Summer Knitting: Drop Stitch Garter 2

Everyone loves this technique. I can't take credit for it--it's just a way of knitting an easy bit of lace into whatever garter stitch your making--but everyone who tries it with this pattern loves it. 

I wrote this down years ago. In fact, it might be the first one I wrote down and distributed because I couldn't find one already written and my students wanted it. This adds a sense of nostalgia which I only increased by using a very avocado green cotton yarn to knit a new one for my kitchen. 

This version of my Drop Stitch Garter dishcloth uses a larger needle size and smaller cast on and I'm very happy with the way it turned out. Try it and let me know if you love it, too. Find the pattern here on Ravelry.

Oh, and this pic from my custom-made (by my awesome daughter) apron is what I use as color inspiration for my kitchen. The walls are a very pale blue and I have some red accent pieces. I love it!

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Summer Knitting: Framed Nine-Patch

It's hot here in the Summer.

I know, that sounds obvious. And no, it's not as hot as it is out in Phoenix where my aunt and uncle live and it's supposed to be 120 degrees next week. But it gets pretty sticky here in Charleston when 88 is both the temperature AND the humidity. 

The thing about Summer is that you just have to adjust things somewhat during those months. Take your walks early in the day before the sun gets hot. Drink gallons of iced tea. Keep the ceiling fans going 24/7. Knit with less wool and more cotton.

Summer is a good time to re-tool, reboot and review, too. 

If you're looking for a way to keep cool and keep knitting, I am retooling and rebooting a few of my dishcloth patterns for Summer. They are versatile (made out of cotton: dishcloth or washcloth; made out of wool or acrylic: afghan blocks; made longer: scarves), the patterns are free and it's what I'm knitting this Summer (in addition to the ever-present sock project and some Brioche for classes I'm teaching, but that's another blog post). 

First up: The Framed Nine-Patch

What's new: smaller needle size for a tidier knit, a larger cast-on to give you more of a square finished shape.

What I love: Quilts and the fact that this looks just enough like a patchwork monchromatic quilt to make me feel connected to my ancestral quilt makers. 

Click on the pic for a link to the free pdf download of The Framed Nine-Patch Dishcloth Reboot

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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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