Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Crochet to Drool Over

At Tathy's, of course!


Glorious Hand Knit Shawl at Knotty Knits

Ah.  Don't miss looking at this one!


Sunday, April 22, 2012

Basketweave Ruching

I thought I could do this ruching on the machine, as I knitted - took quite a few samples, but here it is:

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Thoughts on Seminars

As a person who was out of the knitting biz many years and came back in after the YouTube beginner project, and after working in corporations in the meantime, and after being in leadership in a professional group that plans a lot of activities, I'm finding doing machine knitting seminars fascinating.  I also had the interesting experience of helping our Austin club put on a seminar.

I'm in between seminars right now.  I got home from Spring Fling last Sunday evening and went right back to my corporate job the next day.  I'm about half unpacked and some of it is being repacked on the spot to go to Raleigh.  I'm also mailing another big box to Raleigh, once the contents are ready.

Stuff I learned about machine knitting seminars:

1.  Every time a group puts on a seminar, they learn something or other.  It is very valuable to keep notes and keep trying things to work out what's best.  Charlene at Knit Knack Shop, with her experience putting on fantastic seminars, is absolutely amazing.   I was fascinated at how her team pulls it together.

2.  Putting on a seminar is expensive.  Unfortunately, a lot of the costs aren't visible to the knitters but are simply unavoidable.  Your biggest costs will be travel, teacher fees, a space for the event, and meals.  You are going to have to charge attendees a fee, and you'll need to figure out what your expenses will be and create a budget.  You need a strong leader and a manpower budget.

3.  Air travel is getting more uncomfortable and expensive.  We've all noticed the escalating prices of airfare and the surcharges for luggage.  I used Delta Airlines on these last two flights.  While I enjoyed having an assigned seat, I hated the luggage surcharge.  Lots of passengers try to get around that by using carry-ons, which adds to the difficulties in boarding and deplaning.  I had to check three bags - carry-ons are too small for the items needed.  That was in addition to shipping three small boxes through Fedex, then mailing one home afterwards and two on to Raleigh.  The carry-ons cost $85 each way.  I worry about losing my luggage, which has irreplaceable samples in it, and a little less concerned about Fedex losing those items.  I did attend a terrific seminar in Dallas once where the airlines nearly lost the teacher's things (Sandee Cherry).  Sandee had to be totally stressed, but managed to deal with this with beautiful grace, and eventually the luggage turned up... Some of the teachers are driving to seminars so they can carry enough items (I really didn't have everything I would prefer to have along), but I don't have enough vacation time to pull that off.  

4.  One great thing about Spring Fling was with a big crowd, you can sell a lot of items and teacher expenses are covered so the teacher ends up ahead.  It is very difficult to manage without an assistant. Because this was a big event, I could afford to bring an assistant (who does it mostly out of kindness and receives only a small fee).  She cashiers, answers questions, helps me stay organized, you name it, while I concentrate 100% on the knitters.  I tend to stay after every class talking to knitters, pack as much content into classes as I humanly can, and generally am completely engaged in knitting, talking, listening, explaining, and making sure my knitters are getting as much out of the experience as possible.   She is also very, very busy. 

Where I'm going with this point is, if you want to have a fantastic seminar and get the most out of your teacher, you might assign a couple people in the club to her help her cashier and whatever else needs done. She cannot afford to do seminars unless she sells some of her items and promotes her business, and the participants who want to shop will be very disappointed if they can't get assistance in purchasing items.

5.  Food is a big, difficult job.  Some people have special food needs.  In Austin, we potlucked the food, and we were extremely lucky to have Rose, Stacy, and Mary just dig in and get it done beautifully. Austin had very little budget, so we had to donate items to cover things like meals and supplies.  I got a big kick out of the clever things Charlene did about food for Spring Fling, but she did comment that one of the most difficult jobs for her is arranging and serving lunch.  She included a lovely slice of pie with our box lunches, totally a treat, and there were goodies in the lunches like string cheese and chocolate.  Another thing she did that was BRILLIANT:  in the middle of the warm, sleepy afternoon, we had good old fashioned popsicles!  How refreshing.  That was genius, Charlene. 

6.  You need a big space for seminars, and this can be very challenging and expensive.  You pull this off with some networking and creativity.  In Austin, where rents are outrageious, we borrowed rooms from a church in a quiet suburb and made a donation.  In Houston, they use a city building.  In Indiana, Charlene rents a fairgrounds pavilion (nice and big).  In the Chicago suburbs, we were in a large home (which actually worked just great).  Dallas uses the wonderful Stacey's Furniture building near the airport. 

