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Twisted Fiber Festival

Just in case you were wondering where I have disappeared to:

I have been organizing this with the help of two lovely ladies who are, like me, going to be vendors also. As you can see below, I am teaching a class as well.

Twisted! Details

Vendors:
Alpacas at Orchard Hill
Knit n Spin
Tiny Dino Studios
Twisted Sisters
Th’red Head
Blushing Ewe
Shirley’s Succulents
Tom Swayne Woodworking
Prairie Productions
Laura’s Pygoras
Creations by Anna
Rouse House
Images in Time 3D
The Wicked Stitch
Elaine Kruger’s Sewing
Barb’s Nuno Felted Wearable Art

TWISTED Fiber Festival
FREE Classes/Demos
Saturday, November 3, 2012

The Potwin Fiber Artisans are happy to offer the following FREE
classes/demonstrations during the course of the TWISTED Fiber Festival! Each of the demonstrators is an artisan in the subject matter of their class/demo and many have scheduled classes in January so that you can build upon the knowledge and techniques you learn during the festival. Each session is 45-55 minutes long and the artisans will have tools available for you to utilize during the class; some will have tools available for purchase, and many vendors at the festival will have fibers available for purchase!

10am- BEGINNING KNITTING with Jenny Binfield
Jenny will show you how to caste on and begin knitting, and will have a handout with her basic knitting tips and techniques. Needles and yarn will be available, or you can bring your own needles and purchase some delicious handspun from one of the vendors.

11am- BEGINNING CROCHET with Susan Hudgens
Learn the basics of crochet, including slipknot, chain, slip stitch, single crochet & double crochet. Bring a crochet hook, yarn and scissors-some materials available, first come, first serve.

Noon- SPINNING with Marla Holt
Learn drafting techniques that allow you to quickly and easily spin fun thick n thin yarn and lofty thick singles on your spinning wheel. Please bring your spinning wheel and about 4 ounce of fiber you are familiar with spinning.

1pm- EMBROIDERY BASICS with Susan Hudgens
Learn the skills needed to complete a simple embroidery project including choosing materials, overhand knot, back-stitch, overhand stitch, French knot, satin stitch,, Lazy Daisy and as many other as we can fit in. Bring scissors, aida cloth, needles & floss-some materials available, first come, first serve.

1pm- DRUM CARDING DEMONSTRATION with Jennifer Beck
With an eye for color and texture, Jennifer creates beautiful art batts! Come watch her show you just how fun and easy it is to create an amazing fiber batt on a drum carder, ready to be spun into a unique OOAK yarn or used in your next felting project.

2pm- MAGIC LOOP KNITTING with Meg Wickham
The Magic Loop Technique allows you to make something small and circular by using one long 32″ or longer circular needle. Bring 75 yards of worsted weight (very soft) yarn and US sz 7 needles at least 32″ if you want to try alongside the instructor.

3pm- DROP SPINDLE SPINNING with Lori Warren
Lori will cover the basics of using a drop spindle: getting started, prepping your fiber, drafting, starting a leader, and park & draft spinning. She will also demonstrate how to skein and finish your handspun yarn. Drop Spindles, made by Lori, will be available for $10.

4pm- NEEDLE FELTING BASICS with Anna Walker
Stab something into existence and learn from @FELTit herself! With a barbed needle and some pretty fiber, learn the basics of needle felting as you create your own little cyclone! Basic needle felting instructions will go home with you along with your felting needle and a foam block!

I might not be very present until all of this is over, but when it is, look for the relaunch of the Tiny Dino Studios Etsy store and lots and lots of knitting!

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FO: OWLS Sweater

Look what I’ve got. . .

A whole row of owls…

And a sweater to go along with it!

I don’t think I have ever been happier with a finished sweater than I have with this one. It was quick, relatively simple, and it fits perfectly.

I absolutely love myself in this sweater.

It is very comfortable. I am looking forward to wearing it this winter as a casual, everyday pullover.
I even like my belly in this sweater–and that is not something I normally say.

