Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Cable Sampler Scarf

I've finally got my Cable Sampler Scarf available as a Ravelry download! It's a cable scarf to take you from simple 4 stitch cables up to a complex aran motif. 4 different cable patterns and the transitions between sections create a beautiful balanced scarf- whether you’re learning cables or just want an interesting scarf to knit! Perfect for a holiday gift!

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Extreme Double Knitting

I'm thrilled to help spread the word about the impending release of my incredibly talented friend Alasdair's book, Extreme Double Knitting. You can pre-order it now from Cooperative Press for a discount, and you should- even if you don't think you're crazy enough to ever attempt his patterns, it is a book worth owning for the sheer mind blowing inspiration of his work.

I'd be willing to bet that in 10 years, Alasdair will be to double knitting what Kaffe Fassett is to colorwork, or Alice Starmore to cables. Maybe 5 years. Maybe one. Don't believe me? Check out the photos on his blog. Or, scroll through my old entries- remember this photo from Fiber Camp back in March? That's Alasdair, holding several of the designs that will be in the book. You can also get a few of his patterns individually on ravelry.

Alasdair- keep being awesome! Your work inspires me.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Work, Work, Work

I'm being surprisingly productive today considering that I got up at 6am (and traveled West, so its as if I've been up since 4am local time) for a "vacation".

I intended to knit in the airport waiting for the plane...

...I answered email and piddled on ravelry.

I intended to knit on the 5 hour flight...

...I read an entire dive magazine, did a bunch of editing of stuff for sale in my shop that I've been putting off for ages, re-wrote my sock instructions in preparation for my next sock class in a week, prepared a big batch of photos to upload to facebook, and, this the really shocking bit, managed not to pass out for the entire flight. (And for those of you who took my last sock class, I'll leave extra copies of the revised instructions with Eileen next week- I've expanded on some of the instructions that were confusing before)

I really must be sleep deprived when I'm choosing work over knitting! And not the fun work, the grubby paperwork-buried-on-the-computer work.

I did get to see an interesting perspective on Boston harbor, as we took off in a direction I haven't seen from the air before, and there were lots of sailboats out on the water. I also got to see the finger lakes in New York, and having just recently discovered the region's excellent wines, I was wishing for Scotty to beam me up a few bottles to share with everyone here.

The photo is looking South toward Boston- if you click the photo to see it larger, you can see the cluster of skyscrapers in downtown Boston, with Cambridge just across the Charles River in front and the harbor islands to the left. That big flat featureless patch just left of center is the airport. Now imagine the airport underwater, the Charles twice as wide, and the skyscrapers being on a little bubble barely connected to anything- that's Boston's natural coastline!

Friday, August 19, 2011

Knitolution in the Real World

I'm excited to announce that now you can see some of my yarn and patterns live, in person, in the real world. Eileen at Sheep Skate has graciously offered to showcase and sell some of my handspun yarns and vintage patterns in her shop in Dedham! You can visit her shop at 533 High St, Dedham, MA- besides my stuff, she's got a great selection of yarn, patterns, and notions, and knitting space inside and out, and classes. Also, did I mention that Eileen is great? She knows her stuff, she's got a sense of humor, and she's what we all look for in a knit shop owner- she's someone you'd enjoy sitting down and knitting with. So go browse my stuff at Sheepskate, and everything else she's got- support 2 local small businesses with one stone!

Friday, August 12, 2011

September Classes!

Sign up for any of these or Eileen's other classes by September 1st for $10 off! You can also view these in calendar form by clicking the Classes tab above. In October I'll be teaching holiday oriented project classes- if you have something you'd like to learn to make, let me or Eileen know!

  • Toe up two at a time socks- this class is 4 nights.  You can sign up for all 4 or just the part you need.  The series is $80.00 and an individual is $30.00.  Please purchase supplies in the days before class begins. The first week will go over starting the toe- cast on, and working with 2 socks on 2 circular needles. Then you will have a week off to have time to finish the foot of your socks. The next week will be 2 classes covering the short row heel and the leg, and the cast off will be demonstrated. (Sept 6, 7, 20, 21)
  • Spindle Spinning- Have you ever wanted to spin your own yarn without purchasing all the expensive equipment?  Here it is.  Jen will provide you with two 2 hour classes.  The cost is $80 including supplies (drop spindle and 4oz Shetland wool).  You will go home with a great skill and an original skein of yarn! We will begin with staple length, drafting, spinning with the spindle supported, and gradually put it all together. While you practice, we'll talk about technique and different types of preparation. In the second class, we'll ply your singles and talk about "normal" and "navajo" plying. We'll also talk about different sheep breeds and other types of fiber, and the benefits of different types of spinning and plying. After you finish plying, you will wash your skein and take it home! (Sept 14, 28)
  • Back Strap Weaving-  No special tools needed.  4 hour class, including supplies $50.00 
The Sky is the limit with Back Strap Loom. The basic weaving skills can be applied to any kind of loom, and you can make just about anything with a back strap loom. In the class, you'll make a belt using 9 different patterns, and learn the basics of weaving in the same way Peruvian children have learned for hundreds of years. In addition, weaving on a backstrap loom doesn't require any special equipment! (Sept 17)

