Monday, September 25, 2006

Such a busy weekend...whew...I need a nap!

This was a crazy weekend. So much happened. Friday night and Sunday afternoon, Anne, Jodi and I volunteered at the San Gennaro Festival at Hollywood and Highland. Jodi and her hubby Mario taught mosaic tiling and Anne and I taught some knitting basics. The kids corner was hoppin’! All in all it was a great event that raised a lot of money for various charities.
here is Anne teaching a really good little knitter. These two girls were our best students of the night! Very quick learners! And there I am at the bottom teaching the bigger sister. Both got it so fast and seemed to be having as much fun as we were!

I am a warrior in Sock Wars and I think I was unofficially assassinated late last night. Here’s the deal: each knitter has a target (the person they are knitting for) and an assassin (someone who is knitting for them and trying to “kill” them). My assassin is this really cool woman from NY, Karen. She emailed on Saturday morning saying that she was almost finished with my socks. Bummer. I was 1” into the cuff of my first sock. Her email motivated me to get my butt in gear and knit, so I did, finishing my first-ever sock! I am really proud of it! Then Karen emailed again last night saying that my socks (the proverbial bullet) were going in Monday’s mail, arriving around Wednesday. Oh well, it was fun while it lasted! Plus, I learned how to knit a sock! Next on my needles, a PAIR of socks in Debbie bliss cashmerino. Snuggly!

Many, many thanks go out to Julie at The Little Knittery for the amazing donation of yarn on Saturday. There is an assortment of wool, DK weight, novelty and even some ribbon. The kids are going crazy over this stuff. So many baby sweaters and hats will come from this donation! Everyone should get over to The Little Knittery on Franklin at Vermont and see and feel the great yarn she has for sale. The one-of-a-kind selection is to die for!

Sunday, September 17, 2006

New Kids, Felted Project Bag, Volunteering...a very busy week!

As you all know, school started 11 days ago, and my knitters are all new to the craft. Such a challenge! I have 30 kids in the class, 4 of them are boys. Yipee!!!! Here are some pics of the kids knitting with some donated yarn. The first assignment was to knit a square. Just a simple square. Perfect the knit stitch. Once they passed the inspection, they then tackled the ever-popular-first-project...the scarf. Everyone is knitting for Stitches From the Heart, so we should have a big bag of donations coming soon. I am surprised, this year's group is fast. I gave them a week to finish a scarf, and kids were coming back the next day for more yarn. I don't want to tell them to slow down, but at this rate, I'll run out of stuff for them to knit with! I guess that is a good problem to have, right? If anyone out there has any yarn they want to donate, please email me and I'll figure out a way to pick it up. All donated yarn goes toward charity knitting.

Today I sat down in the knitting oasis and finished the felted bag from last post. I added clear plastic handles, lined it with Eifel Tower print fabric, and added a big polka dot pocket. I love it. It is now my official knitting bag. It is big, roomy and comfortable on the shoulder. Perfect!

All of us at Yarn Garden are pleased to announce that on Friday, September 29th, from 7 pm to 9 pm, Claire LaZebnik will be reading from her new novel "Knitting Under The Influence". We will have wine, cheese and yummy desserts to munch on while Claire reads from her book. I started reading it last night and LOVE IT! Very funny, and some of the characters remind me of some friends I have. We invite all of you to join us for this very special event. If you missed her first reading last week, here is your chance to meet the author, share some fantastic food with a really fun group of knitters. I can't think of a better way to spend a Friday evening. Please call Yarn Garden if you plan to attend. 818-980-6667

As if I didn't have enough going on, Anne and I have volunteered at the Feast of San Gennaro this coming weekend in Hollywood. We are in for a busy weekend. Friday evening and Sunday afternoon we will be in the kids area teaching 100+ kids how to knit. Anne and I made over 100 pair of knitting needles, balled red-white-green yarn and put together little knitting kits for each kid. Are we nuts? Probably. But it is a great cause and we both love the idea of passing on this skill to the next generation. Come on by and say hi! The whole thing takes place all weekend at Hollywood and Highland. It is hosted by Adam Corolla and Jimmy Kimmel, and there are tons of food booths, celebrity chefs, entertainment, rides, etc. I am really excited about the food! If you saw this festival on the Sopranos, or if you have gone in the past when it was at The Grove, you won't be disappointed this year. It sounds HUGE and, of course, all $$ raised goes to charity. Gotta love that!

