It seems this year spring did not decide to skip us. We’ve had some really cool and even gray days this time around. But, before you know it we’ll be finding ourselves getting chilled in over air conditioned restaurants, theaters and shops in no time. Last summer, under the instructions of a wholistic bodywork practitioner I was instructed to carry a lightweight scarf with me at all times. She was convinced a lot of my upper back/shoulder/neck pain was actually caused by cool draft on my neck and upper back. I thought she was nuts. At the time my hair was quite long and covered my neck. I decided to give it a fair go and was pleasantly surprised to find that keeping my neck covered in air conditioned environments even if I did not feel chilled really started to show some improvement in my trouble areas.
Last summer I went the route of store bought scarves. It was the quickest solution. Over the winter I’ve increased my store bought scarf wardrobe a bit. But it kept bugging me that as a knitter I was buying all these scarves. This shrug came about because I wanted something versatile to wear, lightweight to carry with me, and easy to tuck into my bag so it is at hand. While the shrug when worn as a shrug does not provide a lot of neck coverage, it does add some extra warmth to the upper arms and upper back – surprisingly more coverage that you think it will when you are knitting it. As a bonus, if it is your neck that really needs the coverage, you can easily wear it around your neck as a tube scarf due to its simple construction – especially the larger sizes that are a bit longer from cuff-to-cuff.
Cirrus uses a small repeat, easily memorized and non-directional lace pattern to keep the knitting straight forward and easy to knit. Choose your size based on your upper arm circumference (1″ of positive ease is recommended), then you can follow the given instructions to customize the back width as directed. The options for customizing the shrug are nearly endless – make longer or fuller sleeves! You could even substitute in a different lace pattern if you are adventurous.
The pattern is available in this month’s Stitches Newsletter (PDF). The model shown here is the smallest, sized for a 14″ across back width and 11″ upper arm circumference. It is knit in the wonderfully gorgeous Madelinetosh tosh sock yarn in the Nostalgia colorway. The two smallest sizes can be knit from a single 4 oz skein of fingering weight yarn.
Now, which yarn and color do I want to use for my own shrug? Hmmm…
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New York City born Donna Druchunas lives in the region with her husband, mother and three cats. As a child she learned many crafts from the women in her life including knitting, crochet, rug-hooking, embroidery, and sewing. Like many she took a break from crafting, hers lasting 25 years.
For 20 years she worked as a writer, designer and creative servies manager in a variety of industries from large industry to small business and even military training facilities. These jobs strengthened her skills in technical writing and creative services. Eventually she broke away from corporate culture and combined her interest in knitting with her skill in writing easy-to-follow instructions. Her designs and features have appeared in a wide variety of magazines and the pattern lines of a variety of yarn companies. She has also authored six knitting books, including the award winning Arctic Lace.
Donna’s latest book, Successful Lace Knitting: Celebrating the Work of Dorothy Reade, will be released on May 10th. The book contains more than 25 knitting patterns from many top designers, each pattern using lace stitches designed by Dorthy Reade. This book is more than a pattern book though. It is also a biography of Dorthy Reade who is considered by many the mother of modern lace knitting. There is also a section designed to take the mystery out of reading charts and knitting lace.
We are excited to welcome Donna to the shop on May 8th from 10am – 4pm for her Lace 1-2-3 workshop where she will take you through the ins and outs of knitting lace, including reading charts. The workshop is $65 + supplies. Please bring your own lunch. Space is limited so call or stop in soon to sign up!
You can connect with Donna in any of the following locations:
Her Six Knitting Books
- The Knitted Rug
- Acrtic Lace
- Ethnic Knitting Discovery
- Kitty Knits
- Ethnic Knitting Exploration
- Successful Lace Knitting
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Author and knitwear designer, Ann McCauley, learned to knit from her mother as a child. While touring Europe as a professional dancer her interest intensified as she observed knitters all around her. In 1980 she began designing sweaters, focusing on classic lines and strong textural stitches with crisp and smooth fibers. She has written two books, The Pleasures of Knitting and Together or Separate: Knitting the New Twinset. Both include many contemporary yet classic sweater designs. The second one focuses on two (or three) coordinating pieces which may or may not be the traditional shell and cardigan combo one thinks of when seeing the term “twinset.” The coordinating patterns can be knit and worn together or as stand alone pieces. There is a good review of it at The Independent Stitch.
On Tuesday, May 4 we are excited to welcome Ann to the shop. There will be a free trunk show where you can see the designs from her books for yourself from 4-5pm. Following the trunk show, Ann will be teaching a class on Movement for Knitters from 5-7pm for $30. In that class you will learn a variety of techniques to keep your body happy despite the repetitive movements of knitting.