7.  Lots of knitters drive to a seminar from an area with very little, if any, local shopping, so they want to shop at seminar.  Everyone enjoyed the shopping tremendously at Spring Fling, and at other seminars I've attended, a yarn supplier or dealer might be there with cone yarn or members might go ahead and sell used gear if there wasn't a dealer to have some goodies for sale. At our shoestring first seminar in Austin, we ran a little swap meet table, and we took turns cashiering.  We also had a few donated items to sell with proceeds to the club.

8.  Include fun in your seminar!  Have door prizes (perhaps your vendors will donate some, and certainly club members will), show-and-tell, do whatever you can to make it fun.  Cultivate a fun culture and show appreciation to everyone who helps.  Here's a fascinating challenge - to run a great seminar requires the backbone of a drill sergeant and the outward appearance of a cruise ship activity director.

9.  Allow enough time to plan your seminar.  This is a huge undertaking.  You need to book teachers far in advance.  You need to book travel and lodging early to get decent deals.  You need to split up the work and get it all done.

10.  Try to have a camera and TV setup so everyone can see the demonstrator's hands.  A sound system is wonderful, too.  We are so addicted to our TV setup that Barbara's husband does it for us at each club meeting at her house!  This isn't so terribly hard to do.  For instance, in Raleigh, they have a TV in the room.  I'll take my tiny video camera, tripod, and RCA cables, which should be fine for most TVs.  You're not videotaping the event; what you're doing is just running a video feed into a television.

11.  Is there a machine repair guy in your area?  Maybe he'll come to seminar.  Charlene's husband Harold worked at Spring Fling, doing quick repairs and assessing items that take longer.  At a couple seminars, my husband came along and changed Passap batteries for a nominal fee (it's necessary to un-soldier the battery and soldier in a new one; this requires a special tool to get the old soldier out, and a certain skill level).

12.  You must promote your seminar!  Notify all the nearby clubs and yarn shops.  Put multiple notices on the available Yahoo groups which permit such announcements.  Make multiple announcements at club meetings.  Ask your teachers to promote the seminar, too.  See if the local paper and radio stations will do any free notices or PSAs.  Try to run you seminar around the same time each year to help develop repeat attenders.

How to Deal With Floats at Machine Knitting is My Life

Great writeup of how to latch floats to clean up the back of your fair isle work:


Sunday, April 15, 2012

A Few More Thoughts About Spring Fling

Home again, late Sunday night, rather tired, and thought I'd say a few more things about Spring Fling before I move on to the Raleigh seminar mentally.

First of all, if you were there and came to my classes or purchased any of my products, thank you!  I met some absolutely lovely people and was thrilled at how quickly people caught on to such illogical things as the way that I keep track of scalloped edgings when I'm working them in Stitch World. 

I can't say it often enough:  if you aren't attending seminars, please try one.  Here are some of the benefits of the Knit Knack seminar:

Shopping:  You won't find such a variety of essential supplies and inspirational extras anywhere.  We had, after all, five teachers there (plus Charlene!), and everybody brought fun stuff to sell.  In addition, there were massive displays of tools, equipment, yarn, and books from the Knit Knack Shop.  Plus, there were folks right there - your fellow knitters plus dealers - to help you figure out exactly what would work best for you.  

One shopping example - I had a limited run of copies of "Wear Your Diamonds" books/disks at the seminar, which I sold there but don't have ready to advertise and sell online yet.  Folks at seminar tend to see the very latest stuff.
Repairs:  Harold was in his repair area, doing fixes, answering questions about machine issues, and generally solving knitters' issues with the mechanics of the craft.   He stocks all kinds of parts and it only makes sense to bring along your ailing gear while you are there.

Inspiration and ideas:  In addition to all the goodies the designers bring to the seminar, there are the beautiful things the participants wear and bring to share.  I could have spent the entire day taking pictures and not even gotten them all.  Of course, I would have had to start all over the second day.  It is very valuable to freshen up your creativity by exposing yourself to other people who do things differently.

Collaboration:  All around the event, I saw friends comparing notes, discussing projects, matching up colors, and planning club meetings and events.

Fun:  Most of all, we had fun!  On Friday night at the hotel, Barbara heard a lot of laughing; on Saturday night, we found a group of ladies playing a card and dice game out in the hotel lobby area and having a grand old time.  Groups went to restaurants, went shopping, gossiped, laughed, teased, and traveled together.