This week's class at Yarn Garden. The Brea Bag. Finally, we get to this. I have made a few little changes to the original pattern, seen in the past in my blog, and I think it makes the purse easier to knit. This is a great way to expand your use of cables. This is a two-week class, $40 for both weeks. You will need size 11 or 13 needles, depending on how loose you want the stitches, aslo depending on the yarn you choose. I suggest a bulky weight yarn, like Lamb's Pride, my favorite. You will also need a cable needle. If you are interested, the class is Thursday evening, 6:30 to 9:00. We will be meeting this week and next. Please call Yarn Garden to sign up. Space is limited. 818-980-6667

And finally, my favorite non-human in the world. Charlie. My friend Andi was shooting a photo assignment and needed a model. Charlie jumped into the chair and she took some great photos of him. This one is my favorite. He looks so regal. I also love it because I love my livingroom drapes. I am such a girl sometimes!

Have a great week everyone, and I'll see you next time!

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Felting class was a success!!!!

We finished up our felting experience at Yarn Garden this past Thursday. Everyone did such a great job! Here is my project bag, before felting...

...and after felting. The next step is to add handles and a lining with big pockets. Tomorrow's project. I'll post pics when I am finished!

Here are some more purses made that night. Jeri, Madison and Pam all did a fantastic job. Can't wait to see how they look finished.

Here is Misha's messenger bag/backpack.

Emily made 2 purses, one for herself and the other as a gift. Love that color, even though it turned her needles blue.

This Thursday night at Yarn Garden we have the short-sleeved raglan sweater. So EASY!!!!! All you need is some bulky yarn and size 13 or 15 needles. I did this one with a fun yarn from Germany. I love the crazy colors. The class is one week only and costs $30 for the night. 6:30 to 9:00. Call Yarn Garden to sign up! 818-980-6667

Here is a close up of the raglan increases on the sleeve. Love this yarn!

Yep, it happened. School started on Wednesday. I somehow managed to get up at 5am each morning and get my butt to school. This was a tough week. Takes me a few days to get back into the swing of things. Here is a picture of my classroom. You can see some of the fish tanks and habitat displays I have set up. I am really proud of my room, but there is still so much I want to do.

Monday, September 04, 2006

The Knitting Oasis Is Finally Complete!

Mike and I are not that handy, so when I decided to remodel the garage, I called my dad. After a few hours of planning, he and I jumped right in and spent the summer doing hard labor. Drywall, insulation, hanging a ceiling, patching, sanding, painting, carpet...whew! It is so good to be done. Built in 1923, this relic was never finished, just tar paper and studs. Bare bones. The weather got in, the growing vines got in and the spiders got it. I never liked storing important stuff out there since there was no guarantee that it would be safe. My summer project was to turn this dusty, dirty, scary place into a knitting oasis. A place where my friends can come over to do all things crafty. And play Ms. Pac Man, of course.
The garage is two-story, so I put a lot of the "stuff" upstairs in plastic bins, but kept the important junk downstairs. The X-mas stuff, Halloween decorations, etc.
Here is a view of the back corner, with stairs, BEFORE all of the hard work:

...and here is the same corner, after a few weeks of attention and many trips to Home Depot:

Here is a before view of the back of the garage, with window facing out to a big walnut tree.

...and here it is transformed into the sewing center and arcade. We leveled out the floor and put down carpet, even carpeted the stairs. You can sit here and sew something up while watching the squirrels play on the neighbor's garage.

Here is my desk. Since we moved to our new house (2 years and counting) I haven't had a desk. I use the dining room table, which is typically covered in whatever project I am currently working on. Forget about having a meal at the table, I have my sewing out, or I am blocking a big item. Now, I can retire to my knitting oasis, and dive right into whichever project I choose. The table and shelving came from Ikea. The silver cabinet is vintage from an old pharmacy, my dad gave it to me years ago, my first piece of furniture. I LOVE it! The chair was also from my dad. We have similar taste in second-hand furniture.

I had my first visitor on Saturday! Leyla, my friend from Yarn Garden, came over and we went downtown to Michael Levine's. We spent 2 hours picking out fabric for our felted purse lining (I got some great stuff, to be posted next week) and I picked up some needle felting supplies. Here are some of our victories! We felted onto felt, then felted onto a shirt. I even got it to work on paper.

I also have some punch embroidery stuff, seen here in the jars. I tried to get it to work, but I think I need more practice. I keep pulling out the previous stitches as I move forward. Practice, practice, practice.

The teddy bear project: I bought these little guys and am planning to knit sweaters for them. I am designing a cardigan and a pull-over. The book pictured is GREAT if you ever want to knit a bear. I have made a few of the small ones, and am gathering the courage to knit a really big bear.