Monday, March 26, 2018

What would YOU include?

I taught a seminar this weekend in Tennessee, and I loved it!  It's a terrific group.

One of the things I learned was that there needs to be a little something for beginners at the start.  We had a couple of beginners, and one of them told me that she was quite bewildered at my first class, which was a bit advanced.  She said that when I got to some simpler demonstrations, she felt much less confused and happier she was at the seminar.

We all value our beginners!  I want to make one of my Pacifically Passap classes (the first one, day one) for beginners as well as knitters who have gotten rusty.  The advanced folks have other sessions they could attend, and in all my subsequent sessions, I will do demonstrations that are a little more advanced.

Here are my ideas of things to include for the special beginner and returner class:
  • "TLC for your machine," a very fast verbal run-down about making sure you have a good sponge bar, oiling and cleaning. 
  • "Speak the Lingo," a list in the handouts of our typical phrases and what they mean.
  • "Cast-On and Bind-Off Tips," which would be written with some YouTube URLs, but in class, I'd teach starting with waste yarn, put in a ravel cord, do an e-wrap cast on, knit some rows slowly, listening for the click, take it off on waste yarn, and show a tapestry needle bind off. 
  • "Learning Plan," how to use the free Beginner Course on YouTube or the Beginner DVDs. 
  • "Gauges and Consequences" - In person I'd just do the basic "practically perfect gauge swatch" and explain how important this is.  That demo includes the quick utility cast-on, a few eyelets, and some stitch marking and measuring.  In the write-up I'd also go over gauge conversions, yarn groups briefly, and very basic knitter's math.
  • "Basic Seams," Kitchener and mattress, which my diagrams in the handout and the URL for the YouTube videos teaching basic seams.  I will hand out bulky swatches, needles, and suggest homework.  I won't have time to teach it unless we get lucky, but I'll give them tools.
  • "Cable Join and Worm Edge" demonstrated, with a free pattern, "My First Cabled Afghan."
  • "Get More Knitting Done While Having More Fun," which is an essay I've written which encourages finding knitter friends, seminars and clubs, finding short periods of time to knit, and various other resources and ideas.  This just goes in the handouts.  I'll talk about it if I get time.
I'm adding a lot to Pat's handouts, but hopefully, she won't mind because she says we ought to try to take care of our beginners.

What would YOU add?  What do you wish you'd seen at your very first lesson?

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Join me in Tennessee

You could still go to the Tennessee Valley Machine Knitters seminar that I'm teaching this weekend.

If you have never been to a machine knitting seminar, here's a wonderful chance.  I'm teaching Saturday and Sunday, the cost is $60/day, and the location is Pigeon Forge, Tennessee.

So what am I covering?

Garter bar class - speed ripping, garter stitch, decrease or increase evenly across a row, move only desired stitches.

Lace clinic - automatic scalloped lace, mirror image lace, slant lace circle scarf, and scalloped lace scarf pattern from Stitch World. 

Tricks and treats - cap sleeve knitted in armhole, the practically perfect gauge swatch, Knit Leader tips, the easy anti-roll edge, the foldover edging, the 12-stitch seashell stitch, floatless, vertical fair isle, finishing tips, easy cable join, ruched cable trim, best cast ons, best cast offs, built-in I-cord edge, vertical dart, and sew as you go lined slipper.

Ribber workshop - the magical medium ribber comb, fingerless gloves, "bubble wrap" stitch, reversible English Rib stripes, vertical buttonhole, and scalloped ribbing.
The handout book includes the instructions for everything, in case I don't get to something, but I usually get through everything in the book.
The ladies in Tennessee are super nice, at lease the ones who have been emailing me!  I finally get to meet them in person.
John and I are staying several extra days in Pigeon Forge.  Why?  Well, this is a tourist destination.  We're going to Dollywood!  Even if we didn't want to go to that famous amusement park, there are many other attractions that have grown up around it, museums, shows, dinner theaters.  There is also an amazing national park!  Dollywood ought to give us a great amusement park experience, since it's off season and won't be so crowded.  The town seems to have lots of hotel capacity.  I found a lot of deals at Groupon.  We're staying at the place where the seminar is, and it looks great online.
I also hope to visit another important destination:  Stephanie's Studio and Yarns.  Stephanie has been a major asset to the machine knitting community for many years, and she sells wonderful 2/24 acrylic and other yarns at amazing prices.  She is closing down the business (sob) and having a big clearance sale.  If I can't fit things in my suitcases, well, she ships things.  John thinks that I don't need any more yarn, a ridiculous idea, of course. 
I know this is last minute, but maybe you're the person who actually could go and wasn't sure you could.  Maybe you're the person who is hesitating for some other, I'm nagging, already.
Hugs, and happy knitting, y'all. 

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Remember Swedish Weaving?

Over at Yet Another Canadian Artisan (a fun blog to follow), here's something I haven't played with in a while.

We used to purchase huck toweling, which had a raised, bumpy grid-like texture. By simply weaving embroidery thread through the bumps, we made Swedish Weaving embroidery.

Here it is on knits! Cool...  Click on the link, head over there, and see how it was done.

Sunday, March 11, 2018

New Video - Cast Off Ribbing by Crocheting

Here's a basic technique for binding off ribbing using a crochet hook, after you take the work off the knitting machine.

In your finished garments, small details like good-looking bind-offs and cast-ons make such a difference!  I've put up quite a few options.