Posts filed under ‘learning’

Good times at Madrona Fiber Arts Retreat 2016

Excellent classes I took:
Cat Bordhi Developing, Writing, and Publishing
Fantastic teacher, very experienced, knowledgeable, and generous. She understands what you need to know, what is important, and provides that information. Lot of information packed into a mini class.
Amy HerzogSweaters: Deconstructed
As good as I’d heard. She teaches how to get what you want when knitting a sweater:
A sweater that you want to wear and makes you happy
How to get the right fit and style.

I guess I knew this would happen someday.

And of course it happened at Madrona.
I was only curious about spinning; someone said I should see Sarah Anderson demonstrating in the rotunda. *Sarah Anderson* said with meaning and nods of approval all around. So I went to see Sarah Anderson.
I was mesmerized.
She was knowledgeable and encouraging and clearly knew what she was doing.
Someone else showed up, sat down and started spinning angora on a drop spindle.
I said, “I don’t spin, yet”. “Yet”, they laughed. I don’t even know why that word came out of my mouth, but apparently they did.
Next, someone walked up to talk about an upcoming retreat in the woods with Sarah, very rustic and inspiring.
I wondered if this was a racket, with the spinning wheel, dropping words like angora, cashmere, spinning spindle, retreat in the woods…spinning, spinning…

Next thing I knew, I was standing at a booth in the Marketplace looking at spindles, confused. The person looking at spindles next to me, decided to teach me to spin right there and then.
At Madrona, these people just appear.

And now I own this.

Greensleeves Damsel Monique spindle

Around the corner, my new spinning teacher helped me pick out roving in beautiful natural colors.

Roving from Island Fibers
clockwise from top – Shetland, Targhee, and a Polwarth/Silk blend
(because she said I really should try some silk. Because. Silk.)

Typical Madrona, there’s always an expert, or twenty, around to show you how it’s done, and happy users ready to enable, with a Marketplace so you don’t have a chance to sleep it off.

So that happened.

February 24, 2016 at 7:41 pm 1 comment

Madrona Fiber Arts Retreat 2013

I had a great time at Madrona!
I always do! 🙂

addi Turbo Sock Rockets:

???????????????????????????????pictured L to R – regular addi Turbo, addi Sock Rockets, and Signature Stiletto needle tips

Classes I took:
Suitable Seams with Judy Pascale
She has great stuff to teach, is full of enthusiasm and really wants her students to learn; she takes the time to make sure everyone ‘gets it’. And she’s funny too. 🙂
We learned different seaming methods depending on the pattern stitch used for the knitting, how to make the most attractive seams.

???????????????????????????????So many seams I would have done differently if “I had known then what I know now”.
Well, onward.

Yarn 101 with Clara Parkes
I hesitated to take this class, I have read Clara’s Yarn and Wool books and I have been knitting for over thirty years; I wasn’t sure I’d get my money’s worth out of the class.
???????????????????????????????Well, I am glad I took the class, I got a lot out of it, I can now better use her books as references. We received samples to touch and take home and I have better understanding of the fiber. Clara is bursting with wool and yarn knowledge, I enjoyed hearing everything she had to say.

Friday Evening Teacher’s Gallery and Presentation by Donna Druchunas on Native Alaskan lace knitting and the Oomingmak Cooperative was very interesting, both the adventure of her interest becoming research becoming a book and the stories of Alaskan lace knitting and quiviut.

History, Methods & Styles of Lace Knitting with Franklin Habit
Franklin brings a lot of information to his classes. I appreciate the depth of research and well edited presentation.
???????????????????????????????He also provided representative lace motif patterns to knit while he spoke and the class sailed by.

And there is always the Marketplace
I was using my self control until I won an Artful Ewe gift certificate and was forced to look closely and think about projects and then couldn’t pick just one.

???????????????????????????????The Artful Ewe by Heidi LIMA-Baby Alpacka/Silk Hand-Dyed Yarn – Thank you Artful Ewe and Madrona!

I kept seeing these everywhere and finally broke down:

???????????????????????????????Slipped Stitch Studios Two Skein+ and Sock+ Project Bags

It’s always beautiful when Mount Rainier makes a showing.

???????????????????????????????the view from my room

February 22, 2013 at 10:49 am 2 comments

Sock Summit 2011 Every Knitter Should Take This Class!

Sock Summit 2011! Yay!

Carson Demers‘s
Knitting Happily Ever After – Ergonomics For Knitters class is EXCELLENT!

