Learn Something New in Just 1 Hour!

STS MW Mkt SnSTITCHES Midwest is only a few weeks away and I’m looking forward to teaching my two three hour classes, Intarsia Ins and Outs and Stripes of All Types. The first has a very hands-on technique focus. The second focusses on stripes from a design perspective, though we do a lot of knitting to see how they can be used within our craft.

I’ve also got nine (number 9, number 9, number 9…) Market Sessions (what’s a Market Session? post from last year) on my schedule this time! Try Continental Knitting, Stranded Color, or Knitting in Both Directions (that’s from the right needle to the left—whoa). Or explore some edging options with Edgier Edges or Pleasing Plaits (NEW!). Or for something completely different, learn how to tie sailor’s knots with rope and take home reference handout so you can tie them in I-cord at home.

I’ve included the schedule below: as you can see, there are a lot of other choices (registration page here)! And remember the free Learn to Knit and Learn to Crochet classes. Drag those friends that keep saying they want to learn to the show, and we’ll teach them!

See you in Schaumburg!


I-Cord, I-Cord, I-Cord

Knotted Coasters and Trivets
Knotted Coasters and Trivets

Ever get obsessed with something? I-cord was the topic for me a few months back. A simple little tube, yet so many possibilities: drawstrings for bags and booties, edgings for sweaters and cowls, button loops, …  and MORE!

End result of obsession? New patterns for you in Creative Knitting Presents Just in Time Knits and a series of 3 1-hour Market Session classes that will debut at STITCHES West in Santa Clara this coming weekend.

Yards of plain Stockinette I-cord are knotted with sailors’ knots to form the coasters and trivets you see above; a tutorial I wrote is included to lead you through the knotty bits (ha. ha.). The necklaces below are also embellished with knots, and if you like, you can up your I-cord game by using stitch patterns.

Look interesting, but you have no idea how to make I-cord? If you’re heading to STITCHES, the Market Session series begins with an Introducing I-Cord class on Friday afternoon, then continues with Jazz Up That I-Cord and I-Cord on the Edge on Saturday.

One last shameless plug, though this one is not for me! If you’re looking for other things to do with these and other types of cord, check out Kellie Nuss’s Almost Instant Necklace Scarf Market Session, which just happens to be right between Jazz Up That I-Cord and I-Cord on the Edge on Saturday’s schedule (no, that wasn’t planned or anything… ;).

Addendum to the Post

In my writing and teaching, it is always my intent to share information: to excite, empower and inspire readers and students about the topic at hand.

I research and read, I experiment, I synthesize, and then present curated content to the reader and student. It is not my intention to claim credit for invention, but merely to spread knowledge.

While my class handouts always list resources for the student to consult for further study, the article published in Creative Knitting did not have space for such attribution, being only a two-page spread. Herewith, I present the list of relevant resources, exclusive of the ones that did not add to knowledge already gained.



Epstein, Nicky. Knitting Over the Edge
Hershberg, Betsy. Betsy Beads
Hiatt, June Hemmons. Principles of Knitting
McEneely, Naomi. Compendium of Finishing Techniques
Phillips, Mary Walker. Creative Knitting
Thomas, Mary. Mary Thomas’s Knitting Book
Zimmerman, Elizabeth. Knitting Without Tears, Knitting Workshop, Knitting Around





Belash, Constantine A. Braiding & Knotting
Budworth, Geoffrey & Hopkins, Richard. What Knot?
Budworth, Geoffrey & Hopkins, Richard. What Knot?
Collingwood, Peter. The Techniques of Ply-Split Braiding
Owen, Roderick. Braids: 250 Patterns from Japan, Peru & Beyond


STITCHES East 2014

Another STITCHES East has come and gone – seems like only yesterday I got my laundry done after MidWest. Maybe it’s because so much has happened since then that it feels like yesterday: Small Man started middle school and is now riding the bus there on his own (!); U12 soccer season is in full swing so there go the weekends; I’ve been trying to exercise regularly because a) it makes me more productive and b) I plan to live FOREVER; and of course there’s been a bit of editing, designing and new class development. And I’ve finally made progress on getting my old See Jane Knit patterns laid out and ready for upload and sale on Ravelry. More news on that soon…

Busy-ness has a way of distracting one from watching time pass, I guess.

