Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Winter Classes at Charlotte Yarn

Jane’s Winter Knitting Classes

Jan. 9, 16, 23 6-7:30 pm Beyond Beginners ($45)
Jan. 14 1-3 pm L-Shaped Scarf ($30)
Jan. 27, Feb. 3 10 am-12 pm Mosaic Knitting (Bag) ($45)
Jan. 28, Feb. 4 1-2:30 pm Caberet Bag ($35)

Feb. 17 10am-3:00pm Altering a Pattern to Fit You ($60)
Feb. 20, 27 6-7:30 pm Knitting Disasters and Creative Opportunies ($35)

Mar. 3, 10 10am-12 pm Beyond Beyond (New Class) ($45)
Mar. 4, 11, 18 10am-12 pm Top Down Summer Sweater ($65)
Mar. 13, 20, 27 6-7:30 pm Beyond Beginners ($45)

Design your own class -- For three or more knitters.
Choose a subject, a day and a time and Jane will teach your class. Email Jane to discuss arrangements. (jprater@carolina.rr.com) Put “knitting class” in the subject line.


L-Shaped Scarf
A Merely a Suggestion pattern, this scarf is knitted using patchwork knitting techniques. Originally I attempted to make this scarf in stockinette stitch, but it was just too boring to knit. I love the work of Horst Schultz and was inspired to shape this scarf using techniques I learned from his books.

In this class you will learn how to:
1. manage a very long cast on
2. knit a mitered angle
3. add new yarn and weave in ends
4. use gauge to adapt this pattern to any yarn you choose

Materials needed:
Two skeins of Shine or @ 250 yds or sport wt. yarn
Optional: Complimentary yarns from your stash in small amounts
Size 24” circular needle size 9 or 10 (Any size that gets gauge!!)
Pattern is included.

Mosaic Knitting (Bag)
A very easy way to knit with two colors and create some lovely geometric designs. This technique is undergoing a renewed popularity somewhat because it is so much easier and speedier than fair isle.

In this class you will learn how to:
1. read a mosaic knitting chart
2. select color values to enhance your designs
3. fast and furious lining for a bag (Handsewn)
4. easy zipper insert technique (Handsewn)
5. design your own bag or knit the sample—or both

Materials needed: Smooth, worsted weight wool or wool blend yarn in a solid, light color, a dark color and an in-between color (Check your scrap basket!) , Size 7 or 8 needles, scissors, stitch markers, tapestry needle, tape measure, pencil and paper. Project yarn will not be needed until the second class.

Caberet Bag
Use this simple drawstring bag (a Merely a Suggestion pattern is included in the fee) to learn about mixing yarns and using double –pointed needles. Most of the bag can be knit on a 16” circular if you wish for speed. Merely a Suggestions pattern included. See samples in the shop.

In this class you will learn how to:
1. cast on and join yarn on a circular needle
2. create eyelets for a drawstring strap
3. attach new yarns, carry unused yarns, and weave in ends
4. use double pointed needles
5. close the bottom of any tube to create a bag or hat
6. create a twisted cord purse strap

Materials needed:
16” circular needle, size 6; dp needles, size 6
10 markers
1 skein solid DK or worsted yarn to serve as MC, 1 skein of two different novelty yarns to coordinate (or bits and pieces of your leftovers)
Scissors, tapestry needle, pencil and paper.

Altering a Pattern to Fit You
If you don’t custom fit it, why bother? Land’s End is cheaper and faster.

In this class you will learn how to:
1. measure for a knitted garment
2. make you swatch work for you
3. make a paper pattern to use as a check sheet
4. check their math (Sometimes patterns lie!)
5. re-figure the pattern for your gauge
6. shape the pattern to flatter you

Materials needed: a 4” by 4” swatch which has been washed and dried or blocked (use a yarn you are thinking of making a sweater from), pencil and paper, 12” ruler, measuring tape, a sweater or jacket pattern you really want to make (not an oversize fit); other supplies will be provided.

Knitting Disasters and Creative Opportunities
Error? Miscue?
Ripping out is the last resort. Learn to fix it, prevent it, adapt it, transform it—even embrace it.

In this class, you will learn how to :
1. recover from running out of yarn
2. integrate two different dye lots
3. recover dropped stitches
4. alter an incorrect stitch
5. change the length of a garment after it is finished
6. recycle yarn

Materials needed: Small amount of smooth, light-colored worsted weight yarn (like Cascade 220 or Encore); needles size 6. 7. or 8; tapestry needle, scissors, crochet hook size F, G, or H; HOMEWORK SWATCH.

Homework swatch: With smooth, light-colored worsted weight yarn (like Cascade 220 or Encore), cast on 15 sts.
Knit 10 rows of stockinette stitch.
On next right side row, K5, P1, K4, P1, K to end.
Continue in stockinette st for 6 more rows. DO NOT BIND OFF.

Beyond Beginners
You’ve knit scarves, shawls, place mats, dishcloths and every thing else you can think of which is rectangular. You need new shapes.

This class explores the techniques needed to make some curves. We also will attack the “little” questions you’ve been wondering about. This class is unique because the students determine the content.

We will begin with various ways to increase and decrease in order to shape a garment and make it fit. Topics chosen by previous classes to explore have included new cast ons, how to attach a new color, simple cables, correcting mistakes without ripping out, seaming pieces together, pattern reading techniques, solving the mystery of gauge, and others.

