latest projects

Maggie's Kitchen

I crocheted what feels like a hundred potholders. I originally planned to participate in this year’s Potholder Swap! but the timing just didn’t work out. I had already made a bunch of little pieces, but then I got busy with the Graveyard Socks and other things. No swap for me. Sad, especially because last year I got the best bunch of potholders ever.

But then the yarn store I teach at, Common Threads Yarn Shop, decided to have a ‘little cotton gifts’ workshop. Potholders are, of course, the perfect little cotton gift. Yay! This Saturday (Apr. 10 from 11am – 2pm) I get to share my growing love for crochet with the masses at the yarn shop. The workshop is free, you don’t need to sign up, and there will be free patterns for a number of little cotton gifts.

Maggie's Kitchen

The pattern for my little potholders is based on and inspired by Bea Aarebrot’s Crochet Potholder pattern. With Bea’s permission, I will be publishing my own version, complete with five edging choices, and offering it for free download. I’m polishing up the pattern as we speak, and should post it by the beginning of next week.

Maggie's Kitchen

Another project I’ve been working on is my Saroyan Shawl. I’ll be teaching a project class for the shawl on April 17th at Common Threads. The design is fantastic, fun to knit, and I used a really, really fun yarn – Silky Wool (or as Cindy calls it, Silly Wool).

Saroyan Shawl
on display at the shop

Saroyan Shawl
looks better on the dress form than on me

Keep an eye out for the free crochet pattern! It’ll be ready soon…

SAFF 2009

This tweet sums up my first Fiber Fair experience. SAFF (Southeastern Animal Fiber Fair) was awesome. Did you know it was my first time going to a regional fiber fest?  And my first time teaching at a regional fiber fest? And my first time away from both my kids overnight?

I think the best part – the very best – was teaching a class. It’s so great to meet friendly knitters who are interested in learning colorwork. Since colorwork is my favorite kind of knitting, I get so eager to pass on the knowledge and hopefully show folks how easy and fun it can be.  I feel safe in saying that everyone in the class “got it” and I just hope they find the joy in the technique (after they get over that awkward feeling of carrying one yarn in each hand). Here they are, working hard.

My workshop peeps

My workshop peeps

My other favorite part was traveling with my knitting buddy Denise and having a class with my knitting/spinning buddy Anne.  No, I didn’t take pictures of either of them. Yes, I was too busy laughing and talking and shopping and spinning to take silly pictures.  Camnesia! It’s a real disorder!

But I can take pictures of my haul, which leads me to another favorite part of SAFF: The Loot.

SAFF 2009 Haul

I’ve read many “Fiber Festival Survival Guides” and had a plan going in.  I made a list and took cash and mostly I stuck to that.  I wanted sport weight wool in natural colors: CHECK (and it’s Shetland)! I wanted a darning mushroom: CHECK (and it’s antique! but not pictured)! And, ahem, that was all that was on my list.  I suppose I knew deep within my soul that if I saw a gorgeous skein of handdyed yarn I would allow myself to buy it.  I found The Sanguine Gryphon booth and pretty much died from the exquisite, breathtaking colors. The red Skinny Bugga in Tomato Frog jumped into my arms, so I bought it.

And the purse handles? Totally an impulse buy and totally purchased with my credit card. I’m making the time today to cast on (or swatch, perhaps) a felted bag (the handles came with a free pattern, but I think I might try some fair isle). The Homestead Heirlooms booth was very, very enticing and they had samples of felted bags to try on and the 30″ handles are the perfect length for me. If you are looking for leather handles for a knitted, crocheted or sewn bag, I’m not kidding, these women have what you want.

Another favorite part of SAFF was my workshop with Rita Buchanan*, Nice Fat Yarn.  I learned SO MUCH in three short hours that I wish I could have taken every one of Rita’s workshops.  I spun some nice fat yarn.

*Interweave is offering some of Rita Buchanan’s past articles as  e-books. I don’t have them but I hear they’re worth checking out.

Nice Fat Yarn

And even though I had to literally dust off my spinning wheel in preparation for taking this class, I think I’m inspired to spin up some more fat yarn. It’s challenging and fun, not to mention fast, and the yarn is light as a feather.  Here’s a closer look at one of the activities we did.

Nice Fat Yarn

In this exercise we started by spinning a normal-to-us weight of yarn (on the left). The we attempted a fatter yarn (middle) and an even fatter yarn (right). It was so awesome and fun. I am almost embarrassed to admit that this was the first time I ever measured wraps per inch. Now that I see how easy it is, and how much you can learn by checking wraps per inch throughout a spinning project, I think I might actually do it.

Lastly, I had a blast and the Fiber-In meet up at the Holiday Inn.  The hosts, Carrie and Lyn, did a wonderful job of organizing the event.  I even won a prize!

SAFF 2009 Haul

I think this is Paca-Peds from The Alpaca Yarn Co.  Love the turquoise and brown combo, even if my camera revolts when it’s time for a picture.

Okay, okay, I said everything was my favorite part.  But it really was!  I can’t wait for next year!