Okay, I'm knocking off now.  Answered a few emails, didn't bother to unpack, and am calling it quits for tonight.  Catch ya later.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Spring Fling at Knit Knack Shop

Wish you were here...

 I had a little time before and in-between classes to walk around and take some photos at Spring Fling.  There are about 150 knitters here, five teachers, and it's an absolutely fantastic experience for teachers and participants alike. 

One of the things I snapped pictures of today was unusual and fun knits that people were wearing.  I got a big kick out of this Dallas vest.

It's really rather difficult to describe the seminar experience.  I'll try anyway!

Awesome Dallas Sweater
First of all, we were so packed with teachers, knitters, and activity, that I mainly got pictures in between.  The entire time, you're busy - you can look at what other people are knitting, or you can shop, or you can catch up with old friends in between your choice of 5 different classes each hour.  I caught some pictures of the terrific shopping at this seminar.  There are incredible buys at this seminar on some used equipment and slightly difficult-to-find items.  For instance, I spotted garter bars, all kinds of great tools (Susan's are wonderful), all kinds of weights, machines, ribbers, tracers, color changers. 

We five teachers teach quite a wide variety of different things.  I'm teaching my stuff, another teacher, mainly garments, another teacher, knitted art & jewelry, and on and on.  The classes really are widely divergent.  We had good stuff for the most experienced knitters, the newbies, the fashionistas, for everyone.  I can scarcely describe the energy.

Some lucky soul, for instance, snagged a "Jaws" (shadow lace tool) for $20.  Barbara purchased a set of nice bulky ribber covers.  Tomorrow I'll be buying some yarn, books, and a few tools for myself.

There were door prizes, always fun. 

I took a picture before we started classes of the empty room I was going to teach in.  It's a terrific space.  I had a full house for a couple of my classes and I had a nearly full room for others, and with 5 classes going on at once all day, you don't have such big groups in the classes that you can't see or ask questions.

There was a style show, but since I had to go up and talk a little, I failed to snap pix of that.

Well, I need to crash and get ready for another big day tomorrow.  Today, I taught basics, garter bar, advanced garter bar, the favorite bulky projects, and shaped Entrelac, and tomorrow I'll do lace stuff and ribbing!

"My" classroom

My friend Barbara running my "shop"

Just a few of Charlene's Books
Susan Guagliumi

Sandee Cherry's Shopping Area (Sandy facing attendees)

Sandee's Pretty Stuff

Charlene has a new mid-gauge book

Harold's Machine Repair "Workshop"

Just about anything you'd need...

Valeria in her jacket

Lined up for style show

Mary in her jacket

My first class settling in to begin

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Wow...Spring Fling in Peru, Indiana

Barbara and I traveled today to Peru, Indiana to teach at Spring Fling at the Knit Knack Shop.  I rushed to finish packing last night and got up before 4 this morning to get on our way after not much sleep, as I was so keyed-up about seminar.

I have the "Wear Your Diamonds" books and DVDs offered for sale for the first time at this seminar.  The other teachers - WELL - Sandee Cherry, Susan Guagliumi, Marcia Hauser, and Deb Oswald - talk about a fantastic lineup!  I'm looking at the list of classes they are doing at the same time I'm doing mine, and it's awesome.   I'm looking forward to seeing some of the knitters I met at other seminars, too, especially some of the Chicago people.  The venue is wonderful, a great, big room absolutely stuffed with samples, items for sale, and demonstrators. 

Charlene is taking some walk-ins, so if anybody's on the fence, listen up and show up.  Gosh, who wouldn't want to do a class on knitted jewelry or an intarsia brush-up from these terrific teachers?

Peru is a nice town, and we have beautiful weather, although it might rain later.  I'm enjoying the coolness, since it's been so hot in Texas.  Now we're esconced at the Great Western.  I'm dropping this quick blog post and then I'm going to review my materials for tomorrow.   Tomorrow's my easy day, where I go over lots of my basic techniques and my garter bar tricks.  Then I'm going to do some of my most popular projects and the shaped Entrelac hat (which is the introduction to the shaped Entrelac sweater techniques).

Saturday, I'll hit the lace, the scalloped lace with stitch world, the automatic lace edgings, then do the circular sock, some ribber trix, and then I put together a few novelty demos to fill in with. 

