Upcoming Classes: Self-Ruffling Yarn, Mobius Cowls, and Open Knit Night

Lately I’ve been teaching more and more knitting classes.  I taught a “first lace project” class at the Andover Bookstore using my Kudzu pattern — thus turned out to be a bit more ambitious than I intended, but my students rose to the occasion admirably.   Then I designed my Steek This Coffee Cozy pattern for a “first steeking project” class at the Bookstore.  I had a better idea what was achievable in a short class, and my students both finished the project in class — great fun! After that I taught two series of “Magic Loop Sock Knitting” classes, which were popular and went really well.  I even had some repeat students!  What I heard from all my students is that what they really wanted was a regular knit-with-a-teacher night, so they could come work on whatever they wanted, and ask me questions or get help with trouble spots.  So, we decided to try it out. We started right before the holiday season, so attendance has been a bit irregular.  We’ll give it a month or so more to see if enough people come often enough to make it work.
Open Knit Night at the Andover Bookstore

Every Tuesday, 6 – 8 PM (No reservations necessary!)

Knit with a teacher (me!) ready to answer questions and help with problems.  I have experience with almost all knitting techniques, including colorwork, Fair Isle, lace, chart reading, cables, intarsia, entrelac, seaming sweaters, socks, and more.  I welcome all knitters, whether you are just starting out on your very first project, or you are a knitter with years of experience and want to discuss the finer points of finishing.

Bring: your works-in-progress, or buy supplies right here at the store.

Cost: $15 per class, or $60 for a six-class punch card (good for one year).

 

I’m also teaching classes at the Hub Mills Store in Billerica, MA, on Saturdays, about once a month.  This is a new location for the store, but it’s been around a long time as has a wonderful group of regular customers.  I’ve been working in the shop since last fall, and it’s been wonderful to meet so many dedicated knitters.  I can’t wait to have a few as students!  I’m starting out with two different specialty classes.  I decided to offer a “try it” class for self-ruffling fibers.  Many knitters are drawn to the sample scarves made with these unusual yarns, but don’t know where to start on making one.  This class will lower that learning curve with hands-on work with sample yarns.  I’m also offering my Mobius Knitting class, which I taught last summer at the Granite State Knit-In XX.  I designed my Clewe and Minotaur cowls specifically for this class, which explores two different ways to get started with mobius knitting.
Self-Ruffling “Try It” Class

10-12 AM on Saturday Jan 21 or Saturday Mar 17

Try out all our “self-ruffling” fibers in this two-hour class. Bodega, Improv,
Cha-Cha, and Flamenco make impressive-looking and quick-to-knit scarves
with just one skein. Each uses slightly different techniques — learn about the
differences and try out each fiber to see which you like best.

Bring: US#9 circular needles, any length

Cost: $20 (includes a 10% student discount on materials)

Register: call (978) 408-2176 or visit the store

 

Mobius Knitting Class

10-12 AM on Saturday Feb 18 or Saturday Mar 31

The möbius shape-a loop, with a half-twist-drapes nicely when worn. It’s a great shape for neck-warmers, cowls, wraps, and collars. Also, because there is only one continuous edge, a person can knit a knitted möbius item from the center outwards on circular needles without turning the work.  

In this class, learn two different methods to start a mobius knitting project: first, using a foundation strip, and then, using a true mobius cast-on.

Homework: before coming to class, knit a foundation strip (directions sent after registration)

Bring: two balls of bulky-weight yarn, two US#10 circular needles, 40″ or 47″

Cost: $20 (includes a 10% student discount on materials)

Register: call (978) 408-2176 or visit the store

 

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New Pattern Release: Flurry Sweater

Introducing my latest pattern: the Flurry Sweater! This two-color pullover features a band of colorwork snowflakes at the waist and elbow, waist-shaping, flared sleeves and hem, and i-cord finish on all edges.

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Pattern: Flurry Sweater

Designer: Rachel Henry (that’s me!)

Available: for $3.99 through Knit Picks IDP

Yarn: Knit Picks Wool of the Andes Tweed

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Inspiration: I have this old sweater, a favorite that I’ve had a long time.  It’s pilled and felted from incautious laundering, but I still love to wear it. I picked the things I liked best about it (grey on top, blue on the bottom, colorwork band) and improved it a bit too (more fitted waist, set-in sleeves).

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Design/Skills Needed: The body is knit in-the-round until the armholes, after which the front and back are worked flat, separately. The sleeves are also knit in the round until the sleeve cap, which is worked flat. Knitters may select their preferred in-the-round method (DPNs, one circ, magic loop, two circs, etc.) throughout.

For the colorwork section, I recommend going down one needle size, as many knitters find their colorwork to be looser than their stockinette. However, it’s possible that you may need to stay with the same needle, or even go up a size, to maintain consistent gauge between the stockinette and colorwork portions. Please work a gauge swatch in both stockinette and the colorwork pattern to determine the best needle size for you, for each section.

When working stranded colorwork, take care to keep the floats loose behind the work. When gaps larger than 5 sts must be bridged, catch the float halfway through the gap to keep things tidy. The colorwork sections are charted.

Yarn: Almost any worsted-weight yarn will work with this pattern. I recommend the darkest color for the bottom, a medium value for the top, and the lightest for the snowflakes.

I would be delighted to answer any questions or help any knitters working on this project.

New Pattern Release: Clewe Cowl and Minotaur Cowl

Last weekend I taught a class on möbius kntting at the last-ever Granite State Knit-In.  We had an airy lodge all to ourselves: 150+ knitters of every stripe, enjoying a beautiful late-spring morning in New Hampshire with yarn and needles in hand. Lucky me, I even found a few great deals and bought a shawl pin, some laceweight yarn, and enough hand-painted DK (?) yarn for a cardi/shrug.

2384 Decadent Fibers Pulled Taffy in Red Hot Pepper2383 Ivy Brambles Romantica in Pine Tree

But enough about my squishy yarn! Back to the class. I really enjoy knitting on the edge of a möbius strip, and I wanted to share this with knitters who have never encountered this awesome knitted shape before.  My OCD side loves knitting a true möbius, starting with Cat Bordhi’s möbius cast-on. The Clewe cowl uses this cast-on and takes full advantage of möbius knitting with the reversible Labyrinth pattern.

Pattern: Clewe Cowl

Designer: Rachel Henry (that’s me!)

Available: FREE!

Yarn: Araucania Nature Wool Chunky

2138 Clewe Cowl prototype

However, the möbius  cast-on can be tricky for knitters, especially if they are also tackling knitting in the round and/or circular needles for the first time. To make möbius knitting more accessible, I designed the Minotaur cowl, which begins as a flat strip that is joined with a half twist, creating a möbius base from which the knitter picks up stitches. From that point on it is worked on the long möbius edge, following the reversible Horns pattern.

Pattern: Minotaur Cowl

Designer: Rachel Henry (that’s me!)

Available: FREE!

Yarn: Araucania Nature Wool Chunky

2299 Minotaur Cowl

I would be delighted to answer any questions or help any knitters working on these patterns.