A stitch in time...thoughts from an addicted knitter.

Monday, January 31, 2005

TNNA Review - Offhand Designs

I met Larisa, owner and "Idea Hamster" of Offhand Designs at TNNA in Ohio. She was at TNNA in Long Beach and this time I got to spend more time with her and see some of her new creations. Larissa herself is incredibly nice. She is also quirky and fun...and so are her great handbags. She creates her bags out of vintage brocades & velvets, preferring to use those materials as a high-quality alternative to leather.

Offhand Designs has some great knitting bags and needle clutches.

Offhand Designs Knitting Bags & Needle Clutches

But I must admit what I'm really in love with are the Satellites, especially Tia in Goldenrod Stripe & Nina in Rose. She also has a great Sophia handbag that would be perfect for a bride. I only wish I had seen it before I got married!

Tia in Wheat, Mango & Goldenrod Stripe

Nina in Rose and Dots

Sophia Bag

Larissa, as Off Hand Designs, is going to be at Stitches West next week. If you're going you should check out her booth.

~ Christina

Related Posts:
January 20 TNNA in Long Beach
January 25 TNNA Review - Overview
January 26 TNNA Review - Elongated Beaded Bag Class
January 27 TNNA Review - Weaving Techniques As Applied To Knits Class

Thursday, January 27, 2005

TNNA Review - Weaving Techniques As Applied To Knits Class

Taught by Lily Chin

In high school and college I wasn't very good at doing my homework. I usually got A's and B's on my tests, but just couldn't ever seem to get around to the homework. It was the same with my homework for this class. I started the homework, and made 3 of the 5 swatches before the class, but didn't quite get around to making the other two. Luckily they were only 1 inch swatches and I was able to do them during the demonstration parts of the class.

Basically Lily had us make 5 swatches in various stitches (seed, stockinette and reverse stockinette) and then she showed us her "up/down" and "in/out" method to weave a separate yarn into the swatches. She also showed us how to us a slip stitch method and create a "weft" thread that we could weave into.

For me the coolest thing about this class was how you can make designs that look like intarsia knitting without...well...intarsia knitting. You can also get some really cool textures in your knitting. Plus, Lily Chin is pretty entertaining. She has a quirky sense of style and humor that keeps you amused. I would definitely recommend this class!

~ Christina

Related Posts:
January 20 TNNA in Long Beach
January 25 TNNA Review - Overview
January 26 TNNA Review - Elongated Beaded Bag Class

Wednesday, January 26, 2005

TNNA Review - Elongated Beaded Bag Class

Taught by Judy Pascale

I had seen this technique on knitty gritty (using a crochet hook to add the beads to knitting rather then stringing them on the yarn ahead of time) and was intrigued. There was a time I used to spend any spare moment making bead jewelry. Anyhow, this was such a great class and Judy was a funny presenter who gave clear instructions and provided excellent handouts.

Judy Pascale's Beaded Bags

I didn't have any homework, but apparently there was a supply list. Tina signed me up for the class (thanks Tina, so cool!) so I didn't get the list. Ms. Pascale was so very nice enough to lend me some spare yarn, knitting needles and a larger crochet hook for the cast on. Then included in the class material fee were beads and a small crochet hook (size US9).

Since this class was taught at TNNA it was targeted towards needle art shop owners. The emphasis was on learning the techniques so that a class could be taught on it at each person's shop. Here is what I learned:

  • A crochet over a knitting needle cast on

  • A specific beaded slip stitch pattern Judy designed for this bag

  • A couple of bag finishing techniques(Garter Stitch & Reverse Stockinette Stitch

  • A couple strap options (garter strat & mock rib strap)

  • A couple of bag closure options(button flap & zipper)

  • An easier way to do a three needle bind-off
  • How to add a base that allows the bag to sit upright

Judy had several samples of beaded bags using these techniques available for us to look at. All-in-all it was a great class and I can't wait to incorporate beading into my knitting!

