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Fun Things in August and September!

You guys, I can’t believe August is almost over! What did you do this summer?

Here’s my knitting news:

New patterns out this summer and fall:
Talamed

 

 

 


Continuing my love of slip stitches and all things reversible, I’ve made a cardigan pattern inspired by the Book of Kells! You can find it in Carol Feller’s new book, Echoes of Heather and Stone, along with many other simply gorgeous patterns, all inspired by ancient Ireland.

She interviewed me about my design, and if you’d like to read it (and watch a recording of our Instagram live chat, in which I felt slightly awkward but prevailed), you can find them on her website, Stolen Stitches, here.

Kairos
A squishy, almost geometric, brioche shawl pattern. Also reversible. ūüôā

Mosaica
Engaging, constantly changing, full of small repeats. Get started with mosaic knitting!

Knitalong
If you follow me on Instagram, maybe you’ve been knitting along on a Mosaica shawl! It’s been great fun to watch everyone’s shawls growing. I love all the colour choices; seriously, I haven’t seen a bad one yet.

Check them all out there by searching the #MosaicaKAL hashtag, and you can even still join in! It’s a very low-stress knitalong. Just post photos of your shawl in progress with that tag, and tag me as well @aknitica. I’ll be announcing the prizes soon (since August is almost over!), and I’ll be scrolling through the tagged posts and randomly pointing at pictures to pick a few winners. Free patterns, anyone? And don’t forget, the Mosaica pattern is free on Ravelry until the end of August. Grab it quickly before the sale is over!

Knitting Classes
My monthly fall classes start in September, and if you’re in the Ottawa area, there’s still time to register!

Click on the little Google Calendar widget in the sidebar to see my complete schedule. (You can even import your class to your own Google Calendar from there!)

I’ll be teaching my own knit-anything classes at Rideau Park on Alta Vista, which you can sign up for right here. These are my weekly clubs in which you can bring absolutely anything knitting related to get my help. We can fix anything! I can also help you knit a sweater, some socks, a lace shawl… whatever you want. Anything goes.

Wabi Sabi on Wellington has invited me to teach a brioche cowl class, some knit-any-project classes, and a continental knitting workshop this fall. Go to their website to register. I will definitely teach you how to fix brioche if you ask!

I’ll be at Maker Savvy in Kanata on Thursday afternoons and evenings. Check out their website¬†after September 1st to see the schedule and to register! Expect classes on my reversible cable technique, a brioche shawl, mosaic knitting, and Fair Isle mittens in which we make the ever-ridiculously-adorable Tiny-Santa mittens.

My summer was really great.
We took the kids to the Toronto Zoo and Ripley’s Aquarium, spent some time at the cottage, and then lounged around the house. I took a week-long “Alla Prima Portraiture” class (that’s just fancy speak for all-at-once portrait painting, which is kind of crazy and fun. You basically just throw a painting together in a few hours, starting with the big shadow and highlight shapes, then gradually refining them into a recognizable human being. I’m still practicing.)

To end the summer, we bought a puppy. I kid you not. I must have lost my mind, but I’m glad I did. He’s fantastic, and my kids are fully occupied with snuggling him and taking him for walks and playing tug of war with his tiny rope toy.

 

That’s all for now! I hope to see you this fall, whether it’s in person at a class, or online on Instagram or Facebook. ūüôā Happy knitting!

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How You Can Learn to Be the Best Knitter Ever

Okay, maybe that’s a slight exaggeration. ūüėČ But seriously, I’m teaching knitting classes! And in each one, no matter what the topic, I want my students to learn all the little tips and tricks that have taken my own knitting to the next level. I want them to know that they can knit anything. So far, we’ve been having a ton of fun together.

So what does this have to do with you? Well, if you’re in the Ottawa area and you’d like to hang out with me and learn some really cool stuff, you could join me for a class or two. If you’re not in my area, I’m also toying with the notion of teaching private lessons via Skype or maybe Google Helpouts. My specialty? Fixing mistakes and learning to read your knitting. I am the master of dropping stitches and reconstructing knitting messes. Just ask my students. ūüėČ

I’ll also be posting more tutorials here as I create them for my classes. Upcoming topics will be some of my favourite specialty cast ons, picking up and knitting in various places, and perfect double-knit thumbs. I don’t want to reproduce the basics that are already out there on the internet. I’m going to aim for some more specialized techniques that you may not have heard about yet.

I’m also available to teach workshops and give private lessons. If I still have your interest, here are the classes I have available so far. Some of them are running at Yarn Forward on Bank Street, and I’m happy to teach them in other places, too, if you’re looking for a knitting teacher. I’m constantly developing new courses¬†based on my students’ interests. If you don’t see what you want in this list, ask for a new one!