Well, better run.  I need to be smart in the morning!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012


In Central Texas, we are having an absolutely beautiful springtime. 

We're also enjoying a nice crop of wild bluebonnets this year, as well.  The local custom is to take family pictures in the flowers.  Laura, the recipient of the little teddy bear and socks that I showed on the blog last week, snapped a bluebonnet picture of the teddy bear, whose "clothes" go rather well with the wildflowers.

I'm packing up to go to the Knit Knack Shop's seminar in Peru, Indiana, and am extremely excited about this 2-day seminar, which is going to be great fun.  

White Chili

I had creamy white chicken chili at a friend's house once, and thought it was wonderful and very different.  Something interesting to do with chicken, that's for certain - or even leftover turkey.  After reading a bunch of white chili recipes, I came up with this version, which makes about 4 servings.  This is a dish often made for crowds in much bigger batches.  We like it a lot.  Watch out - it can be very spicy, so you'll want to season it to taste.  Add bread and a salad, and you're set.

Disclaimer:  this is not Texas chili!  Texans eat a very spicy (think volcanic), meaty red chili which does not contain beans or chicken. 

1 cup of chicken breast tenders, cut into small chunks (about 3/4" square)
1 can of Great Northern Beans, 15.5 ounces (rinse & drain)
1/2 jar of Alfredo Sauce
3/4 cup chicken broth
1 small can of chopped green Ortega chillies
1 cup kernel corn (I used frozen; if canned, drain)
1 8-ounce package of cream cheese, cut into small chunks so it'll melt and blend easily
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 of a yellow bell pepper, chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
1 tsp. ground cumin
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
1t white pepper

These recipes usually contain onion, but I left it out because it bothers my sweetie's stomach.  You might want to add a few tablespoons of chopped onion.  Dump everything in the crock pot and cook slowly, about 4 hours.  I started with the slow cooker on high and stirred quite a bit to get the cream cheese un-clumped, then turned the heat down until suppertime. 

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Saturday, April 7, 2012

How to make video

I had a question about how I make instructional videos, and I'm answering it here.  My early videos are rather embarrassing, but they were useful, especially that free beginner course, and I've left them up on YouTube.  I've improved, and here as some things I've learned so far (generally, the hard way).

These are my opinions, and if you disagree or I do something that you hate, please chime in. Your comments help me learn.  We humans can't see ourselves clearly, and we need feedback.

1.  Have the thing you're teaching down pat before you begin.  (When you see me make a hat, I've already made that pattern several times.)  Spend some time thinking about the steps so you teach them all in a logical order.  People appreciate a step-by-step approach.  I jot down lists to help me show things in order.  I can't figure out knitting and film at the same time.  Instead, I have it completely figured out and then I can focus on the filming job.

2.  I use a high-definition digital camcorder (I am quite happy with my Sony) and lots of light.  It sounds odd, but the brighter the lights, the clearer the pictures.  My room is crazy-bright, actually hot from all the light.  I currently have three lights on in the room where I film, a multi-bulb overhead fan, a torchiere light and a super-bright halogen work light intended for working on cars in the dark, which I aim at the ceiling.  You can't aim it at the work, because it casts too much shadow. 

3.  Study the camcorder instruction book.  There are ways to play with the focus, lighting, zoom, and so on that are very helpful.  I work with the camcorder plugged in and I keep extra memory cards handy.

4.  Use a tripod, and use the zoom on the camera for close-ups.  As you can imagine, these very close shots need to be steady.  I do almost all my filming with a tripod, and I adjust it constantly so that I'm as close as possible to the needles (but if I go too close, it goes out of focus).  Sometimes I have to zoom out to show the general setup of the knitting.  I mess around with the tripod a lot - higher, lower, to the left, to the right, until I get the most unobstructed view.  My goal is to give you a view of what I'm showing that is better than if you were at my house watching me knit.

5.  Keep the body out of the way.  It's 'way too easy to get my hands, body, or hair in the way so the student can't see the knitting needles.  Sometimes I'm off to the side away from the knitting so I'm not in the way of the camera.  I'm awkward and maybe even klutsy at those times, but the viewer can SEE.

6.  Keep filming until it's right.  It might be necessary to knit the steps again and refilm until the shots are good, but when it's right, you'll know, and it is a good feeling.

7.  Keep it simple.  Explain more than enough.  I edit out extra explaining, but I put it in there to begin with and then make a decision later whether or not I need it.  I often coach myself to go slowly.

