Monday, October 27, 2008

New Knitter Monday 10/27: Knitting Abbreviations

Like all cultures knitting has its own jargon and abbreviations. Although this isn't a complete list, here are a few to get you started. Additionally, any good pattern or book will have a key. As always, I would recommend Sally Melville's Knit Stitch and Purl Stitch books for more information.

K = Knit
P = Purl

Circs = Circular needles (you know the ones with the cables)
DPNs = Double pointed needles (those scary looking ones with points on both ends)

K2tog = Knit two stitches together (this decreases 2 stitches to 1; used to shape garments; by the way decrease is often displayed as dec)
M1 = Make 1 (this is an increase that adds 1 stitch; used to shape garments; there are several ways to make 1 that is more advanced; by the way increase is often displayed as inc)
YO = Yarn Over (creates an intentional whole that displays as an eyelet in the work; used to make lace)

St st = Stockinette stitch (This is the flat stitch that most of us think of when we talk about a "knit sweater." It looks like all VVVVVs. You create this stitch by knitting the right side row and purling the wrong side row. If you are knitting in the round on circular needles instead of back and forth, you would knit every row.)

RS = Right Side (This is the side of the work you want the public to see.)
WS = Wrong Side (This is the side of the work you don't want the public to see.)

CO = Cast On (The act of putting stitches on your needle.)
BO = Bind Off (The act of removing stitches from your needle.)

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Custom Stitches Knit Along (KAL) Information

In lieu of the normal New Knitter Monday post...

custom stitches
a Stitches & Scones knit along



We are pleased to announce our first store knit along! A knit along (KAL) is defined in the book knitalong: Celebrating the Tradition of Knitting Together as
Any organized event where people knit together for a common purpose or goal.
This first (we hope of many) store knit alongs will center around the new book Custom Knits by Wendy Bernard. Want to find out all the details? Read on...the newsletter is divided into sections providing you example projects, guidelines for the KAL, and meeting times.
We look forward to sharing many knitting hours with all of you in the next three months and beyond.
~Molli & the Stitches & Scones staff
custom stitches
by Wendy Bernard

Custom Knits Cover
This is a beautiful book packed full of projects you will want to knit. After researching online to find the most loved patterns, we assigned Gina, Tonia, and Nancy knitting homework to help you.
Gina will be knitting Ingenue and the Tuxedo Vest, Tonia will be knitting the Favorite Cardigan and the Lettuce Coat, and Nancy will be knitting Slinky Ribs.
We will have these projects with us at all KAL meetings and will post pictures and tips and tricks on our KAL Yahoo group. However, you are welcome to knit ANY project from the book AND knit as many as you like in the three months. We will help you through all of them.
What You Get

Ingenue2
By signing up for the custom stitches KAL, you will
  • receive a password to the online Yahoo group where you will be able to ask questions, post pictures, and share in the knitting experience with the group
  • receive a folder of materials especially designed for you by the Stitches & Scones staff to support you through the projects in the Custom Knits book, including measurement sheets, swatch gauge diary sheets, and project diary sheets
  • be invited to the launch party and wrap-up style show
  • have your measurements taken by a qualified seamstress
  • participate in demos, such as the provisional cast on and how to use Flickr
  • receive hands-on instruction for building a body double
  • be guided through all the patterns in the Custom Knits book
  • enjoy snacks and other goodies to keep us occupied during our group KAL times
  • and...be registered for prizes specifically selected for KAL participants
SlinkyRibsHow to Join
To join the custom stitches KAL, you can register at Stitches & Scones in person or by phone (317.896.4411). Please provide your name, phone number, and email address. No matter if you live near or far, you can still join up and participate!
We are asking that each member
  • pay a $10 registration fee
  • purchase a copy of the book (books may be purchased at any retail location; if you would like a copy from Stitches & Scones, please call today to reserve your copy)
  • purchase of yarn for project must be made at Stitches & Scones to participate in the KAL

The dates and times for the KAL are listed here. You will notice that we have both Thursday night and Saturday day options. You are welcome to attend both, but can attend only one time a month if that works better for your schedule. We will have repeat demos on those days so that attendees who can only make one meeting still get all of the instruction.
  • Launch party: Sunday November 2nd from 1-5PM
  • November KAL meetings: Thursday November 13th from 6-8PM OR Saturday November 15th from 11AM-1PM
  • December KAL meetings: Thursday December 4th from 6-8PM OR Saturday December 6th from 11AM-1PM
  • January KAL meetings: Thursday January 15th from 6-8PM OR Saturday December 17th from 11AM-1PM
  • Wrap up and Style Show: Thursday January 29th from 6-8PM

Monday, October 13, 2008

KAL--New Knitter Monday 10/13

So, what's a KAL? It stands for knit along. A knit along is when you join a group of other knitters to make the same project. It has the benefit of each participant being able to offer advice and encouragement. Most of all, it is the sense of community and friendship that make them the most appealing. 

