Thursday, September 29, 2011

October Classes

Its a little late, but finally I've got the class schedule out for October! Hurry and sign up for these classes- several start next week! As always, full details are on my classes page

Wed 10/12, 10/26: Drop 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! You can also sign up for just one class, and if you already have a spindle and fiber, you can pay less without supplies.

Wed 10/5: Washcloth/Loofah Holiday Gift Class- Want a quick gift for everyone on your list this year? Make a circular washcloth with a scalloped edge using cotton yarn. If you prefer a loofah, you can cinch the circle closed around a bar of soap. Pair this with a bar of fancy soap for a quick gift that will give the most luxurious shower experience!

Tues 10/4, 10/11, 10/18, 10/25: Cable Scarf- Want to learn how to do all those fancy Aran cables? Fear not, this class will take you gradually from simple cables on up until you're ready to take on the most complex designs. In the process you'll make a unique and intricate scarf, which is a perfect holiday gift!

Wed 10/19: Surprise Class!- Details of this class will be posted once everything is confirmed. Rest assured, its one that's been requested repeatedly and is sure to be a crowd pleaser!

Eileen offers a number of other classes as well, please visit her website to see the rest of her options! 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.

I also offer private lessons, both at Sheep Skate in Dedham, and in Cambridge. Please email me if you want to set something up!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

2-at-a-time, Toe up, Short row heel Socks on 2 circular needles

That mouthfull is the latest pattern I've added to my ravelry arsenal! Its the pattern I use for basic socks, usually my take along train/car/bus knitting- no thinking involved (other than remembering to increase when I'm supposed to...)

These socks can also be embellished any way that strikes your fancy- cables, lace, etc, or you can use the pattern as a reference for techniques- how to do a toe up sock, how to knit socks 2 at a time on 2 circulars, how to make a short row heel.

I wrote this pattern because its what I teach in my sock knitting classes, and also because I'd been on a search for such a combination without finding it. The 2 at a time socks were top down, or the short row heel socks were on DPNs, etc. I'd been knitting socks this way for awhile, but its hard to explain to someone who's never knitted socks: Cast on and do the toe using this resource, then use another resource for the heel, still another for the bind off, etc.

If you aren't on ravelry, or don't want to mess with the link above, you can buy the pattern directly here ($0.99)

Friday, September 23, 2011

Project Update

Two projects have taken the majority of my knitting time lately- my sweater, and, when I'm being good, my veil. The veil is coming along nicely, albeit very slowly... the sweater... well, the sweater was going along swimmingly until I had the sleeves an inch from finished and discovered they were WAY too wide.

So I had to rip back to only 4 inches or so. That'll teach me to blindly follow the pattern increases when I'm following directions for the wrong size after changing the gauge! So, I'll be re-knitting the sleeves and then finally, finishing the sweater. Along with, hopefully, knitting at least a row a day on the veil.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Sheepish Adventures: Episode I

Or Episode IV for my fellow nerds. I had almost forgotten about this adventure's "sheepish" nature, until the photos surfaced recently. This summer, I went to the Newport wine festival. Why? Because wine, sunshine, sailing, beaches, and a weekend away from home are all most excellent.

Now, unfortunately there weren't any sheep themed wines at the festival, though I'm sure there must be somewhere. If not, let's get on that!

But, there was a sheep themed Scotch, Sheep Dip. And to be honest, I like Scotch even more than I like wine. Its a good scotch too. If I remember correctly, its a blend of something like a dozen different types and ages of scotch. I'm no expert at describing whiskey flavors, so I won't try and embarrass myself, but it was smooth, flavorful, with none of that pucker inducing rubbing alcohol aftertaste.

And what better place to enjoy a nice glass of scotch on a sunny afternoon? On a reclining swing, of course!

Friday, September 16, 2011

Teaching Spinning

This week I got to teach Beginning Drop Spindle Spinning at Sheepskate! Its always fun to teach beginners and help them achieve that lightbulb moment where everything starts to make sense. We finished and plied a little tiny mini skein in the class, and sent students home with plenty of fiber to practice with- they'll be back on Wed, Sept  28, and then spinning will be offered every other Wed evening at Sheepskate. Come and learn or brush up your skills! Beginners can buy kits that include a spindle and 4oz of Shetland Wool top.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Annie Modesitt or: The Common Cod Strikes Again

Last Friday kicked off a new guild year with the Common Cod Fiber Guild! We have a new board (of which I am the membership chair), a new room (more intimate and with room to spread out projects we're working on!), and a new enthusiasm for the guild programming and new events between our speakers.

Annie Modesitt came to talk to us about No Wrong Way to kick off the season. We started the night by feeding her- "camping" in the Stata Center before the meeting. During the meeting members shared summer knitting wins and woes, we started planning our first between speaker get together- "make your own duct tape dummy". Then Annie started telling her story- and kept us laughing for the next hour! She was a delightful speaker & a joy to hear from. My favorite tidbit was her comparison of the trials and tribulations of knitting a sweater to a marriage- priceless.

After the meeting I got a look at some really spectacular knitted hats she brought- using Millinery wire to keep a wide brim. There was a great photo taken of the guild board wearing these hats, but not on my camera, so stay tuned! Hopefully I can get a copy soon.

I'm excited to see the next evolution of the guild as the season progresses!

Monday, September 5, 2011

Beautiful Things

This week two wonderful people have sent me photos of projects! First, London Fetish Fair sent me photos of the sweater she knit from Mary Maxim vintage patterns she bought from me last year. Its gorgeous! I hope she keeps up the knitting... I can't wait to see where the mix of vintage and modern takes her next.

Next, Cloth Diaper Club sent me this photo of the most adorable sheep that she needle felted! The body is some of my sweet superfine Merino locks. She has incredible talent! So cute.