OWLS Sweater Specs:
-Pattern by Kate Davies
-Knit out of 5.5 Skeins of Wool of the Andes Bulky in colorway Stormy.
-I used size US 10.5 needles for the ribbing and size US 11 needles for the main body. I knit in the round on 32″ metal knitpicks interchangeable needles, using magic loop for the sleeves and modified magic loop for the neck.
-I used stitch markers on the yoke to mark where each owl was meant to begin and end. It really helped the project move along quickly, because I wasn’t afraid my owls would come out crooked.
-I used three different sizes to create a sweater that fits my body as I loose weight. The lower half of the body is knit in pattern size 7, while the upper half of the body is knit in pattern size 5. The sleeves are a modified pattern size 3. (The sleeves were only modified by adding stitches as I attached them to the body so they would match pattern size 5.) Don’t forget to measure, measure, measure!

I haven’t made my mind up about button eyes yet. Do I want any? Should I leave it how it is? I am thinking, that if I can find the right buttons, I might give one owl on my right shoulder a pair of glinting eyes…maybe.

What do you think?

And if you’re in NE Kansas, I start teaching a class about how to knit this sweater on Thursday night–and there’s still time to sign up!

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Sweater Class!

Remember last week when I showed you this?

It’s pretty exciting. Not because I magically knit an entire sweater in a week, because I didn’t. In fact, the sweater still looks exactly the same. What’s exciting is that this is my pre-work for a sweater class I will be teaching in September!

Here is everything you need to know!

Project Class: O W L S by Kate Davies Skill Level: Adventurous Beginner – Intermediate
Six Week Class Meets Thursday, September 13, 20, 27, 2012 and October 4, 11, 18, 2012 from 7-9 pm at Potwin Presbyterian Churn in Topeka.
Cost $45

This iconic sweater by Kate Davies would make a great first sweater project, or a fun way to explore new techniques for an intermediate knitter. O W L S is a women’s sweater knit in the round from the bottom up. It include waist shaping and a ring of cabled owl around the yoke. Knitting this sweater will teach you how to knit, purl, increase, decrease, knit in the round, cable, bottom-up seamless sweater construction, and short rows.

The student is responsible for purchasing their own pattern and supplies. (If this is your first sweater, I highly recommend purchasing your yarn from The Wicked Stitch, The Yarn Barn, or other local yarn store where the employees can answer your questions.) The pattern can be purchased online at ravelry or from the designer’s website.

Supplies needed: enough chunky yarn to knit the sweater in your chosen size, 32-inch (or longer) circular needle in US sizes 10 and 10.5 or size to achieve gauge, cable needle, stitch markers in two colors, tapestry needle and waste yarn. Optional supplies, 5mm buttons, needle, thread.

Homework: please have your gauge swatch knitted by the first night of class.

I have long been wanting to knit this sweater. It is fun and simple. I hope to have a good, every day pullover when I am finished knitting it–and some cool weather to wear it in. (Right now I am pictured myself pairing it with a flirty skirt, my black boots, and the socks from the cover of Sock Knitting Master Class, knit in a grey instead of brown. It’s a funky outfit, but oh will I ever be warm!)

If you’re a local and on the fence about the class, take a look at all the projects on the ravelry project gallery page. It’s full of inspirational photographs, yarn ideas, and helpful hints. I guarantee you will fall in love. And if you aren’t local, download the pattern anyway. Kate Davies is a brilliant independent designer, and I promise, the $6 (or whatever the current exchange rate from the pound is) is entirely worth it. If I hadn’t been so focused on the pineapple socks, I would be well into the sleeves of this by now. I am not exaggerating, that’s how quickly this knits up.

So happyknittingfriends, I have 8 spots open for this class and you have one month to collect your materials. Won’t you join me?

(Also, check out what other classes the PFA is currently offering!)

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Sundays are for Swatching

I have felt a bit aimless in my knitting lately. I have been knitting a lot of simple things, stockinette socks, stockinette sweaters, garter stitch bags. While all of them are relatively easy, they are all also relatively simple. I like a good simple knitting project for stressful times, when the hands just need to be producing and the mind needs to be relaxing. I will still tell you, if you ask, that a plain stockinette sock is the best relaxation knitting in the world. But every now and then, there comes a point where a woman needs just a little more to do. Taking on the Pearl Street Pullover was part of that. I have never done a cabled sweater before, and I am enjoying the heck out of it, even if I am afraid I am going to run out of yarn. I think it was also my motivation for the ill-fated moth man scarf I blogged about last time. Ill-fated? Yes, it is already in hibernation. I have a record with lace yarn and it seems I am doomed never to ever finish a project made out of it. I think I need to come to terms with the fact that I am a cable and color girl, and that while the occasional lace is nice, I prefer the solid to the dainty.

