Felt School!

Oh, the fun. You have no idea how much. And the food. And the felt. Everything was fancy, like it was from France. (Sorry. Inside joke. Must be pronounced with full stereotypical Chicago-style “a” to say it correctly).

We’ll have photos up on Flickr and Ravelry soon enough, so I’ll point those out when they appear. Good news for those of you who missed out, though — looks like we’re going to do it again next year. Fancy.

A huge round of applause to Nikol for doing such an amazing job with the organization, food and everything else — if you haven’t yet had an opportunity to attend an event at The Harveyville Project, allow me to recommend it wholeheartedly. There’s much to be said for hanging out in an old high school, particularly if you’re a Buffy fan like me. (Speaking of which, I think we made a few new converts to the Nathan Fillion cause this weekend).

It’s is always a good sign for any workshop when people want to work long past the regularly-scheduled class times. We probably spent well over 9 or 10 hours felting on Saturday alone! Thanks so much to our inaugural group of alumni, who made it 110% delightful.

Felt School group rate / Vickie Howell on podcast

Yay! Due to popular demand, we’ve opened up special group rate pricing for Felt School. If you’ve got a guild, a SnB, heck — four to seven friends who don’t mind sharing a room for Felt School, we’ve got the space for you. Offer open to one group only due to space, so drop us an email asap!

I’m headed to Rhinebeck first thing in the morning, and will be interviewing Vickie Howell of Knitty Gritty tomorrow afternoon on The Knitgrrl Show. The call in number is (718) 664-9504 — don’t be shy!

Unfortunately, we won’t have IM access for questions tomorrow due to being on the road, but if you send in questions before midnight tonight, we’ll be sure to ask them for you! (Did you know that Vickie has a new podcast coming out herself?

Felt School reminder

Not that I need to remind any of you, but Felt School is coming up fast! There are still a few places left if you want to get up close and felty with yours truly. Check out this very cool article recently written about Nikol and the Harveyville Project, too. The description of the food alone… how can you not want to sign up immediately?!

Here’s a pledge to you: I know how many are enrolled as of Nikol’s email this morning. If we have five more signups before 1 October, I will get a yarn-and-fiber-related tattoo from her partner Ron while we’re there, and you all can watch (then blog about my complete pain sissiness for the amusement of your own readers later). Deal? Come on, it’ll be fun!

Registration is open for Felt School!

Check it out!

I am so excited about this event, you have no idea. The background info: Nikol Lohr, author of Naughty Needles, bought several disused school buildings in Harveyville, Kansas. Thus began the Harveyville Project, as recently featured in ReadyMade magazine, etc.

Nikol started doing something called Yarn School. I asked “Why not Felt School? let’s do Felt School!” So we are. I’m teaching a series of felty workshops 27-28 October and it’s going to be fantastic. Or is it felt-tastic? (groans from the audience)

(Spin-and-dye-tastic Yarn School is the month before, with Adrian of Hello Yarn and Jennifer of Whirled Yarn)

Felt School’s all-inclusive price is: $300/person, double occupancy, and the workshop fee includes all classes, use of equipment, most materials (I’ll send out suggestions of stuff you can bring from your stash if you want), accommodation for 2 nights, and all meals. There is also an optional Friday Knit-to-Felt early-bird add-on for $50 — check in Friday afternoon or evening and enjoy a cocktail hour with light supper, then put on your PJs and meet us in the basement to start an optional knit-to-felt project (materials included). If you can’t make it Friday, but still want to do the project, we’ll have homework handouts for you.

Sneak preview? We’ll be doing all kinds of fun stuff, including knit-and-shrink felting, needlefelting, nuno felting, recycled felting and wet felting. Depending on interest, we may also experiment with dyes and other forms of felt-embellishment. If you have any questions about activities or class outlines, check out this page, then comment or drop me an email.

We are going to have so much fun — don’t risk missing out, sign up soon!

My fifteen-year high school reunion is coming up next month and I’m not going, but Felt School? Oh yes, please.

Lime & Violet teach me my ABCs

(“adult beverages” and “cookies,” respectively)

Here’s what happens when you hang out with Lime & Violet this weekend at Knitter’s Connection:

You come home with more fiber than you left with, plus a lonely final margarita. Imagine this phone call to my hotel room, (paraphrased from memory):

Violet: “Are you naked?”
Me: “More or less.”
Violet: “Ok, stay right there, we’re bringing cookies.”

And they did, plus bottled margaritas! Don’t worry, I put on pants. The fiber pictured here is Violet’s, but I also scored some wool and wool/silk blend from Cider Moon at the show. We watched some truly appalling television with Mr. Violet (the Paris Hilton-a-thon on CNN), made plans to take over the universe — you know, like you do — and earlier at the author’s reception, I got to tell my boyfriend’s favorite joke. I won’t repeat it, because you need the fake Scottish accent to make it funny, but it involves sheep and the word “shearing.” Come visit me in person sometime and I’ll tell it to you, too.

