                             June 4
         Discover Crochet – Flower Scarf                                          June 24
         Discover Crochet – Flower Beanie                                        June 23
         Discover Crochet -  Spring Bunny                                            June 25

NEW ** Pom Pom Wreath Class               July 26 9:30am – 12 pm  **  NEW

Beginner Knit Classes

All Classes are Thursdays 6 – 8:30 pm
Knit Beginner 1 – Hat or Wristwarmers       June 19
Knit Beginner 2 – Neckwarmer or Tassel Hat      June 20
Knit Advanced Beginner – Cable Scarf or Fingerless Gloves            June 12 retired after this date
New Classes
Simple Scarf                 July 3                   September 4
Jersey Pillow                  July 24        September 18
Baby Hat                                          August 7
Twisted Headband with Bow                           August 21      

Arm Knitting                August 8    6 – 7 pm

Advanced Knit Classes

  All Classes are Fridays 6 – 8:30 pm, unless otherwise noted
Discover Time to Knit Classes
Intarsia            June 13
Socks              July 25            
Entrelac  August 22               
Ornaments September 5         
Fair Isle September 19
Last Chance for these Classes
Discover Knit – Head Wrap            June 26
Discover Knit -   Phone Cover                   June 27      
          Discover Knit - PomPom Hat           June 6
          Discover Knit – Scarf                          June 30
PomPom Wreath           July 26  9:30am – 12pm
Arm Knitting                  August 8  6 – 7pm


Discover Kids Classes
All crochet classes are Saturday mornings 9:30 – 11AM unless noted
Discover Kids Crochet 1 (Necklace and Bracelet) 
August 9
September 20
Discover Kids Crochet 2 (Zipper Pull)
August 23
Discover Kids Crochet 3 (Monsters)
September 6

     All weaving classes are Saturdays 11 – 12:30 unless noted
                    Discover Kids Weaving (Monster Scarf)
                          August 9          September 20
                       Discover Kids Weaving (Monsters)     August 23
                     Discover Kids Weaving (Headband and bow)       September 6

The extras -- Here are the dates for the yarn nights and when I will start Warm Up America joining parties again.  I know you will all join me in a sigh of relief that there won't be any in the summer.  I can't think of anything to make me feel hotter than an afghan in my lap.

 Yarn Nights are times for you to get a question answered about a stitch, yarn or pattern question that doesn’t require a full class.  You can also sit and stitch with me at this time.  Time is 1pm – 4 pm unless noted.

June 14          June 21        July 5 (1-2) July 26        August 9     August 23   September 6                   September 20
Warm Up America Joining Parties are times to help join afghans blocks to help the homeless here in Lebanon with the donation of warm afghans.
Joining party time is 2pm - 5pm unless noted.
                                                            September 21