Come get your KNITTING ZEN on this Sunday!

YES !  Knitting season is finally here!  We are going to gather this Sunday, September 17, at 12:30, at the Clubhouse at the Villa de Coronado townhouses at Mesa del Sol for a little fiber comaraderie!  The address is 12172 Via Loma Vista, Yuma, AZ 85367.    As you drive in the entrance, the parking lot is straight ahead.  The clubhouse is located behind the pool with the door on the right hand side by the road.  Please do not park on the road, as there is plenty of room in the parking lot.  

Please share this invite with anyone you know who is a knitter, or who wants to learn.  There will be knitters of all levels, from beginners to old,  seasoned, ancient     experienced!  There is no agenda, except to meet old and new friends who share a common interest, so I hope you can make it!  

A SPECIAL SHOUT OUT TO ALL NEW KNITTERS!  For the sake of clarity, new knitters will be described as those who haven’t finished their first project yet, perhaps they will be starting their first project this very day.  There will be a drawing for some yarn to start your stash which will be suitable for a new knitter!  So please feel welcome and come, there will be loads of fun as you learn the soothing art of knitting!
AND A SPECIAL SHOUT OUT TO KNITTERS WHO HAVE FINISHED AT LEAST ONE PROJECT!  Bring something for show and tell–something that you keep in your knitting bag that you find to be an important tool.  Not necessarily something that you bought in a yarn store or a big box craft store’s yarn department, but something that is an everyday helpful object.  This will be especially helpful for New Knitters to hear about, so remember those days and share with us!
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Yes, you too can knit like this!

I met with Terre Paulin Munk today after work at the Northend Coffee House.  You have to check this establishment out!  They have some great coffee drinks, very unique, and bake their own scones, bagels, and other yummy desserts.  They open at 6 and they are veryyyyyy close to my work.  I plan on making them a regular morning stop!  But back to the knitting………….

Terre has been knitting since July 2016.  She knits socks.  In fact, she has knitted 13 pair in the past year.  That’s 1 pair a month, y’all!  Did you know that there are over 14,000 stitches in a sock?  She knits them on 9′ circulars.  If you have knitted anything in your life, you know how tiny sock yarn is, and how small the needles are that you use for socks.  Tiny.  Anywhere from size 0 to a 2.  Most people start knitting (at least those I teach) on a 10 1/2 or 11.  

Some of you I know are thinking to yourselves “Why knit socks?  Why not just buy them?”  There are a couple of compelling reasons why.  #1. They are the ultimate multidimensional knitting.  The first time you turn a heel and realize that you have made something that will actually fit around a body part, its nothing short of a miracle.  #2, just try one on.  They fit like no other.  If you want to try one on, I’ll let you try one of mine.  Then I’ll help you learn to knit one.  You’ll fall in love with sock knitting.  

So think about that for a minute!  If you have been thinking about knitting but don’t think you can do it, just think about what Terre has accomplished in just 1 year.  If she can do it, so can you!   So—dust off your needles and pick out a pattern and some yarn!  If you don’t know what to knit, call a friend for ideas!  Call me for ideas!  We are looking at a meet-up on Sunday, September 17.  Details are still being worked out–subscribe to keep up on the details!  

You could be knitting this next week!

I started this as a sample for our class, so you can see how the color changes in this yarn. You don't have to be able to execute fancy stitches, you can relax, learn and let the yarn do the work for you! I am going to knit this until it's about 34" long, enough to wrap around my neck and I'll bind it off. I will wear it as a neck warmer, probably with a kilt pin from Joanns holding it in place. You can make yours as wide or narrow and as long or short as you like, Knitter's Choice! This could cost you less than $20 to make-

The sale at Joanns runs through August 16, so get your yarn and needles and lets get knitting😁!
I looking to start on August 22 and August 24. Subscribe to my blog to keep up with important announcements as we get closer to those dates. I hope you can join in the fun!

So, would you like to knit with me?

 

“Really, all you need to become a good knitter are wool, needles, hands, and slightly below average intelligence.  Of course superior intelligence, such as yours and mine, is an advantage.”

  -Elizabeth Zimmerman, Knitting Without Tears

New school year, new school, new opportunity for teaching people to knit!  It has been quite a while since I taught a new batch of knitters.  I have had a few people express an interest in learning,  I know some that already know how but want to learn a new technique, and some that are comfortable with their knitting and just want to sit around with other knitters, so LETS DO IT!  This is the perfect time of the year to learn!

