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Yarn Discovery Tour and Travelling Stitches

September 6

I adore the North Coast Knitting Guild in Northeast Ohio. It’s a very active group, with all kinds of activities and lots of very talented knitters. The Guild regularly offers fantastic workshops. Today I was lucky enough to take Candace Eisner Strick’s class on travelling stitches. She has a unique way of working some of the stitches so that the left- and right-travelling stitches match each other better than in the traditional method.

Right after class I embarked on my very first Yarn Discovery Tour. I’ve heard about it for years, and am determined to finally participate. Knitting on the Square (affectionately known as KNOTS) in Chardon was my first stop on the Tour. I’ve been looking for a variegated yarn in fall colors, and scored big time with these lovely skeins of Dream in Color Smooshy in the “Flight of the Maple Seed” colorway. Serendipity!

Dream in Color yarn, Smooshy

 

KNOTS is a warm, inviting store owned by the very talented designer Kate Jackson.  I can’t wait to go back!

Having procured my YDT passport and my first stamp, I have “only” 16 more to go. Good thing we have until September 20th!

Paso Robles Earthquake 10 Years Ago

December 22

December 22, 2003 at 11:15 am…Our lives changed forever when a magnitude 6.5 earthquake visited such violence upon our home that it took two years to rebuild. And still, we were the lucky ones. My heart goes out to the families of the women who were killed downtown, and hope that the people who were injured have recovered.

My husband worked in downtown Paso Robles, right across the street from the worst damage. Like the historic buildings that collapsed, the building that house his office was made of brick. A fire occurred in the building a few years earlier, and I will be forever grateful to the owner for reinforcing all the masonry at the time he repaired the fire damage. Even with the reinforcement, the building wasn’t safe to enter for quite some time. Who knows whether Steve would still be here if the repairs hadn’t been made.

These photos are ones my husband took at of the clock tower in Paso Robles some months before the earthquake, and then after:

Earthquake 1 024

You can see in people’s body language and expressions just how disorienting and frightening it was.Earthquake

The oddest things freaked me out about this. For one thing, what happened to all the tree branches? For another, see the chair in the rubble to the right of Pan Jewelers? This was the local bread bakery. We, along with so many others, kept saying to each other, “But we used to sit right there,” wide-eyed with the capricious nature of close calls.

House of Bread

 

At the time of the earthquake, I was a Red Cross disaster volunteer. I shoveled my house into a dumpster by day and manned the Red Cross truck downtown by night.  It was very cold, and there were a lot of young sheriff and police guys guarding the downtown. The coolest thing I have ever seen happened about 3:00 in the morning one of those nights. Someone – I believe it was the wonderful owner of Pan Jewelers – brought a Christmas tree, all decorated, and propped it up outside the store. Here, his business had been wrecked and yet he did this incredible thing so the guys who couldn’t be with their families could enjoy a little Christmas. Amazing.

As for our house…. Well, it’s never good when FEMA stops by and declares that yours is the damage that qualifies the disaster for National Emergency status.

I will forever be grateful to our friends who got us through the damage and the trauma. Our wonderful neighbors took us and our four cats in for a month until we could find a house to rent. The rental house was a single story, unlike our wrecked house. So I thought it would be a good time to get some foot surgery done that I had been putting off. That led to learning to knit so I’d have something to do during the weeks of recuperation.

And the rest is history.

posted under Events, History | 2 Comments »

SLO Yarn Crawl is Almost Here

September 17

Five yarn shops in San Luis Obispo County have banded together to organize the very first SLO Yarn Crawl this weekend.   Here’s the skinny

When: Saturday September 21 and Sunday September 22 from 10AM to 5PM
Where: The 5 yarn shops in SLO County
Why: To have fun, and get to know your fiber neighbors!

How It Works tells about visiting the stores and entering to win prizes. Be sure to download the Passport from the Home page so you can get it stamped as you visit each store.

I’m thrilled to be participating in the Yarn Crawl. Ranch Dog Knitting will host the trunk show for my book Reversible Scarves: Curing the Wrong Side Blues. Have you ever wondered what all those scarves look like in person? I hope you’ll come by and check them out. Then, on Saturday the 21st, I’ll be signing books at Ranch Dog from 1:00 to 3:00. Stop by by for tea and a visit.

Reversible Scarves, trunk show, Ball & Skein & More, Cambria, kniting scarves

If you’re anywhere near the Central Coast this weekend, I hope you’ll attend!

TNNA Columbus

June 21

TNNA_Columbus_2013_early-3

I’m SUPER excited to be here in Columbus at TNNA (for my non-knitting friends, that’s the big industry trade show featuring all kinds of needle arts).

Tomorrow I have a book signing at the Unicorn booth! Their reserved tickets are all gone, but if you’d like to attend you can stop by their booth ahead of time and ask whether they might have a few left to give out. I’m very grateful to Unicorn for this opportunity!