Which brings me to today’s topic. You see, I have plans. Big plans. Plans that almost scare me a little bit when I think about it too much.


This is the pile of things I am going to work on today, because it’s Sunday, and if I can’t sit on my butt and knit all day, I don’t know what else Sunday is for. In the middle you see the beginnings of a sock. This is my control project. A simple pair of stockinette socks on the needles that I can pick up when my brain needs a break from all the new things.


This particular pair of socks are my little brother’s birthday present. (His birthday was a month ago, but I am consoled by the fact that it has been 100 or more degrees every day since then and he wouldn’t have worn them anyway.) They are some self-striping t-rex yarn that he picked out of my shop. He might have just turned twenty, but I am proud to say he couldn’t pass up having Air Bender inspired socks.

Why do I need a control project you ask? Well, mostly because I made two knitting decisions in the last week that prove I have obviously gone quite insane. Two things happened to me last week. I stumbled across Ann Budd’s blog where she challenged herself to knit every sock in her Sock Knitting Master Class book. Second, I was finishing up teaching my beginners sock knitting class, and was thinking what other knitting classes I should schedule for the fall. Some how, the amalgamation of these two ideas in my work-stressed brain led me to make two very ill-conceived decisions. One, I need to learn more knitting skills so that I can be a better knitting teacher, therefore I too shall knit through the sock knitters master class, and blog about it. Two, I will teach a sweater knitting class, because I love knitting sweaters and would like to pass the bug along. Of course, the pattern I chose, O W L S, I have never knit before. I don’t feel comfortable teaching something I have never done, therefore I need to knit this sweater. I don’t have any illusions about knitting it all before the class starts, especially given my insane sock undertaking, but I would like to stay at least one step ahead of my students.


The yarn I am going to use for O W L S is just some knitpicks Wool of the Andes Bulky I bought ages ago. I have a ton of this stuff laying around. I am not sure what my plans were anymore, but I have enough of this steely grey color for a sweater. Today I am swatching for the sweater.


I am also swatching with this lovely golden protoceratops sock yarn for the first pair of socks in The Sock Book (this might be how I refer to the Sock Knitting Master Class for the duration of the project.) I do have to confess, that I have not swatched for socks since probably the second pair of socks I knit. I have not had a problem thus far, but I figure when socks are patterned and offer different sizes, it might be prudent to get a good idea of what my sock gauge even is these days.

First up is Assymetrical Cables by Cookie A. Wish me luck.

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Weekend Update

I have so much news, it’s not even funny. I think the best way to proceed is in list form otherwise I will lose track of time.
Yarny News:

1. I will be adding a Farmer’s Market Schedule page to the website so all you locals can check in and find out what days I will be at the Farmer’s Market for the rest of the season. I should have thought of this in April, but it took me until July, so there you have it.

2. This week (July 7th) I will not have my own booth up at the Farmer’s Market because I will be doing my duty at the Potwin Fiber Artisans. However, I will be selling a selection of sock yarn at that booth this week that is normally in the Tiny Dino Studios booth. And it’s offered at 15% discount for anyone who signs up for my sock class.

3. Which brings me to some good news! I am finally back in the teaching game, and friends, it has been too long. In late July I will be offering my beginners sock class. If you live in NE Kansas and have always wanted to learn how to make yourself a warm pair of woolly sock for winter, now is the time to learn. Full details are on the Classes page. (However, if you want to sign up for the class, please EMAIL ME at marla at tinydinostudios dot com, and do not leave a comment on the blog.)

4. I (finally) ordered Tiny Dino Studios a Square, so as soon as next week I can start accepting credit card transactions in whenever!

In Other News:
5. My son’s birthday is on Friday. He will be six. 6! I really can’t believe how fast he’s growing. Accordingly, his third knitted puppy dog is underway, but way behind schedule.

6. My main goal for the day, after writing this blog post, is to reorganize my apartment. With three people, one running a business and one SCIENCE student, and one a child with many toys, this small space gets cluttered rather quickly if I don’t stay on top of things. And the past few weeks I have been anywhere but on top of things. Let’s just say I have my work cut out for me…

7.Upon last weighing, I have lost 25 lbs, which is an exciting and empowering experience. I promise I will write a blog post about that a little more in depth for those who are interested. A little preview, I have a ton more energy and I had bacon and eggs for breakfast.