If you have ever had an ache or twinge or soreness or numbness, you will learn what it is, what is causing it, and how to prevent it.

Carson Demers is a physical therapist and a knitter, so he knows what we are doing.
He knows knitters’ moves and habits and obsessive tendencies(!) and he knows what we are doing to our bodies.
He started by asking each of us what our concerns were and then addressed all of them and more by explaining what is going on with our muscles, tendons, nerves, cartilage, bones, ligaments when we knit.
He taught us how to alleviate strain and prevent injury, everything from how we hold our knitting and sit to the environment around us to the projects we choose.
It is easier to correct injury causing movements and positions when we know what they are and what they are doing to us!
By the time class was finished I was already catching myself and learning to correct myself.
He’s funny too!
Take his class if you get a chance!

Oh! and the Marketplace!


White Lies Designs

So much yarn, so little time!

I finally bought Signature Needle Arts Stilettos!

Love them!

Couldn’t resist:

hazel knits artisan sock in Hoppy Blonde

July 31, 2011 at 8:27 pm 1 comment

Catherine Lowe Design & Fit Workshop

knit1frog2 (see her post) and I took Catherine Lowe’s Design & Fit Workshop together. This is the second workshop I have taken with Catherine Lowe; I am amazed and delighted again.
I learned much about:

There seemed to be a lot of emphasis on “fit”.
A good fit makes all the difference, as does a bad fit for that matter!
We learned what a good fit means and ways to get a good fit.

We all brought in our own sweaters that:
we love
we hate
we can’t figure out what is wrong with.

We modeled and critiqued.
That was illuminating and will influence my designing, knitting, and buying choices.
I am inspired to knit sweaters with great fit, that look great and make me look great.

We each created our own personal sloper.

That’s me!

A useful tool to have! It was great to be measured by a professional and get those measurements onto paper in a way that I can use to design, alter, and modify sweater patterns.

I purchased this sweater back in the 80s; I love the collar and can use my sloper to design one like it and a sweater to fit.

I have been working on Poetry In Stitches – Leaf Stripe Cardigan with Velvet Trim (page 166)

I had pretty much given up on it being anything other than a drop-shouldered-frumpy-fair-isle with a gorgeous color pattern. I was just knitting it per the instructions, though I had hoped to give it a little shaping, I was resigned to only giving it a bit of shoulder shaping.

No longer! After Catherine’s workshop, I have a better understanding of how fit works. I am incorporating a few alterations that will improve the fit of this sweater and how it looks on me (or any body).

I have reshaped the sleeves, trimming out 2 inches of bulk from the armpit (armpit bulk even sounds bad):

sleeve per the pattern

sleeve altered to improve fit

I will reshape the square neckline to suit my face shape. I modeled the sweater below with a similar square neckline for the workshop. Catherine showed us that this wide square neckline doesn’t flatter my wide square jaw. I can wear a square neckline, but it needs to be the right width – which I can pull off my sloper!

traditional square neckline makes my jaw look wider

square neckline with better personalized shape
flatters my jawline

Finally, I will add shoulder shaping, because like everyone, I have a slope to my shoulders. Without shoulder shaping, there is extra fabric that ends up in bulky folds in the armpits.
Again, armpit bulk = BAD.

I am excited!

June 20, 2010 at 5:19 pm 4 comments

Knitted Skirt Design Class with Carol Lansinger

My pal knit1frog2 and I took Carol’s great skirt class yesterday at
So Much Yarn

skirts 057cr
Carol Lansinger and her hand knit skirts

I have wanted to knit a skirt for quite a while, then I heard about this skirt class with words like:
“you should take this class before you knit a skirt”,
“now I *know* how to knit a skirt”,
“I love my skirt”.
See janetcharb’s skirts on Ravelry here and here, she brought them to a Seattle Knitters Guild meeting. They were gorgeous. I was smitten. She recommended Carol Lansinger’s class…

It’s a great class.
Carol talked about style. Style in fashion, personal style, designing and knitting style for yourself or others.
She talked about skirts. Knitting skirts, designing skirts, shaping skirts, FITTING skirts.
Knitting ‘butt sprung’*-free skirts.
She had many many samples, it was EXCITING.

*Carol’s term for that unflattering pouf you get in the back of your skirt after sitting.