I bring up KALs because Tonia and I are getting ready to launch one!!!!! It will be centered around the new book Custom Knits. If you don't have a copy yet, RUN out and get one. It is a beautiful book with tons of patterns you will want to make. (Don't let the skinny model pix scare you off--the garments look great on all shapes, just check out Ravelry for proof.) Tonia and I are meeting this week to map out the details, so I'll keep you all updated on how to sign up. For all of you who are recent beginning knitting students, you too can participate. Don't be scared, you'll have an entire support group behind you!

Monday, October 6, 2008

New Knitter Monday 10/6: Ravelry

I try to remember to tell students who are new to knitting and crocheting about Ravelry, but I fear that I've missed it with some of you. Ravelry (www.ravelry.com) is an online knitting and crochet community. It is FABULOUS! I use it constantly to look up patterns, yarn info, etc (both at the store and at home).

To sign up: go to www.ravelry.com and fill out the sign up info. They will then "invite" you to join, which just means they give you your account info.

Here is a sampling of what you can do on Ravelry:

* Join groups: There are all kinds. Groups about knitting, of course, but also groups based on what you like to knit, TV shows, dieting, dog owners, on, and on. The store gang has a group called Stitches and Sconers. Search for it under the Group tab and click the Join This Group button. We chat about what is going on at the store, but we mostly just chat about our knitting and what to do next!

* Search patterns: You can go to the Patterns tab and search for patterns. For example, I searched for "baby blanket" and got all kinds of ideas for what I wanted to make. Users load up pictures and info about the projects they made and the pattern searcher looks over those and ones that are up for sale in Ravelry. (Hint: Free patterns pop up with a little Free button next to them.)

* Search yarn: Got a ball of yarn and don't know what to make? Type in the yarn on the Yarns tab and see what others made with it.

It is a wonderful way for new knitters to find people in their community and to learn all kinds of great info. There are discussion boards about anything and everything. You can also add friends and you have an "email" inbox in Ravelry. I am BrownieKnits. If, and when, you sign up, search for me under the find people area and tag me as a friend. Happy Ravelrying to all!!!!!!

Friday, October 3, 2008

Let the Gift Knitting Begin!

Like everybody else these days, I am trying to watch the old wallet. I decided that while I want to give gifts to those I care about at Christmas, I also want to be fiscally smart about it. One of the ways I can show I care is by knitting/crocheting gifts. Many things I already have to knit and just have them waiting on me to do so. So, yesterday I sat down and wrote out my Christmas to do list. I won't get in to what they are specifically because there are some receivers out there in Internet-land. However, I will say that I finished up a gift yesterday and another today! Combined with two others I already had finished earlier this year, that is four down and five to go. 

If you are looking for some great pattern ideas for gift knitting, might I suggest the Encore Done by Monday afghan book or a felted bag pattern. All of these knit up fast and non-knitters are amazed by the magic of felting or the coziness of a handmade blanket.

Okay, I'm off to plot out #5 and knit on...

Thursday, October 2, 2008

The Den

So a few weeks ago I posted about the yard sale and the redesign of Patrick's space. The sale was a great success--we got rid of a lot of stuff, made some cash, and really got the house organized. Here is the result of sale:


That's right a leather chair (and a trash can). I've become an adult. I resisted the attempt to spend it all on yarn. That's okay because Patrick deserves a great chair and a comfortable space. Based on this picture from Greece we selected the color:


Patrick adjusted the shelving we put in when we moved in, put up some trim to make them more of a built-in look, painted the walls our Greek blue (peek-a-boo blue to be technical), and I did all the arranging. I have a feeling I might find him asleep in the middle of the night in this room!

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Just a Fun Picture

Here is a picture from the wedding that Patrick and I went to a few weeks ago. This is Patrick's gang of college buddies, plus. I can't believe I've known you all for 10 years already!

If you are a fan of books, check out Chris Coake's work (pictured above 3rd from the right). He is an EXCELLENT writer. 

We're In Trouble from Harvest Books
The Best American Mystery Stories 2005

He's working on a new one too.