Monday, February 4, 2013

A Knit-tle Bit of Everything

Wow! Life happened. And must have gotten away from me with as long as it's been since I updated last. What has the past several months given me? These awesome photographs are from the dear Hannah Stevens, a local friend and former student, who is passionate about her life, her impact, her photography. She took these photos so I could include them in my published patterns (more on that later) and I am unusually happy with how they turned out. If you're like me, you know that photographs of yourself are none too flattering and you usually find yourself behind the camera rather than in front of it.

Like I mentioned, my patterns are in the final stages prior to being published. Again, since they are not released yet, I can't post photos of those projects just yet, but I had the chance to work with a tech editor to make things clear and concise. It was fun to be on that side of a pattern! I really enjoyed the process, though stressful at times, of writing out instructions and then watching them take shape in a way that would allow others a clear understanding of my ideas. I had to whip out three projects in about three weeks and work on the pattern itself, but overall I'm happy with it. In my last communication with the publisher, they are working on the final pattern layouts for all of the patterns from other designers that will be released with mine, so I'm hopeful that they will be available soon. As a teaser, I got to use some great yarn for my projects from Three Irish Girls.

One project was done out of those two colors. That is Elenya Alpaca from Three Irish Girls in Fireside Chat and Guinness.

One project was done out of those two above. Those are Orange You Glad and Everlasting Gobstopper on Springvale Bulky.
And finally one was done out of this. Here's Looking at You Kid on Springvale Bulky. I actually got to do an adult version and a baby version of that last one, since a friend commissioned me to knit a hat for her little girl and that's the yarn she chose.

Three Irish Girls is also sponsoring Knitters For Newtown. Not only did they raise over $10,000 for the families who were directly affected by the tragedy, they are also collecting 8x8 blanket squares to make blankets for each family. The goal is to have the squares in hand by the end of March and the blankets delivered by Mothers Day. It's amazing what the knitting community can do! If you would like to pitch in and knit or crochet a square, please check out the facebook page , join the Ravelry Group, or send them an email (Threeirishgirls AT gmail DOT com) for more details.

I have also taught several classes at my local yarn store, Paradise Fibers. In September, I taught some old friends and some new friends how to knit socks. Over four classes they each were taught the skills and given tips to end up with something like this:

It was really great to be back in the classroom again and sharing my knitting passion with others. In fact, that was the first of many classes. I taught a one day techniques class - how to fix mistakes, which cast-on or bind off to choose, picking up stitches, catching dropped stitches, etc. I taught a ruffled scarf class at Paradise, but through the Corbin Art Center. I taught a beginning hat class this past weekend and used the Be Loving hat pattern to teach knitting in the round. Here it is knit out of Madelinetosh Vintage in the Cove Colorway.

And I now have three more ruffled scarf classes, a beginning knitter class and another sock class coming up in the next couple of months.

That has been so fun to meet new people and pass on my love of something to them. It reminded me of why I went into education to begin with and I hope that people leave with a sense of confidence about their art and skills that they can apply to other projects down the road.

Some of my favorite projects the past few months have been my Owl Sweater (by Kate Davies) done out of Cascade Eco wool.

I also love my Color Affection, done out of Yarn Love Elizabeth Bennett, in Granny Smith, Orchid and Twilight. THAT is a ton of knitting and no purling, but the result is beautiful.

So it's been a full few months. Like I mentioned above, it's amazing what the knitting community can do. And it been fun to track my own accomplishments, but I would be missing out on some of the most important things in my knitting life if I didn't mention the amazing people who are a part of my knitting community on Saturday night. I get to go on Saturdays and lay aside my teacher role and just be with them. (I often end up helping people, but there's no expectation that that's what I'm there for. They recognize that they can ask, but that Saturdays are my time to enjoy, too). These ladies are great. They are funny, fun, full of laughter. . .and most importantly REAL. We share our lives - joys, triumphs, fears, frustrations. They (we) know that we'll get real feedback from each other, and while that isn't always easy to hear, it's more often than not the thing we needed to hear. And not always about knitting, either. Being a part of a group with REAL people reminds me often of how UNreal some people are. It's so refreshing to be a part of a group where love and respect and caring are at the heart of the matter and fully entwined with Truth in the response. While many people think of a group as a way to have THEIR needs met and THEIR agendas pushed forward, this group is so the opposite of that. I've heard complaints too often of members of groups feeling used and abused by others there. I am so glad and so thankful that the weekly members of this group are not like that. I wish I could pick you up and bring you here so you'd have a chance to spend a moment with my girls. We aren't perfect but we love each other anyway. IF you are reading this and you are one of them, THANK YOU! Thanks for accepting me and my imperfections. For encouraging my strengths and challenging my weaknesses. For loving me enough to tell me the truth and trusting me enough to know that's what I want from you. And thanks for the support you provide each week. You guys are the best!!


Natasha said...


Tim Kenagy said...

Not to mention the 2 hats you knit me since your last post!

Dana K. said...

I like you and your little knitting self. I was going to tell you that I liked your sweater at church!!!