Friday, July 13, 2012

Fun in Fresno

Write a blog post has been on my list every day this week, and here we are at Friday already. Better late than never, right?
I had the good fortune to spend Saturday with the women of the Sheeper Than Therapy knitting guild in Fresno. This is the third time this group has invited me to come be their featured teacher. It is always an honor to be asked to come teach, but when a group asks you back it is a special thrill. Thanks, ladies!

I taught one of my favorite classes - Making the Most of Self-Striping Yarn. I've done a lot of work with yarn dyed to knit up into stripes (see here and here and here). I enjoy talking with other knitters about how to manipulate the colors and predict or control the way the colors will line up.
There was also some show-and-tell
And some puppy love from the guild's unofficial mascots
After a sack lunch (thanks for the chicken ceasar, Regina!), we spent some time with a box of samples from the Spring issue of Twist Collective, which I had brought along to share. It was 102F in Fresno that day, so I'd brought lots of lightweight lacy pieces. As lovely as the pictures in the magazine are, there is nothing quite like touching and trying on the samples in person.  I suspect there will be several Harrows and Stellarias showing up at future guild show-and-tell sessions.
The guild in Fresno is such a great group - accomplished knitters eager to learn something new, welcoming to newcomers, supportive of beginners, and willing to laugh at my jokes. I'll happily go back anytime. It's too bad every town doesn't have a group like this.

In other news...
I know you see lots of charitable organizations asking for donations on-line. I know you need to be selective about where you put your money. But if you don't know about Halos of Hope, you should. Pamela Haschke, a cancer survivor herself, founded Halos of Hope to provide handmade hats to people with cancer. She is doing the work of angels.
Though the hats themselves are donated (we know how generous the fiberarts community is), it costs money to get them from the knitter to the head in need. A new fundraising campaign was just annouced: The Great Buzzzz for Halos of Hope. For a $10 donation, you can vote to shave or save the head of Drew Emborsky (the Crochet Dude), Benjamin Levisay (from XRX, Inc.) or Mark Moraca (from Kollage Yarns). The ritual barbering will take place at Stitches East in Hartford CT in October. Click on over and check it out.

And finally, some knitting! I've been working on design swatches and editorial commissions, so can't show you what's currently on the needles, but I can show you a recently released design...
Here is Kenwood.
Knit in Kollage Yarns Fantastic, a smooth, many-plied worsted weight merino, Kenwood was designed to be a polished jacket that could take you to the office or out to dinner. It begins at the waist with a band knit horizontally.  Stitches are picked up along the edge and worked up for the bodice, then down for the peplum. A simple lace panel adds eye-catching detail along the front edges. The inset waistband creates the illusion of an hourglass waist, and gives you a great place to show off a special button.