Vogue Knitting Live 2014 – Chicago

I spent this past weekend at the Palmer House in Chicago with lots of other women (and men) who have a passion for knitting and fiber. This was an awesome birthday present from my Mom and Dad and my Mom joined me for this wonderful weekend! It was full of learning and touching/feeling beautiful yarn. The market place was full of local yarn shops, fiber farms and knitting accessories. My Mom and I walked through the market place at least 6 times and loved just looking at the selection and displays.

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I’m not from Chagrin Falls, OH but my mom is.

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Me and my mom before our morning classes

My mom and I both took classes on Saturday. My Mom’s class was Learn Two-Color Knitting with Amy Detjen. She really enjoyed it and spoke very highly of Amy. I took the class A Sheep of a Different Color taught by Rhonda Fargnoli.

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This was the description of the class: “This full-day class will focus on understanding breeds of sheep and the unique fiber that they produce. This fun and informative two part class, will include knitting and dyeing. Students will be given a journal and will create several 4″ x 4 ” simple swatches in class. The swatches will be labeled by fiber content and then will be dyed using botanical extracts such as Cochineal and Indigo. The students will then record the hues that are produced from the different fibers and breeds and tag them and place in their journals. The class will also discuss what patterns would be best suited for each fiber. This process will assist students with their future knitting and dyeing projects.”

I expected to learn about different types of fiber and how they knit up and how to dye them. What we actually did was way more hands-on and discussion based. I very much enjoyed what we did and learned a lot. We wound up balls of different types of yarn to get a feel of each yarn then we knitted with each one to see how they knit up in to a swatch. Then we dyed our swatches and documented the process.

Flax

Fibra Natura – Flax – 100% Linen – Indigo

NoroCashmere

Noro – 100% Cashmere – Cochineal then Indigo

NoroBlend

Noro – 30% Cashmere 30% Silk 40% Lambs Wool – Indigo then Cochineal

Llama

Fibra Natura – Llamalini – 40% Royal Llama 25% Linen 35% Silk – Indigo/Cochineal mixture

KnitPicks

Knit Picks – 100% Peruvian Highland Wool – One Indigo, One Cochineal

Huntington

Valley Yarns – Huntington – 75% Fine Superwash Merino Wool 25% Nylon – Cochineal then Indigo

DeluxeWorsted

Deluxe Worsted – 100% Wool – Cochineal

The process was very informative and hands on. Seeing how the yarn soaked up the dye in different ways was very interesting. I did experiment a little with the colors. Some I just put in the indigo (blue) or cochineal (Red) dye others I put in both and I even made a purple mix of the dye to see what would happen. I have a plastic sheet that holds all of this in one spot and it’s great for future reference. Here are some other pictures from the weekend.

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The Dyeing Table

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Final Product

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An Alpaca Bear – In one of my favorite booths – Black Wolf Ranch

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Me and My Mom

I posted on my Instagram through out the weekend and my work was posted on the Vogue Knitting Live Instagram, which was very exciting!

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My swatches!

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Those are my fingers!

The whole weekend was a great learning experience! I loved seeing how many other people share my passion and put their own spin on it! I will definitely be attending in the future hopefully taking more classes. Maybe one day I’ll be a vendor in the market place.

My first post and first knit along

I recently just got involved at my local yarn shop, Knitche. I stopped by there one day to purchase some yarn for a baby sweater I was knitting for a friend. I just fell in love with the store, the atmosphere, the selection, and all the nice people. I have officially dubbed it my local yarn shop even though it is quite far distance from my actual home.knitchecookiernd.103201126_std

After my first purchase, I looked at taking some classes at Knitche and I found this thing called a knit along. To my surprise, it is exactly what it sounds like. People, mostly women, get together and knit the same project with an employee who helps with questions. I was a bit nervous the first time I went but it’s now become a regular part of my Saturday.

They picked a sweater project that I normally would not have chosen myself. It is the Beaubourg sweater by Julie Hoover.

I first went to Knitche to sign up for the knit along and pick out my yarn for the project. Luckily, Amanda, who is in charge of the knit a long, was working that day and she helped me pick out my colors. I wasn’t really set on any color scheme, I was going to pick what ever jumped out at me. The sweater is suppose to be knit all as one color but they did not have enough of one color lot to complete the whole sweater so I decided to pick two colors and do a transition in the sweater.

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Quince and Co. – Lark. Frost and Split Pea

I ended up choosing Quince and Company – Lark, frost and split pea. I still wasn’t sure how I was going to transition the colors but I knew I had more split pea so I started knitting with that.

The sweater is knit from the bottom up. The pattern says to knit each side separately but Amanda said she was going to knit both sides at the same time. I thought this was a great idea and did the same.

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Knitting both sides on one circular needle

The sweater went very quickly and soon I had to figure out how I was going to transition. I experimented with illustrator and decided on doing a gradient transition.

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Transition from Split Pea to Frost

When I knit I try not to look to far ahead in to the pattern because I get overwhelmed the parts of the pattern I don’t understand yet. This turned out great for this pattern. I did not imagine the sleeves being a part of my gradient transition even though I was knitting them. It turned out much better then I expected!

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The back and the front

Once I completed all the pieces, I had to figure out how to sew it all together. I searched on Ravelry a little bit to see what others did to stitch it up. It’s a unique sweater because the “wrong side” is actually the “right side” and the edges would be exposed. I ended up doing a Saddle Stitch, which made the edges really pop.

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Finished!

I finished a blocked the sweater and wore it this past Sunday. It fits great and is very warm. I can’t wait to show it off at Vogue Knitting Live Chicago this weekend!