Eileen offers a number of other classes as well, please visit her website to see the rest of her options! I also offer private lessons, both at Sheep Skate in Dedham, and in Cambridge. Please email me if you want to set something up!

All classes are pre-registration and pre-pay.  Refunds will be given if classes are cancelled due to low participation.  Each class has a minimum of 3 and max of 8.  Please register as early as possible so that we can prepare for each student.  Call 781-320-9276 or to register.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Easy Breezy Hat- A FREE Pattern!

Easy Breezy Hat
A simple, basic, classic hat- perfect for beginning knitters’ first hats, and perfect for advanced knitters to embellish!

Size: Adult, one size. Approx. 23” circumference unstretched.
Yarn: 150 yds DK or 120 yds worsted weight yarn
Needles: 6 or size needed for gauge
Gauge: In stockinette- 20 st/4 inches

K: knit
P: purl
K1f&b: knit one front and back- knit one stitch, but before removing the stitch just knit from the lefthand needle, insert the right needle into the back of that stitch, and knit- creating 2 stitches in one.
K2tog: knit two together- put the right needle through 2 stitches on the left needle, and knit them together as one stitch.

Pattern by: Jen Stone-Gerardy Copyright Knitolution Designs, LLC 2010, All Rights Reserved
Questions or comments about this design? -

PATTERN- Knit flat and seamed.
Cast on: 90 stitches
Knit 1, Purl 1 rib for 1-2 inches.
Increase Row: K1f&b every 9th stitch, for a total of 10 increases. You now have 100 stitches.
Work even in stockinette stitch (knit one row, purl the next row) for 6-8 inches from cast on
edge. End by working a purl row.
Decrease Rows:
Row 1: k8, k2tog, repeat across
Row 2 and all even # rows: purl across
Row 3: k7, k2tog, repeat across
Row 5: k6, k2tog, repeat across
Row 7: k5, k2tog, repeat across
Row 9: k4, k2tog, repeat across
Row 11: k3, k2tog, repeat across
Row 13: k2, k2tog, repeat across
Row 15: k1, k2tog, repeat across
Row 17: k2tog across, you now have 10 stitches.
DO NOT BIND OFF! Instead, cut your yarn leaving a very long tail. Using a darning needle,
thread the tail through the remaining 10 stitches. Remove the knitting needle, cinch the
stitches tightly, and use the tail of yarn to sew your hat closed.

PATTERN- Knit in the round.
Cast on: 90 stitches.
Place a stitch marker to mark end of round and join, being sure not to twist stitches.
Knit 1, Purl 1 rib for 1-2 inches.
Increase Row: K1f&b every 9th stitch, for a total of 10 increases. You now have 100 stitches.
Work even in stockinette stitch (knit all rounds) for 6-8 inches from cast on edge.
Decrease Rows:
Round 1: k8, k2tog, repeat around
Round 2 and all even # rows: knit around
Round 3: k7, k2tog, repeat around
Round 5: k6, k2tog, repeat around
Round 7: k5, k2tog, repeat around
Round 9: k4, k2tog, repeat around
Round 11: k3, k2tog, repeat around
Round 13: k2, k2tog, repeat around
Round 15: k1, k2tog, repeat around
Round 17: k2tog around, you now have 10 stitches.
DO NOT BIND OFF! Instead, cut your yarn leaving a very long tail. Using a darning needle,
thread the tail through the remaining 10 stitches. Remove the knitting needle, cinch the
stitches tightly, and weave the tail in securely.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Finally, something OFF the needles!

It feels like lately I've just had too many different projects going, and so everything takes way too long to get finished. But this weekend, I finally got one off the needles! And just in time too- less than 24 hours before the wedding at which it was a gift. It was one of those weddings that perfectly reflects the couple, and it was a lot of fun. I wish them many happy years of curling up under this blanket!

After the wedding I spent the next two days enjoying the beach and working on my "brainless" knitting- this sweater, which is coming along nicely. I'm almost up to the armpits, and getting ready to figure out the adjustments for raglan sleeves instead of set in. I love the yarn, the color, and the pattern. It almost makes me eager for winter so I can wear it!

That's it, none of my other projects have made significant progress lately.