Tunisian Crochet class at Lion Brand Studio; upcoming events

Yesterday I was in New York City. There was a slightly odd feeling in the city; a bomb had exploded the night before, just eight blocks from the Lion Brand Yarn Studio. There was a large police presence. Sixth Ave. was closed off starting at 14th St. I had to detour a bit to come back on 15th St. the right direction, but it wasn't a big problem. Parking restrictions are not in effect on Sunday and I was fortunate to get a spot right out front. 

That's one big ball of yarn!

That's one big ball of yarn!

I was pleased that all of the students who signed up for the class made it, too. 

It was cool to see this chalkboard set up outside:

Honored to be mentioned with Dora Ohrenstein!

Honored to be mentioned with Dora Ohrenstein!

One reason I love to teach at the Lion Brand Yarn Studio is that they have a dedicated classroom upstairs. It's nice not to be in the midst of the shop floor. Thanks to Gretchen, the Education Director, for inviting me to teach at LBYS.

The "Introduction to Tunisian Crochet" class went great! I love to see folks get excited about the technique. Reminds me of when I first learned Tunisian simple stitch from a book. I couldn't get over it! It created such interesting fabric and was so much fun to do. I had brought samples of Tunisian garments for them to ooh and ah over. We went through the basic stitches (Tunisian simple, knit, purl, and full stitch), and we talked about how to tame the curl, how to work the final row to make things look neat, and how to read Tunisian crochet symbol charts. 

Some of the students are interested in continuing their Tunisian crochet education with more advanced techniques. Maybe we can arrange a follow-up class to work on Tunisian lace, other stitch patterns, shaping, and working in the round.

We were all so busy concentrating on the class that I totally forgot to ask someone to take a picture of me in action! You'll have to use your imagination. I always spend a lot of time walking around the table to check on the students' progress and help them with any problems. 

Downstairs in the shop, the staff and the selection are top-notch. 

The picture doesn't do justice to the yarn display.

The picture doesn't do justice to the yarn display.

And it was nice to see my classes and book-signing listed on the bulletin board.

There's the Crochet Cowls book and a note about the Firelight Turtleneck master class.

There's the Crochet Cowls book and a note about the Firelight Turtleneck master class.

Which brings me to some upcoming events at the Studio and elsewhere:

Wednesday, October 19th, 6:45-8 p.m., Crochet Cowls book-signing and fashion show at the West Chester Public Library, 415 N . Church St., West Chester, PA. Phone 610-696-1721. Register here. Free.

Thursday, October 27th, 6:30-8 p.m., Crochet Cowls official book launch/signing and fashion show at the Lion Brand Yarn Studio, 34 W. 15th St., New York, NY. Phone 212-243-9070. Register here. (All yarn purchased that evening is 20% off with the substitution sheets included with books purchased at the Studio.) Free.

Friday, October 28th, noon-1:30 p.m., Firelight Turtleneck Master Class, Lion Brand Yarn Studio, 34 W. 15th St., New York, NY. Phone 212-243-9070. Register here. Cost: $45 plus materials.

Firelight Turtleneck. (Photo: Shanken Photography Inc.)

Firelight Turtleneck. (Photo: Shanken Photography Inc.)

I hope to see you at some of these events! It's always nice to connect with other crocheters.




What fun it was to go to New York City and spend the evening at Lion Brand Yarn Studio!

It was raining and misty on my drive up, but the weather cooperated when I arrived. (Carrying an umbrella always guarantees that the rain will stop.) I enjoyed an hour or so of exploring the Flatiron neighborhood and watching the people. Lots of dogs, too.

Back at LBYS, studio manager Patty Lyons and I did a brief video chat for "Talks from The Yarniverse." Here's the link if you want to check it out. The talk was filmed in the second-floor classroom, a large space where I have taught before. 

Lion Brand likes to do things in the BIG way, so in the classroom they have giant knitting needles and hooks, a giant ball of yarn, and other oversized things. I was honored to receive what I'm calling "The Order of the Hook," a perpweight in the shape of a crochet hook from Lion Brand CEO David Blumenthal. It weighs almost 11 ounces and my best guess is that it is a size Q, although you wouldn't want to crochet with it because your hand would get sore in two minutes. Don't drop that thing on your toe, either! It's a very nice souvenir that I am pleased to use on my desk to keep my patterns from blowing away.