I went to Joanns today to take pictures of everything you would need if you were a new knitter.   If you are up for learning, the first thing we will do is knit a scarf.  You will learn to cast on, execute the knit and purl stitch, cast off, and fix mistakes along the way.    If you select one of the bigger balls of yarn shown below (those with 300+ yards) you will have enough for a scarf and a hat.  You will use a chunky or bulky weight yarn and fairly large needles.  We will use circular needles, not the long straight traditional needles.  Circulars are much easier on the wrists and more versatile than straights.

My philosophy for teaching you to knit is:

BIG YARN + BIG NEEDLES = INSTANT GRATIFICATION

We all want that, right?  Below  is a pictorial list of what you need.  Like EZ said, you need yarn and needles.  Also a bag of some type to carry it in and a zip pouch to keep your crochet hook in as well as any other gadgets, such as a small pair of scissors, measuring tape, safety pins, pencil and notepad.  A crochet hook is a must. The pictures below show you several different yarns you could select, all would give you a great knitting experience, needles (if you get in on the sale I recommend the interchangeable tips and separate cable).   I recommend circular needles because of their versatility and ease in using, especially for beginners.  Ergonomically they are much easier on your body.

Joanns offers a discount for Teachers–just take your school ID or a pay stub or something that proves you work for a school district.  You save 15% on everything, everyday.  Tell them you are a Teacher.

For those of you who work in the same facility that I do we can meet once a week for  about an hour after work.  For those of you who don’t work in the same facility, we will figure out a place and a time that works for us.  There may need to be more than one day available, so we will work that out when I find out how many of you there are and what days fit you best.  If you miss a lesson, have no fear.  I will get you caught up when you come back.  There is no strict schedule here.  Some will complete  their projects before others.  It doesn’t matter to me how long it takes you.  If you don’t like it, I will finish your scarf for you.

There is no fee for the lessons.  I will guide you through the scarf and on to whatever comes next for you.   At the end of each lesson, I’ll do a review and have one of you video it looking over my shoulder and post it here.

I hope you can join us!  Leave a comment below, email me at work or at knitter@mac.com or message me through Facebook and we will get started!  Here are your shopping photos!

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Puzzle yarn was in the aisle today on the way back to the yarn section.  I bought a skein of the color under the word Yarn.  I will be posting pictures of what the scarf will look like as I work on it.  I hope that we can get started knitting in a couple of weeks.  You will be able to get a scarf and a hat out of this 328yd ball of yarn.

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Scarfie was also in the aisle way.  It is a little thick and thin, which would be very forgiving for a new knitter, FYI!  Mistakes won’t be too obvious because the yarn varies in size ever so slightly.

 

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Be sure to have at least 250 yds or so-you need to check your yarn to be sure you have enough if you purchase the smaller skeins.

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YES YES YES!!!

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I hope you can join us!

 

 

 

2016 Knitting Year in Review

On many different fronts, I am so glad this year is almost over.  Rather than think of all the unbelievable outcomes 2016 brought, I am posting my year in knitting because knitting makes me happy.  There are several projects that are not shown here because I forgot to take photos when I finished them.  I am really good at knitting but not to great at documenting via photos.  I plan on doing a better job of that in 2017.

There are at least 2 shawls, one baby blanket and at least 3 little ones with hats that I don’t have photos to document.  I never know when I gift a piece of knitting if the person likes it when they live far away, unless they send me an email or text or photo.    Thank you to all of you who do that.  Even if I don’t get a photo, I know that you got it and like it when you text.   I often worry that I have spent time making something that is not valued on the other end.    There are  times that I make something, send it, and the only acknowledgement I get back is when the tracking number shows it has been delivered.

That has happened a couple of times.  When I make something, I knit it for a specific person.  Even if it is a gang of Frosty hats, I have a list of little ones and I do them all together.  If it is a sweater or blanket,  the yarn is selected specifically for that person and I think about them while it is being knitted, hoping it will bring the recipient comfort.  That is what it is all about for me.  I don’t keep a closet full of baby blankets, pull one out and send it off.  There have been a few times that I make something just for the challenge of the project, but those times are rare.

There is a little bit of your soul that gets incorporated into a piece of knitting.  And I know that most people get it.  When I see pictures of my knitting in the wild with the recipient, I know they get it.   Time restraints, and now arthritis,  are limiting my ability to create via knitting.  I am branching out into other Fiber related creative outlets as well as making jewelry that use my hands and wrists in a different way.  I have to be able to create on a daily basis.

