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



Cast-on Monday: Regal Firefly Shrug, Damask Potion, and Pinky Pink Rose Ruffled Scarf

Oh dear, cast-on-itis hit hard this week!

It all started Monday, when I drove to Andover to teach my Steek This class. I was also signed up to staff the brand-spanking-new “Knitting 911” hour right before my class. I thought to myself, Self, you should knit on a project using Unforgettable Yarns yarn, while you are being the Knitting 911 Knitter.   So, I printed out the pattern for the Ruffled and Ruched Scarf, wound up a skein of heathered-pink Cascade 220, and cast on right then and there.

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Then, I went on a weekend knitting retreat to Maine with some awesome knitting friends.  I had a terrible time choosing which WIPs and potential WIPs to take along …. so I didn’t choose.  I brought piles and piles of yarn and projects and patterns — as if it were a month-long knitting retreat with a TARDIS to give us several extra years of knitting time.  While there, I worked on about half a dozen projects, including my Flurry sweater prototype.  I also cast on for my Damask shawl (largest version) with new Stroll Glimmer in Potion.  I absolutely love it.  It’s hard to see the sparkle in these photos, but please be sure that the Stellina is shiny in just the right amount, as well as being unbelievably soft to the touch.

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When I arrived home late Sunday night, there was a Knit Picks box waiting for me!  This box had six balls of Capra DK in Regal — destined to make a Firefly Shrug for my mom.  I have to scoot on this project, because she needs it for a wedding in mid-October.  I cast on today!

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Yarn Shop Review: Unforgettable Yarns

On Thursday, June 16th, I attended the Grand Opening of Unforgettable Yarns, a new yarn shop that is set up in the corner of the Andover Bookstore. They promised snacks, yarn tasting, snacks, and discounts on all purchases … how could I say no?  My knitting group usually meets on Thursday nights, so we decided to go to the yarn shop opening instead.  As it turns out, only two of us were able to make it, but I think we both had a good time.

I had stopped in earlier in the week for a covert sneak peek, so I knew a little bit about what to expect.  The bookstore has devoted a corner of the first floor to yarn.  There is a full wall plus a large bookcase filled with a good selection of workhorse yarns by Cascade Yarns, plus a shelf full of Noro yarn (Taiyo, Kureyon, and Silk Garden).  They also have a rack of needles and notions, plus a variety of knitting books (including many of my favorites).

I have to say, I didn’t know how fun a yarn tasting can be! There was a long table set up with caked yarns on paper plates.  Jars of knitting needles and an invitation to knit was all I needed — I knit a little with the Ultra Pima cotton, Cascade 220 Superwash, Cascade 220 Heathers, and the hand-painted Heritage sock yarn.  The 220 superwash is sturdy and serviceable. I can see myself picking up a ball or two for a last-minute baby project.  The 220 Heathers are GORGEOUS.  I actually bought two skeins on spec when I dropped in last week to scout the shop.

2398 Cascad 220 Heathers

I chose this pinky-coral colorway, and plan to make a Ruffled and Ruched Scarf with it. Pretty, no?

I really liked the hand-painted sock yarn, but (frankly) I really, really don’t need any more stripey fingering-weight yarn in sock quantities. I had a 3×5 card in my pocket with three possible projects on it, two of which were light sweaters.  I really want to start making more tops for myself, so I focused on those.  I ended up buying some of the delicious Ultra Pima.

2423 Cascade Ultra Pima

After hemming and hawing, and with help from my friend Heather (who has an excellent eye for color), I settled on a pretty violet-blue-purple. I’ll be making a Ruched Yoke Tee for me!

This isn’t a huge yarn shop with a wide selection …. yet! But, I did overhear one employee say that if it was more profitable than cards, it could take over that space. Also, the owner talked about a lot of cool classes that will be coming up, so overall I think this shop has a lot of potential.  I plan on making regular purchases, to show my support.  Hooray for local yarn shops!