~ Christina

Related Posts:
January 20 TNNA in Long Beach
January 25 TNNA Review - Overview

    Tuesday, January 25, 2005

    TNNA Review - Overview

    Boy am I tired...but I had an amazing experience at the TNNA Trade Show in Long Beach. I thought it would be fun for me to provide a "report" on my experience over several days this week. This first one will be a general overview and then I'll go into detail on my classes, people I met, cool things I saw, etc.

    First and foremost I have to thank Tina for inviting me on this adventure! For one of my reports I'll talk about some of her new products that are going on my future WIP list.

    _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

    I arrived late Thursday night and got home late Monday night. On Friday morning I had my first class, "Elongated Beaded Bag" taught by Judy Pascale. The rest of the day was spent helping Tina set-up the KnitWhits booth. Dinner Friday night was at Islands (not the best service, but the food was ok).

    On Saturday the marketplace opened and I was busy selling, selling, selling in the KnitWhits booth. That night a group of us went out to dinner at Outback Steakhouse and celebrated with a few drinks. Our waiter had a lot of flare (if you've seen Office Space you know what I mean). Fun!

    Sunday morning I had my second class "Weaving Techniques As Applied To Knits" taught by Lily Chin. Then even more selling in the KnitWhits booth. Sunday night we had a more refined dinner at Utopia Restaurant near our hotel (the service, food and company was great!).

    Monday was the last day of the marketplace. I got a little time away from the booth with Tina when she went to place her yarn order at Cascade Yarns. It was neat to be a part of the yarn buying process...and the best part...Tina bought me LOTS of yarn as a thank you!

    Stay tuned for more on this trip...

    ~ Christina

    Related Posts:
    January 20 TNNA in Long Beach

    Thursday, January 20, 2005

    TNNA in Long Beach

    Well I'm off again...this time to the TNNA Trade Show in Long Beach. My friend Tina (of Knitwhits) has a booth and I'm going to help her sell her wonderful kits. I also get to take two classes (courtesy of Tina). One is called "Weaving Techniques As Applied To Knits" and is taught by Lily Chin. The other is "Elongated Beaded Bag" taught by Judy Pascale. They should be fun! I have homework for the class with Ms. Chin, but it's not until Sunday AM so I'm hoping I can get it done in the evenings.

    I'll be back late Monday night so have a great weekend!

    ~ Christina

    Wednesday, January 19, 2005

    Progress on Aurora Melange Socks

    I got a lot of knitting done on my Aurora Melange Socks while in Tahoe last weekend.

    Aurora Melange Sock in Progress

    I decided to make the leg of the socks really long so they could be a cross between leg warmers & socks. I have a few more inches to go and then I'll be at the toe!

    ~ Christina

    Related Posts:
    January 12 Aurora Melange Socks

    Tuesday, January 18, 2005

    Weekend in Tahoe

    Sorry I've been silent the last few days. I took a half-day Friday and all day on Monday off to have an extended weekend and go with friends to The Ridge Tahoe Resort in South Lake Tahoe. It was beautiful!

    View of Snow Covered Valley from Tahoe Ridge Resort

    I don't ski or snowboard (they call me snowplow) but I did enjoy the snow and the knitting time. We watched Napoleon Dynamite twice (my third & fourth time!) & Garden State. Went out to dinner and played ping pong. I even convinced my DH to drive all the way up to Truckee so I could check-out Jimmy Beans Wool.

    Jimmy Beans Wool in Truckee

    While there I bought some yarn to work on a warm & soft scarf for myself.

    Rowan Big Wool Scarf in Progress

    The yarn is Rowan Big Wool in color 34 and I'm using my size 17 double points. It's basic stockinette stitch, 15 stitches across.

    ~ Christina

    Wednesday, January 12, 2005

    Aurora Melange Socks

    I have plenty of Karabella Aurora Melange yarn left to knit me some socks! Well they'll be more like slipper-socks I can wear around my freezing house then socks I'll actually wear outside and in shoes; they'll be too thick for that.

    I've cast on and knit just past the ribbing for the first sock.

    Beginning of Karabella Aurora Melange Sock

    The pattern I'm using is Knitting Pure & Simple Beginner Socks #9728. I used it when I knit my first pair of socks (which I gave to my DH). These are a great "travel" project once I get used to knitting a small object with double pointed needles again.

