Pendulum KAL

Instead teaching a knitting class this summer, I opted for something a little more flexible, and a little more inclusive, and a lot more free!

I am hosting a Knit-A-Long with the PFA and I am really excited. It’s going to be pretty relaxed as far as knit-a-longs go. And I’ve already picked out my yarn.

icy sock yarn combo
Protoceratops in First Frost and undyed. The pattern reminds me of something icy and cold, and I think mine might look pretty chilly in these colors.

Please feel free to join us. I expect most of the action to take place in the Potwin Fiber Artisans Ravelry Group and on our facebook page.

Details:

This shawl is appropriate for any level of knitter. We’ll work together to get everyone through it.

You don’t have to be part of the PFA or even local to us to participate. This KAL is open to anyone and everyone.

Cast On date is July 15th and our goal is to have it finished by August 15th (but you don’t have to have it finished by then the participate)

The pattern: pendulum

The supplies:
2 skeins of sock yarn in different colors
Size US 6 circular needles
tapestry needle

It’s as simple as that. Are you in?

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!

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!)

Sock Inspiration

One of my favorite things to knit in summer is socks. Top-down vanilla socks are easy for me now, because I can carry the pattern around in my head and I don’t have a large wool something on my lap when it’s 115 degrees outside. (And I do wish I was exaggerating.)

Here are a few pictures I took a couple of weeks ago of socks I have been working on.

I used yarn left over from my Daybreak shawl to knit a cute pair of shorty socks.

I really love these colors together!

Then, I treated myself to some Ginny Weasley sock yarn from Gnome Acres. I will admit I bought the yarn because of what it was called (it’s no secret that I love my Harry Potter), but the colors are gorgeous too.

Here’s how it’s knitting up for my size socks. (64 stitches over 8 stitches per inch, your mileage may vary.) Of course, this was a couple of weeks ago, so that sock is long finished. And I am onto the second one. I am seriously considering indulging in the Bertie Bott’s colorway next.

If you are a local, and want to learn to knit socks for yourself (and your friends and family) I still have space in my sock class!

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.

Bazaar Recap

The bazaar this weekend was a lot of fun. I love a good excuse to hang out in a room full of people working on fibery pursuits. There was a lot of knitting (I was mostly working on a sock, because I am sooo exciting that way), spinning, weaving, and needle felting. I needle felted for the first time! I was very proud of my flat square of wool. I will have to get some more direction on how to make something other than a rectangle from Anna the next time she offers classes.

I have been making subtle changes to my set up every week.

This time I hung my hand dyed tops on my drying rack, which gave me room to spread the worsted weight yarn out a bit.

The best seller of the weekend was definitely the sock yarn.

My sock yarn shelf is starting to look just a little bit sad. It doesn’t help that I am out of vinegar and have consistently forgotten to purchase any when out for the past week–and therefore I can’t dye. As soon as a gallon of vinegar makes it home with me there will be more sock yarn.

I made a really great score from the BlushingEwe booth.

Tarnish on the left, Fireflower on the right. I had in mind to find something at the bazaar that I could weave a fun scarf for myself out of, and these two lovely ladies just fit the bill. I love how elegant and understated tarnish is, and how loud and saturated fireflower is. They are about the same percentages of wool, silk, and firestar, and I can’t help but feel I am going to have a very luxurious woven scarf when I finish.


Here they are pulled into roving and ready to spin. I like to pull it out so I still get all of the layers ate one time for the color and texture variation, but so that it is still in an orderly strip. I find spinning directly from batt form a little difficult.

I seem to be on a bit of a neck warmer kick. First the Ebbtide, then all the luxurious woven scarf planning, and of course, the Daybreak I started a few days ago.


I am a little less than half way through the striped section for the largest size. It’s very easy and fun to knit–and I love how retro looking my colors are turning out.

Spring Bazaar

A few of you locals might be interested to know that instead of being at the farmers market this weekend, I will attending the spring fiber arts!

I, the Potwin Fiber Artisans and I will be at Potwin Presbyterian Church in Topeka. We are on the First Friday Art Walk Friday from 5-9 pm. On Saturday, we will be open from 9am to 5pm. The coolest part is that we will be offering mini-classes, from knitting to spinning to weaving.

Come join us. It will be a blast!

Other notables:
Alpacas at Orchard Hill will be there (ie, the finest alpaca in Kansas)
Blushing Ewe will be there as well with her gorgeous batts. (I usually can’t resist buying one myself.)
The Industrious Knit’n Spin who has been working her tail off, so make sure you give her some love when you see her.

My mission, to find yarn and / or fiber for my first unsupervised weaving project.

FO: Weaving Color Sampler

Get a load of my first rigid heddle weaving project!



I am taking the rigid heddle weaving class from the Potwin Fiber Artisans this month. I don’t think I could have taken a better class anywhere. Linda is a wealth of weaving knowledge. While I think most people would consider this a bit ambitious for a first project (four shuttles at once for a few inches!), I can’t tell you how useful it is. I can plan future projects by picking out any square of this sampler. Though I a currently weaving on a borrowed PFA loom, I can tell you when I get my own, the first thing I am going to make is a hounds-tooth scarf.



I am in love with the hounds-tooth.

And I am smitten with my first project. It’s riddled with little mistakes like most first projects, but because Linda set the assignment, I have more direction and confidence in my own weaving. Plus, pretty.



