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An afternoon of Nuno felting

2018 Felt making class with Alanna Nelson

An Afternoon of Nuno Felting

March 9, 2019

1 to 4 pm in Melrose, MA

$65 includes materials

Play with wool, soap and water to create fabric that is sturdy, beautiful and useful. We’ll talk about several ways to create felt and see examples. Learn how your wool choice impact the final fabric.

Create your own wool fabric about the size of a placemat using wool, water and soap.

No tools necessary. The class fee includes wool and simple tools to create your own felt. Wear comfortable shoes, bring a full apron (waterproof is great)  and clothes that don’t mind getting damp.

Class size limited to four people.
Have questions? Contact Alanna

Reserve your place by sending a check to Tactile Travel Fabric & Fiber, P.O. Box 761092 Melrose, MA 02176 or use the PayPal button below. Be sure to include your email address and/or phone number. Your payment is refundable up to three days before the class, provided that your spot is filled by someone off the waiting list.


Your Name



Creating Sequences in Life and Knits

[Knit 2, purl 1] to last three stitches… so goes a current sequence on a new Thorn by Bristol Ivy, which I started while sailing last week. Having knit this in 2014, I know that attention is needed with each new section of this easy yet detail specific scarf.

Alanna Nelson knits Bristol Ivy Thorn scarf

My second Thorn in the same Claudia Handpaints laceweight colorway.

Sequences appear to be a trend this September.  As I declared in my last post , the 8th and 9th were days of sequence knitting. Thanks to the Common Cod, Cecilia Campochiaro set a group of knitters off on a day of sequence exploration. Cecilia is an attentive and flexible speaker and teacher who shared her discoveries and a glorious stack of knit samples from her first book.

Cecilia Campochiaro knits in Boston

The Common Cod Class morning results of sequence knitting samples.

On Friday, Cecilia presented the essence of sequence knitting and her path that led to the book’s creation. Like any innovative researcher, she sought to solve the problem of “what can I knit that is interesting but appropriate for traveling?”

“Holy cats,” I thought to myself. My search for traveling knits never goes much further than Ravelry’s pattern search!

If you’ve not had a chance to explore Sequence Knitting, do take the time. The knitting itself is a bit like Soduku. As you settle into different patterns, the resulting fabric that slips off your needles. 8

Many of us experienced “Aha” moments during the class. I enjoyed playing with the different ways to write out serpentine pattern sequences… it was just like junior high math! Cecilia’s class also brought up the cold hard fact that I own a sweater’s worth of indie dyed superwash dk yarn which I don’t want to use…. any takers?

As she works on her second book, Cecilia used the face time with knitters to ask questions about format, layout and undoubtedly, she observed what made students swoon or a moment of pause.  Those who love knitting for touch and fabric should dive into her first book now. I would heartily recommend spending the day knitting with Cecilia, which definitely jump starts your comprehension and inspiration.

As I reset professional sequences in my life, many of Cecilia’s observations touched home. How fortuitous to concentrate on a series of knitting riffs as I develop the pattern for the next section of my work.

Bristol Ivy speaks at the Common Cod on November 10, with classes also planned… my goodness, I’m in sequence with the Guild speakers so far this year!

 

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Seduced by Softwaves Magnum

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

Melrose Knitting Classes

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…

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

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!