Knitting for homeschoolers!

I have the special privilege during the 2017-2018 school year of offering not one, but two classes to homeschoolers, in hopes of creating whole batches of lifelong knitters!

The awesome homeschool co-op that our family has been a part of for the last few years is making it possible for me to teach Knitting for Grades 6-8 and Knitting for Grades 9-12. Both classes will be very similar; the primary difference will in pacing, as the manual dexterity of older students tends to be more advanced that that of younger kiddos. Our goal will be to cover as much Beginning and Intermediate knitting techniques as possible, with some Advanced skills thrown in toward the end of the sessions where we can. 

There will be a lot of homework, but I'm hopeful that this will be the fun kind of homework, because, well, it's KNITTING. We will learn about the origins of knitting, how yarn is made, and even how to dye yarn (you know I couldn't leave out a day of Indigo Dyeing!). And since these classes are for homeschool kids, we will also talk about knitting math, science, vocabulary, consumer economics, and pattern reading and writing.

I am SO excited!

We will make all sorts of projects: dishcloths, hats, and scarves will get us started. From there the sky's the limit (socks? sweaters? ponchos?) and I fully expect we will have some students knitting up their own designs by the time it's all said and done. 

As a Certified Knitting Instructor trained by the Craft Yarn Council, with 10 years experience teaching knitters of all ages, I will be able to give these students a knitting education that is excellent, accurate and diverse.  As a published knitwear designer, I will be able to show the importance of having a solid technical foundation as a launching pad for unlimited knitting creativity. As a homeschool mom, I will cherish the time I get to spend with these kids.  

Registration opens officially on April 5 and class size is limited. For more info, check out the SHEEP Homeschool Co-op Website: Knitting for Grades 6-8 and Knitting for Grades 9-12

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Charity Knit 2K17: A new pattern and a SALE!

Usually when I design a new pattern, I show it to my son and ask him what it makes him think of. From there, I come up with a name. This isn't a hard and fast rule (there are the PG Wodehouse inspired names, for example the Aunt Dahlia) and is open to change and interpretation. When I was working on my second knit of this new pattern, I showed it to a friend, told her my typical technique for naming and she immediately said I should name it after her. "Call it the Sandy Scarf" were her exact words, I think. I'm not sure if it was the cocktails talking that made her say it or the wine talking that made me say, "OK, the Sandy it shall be!" 

The Sandy 

Designed to appeal to a fairly universal audience, to lie flat and look as reversible as possible, this year's scarf features simple knits and purls in the design. I think it's eye-catching up close but even more importantly when it is worn.

Knit one up in a shade of red and send it either to me (I'll be collecting for the Red Scarf Project until September 15, so I can get them in the mail Sept. 20) or send it directly to:

Foster Care to Success Red Scarf Project, 21351 Gentry Drive Suite 130, Sterling VA 20166.

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Scarves are accepted at Foster Care to Success only between Sept 1 and Dec 15 every year, and need to measure 5-8" wide by 60" long. 

You can get your copy of this year's scarf here on Ravelry. 

In honor of the release of the new pattern and it being Valentines Day today, I am having a sale in my Ravelry shop from now until Sunday, Feb. 19. No coupon code needed--all patterns 50% off!

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Weekend of Workshops in North Georgia, part 1

Throwback Thursday!

Last Fall I had the privilege of teaching to an amazing bunch of knitters in the Atlanta area. The North Georgia Knitting Guild invited me to come teach Mosaic knitting, Intarsia, indigo dyeing and the techniques used to knit the Charleston Indigo Scarf.

It was an intense weekend of teaching, punctuated with great food at local restaurants and some very special times with friends. 

Here are some scenes from the Mosaic and Scarf classes...

Look at all that intense concentration!

Look at all that intense concentration!

Amy shows off her Mosaic panel. And her Bulldog scarf... #gameday

Amy shows off her Mosaic panel. And her Bulldog scarf... #gameday

The Burgeon Mosaic Bag in progress.

The Burgeon Mosaic Bag in progress.

Sandy shows off not only her Mosaic, but also her Indigo-dyed blouse from the workshop the day before. #talented

Sandy shows off not only her Mosaic, but also her Indigo-dyed blouse from the workshop the day before. #talented

For the Charleston Indigo Scarf class, we first knit a swatch to master the techniques.

For the Charleston Indigo Scarf class, we first knit a swatch to master the techniques.

I admit I'm partial to mother/daughter knitting teams. Cindy and Amanda are so sweet, and if you ever need any fabulous stitch markers, Amanda's got you covered: Manda's Markers

I admit I'm partial to mother/daughter knitting teams. Cindy and Amanda are so sweet, and if you ever need any fabulous stitch markers, Amanda's got you covered: Manda's Markers

A completed Reversible Cable Wrap, begun at the 2016 Knit Inn. Love it!

A completed Reversible Cable Wrap, begun at the 2016 Knit Inn. Love it!

Carole shows off the striped look in the Reversible Cable. Great idea!

Carole shows off the striped look in the Reversible Cable. Great idea!

Love the tonal qualities of this one. The lighter color really makes the cable pattern pop, too!

Love the tonal qualities of this one. The lighter color really makes the cable pattern pop, too!

Stay tuned for part 2 of this weekend--the Indigo Dyeing and Intarsia classes!

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Swirls and Stripes Mosaic Bag (Free Pattern Friday!)

Swirls and Stripes bag prototype.

Swirls and Stripes bag prototype.

Once upon a time, I learned about Mosaic knitting, a way to include color in your work that doesn't involve nearly the skill or training that Intarsia or Fair Isle do. I liked how it looked, how it knit up fairly quickly and was fun to do (always a plus!). So, me being me, I wrote a pattern to showcase this technique so I could have the pleasure of teaching Mosaic to other knitters.

This is the story of that pattern.

Tamara, wearing the Tamara Wrap. Pattern by Melissa Leapman.

Tamara, wearing the Tamara Wrap. Pattern by Melissa Leapman.

The first prototype of the Swirls and Stripes bag was knit with KnitPicks Wool of the Andes. I made the bag small to accommodate the yarn-on-hand, leftovers from the enormous undertaking that was the Tamara Wrap (a pattern by Melissa Leapman, not actually named for yours truly, but...). 

I taught this Mosaic bag pattern a few times, always thinking in the back of my head I would one day try to pitch it to KnitPicks and never getting around to it. 

Last year, as I was emailing Red Heart about a project they had asked me to do, I thought I'd just ask and see if they could put my bag pattern to use as well. And they said YES! 

Being a smart bunch at Red Heart, they asked me to adjust the pattern so it would be more of a tote--you know, a useable bag! Also, I love the colors they chose for it. So very striking! 

The pattern was made available this week on the Red Heart website and I hope you'll download your own free copy and give it a try. Be sure to let me know what you think--I love seeing finished products of my patterns! Here's a link to the pattern page on Ravelry, where you can show off how yours turns out. You can also post in our KnitOasis Ravelry group!

Swirls and Stripes Bag as published by Red Heart. The roomy size makes it a great tote!

Swirls and Stripes Bag as published by Red Heart. The roomy size makes it a great tote!

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