    ~ Christina

    Tuesday, January 11, 2005

    Aurora Melange Hat

    Here are photos of the hat I made with the yarn my sister gave me for Christmas.

    Aurora Melange Hat

    A few weeks back Spinnity was wearing a similar style hat at the Knitting Meetup and I liked how the ribbed brim was folded over. So I copied her (thanks Spinnity!).

    The yarn is Karabella Aurora Melange yarn, color 0011. I cast on 80 stitches and used a two by two rib stitch for the entire hat. When the hat was about 10" long I began the k2tog decreases, starting with a k2tog every 8 stitches. I then knit a row without decreases, and then knit a row decreasing every 7 stitches, knit a row without decreases, and then knit a row decreasing every 6 stitches, etc.

    The only thing I wish I had done differently was to start the decreases a little sooner. I feel like the hat is just a little bit too long (like by two rows).

    ~ Christina

    Related Posts:
    December 28 Lucky Me!

    Thursday, January 06, 2005

    Lucky Find!

    I'm so excited! I went to Knitting Arts with a woman from work and they just got some more Cascade 220 in...and they had the dark grey 4002 color I need to finish the Cascade 220 Felted Bag...and it was on sale for 20% off. How great is that!?!

    ~ Christina

    Related Posts:
    October 13 Stop the Madness
    October 22 Half Way There
    November 22 I'm in Knitting Heaven

    Tuesday, January 04, 2005

    Green Manos Ribbed Scarf Finished!

    That took long enough. For some reason I kept putting this project down and starting others. Then returning to it every few weeks to knit a few rows.

    Green Manos del Uraguay Ribbed Scarf

    Today I mailed it off to my BIL Shea's girlfriend as a belated Christmas present (no it didn't end up going to my MIL. It's too warm for her). Shea and his girlfriend live in North Carolina so I hope the scarf will get some use in the colder weather.

    ~ Christina

    Related Posts:
    October 11 Green Manos Ribbed Scarf

    Monday, January 03, 2005

    Needs vs. Wants

    I was going to write tonight about finishing the green manos ribbed scarf...and then I read Yarn Harlots blogand decided I had something more important to post about.

    Stephanie (AKA Yarn Harlot) started by talking about her BIL, who works for MSF (Medecines Sans Frontieres AKA Doctors Without Borders). She then posted a challenge on her blog and I think it's a very worthwhile message. She challenged her readers to think about our purchases throughout the week and decide if they were a "need" (food, water, shelter, medicine or safety) or a "want". She then urged us to donate the amount we would have spent on our "wants" to MSF.

    I'm now urging you to do the same. If you decide to donate, here are the links:

    MSF United States
    MSF International

    I feel so lucky to have a roof over my head (albeit a sketchy one), clothes on my back, food in my stomach and money for my "wants".

    ~ Christina

    Sunday, January 02, 2005

    Mandi & Khurshed's Blanket

    Knitting Arts is having a sale, with everything in the store 20% off and select items 30% & 40% off. So I figured it was a good time to buy the yarn for Mandi & Khurshed's blanket. Plus I had the gift certificate my BIL gave me!

    Yarn for Mandi & Khurshed's Blanket

    The bulk of the blanket will be in the Karabella Yarns Camissimo. It's 50% extrafine Merino, 32% Baby Camel, and 18% Polyamid. Each ball is 98 yards and I bought six of the Camissimo. I also bought two balls of Crystal Palace Yarns Whisper. It's 100% microfiber nylon and so soft! I'm either going to use it for the edge or I'll knit it in every few rows. I haven't decided yet. I don't think 600 yards is enough for a blanket (anyone out there ever knit one and can give me some advise?). I might find another yarn in tan or cream that compliments the Camissimo and alternate between the two. For now I'm just going to knit some of it up and see how it feels. One of the requirements for this blanket is that it must be soft.

    Ok, well I'm off to the Sunday Stitch 'N Bitch!

    ~ Christina

    Related Posts:
    October 13 Stop the Madness!

    Saturday, January 01, 2005

    Happy New Year!

    Wishing you all a wonderful 2005. Happy Knitting!

    ~ Christina