Archive | class RSS feed for this section

Seduced by Softwaves Magnum

24 Jan

One of the InStitches knitters brought Laura Irwin’s Softwaves Magnum to class last week.

Alanna Nelson pattern alterations for Softwaves magnum

Laura Irwin Softwaves Magnum

Simple knitting, large needles, super bulky yarn… what more could you ask for? This was a great mindless knitting project that would result in an interesting addition to my winter wardrobe. And a fun addition to the present shelf, too!

This week, her scarf was knit and it was time to sew it together. While the instructions are clear, it was the Flickr photo stream that finally made the second step of the construction clear.

I am smitten. Having already searched my stash for super bulky yarn and come up empty, I began to consider what makes this cowl work. Of course it’s the weight of the yarn, but equally important is a single ply for the structure. Sticky yarn would be difficult to drop…. unless you didn’t do the drop stitch.

What if I cast on 100 st, worked garter for 3 rows, wrapped one row double then dropped it in the next? Bind off, then sew together?
Oh, I’m ready to buy some super bulky yarn and find out.

Melrose Knitting Classes

30 Jun Knitting Lessons Melrose by Alanna Nelson

Word is getting out! More people are learning about the Melrose Adult Education program’s topics and signing up to learn painting, acting, business skills, interior design and craft.  Yours truly will lead a basic knitting skills class on August 5 and 12 from 7 pm to 8:30

  • Basic Knitting Skills: Learn 2 ways to cast on, to knit, to purl, and how to bind off. Understand some of the most common abbreviations in knitting patterns and get ready to work on a basic knitting project! Bring light colored, smooth (no novelty yarns, please) worsted or bulky weight yarn and appropriate size of knitting needle.  This class works for those who have never knit before, or need a refresher class. With your MCAE registration confirmation  Sit ‘n Knit Melrose offers 10% discount on your class supplies. 7 – 8:30 p.m. Offered on Mondays August 5 and 12, 2013. COST: $25.00

I’ll also lead morning and evening sessions for Sit’n Knit’s boot camp series.  Seaming knits, buttonholes and new ways to cast on and bind off will be the feature topics. I’ll let you know when registration is open for these Tuesday classes that begin August 13.Knitting Lessons Melrose by Alanna Nelson

On your way to the Master’s…

11 Jun

More than four months into Level 3 of The Knitting Guild of America’s Master Hand Knitting Program, I’ve completed reviews, reports and absorbed the contents of a lot of knitting references (thank goodness for interlibrary loans). To date, 12 of the 19 swatches are blocked, labeled and complete with swatch pages. Generally, the swatches were knit twice before they were worthy of blocking. I’ve answered the associated questions for these swatches.  Onward and upward, I tell myself.

Soon, I’ll resolve my yarn choice for the doily. Isager’s Plant Fiber sounds and feels luscious, but I’ve never knit with it. Should I spend so much on a doily which could just as easily use Brown Sheep’s Cotton Fine for 40% less expense? Design notes, swatches, measurements and yarn options ferment for my hat and sweater designs. Combination ugh and delight, my attitude about the final level of the program ranges from joyful, determined, focused to dejected and incredulous (now why am I doing this when there are so many things I’d love to knit or crochet?).

Slowing the process slightly is my learning curve on making charts using Illustrator.  The program doesn’t require anything nice computerized patterns, but it’s been a longtime goal of mine to develop a pattern template and graphic style for the patterns I write.  Makes sense that I personally consider this to be part of a Master Knitter skill set.

My nagging fear:  Not following the directions completely, which results in rework for sheer carelessness.  If there’s one thing that I’ve learned about the Master Knitter Program, following directions, checking your work, letting others review your work and then checking it again perhaps has been the most valuable lesson (remember, I’ve been knitting for decades!).

This post is more brain unload than informative, inspirational or entertaining.  There are online forums and I enjoy support from 2 other local knitters who are tackling the program, but Master Knitter journey is quite solitary.

Thanks for listening.

Summer 2013 Learn to Knit in Melrose

5 Jun

In case your bucket list includes learning to knit, or you just need a refresher to start stitching again, Melrose Adult Community Education and the MetroNorth Y are sponsoring two sessions this summer.
Learn to Knit
I’ll teach 2 ways to cast on, to knit, to purl, and how to bind off. You’ll learn common abbreviations in knitting patterns and get ready to work on a basic knitting project! Bring light colored, smooth (no novelty yarns, please) worsted or bulky weight yarn and appropriate size of knitting needle. With your MCAE registration confirmation  Sit ‘n Knit Melrose offers 10% discount on your class supplies. 7 – 8:30 p.m. Offered on Mondays July 8 and 15 and August 5 and 12, 2013. COST: $25.00

Click to register.

It’s always fun to watch people grown on their knitting journey, and I’m glad I can be a part of it!