Next month the Lime & Violet sock book is out. Exciting! And the taking over the world thing? Yeah, we really do have plans. We’ll announce when we’re good and ready…

Saturday, I taught both spinning and felting. Such talented students, they caught on right away! You would be amazed how well they could spin after just a few hours of practice. It was a fun time. All in all, well worth my second trip to Columbus in as many weeks.

Yesterday, Heather and I signed copies of Felt Frenzy at the local Barnes and Noble. It’s inside the local lifestyle center, or whatever it is they’re calling outdoor malls these days.

Oooh, we’re an Event!

Heather brandishes Felt Frenzy while I make with the embarassing photos.

Good times.

I shouldn’t be posting this

(because if I do, you’ll see them first and buy them before I can!)

Felter extraordinaire Betz White is selling bags of felt scraps in her Etsy shop. Too bad they sold out before I saw them, I’d have bought them all!

One of my plans for this summer was to kit up some of my overflowing studio leftovers — there might be some felt in there, but I doubt I have as much as Betz does, despite being a major-league scrap-and-material hoarder.

Tomorrow I leave for Natasha’s, and from there to teach for Louet in Ontario / for the Sewing and Quilt Expo in Massachusetts.

Guilty, secret admission? My fibers and class materials are more or less packed. 9 days’ worth of clothes and all the other things I need to take along? Not so much. Tamas and I went to Oberlin today to check out the shops (Bead Paradise, burritos, much chocolate, lattes) and I’m just tired.

[Insert evil scientist laugh here]

My friends are so awesome. When we were first putting together Felt Frenzy, Heather and I thought it would be hilarious to have some mad scientist / laboratory photos in the initial “what is felt and how does it work?” section. So, who do you turn to when you need a mad fiber scientist photo? Stefanie Japel — geologist by day, knit designer by night, total babe at all times. I found the photos she and her husband took for us while looking for something else, and couldn’t resist posting one.

Yarn Summit

After a weekend of teaching (and in the case of the Harlot, charming 100+ knitters crammed into a bookstore), Lily Chin, Annie Modesitt, Stephanie Pearl McPhee, Heather Brack and I had dinner. Stephanie dubbed it a “yarn summit” on the way over, evoking Reagan and Gorbachev-go-to-Iceland in my 1980s-addled brain. If you were born after 1985, chances are you have no idea what I’m talking about. Then again, I don’t see the point of Twitter.com, so I guess we’re even.

First — photos from my nuno felting classes at the Original Sewing and Quilt Expo. We had the run of the concession area — a good thing, since nuno felting involves water, and it gets a little drippy. Each class held 17 students, and despite the lovely pastel Cotswold lamb fleece batts from Frene Creek Farm, the second I pulled out some old green/multi merino top from Ashland Bay, everyone gravitated towards it as if it were magnetic and they were metal!

Shredded sari silk in foreground, determined felters plotting their next step in the background

Stringing beads to embed in the nuno

A long scarf with dreadlocky tips (this one was super-gorgeous up close!)

Check out the handspun bits embedded inside, they’ll puff up as it dries

After my book signing Saturday morning, I flew across town to the Yarn Harlot’s talk and book signing. It’s a good 35-minute drive and I was done signing at noon / she started at 2:00. Luckily I was there early enough to grab a chair.

Stephanie amused everyone for an hour and then signed so many books, her hand fell off. No, not really.

After the crowds cleared out, I came back to pick her up. A few phone calls later, dinner plans were settled and we drove back across town to get everyone else and go downtown. Adult beverages were required at this point. Yes.

While driving to dinner, we took a quick drive past the (now-closed) Haab’s Bakery in Cleveland, near the West Side Market. It looks just like a little Alpine cottage, right down to the mountain scene painted on the back. This is Annie yodeling with Stephanie’s sock.

Stephanie and Annie frolicking in the hills, Sound of Music-style. Note the sock and the multiple cameras documenting this moment. What you can’t see: we were parked in a one-way alley to grab these quick shots. An ice cream truck pulled up behind us, jingle-playing, and waited patiently for us to finish our impromptu photoshoot.

Lily menaces Stephanie with lipgloss. Sorry the color is so bizarre, but we were in low-light conditions and I hate that deer-in-the-headlight look you get with flash.

At dinner, we were seated next to a bachelorette party. Someone who shall remain nameless (*cough* Lily *cough*) was coveting their tiaras. Our waiter, Josh, seemed to be having a pretty good time handling our tables. He was participating in some kind of quiz with the bride-to-be as we were walking out. We had to pass up the brewery tour — too tired, plus Stephanie had 6 hours until her flight out. Overall, a fabulous weekend.

Those of you who were in my class, I’d love to see how everything looked when it dried! Send me photos, would you?

Explore Felt Frenzy before you buy

In Felt Frenzy news, check out how cute we are. Interweave’s got a new book listing format with detailed table of contents pages and other bonuses. The photo of Heather and I was taken after a verrrry long day of photoshoot. We’re wearing the “swatchbar” samples from the book.

That’s the coolest thing about Felt Frenzy. There’s an entire page spread of these samplers showing you how different yarns look when they’re felted with another yarn. You can take this info and customize your own patterns without worrying about what it might look like after you spent all that time knitting. We’ve done the work for you!