8.  Generally, it's easier to learn by seeing than by just hearing someone talk, and it's even better if you give people both words and pictures.  I try to point out the item when I use jargon so beginners can learn the lingo.  I have some very bad habits I struggle to break, like calling needles "stitches."  Sorry - still working on that one; maybe I can kill it one of these days.   

9.  Editing high-definition clips requires a fast computer and patience.  Before I went high-def, I had a big old camcorder and I used the built-in video editor in Windows, and it was so easy.  Frankly, if I were just doing YouTube and not DVDs and if I weren't working with itty bitty needles, I'd stick with that.  However, you don't get a crisp picture of the little knitting needles and it looks terrible on a modern television.  I have a fast, 4-core computer with lots of memory, and before I edit video, I completely reboot the computer so the video software can use all the computer's resources.  I have a big swap file, too (set it in Control Panel).  I don't open other software than the video software while I'm editing.  I don't have a video software I'm entirely happy with; I am currently using Adobe Premiere, which is better than several others I tried, but was so annoyed with it yesterday crashing that my next video job, I'll try out another product.  I have three more video software products to try that I purchased on sale, and if I ever find a marvelous one, I'll probably blog about it. 

10.  Be patient about editing.  It can take me a couple hours to create a ten minute video from clips.  It simply takes a while to watch and compare clips and trim them carefully.  You also have to wait for the software sometimes - it might look frozen when it's actually busy doing something.  I take a book to read or some handknitting with me to the computer when I edit.

11.  I like to sleep on creative work.  I will film a little over several days, and as time goes by, problems get solved.  I'm told that your brain goes on working, even as you sleep, and solutions just come.  I also like to go back and look at my video on a fresh new day and see if I still like it. 

12.  If you're teaching with YouTube videos, you get ten minutes.  I hear you can pay for a special account for longer videos, but for instructional stuff, I find that ten minutes is an excellent discipline.  Each of my lesson videos on YouTube has just one big idea:  Learn to cast on.  Learn to cast off.  Learn to sew mattress stitch.  Make idiot cord. 

13.  Your videos on YouTube remain your videos.  They're copyrighted!  Even if you don't say so in the video, people are not entitled, according to the YouTube terms of use, to pull your videos down and make disks out of them for themselves or their friends.   I permit embedding, so anybody can embed my video without altering it in another website, and I don't mind.

I am passionate about teaching MK, and I'm trying to squash that learning curve.  I measure success by whether someone brand new to our craft can learn from the video without a teacher right there to answer questions.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Good Friday

Isaiah 53
1 Who has believed our message
and to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?
2 He grew up before him like a tender shoot,
and like a root out of dry ground.
He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him,
nothing in his appearance that we should desire him.
3 He was despised and rejected by mankind,
a man of suffering, and familiar with pain.
Like one from whom people hide their faces
he was despised, and we held him in low esteem.
4 Surely he took up our pain
and bore our suffering,
yet we considered him punished by God,
stricken by him, and afflicted.
5 But he was pierced for our transgressions,
he was crushed for our iniquities;
the punishment that brought us peace was on him,
and by his wounds we are healed.
6 We all, like sheep, have gone astray,
each of us has turned to our own way;
and the Lord has laid on him
the iniquity of us all.
7 He was oppressed and afflicted,
yet he did not open his mouth;
he was led like a lamb to the slaughter,
and as a sheep before its shearers is silent,
so he did not open his mouth.
8 By oppression[a] and judgment he was taken away.
Yet who of his generation protested?
For he was cut off from the land of the living;
for the transgression of my people he was punished.[b]
9 He was assigned a grave with the wicked,
and with the rich in his death,
though he had done no violence,
nor was any deceit in his mouth.
10 Yet it was the Lord’s will to crush him and cause him to suffer,
and though the Lord makes[c] his life an offering for sin,
he will see his offspring and prolong his days,
and the will of the Lord will prosper in his hand.
11 After he has suffered,
he will see the light of life[d] and be satisfied[e];
by his knowledge[f] my righteous servant will justify many,
and he will bear their iniquities.
12 Therefore I will give him a portion among the great,[g]
and he will divide the spoils with the strong,[h]
because he poured out his life unto death,
and was numbered with the transgressors.
For he bore the sin of many,
and made intercession for the transgressors.

Monday, April 2, 2012

More Jokes

I'm unusually tired after my Monday, and sitting here posting more jokes sounds like just the thing to do.