Prerequisites: Must be able to cast on, bind off, decrease and increase one way, knit and purl comfortably, and have completed at least one project.)

Materials needed: Smooth, worsted weight wool or wool blend yarn in a solid, light color. (Check your scrap basket!) , Size 7 or 8 needles, scissors, stitch markers, tapestry needle, tape measure, pencil.

Homework for the first class: Bring a knitted project, successful or disastrous, to show and tell.

Beyond Beyond
Designed for the experienced knitter, this class adopts the philosophy of Beyond Beginners. Students will determine the content of the class. Suggested techniques include grafting/Kitchener stitch; knitting backwards; alternations after the fact; picking up stitches evenly; error corrections; pattern/chart reading. Bring your knitting problems to class and we’ll all learn.

Materials needed: Smooth, worsted weight wool or wool blend yarn in a solid, light color. (Check your scrap basket!) , Size 7 or 8 needles, scissors, stitch markers, tapestry needle, tape measure, pencil and paper. Also bring any knitting problems or questions .

Top Down Summer Sweater
Did your last sweater project fit the way you wanted? For a perfect fit every time, knit from the top down.

Barbara Walker’s book Knitting from the Top Down is a classic. In this book she describes how to knit a sweater of any design without being tied to someone else’s numbers and without having to wait until it is finished to discover IF it fits. We will knit a mini version of a top down sweater, and then get you started on a summer shell of your choice.

In this class you will learn how to:
1. take the measurements you really need for a sweater
2. shape an armhole
3. shape any type neck
4. add short rows for a larger bust
5. define a waist
6. decide on your perfect length

Materials needed: Smooth, worsted weight wool or wool blend yarn in a solid, light color. (Check your scrap basket!) , Size 7 or 8 needles, scissors, stitch markers, tapestry needle, tape measure, pencil and paper. Sleeveless sweater patterns of your choice and yarn for project will be discuss in first class. Barbara Walker’s book is highly recommended.

Friday, December 15, 2006

When in doubt, LISTEN!

There they were--two skeins of Lorna's Laces Vera. Stunning. Gorgeous. The fuschia popped and the green, brown and pale whatever were a solid foundation. Great socks were just ahead.

I cast on and did a very flat 4X1 rib. I knit both cuffs, both heels, half a foot on each and just could stand it no longer. They just lay there in my lap--no life, no pop, no fun. I felt I had killed a beautiful colorway. Why hadn't I suspected stockinette was death to this yarn?

I frogged.

Then I swatched!!! Entrelac was attractive, but too complicated for the moment. Also too many entrelac patterns floating around in cyberspace. I wanted something a bit more mindless and new. I needed a solid to pop this yarn. Apple green--well, I have been fixated on the chartreuse/apple green section of the color wheel. I knit a small swatch.

Small swatches lie!!

I knit both cuffs, both heels, half a foot on each and just could stand it no longer. They were ugly--no, they were butt-ugly. I knew they were this ugly four inches into the first sock, but I hoped the pattern would grow on me. Well, it did resemble lichen in a certain light. I couldn't gift these ugly socks, not even to an enemy; I couldn't offer them as a pattern, not even a free one; I couldn't even keep them to wear because I don't wear UGLY socks.

Plan C. First we frog, gently this time. While knitting the ugly ones, I would sometimes goof and leave out the second row of green. I had to correct this several times. Subconscience calling????? I actually liked the error. At least I think I did. What to do--knit this new pattern until I have two almost finished socks and then decide -- OR -- knit a big swatch, wrap it around my leg and check it out. Naw-w-w-w. Compromise; knit the first cuff and look at it for a few days before committing.

Then either I knit the socks or burn the yarn. Stay tuned.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

JDP, Knitter and Contractor

Holidays are coming. The local paper had a big article about the Darren McGaven movie "The Christmas Story." It's a big fave in my family. We watch it every year. The first year DGS#1 was around, we watched it and then I gave DD#1 a package to open. It was a rabbit suit just like the pajamas in the movie. It was an old Lion Brand Kit, but the point was to laugh not to impress. He wore it for Halloween for two years. This year DGS#2 wore it. I do have a picture of that to share.

Someday he'll hate me for this.

Where have I been? Well, I just don't think I can write if I don't have pictures and I always forget to take them. I've been working on some patterns that I may submit somewhere and can't post pictures yet, so that makes me even more reluctant to blog.

Enough excuses. Pass me my toolbelt--the one with the screwdrivers. I have been spending time with moisture control guys and heating specialists as I get ready to fix up the house. I'm also watching every home show on TV. This takes time, but can be done while knitting. I want my very own nailgun. What power! Want a bookcase? Just simple measurements and straight cuts and then KAPOW, KAPOW, KAPOW with the nailgun and it's done. It's all about the tools.

I only have a drill. I use it to wind bobbins for weaving. Oh how sadly underexposed I've been to the world of power tools. No more. Stay tuned for adventures.

I'm playing with my class schedule for next year. I'm planning a Mosaic Knitting class where the students get started on a bag I've designed. It's been fun to try new patterns and plan the sequence for the class. I also want to do mistake class; of course, most of that is really a planning not to make mistakes class. Other topics under consideration include couture cast-ons, knit to fit workshops, another lace shawl, knitting with handdyes. Of course I'll offer my favorite Beyond Beginners and maybe even a Beyond Beyond. I think skill/technique classes are the best to teach. People are so often shocked at how creative they really are.