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Friday, September 30, 2011

Great Yarns Fall/Winter Class Schedule

Great Yarns Fall/Winter Classes 
October 17, 2011 through December 21, 2011
 Call us at 832-3599 to sign up or for more information.

Beginning Crochet:                   $55.00  (Supplies included)
6:30 to 8:30 pm-    
Thursday, October 20 & 27
Tuesday, November  29 & December 6 
Learn the fundamentals of crochet! In this 2-part class, we will learn how to make a beginning chain, slip stitch, single crochet, and double crochet, and we will put these stitches to use in making very lovely dishcloths. No previous experience necessary. 

Beginning Knitting:                   $55.00
9:30 to 11:30 am-
Wednesday, October 19 & 26
Monday, November 7 & 14
Monday, December 5 & 12
6:30 to 8:30 pm-
Friday, October 21 & 28
Friday, November 11 & 18
You need a new hobby! Beginning Knitting is a newbie friendly class with lots of fun included and a great chance to meet new people.  You will learn (or be refreshed on) the basics of knitting plus tips and support to get you started on TONS of new projects. After this class, scarves, hats, blankets, washcloths, even simple sweaters will be at your fingertips!

Lace Scarf/ Intro to Lace:           $50.00  
7:00 to 9:00 pm-
Thursday, December 8 & 15
Lacy scarves and shawls look good on anyone and are incredibly fun to knit, but the patterns can sometimes seem intimidating or daunting. Fear no more! In this class, we’ll learn the basic lace stitches, which all the other lace stitches are based on, and we’ll also learn how to read lace patterns, including how to read charts. In this 2-week course, we’ll get you started on a simple, customizable lace scarf – depending on what yarn you choose, it can be a light-weight accent scarf perfect for a spring or summer evening, or a heavier woolly scarf to keep you warm on a chilly winter night! Supplies not included. 
Intro to Socks (w/ DPNs):           $50.00 
7:00 to 9:00 pm-
Wednesday, November 2, 9 & 16
A great introduction to making socks and knitting in the round on double-pointed needles! In this basic intro-to-socks class, we’ll work step-by-step through the process of knitting a sock (cuff down) in a simple ribbed pattern, and when we’re done, you can take your new skills home to knit its mate on your own. Supplies not included. 

Toe Up Socks:                                    $55.00 
6:30 to 8:30 pm-
Wednesday, November 30, December 7,  14 &  21
A quick, easy and enjoyable way to make socks! Start from the toe and then decide how long you want to make the cuff!  

Earflap Hat:                                       $40.00
9:30 to 11:30 am- 
Monday, October 17, 24 & 31
Fun to make, this hat is a true favorite among both kids and adults.

Etta Hat:                                              $50.00
6:30 to 8:30 pm-
Wednesday, Oct 19 & 26   
A hat you will want to wear with everything and everywhere.  A Joy to knit.

Knit 201:                                                               $45.00  
9:30 to 11:30 am- 
Wednesday, November 9 & 16
Wednesday, December 7 & 14
Keep making frustrating mistakes? Dropped a stitch? Afraid to fix an error?  Come learn how to correct those pesky errors and take your skills to the next level.  

Swirl Shawl /Scarf:                            $50.00
6:30 to 8:30 pm-
Tuesday, October 18, 25, November 1, & 8 
Beautiful Scarf or Shawl pattern that shows off color transitions in a unique way. Take your skills to a new level with this class.

Holden Shawl:                                        $55.00
6:30 to 8:30 pm-
Monday, November 21, 28, December 5 & 12 
A necessary addition to anyone’s wardrobe, this shawl is simply beautiful. 

Knitted Rag Doll:                                   $55.00 
6:30 to 8:30 pm-
Thursday, November 3, 10, 17 & December 1
Many knitted toys have been the most favored and treasured toys ever created.  You can learn to create these adored items in this class and have fun creating hair, striped stockings, a dress, shirt or even turn your doll into a superhero!

Holiday Elf:                                                    $45.00
6:30 to 8:30 pm- 
Monday, November 7 & 14  
This too cute holiday elf will be all over the house watching the children… he is loads of fun to make and love.

Christmas Stocking:                          $50.00
6:30 to 8:30 pm-
Friday, December 9, 16 & Monday, December 19
Start your own family tradition. This is a relatively simple stocking that also has a little fair isle for that very Christmas-y look. 

Crochet Baby Blanket:                    $45.00
6:30 to 8:30 pm- 
Tuesday, November 15 & 22
Need to make a quick surprise?  This is the class to take, an easy way to make someone special a very thoughtful gift

Learn to Knit Continental:   $35.00 
7:00 to 9:00 pm-  
Tuesday, October 11
Tuesday, December 13
Most Americans learn to knit English style – that is, holding the working yarn in your right hand and “throwing” the yarn to create the stitch. However, some people find that Continental style – holding the working yarn steady in your left hand and “picking” the stitches with the right needle – is more efficient and can reduce pain caused by carpal tunnel or tendonitis. In this two-hour workshop, you’ll learn how to knit and purl Continental style. Supplies not included. 
Crochet Granny Squares:              $35.00
6:30 to 8:30 pm-  
Wednesday, October 13.   
The granny square offers endless possibilities in crochet. Learn how to create the basic granny square, how to create a giant granny square blanket, and how to join smaller squares into an afghan.    