From Andrea:

At a convent in Ireland, the 92-year-old Mother Superior was in her last few days of life. The nuns gathered around her bed trying to make her final journey comfortable. They tried giving her warm milk to drink but she refused it.  One of the nuns took the glass back to the kitchen. Then, remembering a bottle of Irish Whiskey that had been received as a gift the previous Christmas, she opened it and poured a generous amount into the warm milk.  Back at Mother Superior's bedside, she held the glass to her lips. The frail nun drank a little, then a little more and before they knew it, she had finished the whole glass down to the last drop. As her eyes brightened, the nuns thought it would be a good opportunity to have one last talk with their spiritual leader.
"Mother," the nuns asked earnestly, "Please give us some of your wisdom before you leave us."
She raised herself up in bed on one elbow, looked at them and said: "Don't sell that cow!"

From Annie:

Three cowboys are sitting around a campfire, out on a lonesome Texas prarie, each with the bravado for which cowboys are famous. A night of tall tales begins.

The first one says, "I must be the meanest, toughest cowboy there is. Why, just the other day a bull got loose in the corral and gored six men before I wrestled it to the ground by the horns with my bare hands."

The second cowboy can't stand to be bested. "Why that's nothing. I was walking down the trail yesterday and a fifteen-foot rattlesnake slid out from under a rock and made a move for me. I grabbed that snake with my bare hands, bit its head off and sucked the poison down in one gulp. And I'm still here today."

The third cowboy remained silent, silently stirring the coals with his hands.

From a University of Texas Longhorn:

Q:  What happens when a Texas Aggie moves to Oklahoma?

A:  It raises the average IQ of both states!

From an accountant's spouse:

A lady goes to see her doctor with some serious symptoms. After examining her, he says, "I'm terribly sorry to tell you this, but you only have six months to live." The terrified lady asks, "Oh doctor, what should I do?"   The doctor says, "I advise you to marry a CPA." "Will that make me live longer?", she asks, hopefully. "No, " says the doctor. "But it will seem longer."

Can we bring machine knitting back?

I've been hearing for years that machine knitting has lost its mojo and it's a dying craft.  You know what?  I don't believe it.

The bigger picture is that, if we are viral and continue to use the internet so people are knitting, talking about it, doing social media about it, forming up clubs, writing patterns, etc., then we might get the manufacturers to do a bit more and we can popularize the craft.  There is some sort of tipping point, and we aren't anywhere near it.  Consider how current realities contradict the popular theories about why MK isn't more popular:

1.  People don't have time for crafts anymore.  Hooey.  Look at the resurgence of hand knitting among very young people.  Martha Stewart's amazing popularity with her incredible level of crafting detail and obsession (frankly, she intimidates me; I can't spend time making food look that fancy when we're going to eat it in 20 minutes flat) proves this wrong.  Crafting is both relaxing and satisfying. 

2.  People can't afford KMs.  Baloney.  Have you looked at the prices on embroidery machines?  And how many manufacturers have entered that arena?    

3.  Young people aren't all that interested in highly detailed crafts like this one.  More nonsense; if true, Hobby Lobby wouldn't be such a palace.   Go look at Ravelry or Knitting Paradise, and you can see lots of projects that are incredibly fancy and complicated and quite young knitters making them. 

4.  The learning curve is too difficult.  Really?  Compared to threading my 5-thread server?  Compared to making French sauces?  Compared to the sewing projects in Threads magazine?  Compared to what? 

Just about any learning curve can be flattened if taught step by step, clearly, and make it fun.  I'm doing what I can to squash that slope, and so are a lot of other teachers.

5.  Knitting is not hip.  Well, consider that being "cool" is often about caring about much more important things than trying to be "cool," and also, let's consider the fashion issues.  The Barbie doll is timelessly popular because of the appeal of fashion, and there is certainly no shortage of people who want to make something more creative, more unique, more personal, and simply unavailable elsewhere.   I get sucked right into shows like Design Star, What Not to Wear, and Project Runway.  

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Peek-A-Boo Bear

I make tiny teddy bears out of small amounts of leftover yarn (definitely not a stash-buster). 

Children like them because they're small and soft.  They'll fit in a pocket, backpack, or sock - or an Easter Basket.  He's only 7 inches (18 cm) long, and the yarn is leftover sock yarn or 2/12 knitting machine yarn. 

The pattern is over at Knit Natters website.