8. And best of all, I finally found a job. I left my job at the coffee shop last November, and over the winter was able to support myself through various means while working from home. Then, this spring I started taking temporary positions when my various means were running a little dry. My last day of temping was Friday. The whole way along (since November) I have been applying for various and sundry positions I thought I might be good at / enjoy / be qualified for. I went to a few interviews, but didn’t find anything I really wanted to do, and obviously the hirers felt the same way about me, because nary a call for second interview came my way. I was at the point of discouragement where I enrolled to go back to school (which I am now going to have to undo…) And then, I had an interview with the Kansas Historical Foundation and it was the best interview ever. You know how when you go into an interview and they sit you down and say, “We just want to have a conversation about the position…” and it ends up just being a normal interview–yeah, well we actually had a conversation that was easy, and dare I say it, fun! I start Monday.

9. So, if you’re coming through Topeka this summer, may I suggest a short stop over? Of course you’ll want to go to the zoo and see the Penguins in the morning before it gets up to 105. But in the afternoon, when it’s so hot you feel you’ll melt, stop by the Kansas Museum of History and enjoy some air conditioning and some really interesting stuff.

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Introducing Brachiosaurus!

I have a new love, and it’s soft, cushy, and chunky.

Everyone, meet Brachiosaurus, my new line of chunky/bulky yarns.

Arent’ they lovely? And they are all available now in the Tiny Dino Studios etsy shop.

Specs:
100% Merino Yarn 3-ply
110yards / 100g skein
Size US 10-11 Needles
Hand Wash / Dry Flat

If you happened to be signed up for one of my Feb. knitting classes, this yarn would be perfect for either project. If you are enrolled in one of the classes and would like to purchase some, email at marla at tinydinostudios dot com asap!)

I set aside my test skein so I can knit along with the hat class.

Because not only do I need a silly hat, that silly hat must be bubblegum pink!

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February 2012 Knitting Classes

Finally, my first knitting classes of 2012 are scheduled!

I will be offering two classes starting next month. To enroll in either class please email at me marla@tinydinostudios.com (second.squares@gmail.com also works) with your name and email address.

All class info is listed below, but please feel free to contact me if you have any questions.

**Classes will be held in the Potwin Presbyterian Church.**

Southern Lights Hat Project Class

Dates: Thursday, February 2, 9, 16, 23 from 7–9pm

Fee: $30 to PFA

Class Size: min 3–max 7

Ability level: For the adventurous beginner

Description: This simple, ear-flap hat is a great way to learn how to knit in the round! In this project class, we will make Sourthern Lights hat from the Winter 2011 issue of Knitty. You will gain experience with knitting on circular needles and double pointed needles, as well as the opportunity to explore the magic loop method.

Materials: 1 US size 10 16″ circular needle; 1 set US size 10 Double Point needles; 130-150 yards chunky yarn (about 1–100 gram ball), one stitch marker

Beginning Knitting- A Simple Ribbed Scarf

Dates: Saturday February 4, 11, 18, 25 from 10 am–12 pm

Fee: $30 to PFA

Class Size: min 3–max 5

Ability level: beginner

Description: If you have always wanted to learn to knit, this is the class for you. We will start off with a simple scarf pattern which will teach you the basics of English-style knitting. You will learn how to knit, purl, and join yarn. You will come away with a cozy scarf and a firm base for moving on to other projects.

Materials: 1 set US size 13 straight needles; 2 or 3–100g balls of chunky yarn (at least 270 yards)


Students will need to provide their own yarn and needles. I will provide other notions to be used in class.

A few good resources for your materials:

Blushing Ewe carries gorgeous hand dyed bulky wool
The Wicked Stitch in Wamego
The Yarn Barn in Lawrence

And I do have chunky yarn on its way in to me, which I will have available for purchase in class for $12 a skein (100g/110yards). If you would like to purchase your yarn from me please let me know when you enroll.

(Also, if you sell chunky yarn, and would like me to add you to the purchaser list, please let me know!)

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Knitting Class

Between running errands and putting up the Christmas tree today, I have been cementing the details of my lesson plan for my first knitting class. I cannot say how jazzed I am to have the opportunity to pass on a bit of what I have learned over the last couple of years.

I finished one of my samples today, and it’s bright pink and fun.

Just for fun, my second knitting project ever.

I used it as a sleeve for my netbook while I was in school. It worked great!

Is there anything you want to learn how to make?