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Mish mash.

Uuuuuuuuugh I cannot take it anymore.

I have to confess something.  I can't keep doing this anymore.  It is sucking my will to live.  I'm starting to break out in hives every time I think about doing it. 

And by "it", I mean the Farmer's Market Cardigan that I've been knitting on since the Nixon Administration. 

In the past week, I haven't done a single thing with it.  I have it shoved in a large plastic bag (I love those huge gallon-sized plastic bags.  Perfect for knits.) and it's been left completely alone.  In my head, however, I've shamed myself so thoroughly that, if thinking about a project was knitting on a project, I'd have finished the dang thing and cast on for another one in laceweight yarn.  Oy vey.

My relationship to this knit is not going well.  If I had a personal relationship with this much hostile resentment simmering in it, we'd be having "the talk".  You know, the one where you start out trying to be all "it's not you, it's me" and "I need some time alone to work on myself" and end up yelling about toilet seats and mothers and "why don't you clean up after yourself, you gerbil-faced buffoon??!?" Yeah.  That's how I feel about it right now.

Angry baby is angry.
So.  Since I am the master of my knitting destiny (stop that laughing), I am making a decision based on desperation what I am capable of living with, combined with my desire to be done right frickin' now the amount of time I'm willing to designate to this project.  The finishing work on this cardigan is getting abridged.  Big time.  I'm skipping the pockets, and doing a different shawl collar treatment, one that doesn't require me to do arithmetic on the cables to make it look right (I swear it's got arithmetic on the cabling for the shawl collar!).  I'm also renaming it.  This will become the I'm About To... Cardigan.  Think I should sell the pattern on Ravelry? 

I've been knitting, not just thinking about knitting, this week.

  These are birthday socks for my mom.  (Hope you aren't looking, Mom, since I haven't gotten them to you, yet!)  You know about Noro sock yarn, right?  Gorgeous colors that drift ever-so-subtly from one rich shade to the next...and never a chance of making a perfectly identical pair of socks.  I tried, really I tried.  The one sock looks like I punted a squid, though.  Just a little inky on the toes.

These are "Picky Pants", in a gorgeous shade of Malabrigo ("Lettuce").  Sorry for the crap picture.  I love these pants so much...I just have to finish off the I-cord drawstring for the waistline of the pants and it will be good to go.

I also cast on for a second pair of Picky Pants, in Azul Profundo.  I keep going around the house, hoping to use the word profundo in a sentence, because it just sounds cool.  Profundo, eh?

Muy profundo, ci.  I have profundo feelings about the Malabrigo.  I like pizza profundo, it's supposed to rain-o  profundo today...ok, I will stop.

It's been rather chaotic around here the past few days as well, unfortunately.  We have had a bit of a cold making the rounds on the children, and that has reeeeallly cut into my knitting/sleeping/lazing about time.  I will hopefully have better news to report next time!  See you then!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Winter is coming.

Are there any of you out there completely addicted to the "Game of Thrones" series on HBO?  If so, then this title might have made you smile....But truly, winter is coming. (Cue "serious" music)
Did any of you out there enjoy donning some handknits when the weather turned chilly this past weekend?  I was so happy to be cold.  I wore my February Lady sweater, and my daughter was decked out in her Baby Surprise Jacket.  It's times like these that a knitter and his or her handknits are appreciated properly!

I've been lucky to get some pictures of what the knitters of Great Yarns have been working on.  I don't have names to go with the faces, so give a shout out in the comments, will you, if you see your mug on here!

This is the mitered squares blanket from Mason-Dixon Knitting. 

No clue what this is, but I want it desperately.

Look at the edging on this, just stunning.

I have a friend who is going through a feather-and-fan phase.  I bet she's delirious right now.

These accomplished knitters look like they have been very busy all summer long, with gorgeous knits to wear and use once the heat is long gone.  And, on a different note, I have to tell you about my friend.  Let me change her name  My friend Liz Miz learned to knit from me, and knitted happily all winter long.  She went to the yarn store quite a bit, and even chewed me out in a friendly way when she had a bit of a shopping splurge at the yarn store.  Somehow she thought I was "enabling"...whatever that means.  But Miz doesn't knit in the summer.  Not a stitch.  She just stopped cold turkey.  Hey, Miz!!  See what you could have in time for fall and winter if you weren't off the wool, eh?!?!?  Anyone else remember that story about the grasshopper that sang all summer?  Uh huh, Miz, I'm talkin' to you!

Lesson learned:  winter is coming.