The event on the first floor, in the lovely retail space, was really fun. We had a good turnout. Scarves were enthusiastically modeled by volunteers, people asked lots of good questions, and my lovely cousin Arlette was there for family support.  Here are a few pictures:



The evening concluded with a book-signing of Crochet Scarves (and Tunisian Crochet--a few people were interested in that, too). I met so many nice people! I was also happy to be able to donate a hat to the collection Lion Brand is putting together for those in need.

After the event was over, I had dinner with my cousin at Mumbles in her neighborhood. It was great to spend some time one-on-one with her.

Now it's time to work on some new designs, a book proposal, a Crochet Scarves trunk show, and projects for MyCrochetKits.com. I hope all of you are feeling energized and are enjoying what you're working on!

Podcast, NYC-bound, and Thoughts on Windows (the Glass Kind, not the Microsoft Kind)

Happy October! It's been busy around here. Did you have a chance to catch my appearance on Marly Bird's Yarn Thing podcast? Here's the link in case you missed it. I enjoyed the conversation--Marly always asks good questions and is fun to talk to. Thursday 10/4 is my appearance at Lion Brand Yarn Studio in NYC. I'll be giving a short talk and hosting an audience-participation fashion show with scarves from Crochet Scarves: Fabulous Fashions, Various Techniques. Want to model? Now's your chance! The event is free, but you have to let them know you're coming. Did you RSVP yet? Here's the link for more information and to register.  I love the Studio and am eager to return there--this will be my third visit. Doors open at 5:30 p.m. and I start doing my thing at 6.

Recently I've been attending to some home chores, including window-cleaning. (Now, before you read on, you have to promise not to give me any window-cleaning advice. I say this not because I am close-minded, or because I don't value your grandma's tried-and-true method, but because I promise you I have tried every technique you could mention. No matter what I still end up with streaky glass and the knowledge that I'm just not good at this! Telling me that you have a foolproof method will only reinforce my feelings of inadequacy in the window-washing department. So, thank you for your restraint!)

Here is a partial list of my unsuccessful attempts. I've tried vinegar (house smelled like salad dressing for a week), crumpled newspapers (ruined my rubber gloves), plain water, water with dish detergent, Windex, paper towels, environmentally friendly glass cleaner, a chamois, soft rags, old towels, and a squeegee. I've cleaned the windows in bright sunlight, when it's overcast, and when the moon is in the seventh house. I even followed a recommendation to wipe up-and-down on the inside and back-and-forth on the outside to make it easier to see which surface was streaky. (Answer: both.)

Even though I'm terrible at cleaning the windows, I am also really slow at it!You may think this is a minor issue, but with 21 double-hung windows, it is a time-consuming enterprise. Or maybe escapade is a better word. Fortunately, the windows tilt in or I'm sure that the caption by my picture would read "Splat!"

I do know to do the upstairs windows before the downstairs ones. Please don't ask me how I learned this.

The frustration of doing the glass is matched only by the disgustingness of cleaning the dead bugs out of the frames and drainage channels. Blecch! I read that there are more than 300,000 species of beetles in the world, most of which apparently sent representatives to die in my window frames. I brushed them out with toothbrushes and flushed them out with water.  Some of the not-quite-dead ones weren't too happy about this, including several torpid stink bugs and a quite angry wasp.

My goal was to finish this chore before the exterior painting began, so I wouldn't be washing dirt and bugs onto pristine new paint. As far as that goes, I am pleased to report Mission: Accomplished. The painters are here today and my house is ready for them. True, the windows could probably be cleaner and less streaky, but the bugs have been banished and I made enough of a difference that I can actually see through the glass now!

Now I can turn my attention back to my crochet projects. I'm enjoying my work for Debra at My Crochet Kits. She packages yarn and patterns together so crocheters have exactly what they need and can start on a project right away--what a super idea! Debra is featuring several of my patterns, including some I designed just for her. Here's the link to her site.

With the leaves turning and a nip in the air, I'm inspired to create nice warm accessories. Hope you are feeling invigorated, too!