New Classes at Dances With Wool

wwl-allIt’s always exciting when a new yarn store comes to the area – what yarns are they going to carry?  So it was super exciting when a few months ago Debbie Floyd, the owner of Dances with Wool, got in contact with me.  She was opening a new yarn store in Midlothian, VA.  And she wanted to talk to me about classes.

I’m so excited about this new yarn store to the Richmond VA area, especially as the Knitting Basket is closing.  While I haven’t been by the store since they had their opening, what I did see was a store focused on good quality yarn, beautiful patterns, community and classes.

Starting in November I’ll be teaching a Skill Building class focused around my pattern, Wild Wood Leaves.  It’s a crib blanket with options of three different sizes, and is currently only available if you take the class.  The wonder of this series of classes is you can take the entire series of eight (and get a discount on all of them) or pick and choose which ones you need the most.

The classes are as follows:

  • Week 1, Nov. 2, 6-7 pm – Reading Patterns, Knits and Purls (middle left panel)
  • Week 2, Nov. 9, 6-7 pm – Increases, Decreases and Yarn Overs, Beginning Lace (bottom left panel)
  • Week 3, Nov. 16, 6-7 pm – Color Work With Duplicate Stitch (bottom right panel)
  • Week 4, Nov. 30, 6-7 pm – Color Work With Intarsia (middle right panel)
  • Week 5, Dec. 7, 6-7 pm – Beginning Cables (top left panel)
  • Week 6, Dec. 14, 6-7 pm – Slip Stitches (top right panel)
  • Week 7, Jan. 4, 6-7 pm – Bringing It All Together with Seaming and Finishing (all)
  • Week 8, Jan. 11, 6-7 pm – Picking Up Stitches and Borders (all)

You can sign up for the classes here.

I can’t wait to begin teaching locally again!  I’ve missed being able to do it since Rebecca was born, and I’m so pleased to be able to spend time with students while establishing good foundational knitting skills.

You should also check out Dances with Wool!


A handy tutorial on Duplicate Stitch

Note: I’m on vacation this week!  Some of these posts were originally done for Jordana Paige’s blog, but the rights have reverted back to me so I’m free to publish them myself.  The original post has been edited for clarity.
I was recently reminded of duplicate stitch when I was
working on a pair of color-work socks (I can now reveal: these were a stitch on the bottom of my Octopodes Socks!). I realized that I’d managed to knit the
wrong color in a part of the pattern.  I
practically cried.  I was nearly done
with the sock, and I certainly didn’t want to pull back to nearly the middle to
fix the mistake.  But the mistake was
also terribly noticeable–in fact, I was surprised I hadn’t noticed it before
 After taking a few
deep breaths, and saying a few choice words, I gave some different solutions thought.  I settled on duplicate stitch.  What I ended up doing was covering the
original stitches with stitches in the right color, so it looked like I’d worked the correct color the whole time. 
The area was marginally thicker, but not very noticeable.  I was pleased with the result.
 Duplicate stitch is
most often used to add color to knitting when you don’t want to do complicated
color work, like intarsia or stranded knitting (though duplicate stitch can
also be used in conjunction with them, so you aren’t holding too many
colors).  It can be used to fix mistakes,
as I did, or it can be used to embellish or embroider a knit fabric–perhaps a
sweater that you want to mod.  I’ve been
thinking about doing something to do with scrollwork, vines or some sort of
black and white illustration on an old sweater I have to liven it up.
The duplicate stitch
is basically done by tracing the knit stitches. 
Today we’ll just be focusing on stockinette, though it can be done, with
mixed results, on garter or reverse stockinette.  You’ll need a contrasting color yarn and a
blunt-tip needle. 
Let’s first take a
careful look at the knit stitches in stockinette.  See how they look like zigzags stacked on top
of each other?  I like to think of them
as an army of “V”s standing shoulder to shoulder.  Each “V” is an individual knit stitch.
Thread your needle and insert it in the base of the V where
you want to start your design.  I find it
easiest to work from the bottom left and work up and to the right, though your
mileage may vary.
Now, insert your needle down through the top of one side of
the “V” and up through the other side, like so.
Pull through.
Finally, insert your needle into the base of the “V” again,
where you first came up through the fabric. If you need to, adjust the tension
of the yarn so it matches the tightness, or gauge, of the rest of the fabric.
For the second stitch, repeat the same steps for the “V”
directly above the first.  Repeat as many
times as needed.
Now, you may have need at some point to move over to the
next column of stitches. Simply do the same steps for the “V” Directly next to,
or diagonal to, the one you last worked.
If you need to, you can skip a column or two of stitches to
get to the next place you want to embroider. 
Just remember to leave enough extra yarn so the knit fabric can
stretch.  I recommend that you try to
avoid skipping columns if possible.

When you are finished, weave in your ends.  The back of your knit won’t look quite as
nice as the front, but it still should be tidy.
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