Sunday, January 24, 2010

Knitting Guild News

I am a member of two knitting guilds in my area, the Sand & Sea the Slipt Stitchers and occasionally I attend a machine knitters group that meets in the San Fernando Valley. The guilds are organized and belonging to a knitting guild or a knitting group has been an enjoyable activity for me. I've learned a lot from other knitters and enjoyed getting together with them. The guilds also offer educational programs, right here locally and at lower cost than other knitting venues.

We have "show and tell" which is really terrific to be able to see all the wonderful projects the members have done. Being able to ask questions about how and what techniques were used perhaps even shown the particular technique has been wonderful.

I am the educational chair person for Sand & Sea Guild and we have two workshops a year, one in the spring and one in the fall. I booked Amy Singer to come and teach us from in April and Anna Zilboorg to teach in October. Very exciting to see them both and I look forward to all the wonderful things we will be learning from them.

If you live in the Los Angeles area and you think you may want to attend these workshops send me an eMail. I will put you on a special list, if we have any spaces left we will accept non guild members to sign up and take the workshop. You might want to become a member of the guild the cost is $25 dollars a year, well worth it. We meet on the second Saturday of the month from 11 am to 1:30 and a pot luck lunch is served.

Location: St. Andrew's Lutheran Church, 11555 National Blvd. Los Angeles 90064

Amy is going to teach "Plug-and-Play shawl design"

In this class, Amy will give you a simple plug-and-play manual that will let you turn sock yarn, or any other fingering-weight yarn, into something gorgeous to wrap around your shoulders. Triangles and rectangular wrap options are offered and the lace patterns are guaranteed easy-but-beautiful.

This class provides the basis for designing your own lace shawls and an afternoo's instruction, feedback and support as you wrok through your ideas.
Who is Amy?
Born in New Jersey, Amy R Singer has spent most of her life in Canada and likes it there.

A professional editor and proofreader in the advertising industry
since 1986, Amy used to think she was wasting away the Bachelor's
degree in Radio & Television Arts she earned at Ryerson
University. But in 2006, she quit her day job and is now wasting away her degree with a career in knitting, as a full-time writer, and editor of the online knitting magazine Knitty.

Thanks to the gentle patience of her grandma Lillian, Amy learned to knit when she was 6. She vaguely remembers creating large, shapeless blobs of garter stitch, but has managed to block out the details. Allergic to wool and insanely sensitive to most animal fibers, she has cultivated an intense appreciation for non-wool yarns. If you ask her what she's coveting now, she'll tell you that nothing turns her crank like a skein of hand-dyed silk from Handmaiden.

Friday, January 15, 2010

I'm getting ready to teach Felting

Just to get in the mood I'm watching one of my favorite Youtube videos. Mongolian Felt Making, I'm not sure why this fascinates me and why I can watch it many times but it amuses me each time. Maybe in a previous life I was a Mongolian felt maker.

Then there is this:

And here are some of my felted projects I finished in the past. All of them well used and enjoyed.

Just finished

I love color and texture and most of all function. If I can custom make something that is cleverly useful I am satisfied with the project. I've been using this bag from the minute I bound off the stitches and put the last needle felted detail on the bottom.

This little bag is designed to hold yarn or some sock knitting project to make it portable and pretty. The bottom is crochet & felted in the washing machine. Then stitches are picked up and knit in the round. I finished it off with some needle felting. The iCord is long enough to be able to wear across the shoulders also can be tied shorter to hang on my wrist keeping the yarn handy as I'm knitting.

Love this little bag, I'm making more of these for sure. And yes I added my current favorite stitch the Elongated Zig Zag stitch. It seems to work itself into a lot of my projects. I made a little YouTube video demonstrating it here.

I'm almost finished with my "Goth Socks" see them peeking out? I'll post more about the socks next time.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Good Citizen Award

Giving back to the community, I got a "Citizen Award" last night for my volunteer work. Presented by the Mayor of Los Angeles Antonio Villaraigosa. They gave us dinner and said some kind words. And I got another pin to wear.

For the knitters out there wondering, I'm wearing my Moebius. I started this when I attended Cat Bordhi’s “Island Retreat” on the beautiful San Juan Island, Washington. We had a wonderful time visiting and learning from Cat. Of course the Moebious is one of Cat’s brilliant cast on techniques and is an easy knit. Once you make a Moebius you will not be able to make only one because it is a Magical Knit and is so much fun, you will knit several if you are anything like I am about knitting. Cat's book "Treasury of Magical Knitting".

I’m a continental Knitter and I like to knit more than purl, the knit stitch just goes faster. To get the ripple effect I simply turn around and knit one way then use a yo to get rid of the hole and knit the other way. Giving the impression that I knit 4 rows and purl 4 rows, in reality it’s all knit.

When I got home I did not quite know how to wear my Moebius or it was just missing something. My friend Leslie came to visit and she had one of these shoulder warmers on and it clicked. Yes this is what my blue Moebious needs to become. Luckily I had some extra yarn and it all came together. There is a pattern by Sivia Harding "Harmonia's Ring Cowl" Of course I did not follow the pattern exactly but "sort of", it works for me.

