Tuesday, April 09, 2013

Knit Fest Spring Fling in Collingwood

This Saturday I'm heading up to Collingwood with Glenna C. to teach a couple of classes at Grey Heron's KnitFest.

Karen has a beautiful space, and we are gathering to spend a day learning, sharing, laughing - and enjoying some of her wonderful hospitality.

I'm teaching Continental Knitting, and a workshop on Sizing and Fit. Glenna is teaching a class on cables, and her fun steeking workshop.

We went last spring, and had a fabulous time. Come join us!

Friday, April 05, 2013

What (Else) Would Madame Defarge Knit?

I'm thrilled to announce that I'm part of the new Cooperative Press publication from editrix extraordinaire Heather Ordover, What (Else) Would Madame Defarge Knit?

In the book you will find 28 patterns written by designers both new and experienced - one of whom is me, of course!

Of course it's a sock... 
As in the previous book, there's a range of projects of all difficulty levels so everyone should be able to find something to love. You can see pretty pics at Ravelry. Each designer has contributed a pattern, and also a story about their relationship to books and their own acts of creation. These stories are heartfelt, honest, and in few cases, just darn funny.

To celebrate the book's release — and to give something back to all of you who make this possible — we are giving away some goodies.

If you've already pre-ordered the book, check your inbox or spam filter tomorrow afternoon! The links to the goodies should appear!

If you haven't already ordered the book (what are you waiting for?) you have two choices:
  • Pre-order W(e)WMDfK? and pick up a copy of the original WWMDfK? in print and digital formats —$50 plus shipping for both books, both formats! For those of you who don't already have the first book, this is a nice deal. Learn more here or order  Print+Digital of both books.
The discount on the two-book package and all of the goodies disappear at 3pm EDT on Saturday, April 6, 2013.

Thursday, April 04, 2013

Holiday Knitting

Travel - especially journeys with long plane/car/train trips - are excellent opportunities for knitting.

We had all of the above on the trip to the UK - plane there and back, of course, plane up to Aberdeen and back; various train journeys in the London area, including a day trip to Brighton, and some longish car rides in the Aberdeen area. Perfect.

In the days before I left, I had the usual "what knitting should I take" panic... socks, of course, but I wanted something else, too.

A conversation with Brenna at Lettuce Knit got me thinking...

In the fall of 2005, I knitted a garter stitch scarf with Kidsilk Haze, and although I loved the result, the process nearly killed me.

I absolutely adore mohair, and it's always galled me that I'd had a bad experience with it. I should love these fine silk/mohair blends, as they are incredibly light and incredibly warm. Perhaps it was time to try again.

There was a partial ball of this yarn in the scrap bucket, so with Brenna's encouragement I decided to give a go.

I knew that whatever I did, it had to be simple - for successful knitting in low-light and low-sleep situations, and I wanted a basic go-everywhere, wear-with-everything result. I thought about a big rectangle, but at that gauge that would have been a lifetime's worth of knitting.

It look me a few goes to land on the pattern I wanted, but I ended up with a tip-up triangle shawl in garter stitch. Easy as possible. It was the clever Rosa's suggestion to start with a few stitches already cast on (rather than at the very tip), to change the geometry a little.

I made sure I had plane-friendly needles - I chose Chia Goo bamboo circulars as they have surprisingly good points for non-metal needles. And I remembered from my previous experience that you need a good point.

Using 4.5mm needles, I cast on 45 stitches and starting working... every row: kfb, k to end.

Easy. No need to keep track of the rows; no need to keep track of stitches. It didn't matter if I ended up with a stitch too many or too little.

I started a couple of days before I left,

and worked on it all through the holiday...

over drinks both hot and cold...

and cast off on the plane on the way home. Exactly 2 balls of the KidSeta gives a shawl about 24 inches deep and 66 inches across at the top edge. It's blocking now, and should be dry enough for me to wear tonight when I head out to teach.

I do have a third ball of the yarn in the stash, and I plan to wear this for a bit to see if I like the size... am thinking I might add a border along the lower edge...