Now I want to knit several skirts:
(CLICK on PICS to enlarge –
in the new window, you might have to click the ‘expand’ button)

skirts 047cr
Carol Lansinger’s Rowan Denim Pleated hem Skirt

skirts 052crdetail of above skirt

skirts 035cr
Carol Lansinger’s Lace-edge A-line Skirt
in Euroflax Linen Worsted yarn

skirts 048cr
Sally Melville’s Nancy’s Skirt (the knitting experience, BOOK 3, COLOR)
in Manos del Uruguay yarn
(lengthened to 22” is very wearable by many)

skirts 055cr
knit1frog2 being shy
(behind Ruth Sørensen’s Claudia Evilla Skirt
in Kauni yarn)

I think I’ll start here:

skirt 002cr
Classic Elite Yarns Summer Book 2 Lace Border Skirt
Butterfly Super 10 Cotton in color 3829

October 27, 2008 at 10:27 pm 1 comment

Two-sided Reversible Intarsia

I got a request for a “ladybug” scarf.

ladybug 057cr1Ladybug

Design: a reversible spotted scarf

ladybug 001cr

I knew immediately which yarn I wanted to use. I had been suffering from Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino envy and just needed an excuse. I knew it came in black and a perfect red. 

It’s light enough for an all-over k1 p1 ribbing scarf, it will be nice and flat. Since it will be hanging with all the tension in the lengthwise direction, it will always be un-expanded. 
Wider and shorter would be a great Baby Blanket , lots of great colors of DBBC!

I knit a large swatch in k1 p1 ribbing to get the pattern gauge.

ladybug 042cr1DBBC k1p1 ribbing swatch

I measured the gauge (un-expanded) and made a graph to match the size of the scarf I wanted.
Each square represents two stitches, one knit, one purl. Only the knit stitch will show, the purl stitches will recede and be visible as knit stitches on the other side.

ladybug graphcr

I added circles to represent the spots and then tried different combinations of filled squares to get the best approximation of a circle.

Next, the worst part, okay maybe the second worst part, figuring out how to make a two-sided intarsia scarf that doesn’t look crappy on one side.

ladybug 016crFloats = looks crappy

How to make the wrong side (WS) look as good as the right side (RS)…

ladybug 002crRS to the left, WS to the right

Here’s what I came up with:

ladybug 006crright side (RS), expanded

ladybug 013crwrong side (WS), expanded, much improved

Here’s how I do it:

To hide the floats, I lift the float over a (same color) stitch that appears as a purl stitch on the right side (RS) (knit stitch on the wrong side (WS)). The float zig zags between the front and back laying on top of the purl bumps.

ladybug 020crunattractive float (WS)

ladybug 021crWS, lift float over stitch so float hides on purl bump
(knit stitch on WS) of same color stitch

ladybug 022crWS, float dropped onto purl bump

ladybug023crhWS, float woven between stitches (hidden),
float highlighted with white dots

One more time, going back the other way.

ladybug 029crWS, ugly float

ladybug 030cr(flipped over to) RS, float lifted over from behind

ladybug 031crhRS, float dropped onto purl bump of same color,
float highlighted with white dots

ladybug 032crhRS, float woven between stitches (hidden),
float highlighted with white dots

ladybug 036crright side (RS)

ladybug 037crhright side (RS) expanded,
floats highlighted with white dots

ladybug 034crwrong side (WS)

ladybug 035crhwrong side (WS) expanded
floats highlighted with white dots

NOTE: Be sure to weave the float over stitches of the same color.

The Actual Worst Part:

ladybug 002cr2Weaving In The Ends
(thank goodness for Project Runway Season 3 on dvd!!!)

Each spot creates 4 ends. 21 spots = 84 ends
(in addition to the usual beginning and end of every ball)

NOTE: Weave in the ends mostly vertically, so they won’t work themselves out when the ribbing is stretched and springs back.

Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino, it is super soft. Lots of great colors for other spotted scarf combinations or baby blankets. It PILLS though. The beginning of the scarf was pilling by the time I finished it. DD is very happy with the scarf, we’ll see how it wears.

September 8, 2008 at 12:15 pm 16 comments

New Knitter

This is not a problem. It’s an opportunity.

opportunity 001crBFF and a good time to learn how to knit

I expected her to be considerably less mobile and thought that a ‘little something’ to keep her occupied would be just the thing.

I arrived with wine and pie and beautiful yarn…heh heh heh

She picked it up quickly and got cranking right along

first knit 004crrespectable first effort in minutes

The next day this arrived in my Inbox:

BFFprogress r

Ripped and started over all be herself! Cast on and everything


July 13, 2008 at 8:04 pm 2 comments




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