Archive for April, 2010

The cover image from The Pleasures of Knitting
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.

The cover image from Together of Separate: Knitting the New TwinsetAfter 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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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
  • Calculator
  • 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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Mother's Mitts

Mother's MittsMother’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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Author photo of Colorado artist, Joanna Johnson.A New Jersey native, Joanna Johnson and her husband moved to Colorado in 1999 for the sunshine and drier climate and haven’t looked back. Together they have started an independent publishing company called Slate Falls Press. This spring marks the first released publication, Phoebe’s Sweater which was written by Joanna Johnson and illustrated by her husband.

“Phoebe’s Sweater was inspired by our daughter and the time I spent knitting her a jacket while I was pregnant with our second child. When I finished the sweater she was playing in the sprinkler and it was in Phoebe's Sweater Book Coverthe midst of summer’s heat. I called her over to try it on, and at that moment, something seemed so poignant about everything- her carefree playfulness, my pregnancy, the coming changes in the seasons and in our family… it was a very rich moment and inspired the whole story from there.“ Included in the book are patterns for the sweater, a Phoebe doll and a doll-sized sweater to match. The book is sure to make a great gift for a special child with a knitter in their life.

A curly hair little girl proudly models Phoebe's SweaterJoanna comes from a long line of knitters and has her mother and grandmother to thank for her love of knitting today. Like many she relearned as a young adult. Joanna also enjoys sewing and quilting and exploring the wide world of fiber arts, including spinning and weaving with her daughter who also has the “fiber bug.”

Joanna and Eric live in Loveland with their three children. Phoebe travels the world and blogs about her adventures and teaches children about fiber arts, culture and geography.

Come meet Joanna on April 24th from 11am-1pm at the shop for a book singing!

You can connect with Joanna and Phoebe on-line at any of the following:
Joanna’s Website
Phoebe’s Blog
Joanna on Ravelry
Slate Falls Press Group on Ravelry
Joanna on Twitter
Slate Falls Press on Facebook

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Thanks and Congrats!

In January, Freba inspired us to kick off our first community project of 2010. We wanted to support the Central Asia Institute in Montana with this project. Thanks to our wonderful community of knitters My Sister Knits has risen $200 for CAI.

The talents of 33 knitters were pulled together to create three (2 adult and 1 child size), Four Seasons Manos del Uruguay throws (Ravelry) designed by Judith Shangold. Each knitter chose from a pre-selected palette of yarn colors and one of the squares from Shangold’s pattern to knit. They donated not only their time, but the cost of the yarn which was discounted 30% for participants. Tickets to win the three blankets were then sold through March 31st.

The drawing for the blankets took place at the shop this morning and we are pleased to announce that Jeanne Fangman, Francis Gaebler and Diane Field were the winners! Congratulations!

For those unfamiliar with CAI, it was founded by Greg Mortenson the author of Three Cups of Tea and founder of Pennies for Peace. The Central Asia Institute is dedicated to building schools for girls in the remote villages of Afghanistan and Pakistan. Mortenson believes that “if you educate a girl you educate the entire village.”

Thank you to all of those who donated their knitting talents and who purchased raffle tickets! We couldn’t have donated this money to CAI without your support!

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