Friday July 1, 2011

happy july!

the summer is steadily sliding by and as always on memorial day i think soon it will be the 4th of july, then labor day; and doggone next thing i know, labor day has passed, the garden is winding down, and i’m muttering to myself ‘wasnt it just memorial day?’ my mom always said time goes faster as you get older and she was sure right.

our needlefelting class with sharon yoder was a big success. we reached our limit of ten and a good time was had by all. sharon is so creative and artistic and we will use this knowledge to embellish and personalize many of our lovely felted items. i have previously done some needlefelting but was never comfortable with my work. she showed us things i had never known about and i, myself, am looking forward to trying some new designs.

a gaggle of us knitters (ardis, eugenia, laura, kathy, melissa, and myself) took the wool flower class on june 23 at wccc taught by nan loncharich. we fought a torrential downpour to get there but were rewarded by a huge double rainbow hovering over the school! we learned so much and can take this information and use it to embellish many of our own knitted projects. nan has agreed to teach a class here with some advanced techniques so those of you who took the class may want to learn a little more. those of you who were not lucky enough to get in on this class can still sign up to learn the basics and advanced techniques. i will be contacting nan in the near future to see what dates she is available, so keep your eyes open for this upcoming class as well. her book just out and will be available at our class. so if you are thinking of taking the class here, please consider buying it directly from her. some who took the class are already scouring local thrift shops for wool fabrics. eugenia said “my house is starting to look like a hoarder’s paradise.” we are discussing the possibility of a play date to do some overdying and swapping of colors, so get with the program and join us!

this is a new feature that i would like to feature monthly. when any of you learn a new trick, please send it along to me so it can be shared with the others. thanks go to monte peters, president and ceo of the latrobe purl’n girls gang, who sent us this tip.
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a simple hint for making neat edges — to make a neat finished edge on your knitted garment, just try this
little tip. after casting on, knit your first row. turn your work and slip the first stitch, knit to the end of
the row and knit into the back of the last stitch and turn. repeat throughout the garment. you will love
the neat appearance of your salvages.

i read somewhere that ‘you knit the way you live.’ in my experience, i have found this to be very true. you probably know that i am a very non-anal knitter. (is non-anal a word?) some would call it lazy, lackadaisacal, or laid back and they would all be right. i have friends (you know who you are) who are very ‘particular’ about their knitting and they are usually very particular about everything else – their houses, their car, their hair, etc. and as you are probably thinking right now, just looking at me and knowing what my house looks like, you can see i fall into the non particular category in just about all aspects of my own life. are you chuckling to yourself right now?? its ok if you are because i am laughing too!
my point is that there is not always one way to do things. for example, when i taught myself to knit continental and then tried to purl continental, i found that the purling was awkward and subsequently incorrect, for when i turned to the knit side, my stitches were twisted. i tried to teach myself the ‘right’ way to purl continental so that my stitches werent twisted. however, i realized that all i had to do was knit into the back of the stitch on the right side (another thing monte taught me) and the stitches were as they are supposed to be. so instead of trying to purl the ‘right’ way (which was difficult for me), i decided to do it my way and correct it on the knit side, which is easier and saves me aggravation.
life is too short to get stressed out about things, let alone knitting – it is supposed to be relaxing and if it isnt relaxing for you, you need to look at the light side of knitting or find another hobby. in summation, dont worry if the ‘books’ say it should be done a certain way. if the end result is the same, do it however it works for you and simply consider it your own unique style.
thursday, july 21 from 1-3 we will be making ceramic buttons at the crafty shack on harrison city road. it will be a 2 part class for one cost – $20 – it includes the clay, 2 firings, and glazing. as most of us know, buttons are not cheap anymore and if you’re like me, you buy those expensive buttons with your coupon! for those of you who were at sharon yoder’s needlefelting class, you saw some samples of the buttons which laura tepke made. you can make as many buttons as you like out of clay. after that class, they will be fired and some time in early august we will go back and paint and glaze them, after which they will need to be fired one final time. this is a great chance to be really creative and innovative and make special one of a kind buttons for your creations! for the latrobe/greensburg girls, we can carpool. anyone who is interested, please contact me. there is a seven person minimum for the class and we will need to know prior to july 14th.
these classes will most likely begin early fall, as everyone is busy in the summer months. once it begins to cool down, we are more likely to want to think of learning something new or to perhaps begin working on gifts for the holidays.
-felted wooly lamb class – in this class you will learn how to knit and felt a lamb with the option of needlefelting
wool locks after felting
-basic sock class – learn how to knit a basic sock on a 9 or 12 inch circular needle (not dpns)
-amazing stitches – this class will include simple stitches, including increases, decreases, yarn overs, ssk
as well as more advanced stitches, including bobbles, picot edge, slipped stitch colorwork,
beads, and more – all things you may run into written into a pattern but hadnt tried yet
-nan’s wool flower advanced class

monday, july 4 independence day
friday, july 15 12:30 to 3 latrobe coffee bean
thursday, july 21 1:00 to 3 button class
friday, july 29 12:30 to 3 latrobe coffee bean
every saturday raggz will be at ligonier country market from 8 to noon
i was ecstatic to accompany beth and monte to oakmont to visit yarns by design, a local yarn shop. it was amazingly beautiful and inspiring and the lady who owned it was super helpful. i had already been toying with the idea of how much fun it would be to take a road trip, perhaps in the fall. after our short jaunt to oakmont, i am convinced it will be a good time! beth sent the following link as a possibility so check it out 
it looks like an interesting place with tons of different yarns and probably only a little over an hour to get there.  interested?  i am going to contact the shop for directions and further information and will keep you posted.
what’s new at our store? i was lucky enough to find a manufacturer who makes reasonably-priced shawl sticks. they come in light, medium, or dark wood with various shapes at the top. the price is $7.
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