So, here is my year in review.  There are a few that predate 2016 but I included them anyway.   And some are funny, like the cake below, which was creative.  I don’t know if the teacher involved disallowed the ditching or not.  And there is MrTang, the fringe-eating cat.  I don’t know if all of these will post.  If not, I will make more than one post.  I hope your 2017 is full of health and happiness!  Knit onward………

 

 

 

 

Aprísco???

What in the world is an Aprísco you ask?  In Portugese and Spanish, Aprísco means “a small corral or pen to hold sheep; a sheepfold”.  In my world, it is a portable little corral for your size 13/14 crochet hook and size 8 or 6 beads that you use in knitting.  Why does the world need an Aprísco you ask?  Answer:  because there isn’t anything else like it in the world.  Nothing.

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Here is what it looks like under the hood:

imageThere is a nice little bench in the bottom with a groove to accommodate the crochet hook when it is not working.  The bottom also holds two removable bead containers with screw on lids.  Each of them will hold 10 mg of size 6 beads, probably more size 8 beads.

Oops! Spilled the beads!  We all hate it when that happens!  But, not a problem with Aprísco !

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You can spill as many beads as you want, they cannot escape the bottom.  Notice the crochet hook in the ready position.  There is a hole in the groove to hold it upright.  You can fit 4 size 6 beads on it.  It is ready to go whenever you need it.  When you replace it, you don’t have to hit the hole exactly because on either side of it, the bench slants a bit to help guide the hook in.  Helps to avoid more spilled beads that way.  Almost forgot–see how the bottom sits on the lid?  There is a lip around the lid that functions as an anti-slip control.  Also, the inside of the lid, the part that is against the surface, is a different texture that the outside, which also helps to prevent slippage.

It has taken a couple of years for me to get to the beta testing I am starting today.  I had to form an LLC, connect with an attorney to file a patent, and now, finally, to send some of these out into the world to be tested by Knitters.  Testing will guide me in determining the answers to 2 questions–1) Is this device something that others find useful; and 2) what colors would be universally acceptable?

Four little Apríscos are going out into the Knitting World today.  Wish them well, check back for updates!

Walking down the path with MyBeadKeeper……

So, it’s like this.  I like to knit with beads.  The crochet hooks I use belonged to my Grandmother.  I lost one of them while trying to knit with beads on an airplane.  If you have ever tried this, you know it is insane.  Losing the hook made me think, there has got to be a better way.  I got a cup and stuck the hook in the cup.  Works OK, but then you have to put the beads in something.  And when you are done, you have to put this hook in something….because it is seriously sharp.  It is easy to get it impaled into your forearm.  With 4 beads on it.  You can ask me how I know if you can’t figure it out.  Let’s just say you don’t want to stick it into your flesh, you want it in a safe place so that doesn’t happen again.

Enter MyBeadKeeper.  Details developing every day.  I am on my beta prototype.  A couple of weeks and I should have some ready to send out to some wonderful bead knitters who are willing to help  test this little project.  Stay tuned!

Charlotte’s Web? Charlotte Who???

“Charlotte?  I don’t know anyone named Charlotte’s Web.  Where is this Charlotte and her web?” asked MrTang.

.IMG_3429“WaiWAIT!  There was something I forgot to tell you WAIT!  thThere is s-s-something I forgot to….um…..um….ummmm.. tell you:/ ”  IMG_3871

The good news is—MrTang is no longer short on  fiber in his diet.  IMG_3895

“I kind of like the way the fringe slowly was nibbled off  shortened on this end,” offered MrTang.

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“It still tastes good  has a lot of fringe here.”

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“I could use it in my Japan box, you never made me a blanket for it.  I’ll never do it again to this shawl.

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Meet My Knitting Assistant, MrTang.

It takes a dedicated Cat Assistant to wet block a shawl. IMG_0407Watching all of those little pins makes a cat very tired.

Guarding Lisa's Little Leaves Shawl…...

Guarding Lisa’s Little Leaves Shawl……

This Belle Nuit shawl requires a little quality control and extra inspection….

Inspecting my Belle Nuit Shawl…...

Double-checking Grandma Shibata's poncho/vest….

Double-checking Grandma Shibata’s poncho/vest prior to the blocking wires….

DSC_0758Mia’s Nancy kept flying up into the air, it required a full-body press to tame it.  Besides, it smelled a lot like Dreft and Tang doesn’t understand why ……….

And lastly, who couldn’t love a face like this????DSC_0760