For the first time, TNNA offered a Professional Development class for knitwear designers. Jill Wolcott and Jeane DeCoster taught us the (k)nitty gritty of sizing, using spreadsheets to help with the numbers and (gulp) math for writing patterns for multiple sizes. Both have extensive experience in the fashion industry and imparted a tremendous amount of knowledge. It was a fantastic class, and one I’m sure my tech editors will appreciate my having taken!

Resources:

TNNA (The National Needle Arts Association)

Unicorn Books & Crafts (wholesale book distributor)

Jill Wolcott Knits

Jeane DeCoster and her hand dyed yarns at Elemental Affects

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Cambria Book Signings

March 16

This weekend the Ball & Skein & More in beautiful Cambria, California, will be hosting book signings for my Reversible Scarves: Curing the Wrong Side Blues. I’ll be signing books on both Saturday and Sunday from 12:00 to 3:00. The trunk show of samples from the book will be up, too, if you’d like to see the scarves in person!

Reversible Scarves, book signing, trunk show

posted under Book, Events, Yarn Shop | 1 Comment »

Stitches West 2013

February 22

And so it begins. The yarnie love-fest that is Stitches West. It’s always such fun to see friends from near and far. The preview session was last night, and here’s the crowd waiting for the official opening today.

Stitches West 2013

Excitement is in the air, as the line snakes down the hallway!

Sitches West 2013

I’ll be doing three book signings during Sitches West this year:

Friday 1:30

Saturday 11:30

Sunday 12:00

All the signings will be at the Yarn Barn of Kansas, Booth 404. Hope to see you there!

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Ball & Skein & More – Workshop & Trunk Show

September 4

I’ve been in Ohio most of the summer, taking care of family. I’ll be returning to California for a short time in September for a special collaboration with the Ball & Skein & More, the LYS in Cambria. Kris and Oz have been enthusiastic supporters of my book, right from the very first swatch. Now they’re not only selling my book, but also giving me a trunk show and an opportunity to teach a workshop!

Samples from my book Reversible Scarves: Curing the Wrong Side Blues will be on display from September 8th – 16th. Come see the wide variety of techniques my book has to offer! With over 30 patterns, there’s something for everyone.

Reversible Scarves, trunk show, Ball & Skein & More, Cambria, kniting scarves

 

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Linen Stitch Workshop

linen stitch, workshop, how to knit, reversible, scarf pattern

The workshop I’ll be teaching at the Ball & Skein & More is on September 15th from 5:30 to 7:30. One of my all-time favorite stitch patterns for scarves is the linen stitch. It’s perfect for variegated yarn, is attractive on both sides, and lies flat. Its versatility can be seen in the photos above – all three scarves are made from this one simple stitch, yet have completely different looks!  Using the technique and pattern from my book, I’ll show you how to create the stitch, step by step. Then you’ll be set free to experiment and, if you want, to start a project scarf.

If you’re interested in taking the workshop, you can sign up on the Ball & Skein & More’s registration page or stop in. Or for more information, call (805) 927-3280 .

Recommended yarn for the project scarf: 2 skeins of Manos del Uruguay Maxima (the Ball & Skein & More has a zillion great colorways to choose from!)

I’ll sign books during the workshop, and one lucky workshop participant will win a book!

Stitches Midwest Book Debut and Other Fun

August 20

I’m just now finding time to take a breath after Stitches Midwest last weekend. What a whirlwind! My book, Reversible Scarves: Curing the Wrong Side Blues made its debut Thursday night. The books were literally hot off the press! It was a thrill for me to see the stacks of my book in the Cooperative Press booth along with so many titles I’ve admired over the years. Notice the boxes of cookies – dessert seems to be a good lure for the knitting public!

Reversible Scarves, Cooperative Press, Stitches Midwest

 

During the weekend I signed autographs, along with my friend Stephannie Tallent. She was signing her fantastic book California Revival Knits.

 

Steph and I are each others’ biggest supporters!

Stephannie Tallent, Reversible Scarves, Stitches Midwest

The other exciting news from Stitches Midwest was my trunk show in the Foofaraw booth. I’m grateful to Lindsay Gates for giving me a wonderful opportunity to showcase some of the scarves from my book! We paired each scarf with one of the beautiful Foofaraw shawl sticks. I was amazed at the range of colors and materials Lindsay uses in making these. Everyone who came into her booth found exactly the right color and texture for their projects.

Here we found just the right sticks to style the “Cables & Knots” and “Diagonal Ribs & Little Fountains Lace” patterns from my book.

shawl stitcks, Reversible Scarves, Stitches Midwest

 

I thought the scarves (and here, the wrap from the book too) and Lindsay’s sticks were a marriage made in heaven!

shawl sticks, Reversible Scarves, Stitches Midwest

 

Resources:

Cooperative Press

Reversible Scarves: Curing the Wrong Side Blues by yours truly, Audrey Knight

California Revival Knits by Stephannie Tallent

Foofaraw shawl sticks

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Book Signing at Stitches Midwest!

