NaKniSweMo and so much going on!

How goes it, NaKniSweMo knitters? Reading the discussions over on Ravelry, it looks like a LOT of people are making great progress. Yay! I almost feel caught up from my MONTH OF MADNESS, aka October. Almost. You can see a lot of pictures from my month on the road over at Instagram — when I have some extra time, I’ll pull out and post a few.

“Caught up,” and yet now the holidays are upon us — I’ve finally gotten my fondest wish, which is having all the parents to our house instead of running around to multiple houses. This also means no fake butter in the potatoes (sorry, mother in law dearest, eating an insane quantity of mashed potatoes with stuffing on top of them is the highlight of my day, and fake butter will not cut it), an unlimited supply of Cranberry Sauce As It Should Be Made and an heirloom turkey from our CSA instead of some grocery store icebomb. Gosh. I’m getting hungry already just thinking about it.

Ok! Knitterly stuff to share. I promised Jill Draper this picture, and here it finally is. I got a sweater-sized skein of her spectacular Empire yarn at Vogue Knitting Live in January, knit the fastest sweater ever and then promptly forgot to take a photo for many months.

I’m pulling it down in the picture because I haven’t put buttons on it yet and long story short, it flies open when I’m wearing it now if I don’t clip it closed (see: hair clip at the top). Design flaw on my part, but the yarn is dreeeeeamy to knit with and knits up super-fast. I love it. LOVE. This color she’s got now is super more gorgeous in person, I was petting it at VKL Chicago…and I kinda want to combine it with this one, since I’m on an Ann Weaver grellowy kick right now.

SPEAK OF THE DEVIL i mean angel i love you ann SHE HAS A NEW BOOK! And The Line, from said book, is enough to convert you to all things grellow if you are not already a fan.

Other cool stuff… I wanted to point out some online classes at Craftsy by my friends that I think are great:

and for not only the knitters, but also the crafters/people who sell on Etsy/etc, our beloved Caro Sheridan’s Online Product Photography class.

Hmm, what else? I’ll be at Indie Knit and Spin in Pittsburgh this weekend selling stuff, so if you’re nearby, c’mon down!

No pranks over here…

Yes, it’s the first day of April, but I’ve got my hands full — no pranks or hoaxes over here! Among the projects on my plate are finishing up some books for my publishing business, taxes (ugh…my sainted accountant has his hands full with me), doing a new design for a yarn company whose products I really like, teaching (Designer 101 is overflowingly full! it’s so fun to work with everyone!), trying to stay on top of the housework, writing 2 big articles and that’s all just on top of the usual. So please forgive me if things are a bit quiet on the blog right now!

If you haven’t already, become a member of the Knitgrrl Ning network — that’s where I’m teaching and so it’s the place to be if you want to see what’s going on class-wise.

Back to work!

Designer 101: the class

Never let it be said that I’m not responsive to direct requests! I had the most lovely email conversation with a reader who was looking for a class on all those little topics that add up into one BIG headache when you are trying to launch your design business. You can see her post about it here. (There’s also a conversation happening in the Budding Designers group on Ravelry).

So, here’s the story: we’re limiting signups to a small group of students. Class is $65 and will run for a month, as per usual, (unless I decide to extend it). If you want in, email me (admin [at] knitgrrl [dot] com) with your PayPal address. VERY excited about this one…

Visit knitgrrl [virtual] studio

New class: marketing & branding

By popular demand (the demand coming after I repeated what Stefanie said about me needing to teach this class to a few people, and them all saying YES YES YES PLEASE): I’m teaching another online class starting after the 15th of this month on marketing, branding and communicating your message effectively.

We’re going to do this a little differently than the current set of classes, though. I want to be sure that the class members have something to teach each other, too, whether it’s because they are from a different discipline, or because they sell their products in venues the majority of students don’t, or… (etc).

Why the emphasis on diversity? I’ve learned a lot watching creative people in other disciplines (such as Jenny Hart of Sublime Stitching), and I’m willing to bet the reverse is true, too. For example, Sublime Stitching now offers PDF patterns as well, which the knitting world has done for some time now.

People get squicked out by the word “marketing,” and for good reason. A lot of the people out there who claim they’re going to teach you about marketing come at it from the absolute wrong perspective. Marketing does not have to be sleazy. Marketing is really:

1. putting your best foot forward
2. communicating effectively
3. meeting the needs of your target audience, information-sharing-wise.

If you’re interested in the class, please fill out the form here. I’m going to limit enrollment numbers in each session, so if you’re interested, now’s the time. This class will be $50 if you fill out the form before the 15th and $75 after.

