Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Knitting for Yarnhouse

Lately, I've been working on some handknitted projects to be displayed at Yarnhouse Knits in the NoDa district of Charlotte.

I offered my services to the yarnshop owner about a month ago, telling him that my summers are usually slow. He gave me five projects to work on, asking me to finish them as soon as possible.

Little did I know that my piano and knitting students would not slow down that much this summer! Ha! So, now, I'm trying to juggle lessons and knitting all at the same time.

So far, I've finishing knitting a Market Bag, using Cascade Ultra Pima cotton yarn. So soft!
Market Bag Complete

And now, I'm knitting a dreamy, frothy, beautiful French Scarf, using two different mohair yarns. "La Salute" by Louisa Harding, and "Curly Mohair" by Universal Yarn.
Frothy French Scarf

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

First Knitting Lessons Went Well :)

Today, I taught two knitting students, and it went very well!

One thing took me by surprise: One of the students is left-handed! I've never tried left-handed knitting before, but we figured it out. It took a LOT of thought for me to understand it and show the correct steps.

When the lesson was over, they both knew how to cast on, do the knit stitch, and how to bind off. We made a tiny napkin ring for them to keep, and got started making Hula Hand Puppets. I gave them enough yarn to finish the hand puppets this week. I was happy to hear the left-handed student tell her mom that I was a good teacher. Yay!

This afternoon, I spent a couple hours looking for left-handed knitting videos online. I found some great ones!

Cast on and Knit: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v00r6CJs48o

Cast on and Knit Continental: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VxWtcFuQGHI

Purl: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XHQg0kGZU7I

Purl Continental: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CmdEhuveBqo

Drop Stitch Scarf: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_pK54VjHTwM

So, now I am practicing knitting left-handed. I've cast on and knit 3 rows so far, and now my brain feels different! I'm an old dog, but I'm learning new tricks now. :)

Monday, June 14, 2010

Teaching Kids to Knit

This week, I'll be teaching knitting lessons to some smart girls I know. They are excited, and so am I! For the past few months, I've been reading books, watching videos, and searching online for everything about teaching kids to knit. I've also been gathering all the supplies and yarn I'll need, and printing out copies of free beginner knitting patterns. Now, I'm knitting samples of some of the designs, so my students will see what the finished items should look like.

All of my research was worth it. I found LOTS of knitting patterns that are perfect for beginning knitters. Here are the patterns I'll be sharing for the first lesson. We won't be making all of them, of course. But, I will give them copies of the printed out patterns, because they will have all the skills they need to make any of them after just one lesson! :)

Beginner Knitting Patterns:

Ponytail Scrunchie


Bean Bag

Simple Ball

Can Cozy

Hula Hand Puppet

Thick Washcloth

And if any of my students learn simple shaping and the purl stitch, I'll share these designs with them as well:

Cosmetic Bag

Seed Stitch Headband

Quick Knit Potholder

I hope the class goes well!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Reversible Baby Hat

This month, I needed to make a fast baby gift. So, I looked on the Bernat website, and found a free pattern called "Cottontots Bear Hat". I had some Cottontots yarn in my stash, so I got to work.

After just a few hours, I was halfway finished.
Halfway Done

The next day, I added the blue yarn, and all my knitting was complete.
Knitting Complete

Now, I have TWO hats in one! (I decided to leave off the bear ears.)
Blue Hat - Colorful Lining

Colorful Hat - Blue Lining

Next up on the Bernat Blog, I'm making the Satin Lace Edge Cardigan.

I'm really having fun knitting things for Bernat yarn. :)

Monday, June 7, 2010

Marabou Trim Yarn

Marabou Trim Yarn
Originally uploaded by Shandeh
Take a look at this lovely marabou trim. It's included in the Sweaterkits Marabou Felted Purse kit. You can buy the kit at Yarnhouse Knits in Charlotte, NC.

I just love the way the marabou trim moves with the slightest breeze.

Knitting for Yarnhouse

Last week, I went to Yarnhouse Knits in Charlotte, NC to meet with the shop owner. I had told him that I would be happy to knit some samples over the summer for him. My piano students are few and far between in the summer months, so I have some time available for more knitting. He promptly agreed, and had 5 projects ready for me to make! Cool.... :)

I have just started working on the market bag he wants. I love the yarn. Cascade Ultra Pima cotton. Very soft and easy to knit!
Market Bag

When I finish that, I think I'll start the next bag he wants me to make. It's a beautiful kit for a Marabou Felted Purse.
Maribou Felted Purse Kit

I just love the way the marabou trim moves with the slightest breeze. So soft and elegant!
Sweaterkits Marabou Trim

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I'm a forum moderator and blogger for Spinrite Yarns (www.yarnspirations.com), and I spend WAY too much time there. :D You can also find me on the Knitting Help Forum occasionally