August 11

Yes indeed, my book Reversible Scarves: Curing the Wrong Side Blues arrived just in time for the opening of Stitches Midwest. Yay!

I’ll be doing a book signing today, Saturday, at noon in the Cooperative Press booth, #631. Please come by and say hi. I’d love to meet everyone!

Stitches Midwest, Reversible Scarves, Cooperative Press, book signing, knitting book

I want to thank everyone who has come by to look at the book since the show started. Your enthusiasm has been wonderful. Knitters are the nicest folks!

posted under Book, Events | 2 Comments »

Stitches Midwest Trunk Show at Foofaraw

August 3

It’s hard to believe Stitches Midwest is coming up so soon!

I’m thrilled to tell you that sample scarves from my new book Reversible Scarves: Curing the Wrong Side Blues will be featured in a trunk show at the Foofaraw booth. Here are some of their beautiful stick pins:

 Foofaraw shawl stick pins, Reversible Scarves book, Stitches Midwest

My scarves will pair perfectly with the Foofaraw shawl sticks, don’t you think?

I’ll be at the Foofaraw booth during the Market Session on Thursday evening, August 9th, and Friday morning. Come find out why the pins are called Foofaraw….[Hint from their website: (fõõ´f∂–rô´) NOUN: 1. Excessive or flashy ornamentation. 2. A fuss over a trifling matter.]

I want to thank Lindsay Gates for this wonderful opportunity, and I hope to see you there!

posted under Book, Events | 2 Comments »

TNNA Columbus 2012

June 28

I just got back from TNNA. That, in industry jargon, is the show put on twice a year by The National Needlearts Association. It’s where yarn manufacturers show off their new lines to shop owners, and where publishers show off their titles. It’s pretty much like a giant kindergarten, where we all get to see our friends in the industry. We have parties. We play (with yarn, mostly). And like little kids, we spend a great deal of time talking about and indulging in ice cream. It’s hilarious to follow the Tweets from the people attending the show – a huge percentage talk about what flavor they’re having at the aptly named Jeni’s Splendid Ice Cream near the convention center.

The most exciting part of TNNA for me, besides seeing my buddies of course, was the poster in the Cooperative Press booth showing photos from my upcoming book. Shannon Okey (in the photo below) and her team work very hard to bring excellent books to the market, and I’m thrilled that my Reversible Scarves: Curing the Wrong Side Blues will be among them.

Shannon Okey, Cooperative Press, Reversible Scarves

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I’m working with CP’s miracle-worker-Assistant-Editor Elizabeth Green Musselman to comb through every detail of the book to get it ready for publication. It won’t be long now!

posted under Book, Events | 2 Comments »

Cambria Workshop

March 19

I was lucky enough to go the the Best Workshop Ever this weekend. Kris and Oz, owners of the fantastic Ball & Skein & More in Cambria, California, combined their talents as crazy-fun hosts with Gwen Bortner’s excellent instruction style. The result? An intensive workshop sandwiched between sociable wining and dining.

Gwen Bortner, Cambria, knitting workshop, Ball & Skein & More

 

Gwen’s workshop had something for everyone. The new skill for me? Using plastic canvas to add structure to a project. The pace of instruction made it so we could follow along, without getting overwhelmed. And we ended up with a versatile, cute little project at the end (or at least one we could finish up at home).

Gwen’s teaching style is clear, and she makes it a lot of fun.

Gwen Bortner, knitting workshop, Camria, Ball & Skein & More
Clear instructions. And plenty of laughter along the way

For people coming from out of town, the workshop included accommodations at the Cambria Pines Lodge. It was the perfect location. It’s beautiful, set in the pines overlooking the village of Cambria. We had our own dedicated room for the workshop, and our own dining room as well. Kris and Oz greeted us at breakfast every morning.

Oz Barron, knitting workshop, Camria, Ball & Skein & More
Oz starts the day with  his breakfast wave

Kris welcomed us into the shop Friday night for a special shopping spree. While most people ended up with armloads of gorgeous hand-dyed yarn, I finally gave in to temptation and bought a set of Addi Clicks lace needles – the ones with the very cool slit in the cord for carrying a life line.

The meals in our Very Own Dining Room gave the students a chance to get to know each other. On Saturday, we were treated to an extraordinary dinner at the local Madeline’s restaurant. Not only was the food and camaraderie fantastic, but we got to learn about Oz’s talents with a blow torch. If you want to find out what THAT was all about, you’re just going to have to come to the workshop yourself next year!

posted under Events, Yarn Shop | 2 Comments »
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