Of course, as with all my other classes, there will be a lot of talk about the subject from the crafty perspective, though of course noncrafty people are welcome, too.

Sign up for online classes now!

Based on the response to my initial survey about online classes, I’m going to be starting out with four classes: sweater design, fashion illustration for proposals and patterns, felt tricks and Knitgrrl tricks, plus an all day workshop on using sewing patterns or pieces as templates for knit design.

ETA: Classes should start the first week of February, subject to getting everyone enrolled and set up on the software, with the exception of the specific one-day workshops in using sewing patterns as knit templates, which run just for that day.

The classes will be taught using online chat (no particular instant messaging software required, it is built into the website we’re using), video, PDF handouts, and discussions in an online forum where you can also ask questions at any time. The videos are recorded in advance of each class session, though additional videos may be added to answer specific student questions.

Sweater Design

Description: Using Shannon’s ‘treasure map’ technique, which she’s used to teach dozens of knitters how to find their own inner designer, you will learn how to design your own dream sweaters, sized to fit YOU, working with the yarn and knitting techniques you like to use. We’ll primarily examine both top-down raglan and bottom up one-piece fitted sleeve construction, though other construction methods will be discussed if there is interest. Students can knit a miniaturized version of an adult sweater OR a full-sized sweater depending on their preference and personal knitting speed.
You will receive: all necessary handouts for the class, a copy of Shannon’s pattern Exploded View, online support directly from Shannon.
Materials needed: Will be discussed in the first week of class, each student will use their own chosen yarn. If you have no strong preferences, a skein of Cascade 220 is a good starting point.
Week one: Making your map. Elements of a sweater. Measuring and fit. Making gauge work for you. Choosing appropriate styling and features.
Week two: The upper bodice and sleeve cap. Eliminating bulk and creating flattering silhouettes.
Week three: Bust and midsection. Waist shaping. Using cables and other elements for function as well as beauty.
Week four: Sleeves and finishing techniques.
Price: $45
Registration limit: 20

Fashion Illustration

Description: Learn how to draw/create powerful illustrations to accompany your pattern proposals for magazines and books, as well as for your own self-published patterns. Get additional tips and tricks for editorial success from Shannon, who waded through thousands of such proposals as the editor of a monthly UK-based print knitting magazine.
You will receive: all materials needed for class instruction as well as illustration samples you can use for your own proposals if you like.
Materials needed: will be discussed during the first week of class as we explore different types of image creation.
Price: $65
Registration limit: 15

Felt Tricks

Description: Whether you’re a beginning or an experienced felter, learn tips and tricks previously only available in Shannon’s in-person classes. Create a one of a kind hat using multiple techniques and make other projects according to your preferences.
You will receive: a copy of Shannon’s Reboux hat pattern and all materials needed for instruction.
Materials needed: feltable yarn and US #8 12” or 16” circular needle, needlefelting needles (singles and/or Clover needlefelting tool), bubble wrap, cotton waste yarn, wool roving, more… we will discuss during background information the first week of class.
Week one: Felt basics and background. How does it all work?
Week two: Knit and shrink felting.
Week three: Wet and nuno felting.
Week four: Recycled felting and incorporating multiple techniques.
Price: $50
Registration limit: 20

Knitgrrl Tricks

Description: Steeking, provisional cast on, hiding shaping with decorative elements, using needlefelting for practical as well as functional purposes,
You will receive: pattern for class project (a felted bag) and all other instructional materials.
Materials needed: feltable (wool) yarn, US #8 12” or 16” circular needle, cotton waste yarn, 5mm or similarly sized crochet hook, sewing machine (optional), needlefelting needles, buttons and zippers…etc. We’ll discuss this prior to class start date.
Price: $45
Registration limit: 20

Use Sewing Patterns As Knit Templates

Description: An all-day workshop (starting at 11:00 a.m. Eastern and continuing until 11:00 p.m.) with specific chat times and assignments scheduled according to the number of students in each time zone.
You will receive: a print copy of Shannon’s book AlterNation, all PDFs and other learning material.
Materials needed: Denim, corduroy or other similarly-styled jacket (check thrift stores if you don’t have one on hand). Alternately, an old sweater or denim shirt will suffice for practice. Lighter colors are better. Ruler. Pencil or Sharpie. 2 skeins of your chosen yarn.
First session: Saturday 6 February, all day
Second session: Sunday 21 February, all day
Price: $25
Registration limit: 25

To sign up…

…please visit this page.

All registrations prior to 12 January will receive 5% off their class total. All students who register for 2 or more classes will receive 15% off their class total!

Here’s a banner you can use on your website, just link back to this post or — thank you.