Knitting Certification – progress

I am a knitter!

In order to teach at Michael’s, I have to become certified to teach knitting with the CYC (Craft Yarn Council). I have been working on getting the swatches knitted for the first five lessons and I’m nearly there. One swatch (lace) to go and then the ends need to be woven in and they all need to be blocked. I’ll attempt to get this project done and in the mail this week.

OMG, that means today and tomorrow!

The certification is somewhat simpler than the requirements that I’ve experienced in the Knitting Masters Program through the Knitting Guild Association … which I will get back to working on as soon as I get some orders for knitted garments finished and sent. Orders from friends and family are keeping this Queen Bee’s fingers busy!

I’m grateful that my knitting can help them to give a hand-made gift to special friends!

Gone knitting!

Knitted Name Tag – On the Way to Naples (FL)

My Four-legged Boy!

This was the view from my front seat – my little fur-boy in his car seat. They seem to like it because they can see out the window (if they’re to asleep). We’re on the way to see N’s mother in a nursing home in Naples, FL.  As usual, I am knitting as N drives.

A couple of weekends ago, I had the privilege of knitting with a whole gang of new faces (and Annie Modesitt!) Well, it turns out that these women are all a part of Orlando’s Knit or Knot Guild (the Central Florida Chapter of the Knitting Guild Association).

Wednesday evening I’ll be knitting for the first time, post-Annie, with these ladies whose company I have really enjoyed. Well, the long and the short of it is that they’ve apparently been talking about making name tags for quite some tome … and Wednesday is the day! So, I’ve been thinking about what I wanted to do for my name tag. And I decided that the only thing I could do is knit one!

And when I really started to think about what I would knit … square, rectangle … I had to do a bee skep and bees (of course!) So, off I went into my stash and found some perfect-colored (honey-yellow) Cotton Ease yarn and in my “scraps” basket some black. And off I went!

Materials? Check.

I’m quite pleased with the way it’s turning out. I used one of the techniques that Annie demonstrated and, with a couple of spacing challenges, got my name “written” on it. The most challenging, however, has been the single crochet edge that I’m trying to put around it. I’ve pulled it out a couple of times and will likely do it (at least) once more.

Almost there ... got to get it home for the finishing touches!

Gone knitting (well, truthfully, single crocheting).

A Weekend with Annie Modesitt

Knit or Knot Group

OMG! She is fabulous!

Day 1 – Friday

Classes on Friday were Embellishments and Heel! Learn Toe UP Socks with Mutt-Luks!

Embellishments Swatch

You can see we did several different embellishments. I, personally, love love love the little dreadlocks! Anyway, you’ll see that there are several rows of garter stitch (just to warm up our fingers!) and then the first embellishment was the “dreadlocks”. Next, bobbles. These are nice perky bobbles with no droop or hole underneath. I love the idea of using these as buttons. Next we did a few rows of cables … without a cable needle. A great technique because, Annie says, using the cable needles stretches the yarn and sometimes makes for a gap or hole in the fabric. This technique will not! Last, but certainly not least, we did a couple of different bind offs … a picot bind off (on the right) and an i-cord bind off (on the left). The picot bind off could be used as closure for a cardigan sweater, for example, with some lovely bobbles as buttons. The i-cord band could include i-cord loops or frogs. I’ll be playing with a few of these ideas. I’ve played with adding i-cord to a flat garment but never edging a garment with i-cord!

(PS) My swatch is sitting on one of the books that I bought at the classes which Annie has written, Confessions of a Knitting Heretic. The second book I bought was this one:

Cheaper than Therapy is a collection of stories that were gathered by Annie. Since I’m a one book at a time kind of girl, I’ve not really dug into either one yet. But I am looking forward to them both!

The second half of our technique classes on Friday was a toe-up sock with a different (and better) toe and a different heel … an after thought heel of sorts, made with short rows. We didn’t really make a sock but we started (duh!) with making the toe and then knitted several rounds of the “sock” before adding some scrap yarn to mark where the heel will go. I still need to go back and finish the “sock” and I’ll show you pictures at a later date … or I’ll add them to this posting.

Day 2- Entrelac Lace

Saturday we did entrelac. Lots of entrelac. Mind-boggling entrelac!

Entrelac Swatch

We started out with our work flat, working back and forth in entrelac. I really like the look of  the entrelac (especially in two colors). It’s such a harlequin look. With the idea that entrelac can also be worked in the round, we then joined our work and then made the squares bigger and worked the top ones in lace. It was fascinating to think about taking a somewhat complicated technique and making it more complicated but the lace skirt pattern that Annie used as her example is really lovely and I would love to make something similar!

Day 3- The Universal Mitered Bag/ Modular Knitting

Sunday we made a small Mitered Bag. Using three colors, we learned how to form the interlocking triangles in different sizes and how to construct a bag (to be felted) using the technique. I found this technique really easy to follow and really enjoyed it. Annie even knitted on my bag to show how to do some of the steps … thus, I have a bright orange and a couple of tiny gray “diamonds” (on the left) which she gave me permission to pull out – but who in their right mind would pull out Annie Modesitt’s knitting? I think it makes my bag all the more special!

My Mitered Bag

This is the bag before felting. Notice the really cool “edge” at the top where the purple and cream yarn are twisted.

Two Rounds of Twisted Edging - Looks like Herringbone!

I originally had gone around again (because this round was done by Annie. Yay!) but it was too wide and I went back, after making sure I could actually DO the technique, and tore it out and bound off. I do think I’ll buy some good wool for felting and make the next size bag because it was really lovely and a good size.

Annie also gave us some tips for felting (and told us about her online classes that she offers … I would encourage anyone wanting to learn more about our craft to check out her classes  … click here to be magically transported to her site! She’s a wonderful and thorough teacher and I learned a lot!)

So, add in a potluck lunch that lasted into the next day, some great knitting women in the Orlando Knit or Knot group – which, by the way, is the local Knitting Guild Association group – and a lot of laughs, and you get the general gist of the weekend.

I had a blast – and I’m still recovering from the mind-bending concentration. I took some notes and will share some of them with you “down the road”. But for now …

Gone knitting (maybe my heel)!

Minnesotan Knitting Heretic Visit

Well, it was an Annie Modesitt kind of weekend in Orlando this weekend. I have been fortunate enough to knit for the last few months with a great group of women who have welcomed me with open arms. Just the fix that I needed …some new friends who knit!

I signed up for a weekend of classes with world-renowned knitter and designer (or maybe she’d say designer and knitter) Annie Modesitt. Two classes on Friday, and all-day classes  on Saturday and Sunday. Suffice it to say that my brain and fingers are sufficiently exercised and I learned a lot … and, as an added bonus, added some fabulous new friends to my Florida life.

I’ll write more tomorrow after a bit of much needed time to absorb and filter all my new knowledge. But for now …

Gone … and not knitting!