For those of you who want to see how cast on a Moebius, Cat made a youTube video:

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

TNNA in Long Beach

(Don't tell anybody but I got lost going to the Long Beach Convention Center all 3 days. It's only about a 30 minute ride from Venice Beach.... next time maybe I'll know...)

The National NeedleArts Association

I was hoping to post and report during the weekend but this was a totally unrealistic. There was so much going on so many people to talk to, classes to take and no photos allowed. My reporting ambitions were slashed, if I could not take any pictures so here is a little video from the web site:
(caution the volume is a bit on the loud side at least it was on my computer)

I am a TNNA member as a "Teacher".

I love teaching and combining knitting & teaching is as good as it gets for me these days. At a later time I will post more about the places I'm teaching. Right now I am so busy writing a knitting book and preparing lesson plans, making arrangements to travel and oh yes my day job.

This is an article I wrote for Craft Cruises as part of my bio. I thought I would share it with you, it tells my story "How I became a teacher":

I was born in Budapest, Hungary and came to the U.S. to Los Angeles as a teen. We had $30 to start our new life, so I needed to be as self sufficient as possible. If there was a job I could do and I had the time to do it, I was there. I had jobs before school, I had after school jobs and weekend jobs. On my way to high school, I noticed that there was a new business going in on the corner of Chrenshaw Blvd. and West Santa Barbara (now MLK Blvd.) It was a beauty college. This perked my interest as my mother had worked in a beauty shop and my uncle had owned a large salon before the war in Budapest. Hair dressing was in my family. I remember when we were in the refugee camps waiting to come to the U.S. after we escaped Hungary, the hairdressers were able to barter for their services. Camp or no camp, people still wanted their hair done.

I wondered how much would it cost to attend? Was I old enough? I decided to walk in and ask if I could work there after school. They asked what I could do? I was learning how to type and work the mimeograph machine in school, and felt confident that I could do whatever typing they needed. They loved the idea of being able to get this difficult and expensive task done by this eager kid. Back then they did not have Kinko’s and duplicating papers was much more difficult than today. The tuition and the 50 dollar equipment make up case was traded for my services. By the time I graduated high school I had my cosmetologist license and was offered a good job in the Pacific Palisades.

One day we got a request for a hairdresser to make a house call. I was the youngest and least busy, so they sent me. My directions were to go down Sunset Blvd. and turn right on Rockingham Road to Judy Garland’s house! I knew she was a movie star, but I did not realize what a big star she was at the time. But when I walked in and saw this beautiful grand piano, full of beautifully framed photographs, all signed affectionately to Judy, I realized she was a big star. Jack Kennedy was even among other famous faces I recognized! As a cosmetologist I was able to travel all over the world and was lucky enough to meet people I would not have been able to meet only in my dreams or the movies. Then I got married on a television show location “I Spy” in Athens Greece, my life was glamorous. (Oh the 60’s..... we had fun)

By the time the 80’s rolled around, I settled down and became a mother. I thrust myself into this role with pleasure and gusto. When my son started school, I was having separation anxieties, he had no trouble getting used to school. Except for the first couple of days when he cried as I shoved him in to the room with 25 other little scared faces. I volunteered for anything that the school would let me do. If I could be on campus to keep an eye on my little darling, I would do it.

Computers were new at the time but because I liked to type and liked gadgets, I had a computer a brand new Macintosh. (A 128k for those of you who are the “geeky” type) I loved my computer and was more than willing to type up and duplicate papers for my son’s teacher. She was thrilled to have this tedious job done by a parent. Then I joined the PTA and with other parents we were able to create a computer lab for the school. The plan was that each class was scheduled to come to the computer lab once a week for computer related studies. When my son’s class was scheduled to go to the lab, his teacher told me that she had no idea how computers worked thus if I wanted my son to be able to go to the lab, I would have to teach the class. Could I teach 25 kindergarten students how to type and operate Apple II C computers? How hard could this be? I figured if I stayed one step ahead of the students, I could teach this and I did.

By the time my son graduated from the 6th grade, I had run the computer lab and designed the curriculum for all grades Kindergarten through 6th grade. I now had 7 years of teaching experience. A couple of years later I was hired by the Santa Monica School district to teach at Grant Elementary School. They called me a “consultant” rather than a teacher because I did not have formal credentials. I ended up teaching 500 students a week, each class would come to the computer lab once a week for computer lab activities. In these 10 years I learned teaching skills on the job and real time experience.

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

The Cruise I'm teaching on has been postponed.

For various reasons the organizer of the Knit with Color Cruise, Joanne Conklin has postponed the cruise. We are now working with Melissa at and it looks like Joanne has now picked the right travel consultants. Melissa is very knowledgeable and has extensive experience in putting Knitting Cruises together.

The dates have not been confirmed as of yet but we will be cruising and Knitting with Color and I will be teaching. Stay tuned.......

If you want details just eMail Melissa she will promptly answer any questions you may have.

I will be attending TNNA this weekend and wanted to spread the word about the upcoming cruise Melissa mailed me post cards in two days it was in the mail. Beautiful large colorful post cards! This is impressive it was over the New Years Eve weekend. She is right on top of things. We are now in good hands, as you may know such an event takes a tremendous amount of organizing. But one thing I know we will have a lot of fun, knitting and cruising!

Here is a screen shot of the back of the post card:
Minor detail there is a typo my name is spelled with two n's.