Breakfast of Champions

I have a long, full day ahead of me, so I started it out right. Brock made me this heaping plate of peppery scrambled eggs and bacon. I couldn’t eat it all, so the leftover bacon is in a baggy for a snack later.

I am visiting a farm out in the country with some fiber friends where they sell garden supplies–hopefully I can get a good deal on some seedlings since the hail we had yesterday morning destroyed some of mine. After that I have some Farmer’s Market planning to do. Then, best of all, it’s Open Stitch Night at the PFA!

If you’re in the area, come join us from 7-9 pm at Potwin Presbyterian Church in Topeka, KS. Bring your favorite fibery project. I’ll be there with my spinning wheel and some sparklies, and hopefully will have had something to eat besides bacon.

PFA Classes March 2012

PFA Classes for March 2012
Classes will be held at the Potwin Presbyterian Church. Enter through the South Door.
To register, contact the instructor!

FELTING
Monday, March 5th, 6-8pm
FELT THIS! Needle Felted Coffee Sleeve class Fee: $15 Description: Continue to explore the ancient practice of creating the fabric known as felt from wispy fibers in amazing colors. No experience is needed for this class as you use a template to create a coffee sleeve for your to-go cup. By the end of this 2 hour class, you should have your sleeve completed and ready to use. (Limited to 12 students.) Materials: Bring your felting needle(s), foam base, two ounces or more of wool fibers in colors of your choosing. (A limited number of needle felting kits with needle, small foam base and 50 grams of fibers will be available on the day of the class for $15.)
Instructor: Anna Walker aka @FELTit on Twitter, annasplaceofholding@gmail.com
CONTACT INSTRUCTOR TO RSVP YOUR CLASS SPOT.

Friday, March 9th, 2-4pm
FELT THIS! Needle Felted Create-A-Creature class
Fee: $30 Description: Using an armature built from chenille stems and fiberfill, and your imagination, create a creature of your choosing, real or imaginary. Blend the wispy fibers and learn to use your felting needle to create details and texture in your sculpture. No experience is needed for this class as you learn how to blend and combine different colors and textures of the fibers to create your creature. By the end of this 2 hour class, your creature should be mostly created, and you’ll have ideas for finishing details to complete at home. (Limited to 12 students.) Materials: Bring your felting needle(s), foam base, two or more ounces of wool fibers in assorted colors of your choosing. Chenille stems and fiberfill will be provided by instructor. (A limited number of needle felting kits with needle, small foam base and 50 grams of fibers will be available on the day of the class for $15.)
Instructor: Anna Walker aka @FELTit on Twitter, annasplaceofholding@gmail.com
CONTACT INSTRUCTOR TO RSVP YOUR CLASS SPOT.

Tuesday, March 20th, 10am-4pm
FELT THIS! Wet Felted Mini-Painting class
Fee: $75 Description: During this class you will build a multi layered wool painting from the fibers you bring to create the background for a silhouetted tree. Learn the technique of ensuring even shrinkage during felting, and discover beauty of how the fibers migrate and blend during the felting process. You’ll leave class with ideas for further embellishment of your painting. (Minimum of 4 students and maximum of 12.) Materials: Bring an old towel to transport your painting home, two ounces of natural colored fibers for the base and four ounces of dyed wool roving-NOT SUPERWASH! I recommend merino or BFL blends of no more than 30% other fiber like silk or bamboo. (Instructor will bring soap, bubble wrap, and other tools for wet felting and will have black and fancy fibers to add details to your painting. Instructor will also bring drum carder in case you want to blend your fibers. Dress in comfortable clothing that could get wet and non-slip shoes) We will take a lunch break, so bring a lunch and drink with you as well.
Instructor: Anna Walker aka @FELTit on Twitter, annasplaceofholding@gmail.com
CONTACT INSTRUCTOR TO RSVP YOUR CLASS SPOT.

PotwinFiberArtisans@gmail.com Find Potwin Fiber Artisans on Facebook!

CROCHET
Sundays, March 11th & 25th, 2-4pm
Crochet for Beginners Fee: $30 Description: Learn the skills needed to begin a crochet project, including overhand knot, chain, slip stitch, single crochet, and double crochet. We will make a small purse or electronic device cover for a cell phone or MP3 player. (Limited to 8 students.) Materials: Bring 1 US Size H crochet hook, 100 yards worsted weight yarn (1 skein, any fiber), and a pair of small scissors.
Instructor: Susan Hudgens, Dementia@wildblue.net
CONTACT INSTRUCTOR TO RSVP YOUR CLASS SPOT.

Thursday, March 29th, 1-3pm
Demystifying Crochet Gauge Fee: $15 Description: Tame this dreaded dragon and advance your crochet skills in this lively workshop on gauge. If you need help with a project, please bring it. (Limited to 8 students.) Materials: Bring 2 or 3 crochet hooks in different sizes, 100 yards worsted weight yarn (1 skein, any fiber), a pair of small scissors, and a small ruler.
Instructor: Susan Hudgens, Dementia@wildblue.net
CONTACT INSTRUCTOR TO RSVP YOUR CLASS SPOT.

—-
Unfortunately, no knitting classes this month. I will be back next month with another project class. Possibly another beginning knitting class. I am more than willing to take suggestions!