Sunday, June 29, 2014

Simply Steeks - Fiber & Friends, Day 6

I am receiving a lot of supervision and affection this morning ... little Flicka seems happy that I am not rushing around like a crazy person getting ready to attend a knitting class!
It is hard to believe that all the fun began a week ago today ... a wonderful week!  I need to catch up on my blog posts ... let's get to it!
The second class I taught this week was "Simply Steeks".  In the past, I have taught people to steek as part of my sweater design classes.  I welcomed the idea of a class focused on just that skill and the three ways to accomplish steeking.
Steeking allows a knitter to knit a garment in the round and then cut it for openings.  
I use steeking all the time for the center front of cardigans and sleeve holes.
I wanted to teach the three steeking techniques that I am familiar with.
Each has unique characteristics that are appropriate for different circumstances.
I also wanted those who took this class to have a permanent reference tool.  Many commercial patterns suggest using steeks, but do not give specific directions on how to do it.
My hope is that by creating a reference book with samples that the knitter has done, they will
feel comfortable with the technique in the future.
Women in the class arrived with their "knit in the round" sample ready for steeking.
Steeking takes concentration ... they spent the afternoon hard at work!
Doing all three techniques helped every knitter find the one they felt most comfortable with!
This knitter had so much fun at the sewing machine, she made additional steeks!  We all giggled about how she would have turned her sample into a patchwork quilt if we hadn't stopped her!  Too fun!
By the end of the afternoon everyone had faced the fear of cutting into their knitting, completed all three techniques, and samples were ready to be permanently placed in a reference notebook!  Taking the mystery out of an often misunderstood knitting skill and replacing it with simplicity ... what a wonderful way to dillydally!

Do what you love.  Knit on!  Do dillydally!
Mrs. DillyDally

Friday, June 27, 2014

Fiber & Friends - Day 4 and 5!

The Fiber and Friends Retreat included an Adventure Day!  On Wednesday, participants spent the day exploring our remote corner of the planet!
My "adventure day" included a friend joining Kysa and I on a dillydally stroll!  It's fun to have a two-legged friend join us!
Flicka spent the day supervising me from her throne while I caught up on some household chores!
Classes resumed yesterday!  I began my day exploring the construction of gussets in knitted garments!  Bonnie removed any mystery revolving around their purpose and implementation!
 We all left feeling comfortable adding this useful technique to our future sweaters!
I spent the afternoon in the second session of "The Organic Sweater" class.
We learned so many knitting tips and tricks while Bonne Marie Burns showed us how to construct this sweater.
Bonne is so generous with her talent and expertise.  We all left the class wanting to spend more time with her ... she empowered and encouraged us as we left to continue our knitting journey.

Do what you love.  Knit on!  Do dillydally!
Mrs. DillyDally

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

My Nordic Mitten Class - Fiber & Friends Day 3, Tuesday

Nearly two weeks ago, I shared that I was busy knitting mittens ... and that it was a bit crazy to be making mittens in June!  At the time, I promised that there was a method to my madness ...
... yep, I knit three mittens ...
... no, I do not have an extra appendage! Hee-hee!  About a year ago, Dotty asked me to teach my nordic mitten design class at her Fiber & Friends event!  Yikes!  To say I was overwhelmed (and intimidated) to be teaching at such a large fiber festival with the knitting world's Rock Stars is an understatement!
I enjoyed preparing for the class ... years of teaching public school came in handy when developing a lesson plan! ;-)  I have been teaching my nordic mitten class locally for years ... it usually takes 3-4 sessions that are usually 3 hours long.  The challenge was adapting it into a one day class!
I prepared the instructions ... the handouts ... the samples!  My biggest problem ... my nerves!

I chose to limit my class size to eight participants and was thrilled when it filled!  They were sent a "homework" assignment to complete before the class met.  I had assigned them a gauge swatch, so that we could immediately begin designing their mittens!
Everyone made their gauge swatch ...
... with the same number of stitches ...
... the same size needles ...
 ... same weight of yarn ...
 ... and the same number of rows.
 And like us ...
 ... no two are alike!
It was so enlightening to see all eight gauge swatches together ... their value becomes immediately clear.
 Everyone created their individualized charts.
 Knitting IS math ... we all accomplished the math successfully!
 And by midday everyone was knitting!
 Through out the afternoon ...
 ... we learned how to plan for the thumb ...
 ... and other finishing skills.
The women in this group were exceptional in many ways!  Five were Alaskans ... two were from Cordova, one from Anchorage and two from Palmer!  One each from Montana, Colorado and California!  Such fun!
By the end of the day, they were KBees (knitting buddies)!  Here they are holding their mittens over their hearts, promising to send me photos when they're finished!  Too fun!
I love this photo!  I am so grateful to these women ... they helped to soothe my jitters ... were so inspiring ... and made the day a wonderful experience.  I hope that I reciprocated by assisting them on their knitting journey.  Friends and fiber forever!

Do what you love.  Knit on!  Do dillydally!
Mrs. DillyDally

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Fiber & Friends - Day 2, Monday

Yesterday was the first day of classes ... I am so excited about the class I took from one of my favorite designers, Bonne Marie Burns!
The class is titled, "The Sweater Organic" and we are using her Cinnie cardigan design.

Bonne really has led an interesting life ... her background in fashion design really shines through her knitting patterns!  What a wealth of knowledge and inspiration she is.  The second part of our class meets on Thursday ... I am soooo looking forward to spending more time with her!
The perfect ending to a perfect fiber filled dillydally day!

Do what you love.  Knit on!  Do dillydally!
Mrs. DillyDally

Monday, June 23, 2014

Fiber & Friends - Day 1, Sunday

The Net Loft Fiber and Friends Festival and Retreat is a reality!  It has been a dream of our local yarn store owner, Dotty to hold such an event for many years!  I just want to jump for joy when friends realize their dreams!  I couldn't be happier for her ... as well as for all the knitters, spinners and weavers who benefit from her efforts!  So much to celebrate!
Many local knitters yarn bombed the anchor on display in front of our public library!  What a wonderful way to welcome those traveling to attend this event!
The entire fiber community has worked hard to assist Dotty in her efforts ... the registration table and conference bags ready for guests as they arrive!
The festivities began with a welcome dinner Sunday evening.
Volunteers brought dishes from their homes ...
... tables were set with individual place settings ...
... Alaskan wildflower arrangements were assembled for every table ...
... all of these efforts to reflect Dotty's vision for this event!

Soon the tables were filled ...
... with fiber enthusiasts who came to learn and share their talents!
We enjoyed dinner and a dessert buffet ... many prepared using local wild berries!
An evening filled ...
... with friends and yep, fiber! ;-)
Dotty ... sharing her vision and intent for this fiber festival!  She has made her "dillydally" dream come true!  Such an inspiration for us all!

Do what you love.  Make those dreams happen!  Do dillydally!
Mrs. DillyDally