The Highlights

Bear's Smokehouse
Kansas City style BBQ at Bear’s Smokehouse on Arch Street

Having grown up a few hours away down I-91/the parkway and driven back and forth over the Charter Oak bridge to college in Worcester, it’s been interesting coming to Hartford for STITCHES. The city has changed a lot over the last few years, and seems to be doing really well—at least as measured by the number of new restaurants walking distance from the Convention Center. Arch Street Tavern is a perennial favorite, and now Bear’s Smokehouse next door has been added to the list. Mmm…

STITCHES East I Love Yarn Day photo
STITCHES folks with the Hartford Convention Center staff celebrating I Love Yarn Day

I Love Yarn Day (Friday, Oct. 10) coincided with STITCHES East. Many attendees were in class when the Hartford Courant stopped by to take the photo at right, but a few of us teachers, vendors and XRX/STITCHES staff were around to see (and taste!) the ginormous cake made in honor of it.

Silk skirt from Darn Good Yarn
Silk skirt purchase from Darn Good Yarn

Shuttling between classes and various other commitments, I didn’t get as much time to spend on the Market floor as I usually do. But fellow Market Session teacher Kellie Nuss came up with a new class idea as she browsed the Darn Good Yarn booth. Nicole and the Darn Good yarn team have some fantastic products for knitting, crocheting, crafting and wearing, AND they do good in the world. Their products are made from recycled materials, keeping them out of landfill and turning them into things of beauty instead, and they employ women in India and Nepal seeking to provide for their families. How awesome is that???

If you know about my immediate prior work life with Akvo, you know why their mission strikes a chord with me. Darn Good Yarn is participating in Dream Big America this week, a site which gives entrepreneurs a voice (and audience) for their ideas. If you have a few minutes, head there and listen to what she has to say; it may change the way you think about your yarn purchases.


Students in my Thursday Cowl-o-rama! class got to spend their 3 class hours in one of the Convention Center boardrooms overlooking the Market floor. How fun to see it go from bare to beautiful while we discussed the details of yarn, shape, and stitch pattern! Having our own private bathroom didn’t hurt either.

We’ve brought back a new, improved version of the Market Session sample board in order to better communicate to students what these 1-hour classes have to offer. The board sits outside the floor, in the general region of the ticket booth/ registration desk/ front doors. For those of you coming to West, keep your eyes open for it—there may be a few new features to Market Sessions for you to check out!

KLITCH class samples
KLITCH class samples

15 students spent their Sunday afternoon with me, working Through, On & Around their knits. They made it through all 6 techniques, and took what they learned to some creative new places. It’s always a treat to see the variations this class inspires! And class, you have inspired me in return: thank you, all!


Thanks to all of you who spent time with me at STITCHES East, for that matter. Don’t forget to take your 10K Students card with you next time, and check out what’s going on over there at the website now and again. Even if you haven’t yet taken a class from one of us (Gwen, Kellie, Sarah or me ;) you can still sign up for the newsletter (discover our top 10 knitting books!).

Back to work on those SJK patterns now…!

STITCHES Midwest Market Sessions

STITCHES Midwest Market Session brochure
Download the STITCHES Midwest Market Session brochure

Classes are an integral part of STITCHES events. Even folks who attend only to hit the Market know they could choose to learn secrets of the sleeve cap from Patty Lyons, crochet around the corner with Edie Eckman or go in crazy circles with Myra Wood. But what to do when you don’t have time for Market and a 3 to 6 hour class?

Learn something new in just 1 hour.

That’s the tag line for STITCHES Market Sessions, short classes held right on (or near) the Market floor so it’s easy to pop in for one, then get back to shopping afterward. Classes focus on giving you a taste of a technique (ever try stranded color? Tunisian crochet? continental knitting?), learning an essential skill (fixing mistakes, simple seaming, picking up stitches) or doing something fun (magic twist-knit, dye with kool-aid, make a spiral bead bracelet). There’s no homework, so all you need to bring to class is yourself and your materials. Each class is $25, and you can either pre-register or register on-site (click here for STITCHES Midwest 2014 Market Session registration. Note that registering before August 7th gets you free entry to the Market all weekend, including the Thursday night preview!).

Samples for new Market Session classes.
Clockwise from top: Cords With a Twist, Macramé Friendship Bracelets and Jazz Up That I-Cord samples

Class offerings change from time to time, just as they do with the longer classes. I’ve been cooking up a few new ones for STITCHES Midwest, based on where my interests have lately been wandering. Which is toward using stitch patterns in I-cord (Jazz Up That I-Cord!), variations possible when twisting cord (Cords With a Twist) and tying macramé knots (Macramé Friendship Bracelet).

The common themes? Cords (great for trims, handles, jewelry). Using up left over bits of yarn (Mom would be proud). And gifting possiblities (because the holidays are just waiting to creep up on all of us).

I look forward to bringing my new favorite techniques to STITCHES Midwest and its attendees. We’re going to have fun with them! If you’re in the Chicago area, come join us in Schaumberg.

P.S. Got friends who don’t know how to knit or crochet? Bring them, and we’ll give them materials and knowledge necessary to get started. Learn to Knit and Learn to Crochet classes are FREE!