Fair Isle Knitting Class

24 Apr

Fair Isle Knit Class in MelroseWord has it  that there’s still room in the April 29, 2013 Fair Isle Knitting class that I’m teaching in Melrose.  I’ll show your three different ways to try knitting with 2 colors in the same row, show you how to read charts, get you thinking about color choices and details that will improve your workmanship and finishing for Fair Isle knitting.  It’s just one night, so we practice on a small sample (pictured above).

Bring along 3 contrasting colors of worsted weight yarn and appropriate needles.  If you’re happy to work on double pointed needles or with the magic loop method, great!  If not, we’ll work with straight needles and sew up your sample.  Cast on 36 stitches and work 2 rows in purl stitch before class.  This way, you can concentrate on the fair isle while we’re together.

To register, go to the Melrose Adult Education.  Need yarn?  Sit and Knit in Melrose will give you a 10% discount on class supplies with your registration confirmation.  If you have any questions, email me at tactile @ mac dot com.

 

Learn Knitting Skills in Melrose

28 Mar

The Melrose Adult Education program list is growing by leaps and bounds this spring!  There’s opportunities to learn about painting, acting, business skills, interior design and craft.  Yours truly will lead two sessions on basic knitting skills, a lecture on how to make a duct tape mannequin and fair isle (stranded) knitting skills.  To register, go the Melrose Adult Education Office for the full schedule and registration forms.  Here’s class summaries for the sessions I’m leading:

  • Basic Knitting Skills: Learn 2 ways to cast on, to knit, to purl, and how to bind off. Understand some of the most common abbreviations in knitting patterns and get ready to work on a basic knitting project! Bring light colored, smooth (no novelty yarns, please) worsted or bulky weight yarn and appropriate size of knitting needle. With your MCAE registration confirmation  Sit ‘n Knit Melrose offers 10% discount on your class supplies. 7 – 8:30 p.m. Offered on Mondays April 1 & 8 and May 6 & 13, 2013. COST: $25.00
  • Make Your Own Duct Tape Mannequin:   A dressmaker’s mannequin is a helpful tool for sewists, knitters and crocheters. Ideally, it fits your body and your pocketbook! For many hobby garment makers, a duct tape mannequin is the perfect solution. This power point presentation and demonstration helps you and a couple of friends create your own duct tape mannequins. Handouts will help remind you of the steps when you try this at home. Monday, April 22, 2013  Time: 7:00 – 8:30, COST: $10.00
  • Fair Isle Knitting: Knitting with more than one color at a time creates classic or contemporary accents in your projects. Learn Fair Isle (also known as stranded) knitting techniques using English and Continental methods and read charts. Bright 3 contrasting colors of worsted weight yarns and appropriate sized knitting needles (if you’re comfortable working with double pointed or the “Magic Loop” circular knitting, fantastic!  If not, you can learn with straight needles (Monday, April 29, 2013) Time: 7:00 – 8:30 p.m. COST: $25.00

All classes are held at the Milano Senior Center in Melrose, 201 West Foster St.  I hear that you’ll soon be able to register online, and I’ll keep you updated.

The Voyage Begins: TKGA Master Knitter, Level 3

24 Jan

The temperatures have dipped into the zone where evenings are spent curled up with a hand work project.  One advantage of living in New England is completely justified hibernation during the winter.  Last week, however, I enrolled in the Master Knitter Level 3 program of The Knitting Guild of America, so I will dedicate many evenings in the next year to completing these program requirements. Alanna Nelson Master Knitter TKGA Level 3 is the highest level in the TKGA program, and while I don’t need  to knit a flowered carpet in 13 weeks, (as one historical European knitting guild required), there’s quite a few projects, reviews, reports and swatches on my list for 2013.

Last year, I was one of 15 people who completed the Level 2 requirements.  The research and review of the literature, the opportunity to evaluate and improve my knitting, pattern writing and design skills create a great learning environment.  The program also improves your ability to read and communicate in “knit speak.”

It is a lot of work.  You will invest time and money to produce your notebooks (not to mention improvements to your knitting library!).  When people ask me if the Master Knitter Program is worth it, I ask about their goals… it’s certainly not for everyone.  If you are serious about knitting, enjoy research, appreciate detail and your ego can withstand the critiques given by the committee, it is an effective learning tool.

Here I go!

Knit Class this fall in Melrose, MA

24 Sep

As the temperatures cool and the kids go back to school, are you thinking of trying something new?  How about knitting?  The new Melrose Adult Education class listings include knitting this fall, with yours truly launching you onto new knitted horizons.  In five evenings, you can learn the essentials of knitting: knit, purl, cast on, bind off, increase and decrease while creating your own snow friend.  Download their brochure with the entire class listings here.  Meanwhile, I still enjoy my sessions at Sit ‘n Knit. Janet and I have talked about launching a knitting boot camp this fall.  We’ll kick off with a class on seaming (everyone groans, I know).  We can help you be pleased with your end results!  Call the shop at 781.662.9548 for more details.