This knitter has been working at the Cardigan-That-Will-Never-End.  I know a lot of projects get to a point where it's like a marriage.  There were fun times, there will be fun times ahead, but right now we're trudging along together.  No fireworks, no fire, just blah.  And there is an excess of blah going on with my Farmer's Market Cardigan.  You would think that, after you knit the body and both sleeves, you would be on the homestretch.  It all seems rather final.  But not with this puppy.  Then I am supposed to hem the sleeves and then pick up the provisional stitches on the body to knit pockets.  Then add a shawl collar, mow the lawn, feed the pigs, dust the furniture, and finally, FINALLY, I can block it and sew it up.  Lesson learned:  read the pattern all the way through before you look at the picture for too long and are hooked.  So help me, this sweater better fit like a dream.  I could have knit a house by now.  Here are some pictures of it:

Is it just me or do these sleeves look about a mile long?

This is Cascade 220, called "Eggplant". 
This yarn is so dark that I think my vision has gone from 20/20 to 20/2000.  It sucks all the light out of the room like a black hole.  In fact, knitting on it is rather black hole-like, too.  I'm resisting the urge to stick it back in the closet. 

Since that sweater is SO dark and I have been knitting on it for SO long, I had to get some little projects out to take the edge off.  They had to be small, easy, and brightly colored. 

These are "Picky Pants", made of Malabrigo (am I the only one who constantly mispronounces it?).  It is my first time with the Malabrigo, and I'm resisting the urge to sell all my furniture to buy a large amount of it.  It's so soft I almost think it's cotton candy and I should taste it to see if it tastes as good as it looks.  Is it just me that feels like that?   Ooookay...awkward moment.

I am also working on another small, colorful project.  But it is a secret, for someone for their special day.  And they read this blog, so...


I promise you, it's not this.  What are you knitting?

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Six (Or More) Degrees of Separation

I call my mother every day, pretty much, just to keep up with all the exciting things that aren't really happening for either of us.  We're not dashing people, constantly on the go, having parties on a whim, and  up until today, I felt pretty reassured that I knew everything there was to know about my mom.  But yesterday, I was in for quite a shock.

I found out that my mom had knit once.  One project.  And finished it.  Shocker #1.  I had not known my mother had knit anything.  She said it was a scarf, and her tension was so tight that it was almost impossible to move the stitches on the needles.  I totally sympathized with her on that one.  When I first learned to knit, I made stockinette stitch resemble Kevlar.  She carried it to the movies to knit on it before the show would begin, and finished it in time for Valentine's Day, or their anniversary, she couldn't recall which.  She never picked up needles again, but I was impressed.  She knit a scarf.  Just one.  Did not feel the wooly fingers of addiction grab her in the least.  But...she did finish it.  She has a waaaay better track record (percentage-wise) at finishing stuff than I do.  She bats .1000 on that one. 

I had to laugh to myself when I asked her whatever became of it.  I presumed that it must have been lost or abandoned or thrown out years ago.  "Oh, it's still around here somewhere," she said.  My parents just moved to North Carolina from out of state this past June, and have moved six times since I was born, and this scarf was knit over a decade beforehand.  Even a non-habitual knitter, having knit ONE OBJECT (and finished it--dang!), has the presence of mind to know that a handknit is something to hold on to.  Hey, are you still a non-knitter if you have actually knit something?  Discuss....

Then she casually mentions how she had learned to knit whilst watching a "show on PBS" and, I swear, my skin prickled.  My ears perked up.  My hair stood at attention.  "Um, mom," I said, "was it 'The Knitting Workshop'?" 

"It was so long ago, honey," she said, "before we had Lynda [my oldest sister], and--"

"Did she have long gray hair pulled back in a bun?"  I blurted out.  I was rooted there, just gripped.

"Well, yes, and she had an English accent and was very funny about how people didn't have to knit so tightly, unless they wanted to," my mom said.


Enter big fat SHOCKER #2.

You may be sitting there, reading this (hey, how're you doin', by the way?), and going, "yeah, so?" or something like that.  But, I swear, this was the equivalent of finding out your mom hung out with...oh, I dunno...Mick Jagger.  It's like that time my sister Lauren sat down in the food court at the mall and realized she was sitting across the aisle from Andrew Dice Clay.  Well, that's not exactly a moment you would want to brag about, perhaps.  It's that buzz you get from realizing you know someone who knows someone who actually rode in an elevator with Benecio Del Toro.  I do know someone, yeah, the Benecio thing.  Cool, huh?

I told my husband last night, and I got all wild-eyed and overly excited all over again.  His counter-story included someone he knew who rode in an elevator with Elvis Costello AND Joan Jett.  But neither of them are knitters.  Are they?  I googled it, just to see.  Can't say I'm not doing research here, folks. 

Perhaps this conversation seemed such a bombshell because Elizabeth Zimmermann has been on my mind lately.  Her newest book,

published posthumously, recently arrived at my house, and I've been devouring the beautiful designs in it.  I wanted to write about EZ, but what in the world could I say that hasn't already been said, and said much better than I ever could put it?  My mother holds Julia Child in the same esteem that I hold Elizabeth Zimmermann. 

I still qualify as a "blind follower", as she would put it, but I have high hopes that one day, thanks entirely to her "unventing" things, and her EPS percentages for making your own custom-fitted knits, I will be a fearless knitter. 

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