“An awareness of alignment, body mechanics, self-help hand care and pressure points is covered in Movement for Knitters that gives us many, many tools for being able to comfortably knit as much as we would like to. Dare I say even a little obsessively for some of us. I try to give as many tools as possible in class because I recognize that different things work for different people and I encourage knitters to stay connected to the ones that work for them. The ‘icing on the cake’ is that nothing in our bodies is an isolated event so we inevitably end up supporting even more than our knitting with these awarenesses and tools.”
Ann has a bachelor’s degree in dance therapy and a masters in dance in addition to having had a long career as a performing modern dancer. The physical strains of being a performing dancer inevitably leads one to also study body movement and mechanics and seek out body work. She has found Jin Shin Jyutsu, an ancient Japanese modality that focuses on pressure points, to be most effective for her and began practicing it in 1986. For over 20 years Ann has brought her knowledge of movement to a wide variety of people, including 14 years of teaching at the Boulder College of Massage Therapy, and 20 years at The National Theatre Conservatory in Denver for a 3 year MFA program for actors.
After having published two books so quickly Ann is enjoying focusing on single designs. In addition to her books she has designed for Louet and will have several patterns appearing in future issues of Knitter’s Magazine, including the soon to be out Summer issue. On of the perks according to Ann is “getting to meet way more knitters and visit way more yarn shops than I ever could have anticipated.” You can learn more about Ann’s design background and philosophy in a blog interview conducted by Donna Druchunas.
So let’s show Ann how great our shop is! Stop in for the free trunk show from 4-5pm and sign up for her class so you can better care for your body when knitting. Stop by or call to sign-up. Space is limited to 10 students!
If you are taking her class, please bring with you any current project in progress, and paper and pen for notetaking. Handouts are included, but Knitting Together or Separate is recommended and will be available for purchase at the shop.
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Posted in Classes, Knitting on April 27, 2010 |
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We have added an extra class to the spring schedule. We are excited to welcome back Ann Budd for a 2-day Sweater Finishing class on Sunday and Monday May 16th and 17th from 9:30am-4pm. Cost for both days is $110 with lunch included or $100 if you bring your own lunch. There is a minimum of 10 students and a maximum of 20, so sign up soon!
From Ann Budd:
In this two-day workshop, we’ll make a pullover for a toddler following the pullover instructions in The Knitter’s Handy Book of Sweater Patterns by Ann Budd. The sweater will be worked in four pieces—one back, one front, and two sleeves. To minimize the amount of knitting, all students will work a small sweater in worsted-weight yarn. To prepare for the class, students will knit the four pieces to the armholes and choose between drop-shoulder, modified drop-shoulder, and set-in sleeve shaping, and between round and V-neck shaping. ( See a picture of the sweaters for the workshop on Ann’s blog at http://annbuddknits.blogspot.com/2010/03/weekend-workshop.html.
What You’ll Need
- The Knitter’s Handy Guide to Sweater Patterns (or make arrangements to share with a friend)
- The Knitter’s Companion or other technique reference book (optional but helpful)
- 2 skeins of worsted weight yarn such as Cascade 220 (you may need only 1 skein but you want to be sure not to run out)
- Size 7 or 8 straight needles plus a set of double-pointed one size smaller for neckband
- Pen or pencil and paper for taking notes
- Tape measure
- Tapestry needle
- Stitch holders
- Small scissors
- Round stitch markers and removable stitch markers
- Graph paper if you want to add a stitch pattern (optional)
More detailed homework information will be provided when you sign up for the workshop. But there will be homework to complete before coming to the first class!
Don’t forget all the other fantastic classes we have coming up in May and June! In addition to another Ann Budd class we also have authors Donna Druchunas and Ann McCauley teaching some great classes! Check out the full schedule at http://www.mysisterknits.com/files/MSKSpringSchedule10.pdf.
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Posted in Crochet, Free Patterns, Knitting, tagged Amanda Berka, Crochet, free pattern, Knitting, mitts, shawls, stoles on April 23, 2010 |
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Mother’s Day is fast approaching. How better to pamper your mother than to maker her something special? In our April newsletter we featured a very quick knit pattern – Mother’s Mitts (ravlery link). They are knit from Louet Gems Fingering, but you could use any lighter weight sock yarn as well. Download the newsletter now to get your copy of the pattern.
Shawls, stoles and scarves are always a nice choice to knit for mom too. Or, perhaps you should treat yourself for Mother’s Day! No one appreciates all the hard work you do for your family than you! Check out some of these free shawl, stole and stole knit and crochet patterns:
Are you knitting or crocheting something for your mother? What are you making?
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