How to Design a Hat

4 Sunday afternoons: September 7, 14, 21, & 28 from 12:30 – 2:30 pm at Yarn Forward on Bank Street.

Learn basic hat constructions, how to modify them, and how to add your own design elements to them. Hats are a great first designing project. They’re small, simple canvases on which to begin getting comfortable with customizations. We’ll be putting your favourite stitch patterns or colourwork patterns into a hat construction of your choice.

Super Adorable Baby Knitting

6 Sunday afternoons: September 7, 14, 21, 28, October 5, 12 from 3 – 5 pm at Yarn Forward on Bank Street.

Are you, or do you know, a cloth diaperer? ¬†Well, let’s knit some wool soakers and longies! ¬†As you may know, wool is one of the best fibres for soaking up moisture while still keeping baby warm. ¬†And the wool you can buy nowadays is far from scratchy; in fact, it’s gorgeous. ¬†We’ll talk about the various parts in a wool soaker’s construction and why they’re there. ¬†We’ll knit one (or two… they’re addictive) up for ourselves. ¬†And then, since this is Canada and winter is coming, we’ll knit a pair of wool longies, too. ¬†What better way to keep babies warm and dry in their cribs? ¬†During this class, you’ll learn all sorts of interesting techniques, like my favourite provisional cast on, increasing and decreasing, practically-invisible short rows, a perfect way to sew in ends, Kitchener stitch, and I-cords, to say the least. ¬†Whether you’re a parent, a grandparent, a friend whose friends keeps having babies, or just a person who loves quick, adorable knitting projects that make perfect gifts, this is the class for you.
Baby soaker pattern in the Super Adorable Baby Knitting Class by Amanda Schwabe. www.aknitica.com

Double Knit Hat and Mittens

8 Thursday evenings: September 11, 18, 25, October 2, 9, 16, 23, 30 from 7 – 9 pm at Yarn Forward on Bank Street.
Let’s make the coziest winter set you’ve ever seen: woolen, double-layer hat and mittens. ¬†Wool has incredible properties — absorbing up to 30% of its weight in water while retaining warmth — and the new 100% wools are far from scratchy. ¬†So let’s take advantage of that, and take it to the next level with some double knitting. ¬†We’ll start off with the basics of double knitting in the round, and then we’ll move on to shaping a hat and then some mittens. ¬†They will be reversible! ¬†You’ll have the choice of making one or both sides patterned.¬†¬†
perfect thumbs in double knitting. a new class with Amanda Schwabe

How to Cable and Knit Mittens

6 Sunday afternoons: October 5, 12, 19, 26, November 2, 9 from 12:30 Р2:30 pm at Yarn Forward on Bank Street. You can book your spot at www.bookeo.com/yarnforward
This class is brought to you by special request. ¬†Would you like to dive into cabling? ¬†Let’s do it together on a small, cozy project: mittens! ¬†Whether you have knit mittens before or this is your first time, this is the class for you! ¬†We’ll take our time and learn all about cabling, and then we’ll knit a cute pair of cabled mitts in the round. ¬†I’ll walk you through the thumb and finger shaping as we go. ¬†At the end, you’ll also receive a bonus matching cabled hat pattern. ¬†What could be better?

Beginner’s Knitting

6 Sunday afternoons: October 26, November 2, 9, 16, 23, 30 from 3 Р5 pm at Yarn Forward on Bank Street. You can book your spot at www.bookeo.com/yarnforward
Is learning to knit on your bucket list? ¬†Then you’re obviously very smart. ¬†Studies are showing that knitting reduces tension, increases creativity, and helps us focus. ¬†In this relaxed, friendly class, you’ll learn all you need to know to get started. ¬†My goal is to give you the confidence and skills to not only knit, but knit well for a lifetime. ¬†We’ll learn about all the basics, answer all your questions, and make some cute things, too.

Knit Your Own Project

6 Thursday evenings: November 13, 20, 27, December 4, 11, 18 from 7 Р9 pm at Yarn Forward on Bank Street. You can book your spot at www.bookeo.com/yarnforward
This is a class for knitters who know how to knit and purl and need to move on to the next stage. You¬†select and work your own project at your own speed, and¬†I’m¬†there to help, encourage, and facilitate your¬†work. I can’t wait to see the projects you’ll bring!

How to Read Your Knitting and Fix Mistakes

One 4-hour workshop: Sunday, December 7, 2014 from 1 Р5 pm at Yarn Forward on Bank Street. You can book your spot at www.bookeo.com/yarnforward

Have you ever looked at your knitting and thought, “Something looks wrong. ¬†But I don’t know what happened!”? ¬†If you’ve ever wondered how your stitch count went off, where that extra stitch came from (or disappeared to), or why your lace looks all wrong, then this is the class for you. ¬†We’ll look closely at our knitting and get to know it in a new way. ¬†Then, we’ll make some mistakes on purpose — don’t worry, I’ll be holding your hand the whole way — and we’ll fix them like superheroes. ¬†Never let a dropped stitch or mis-crossed cable scare you again.

How to Not Hate Finishing

One 4-hour workshop: Sunday, December 14, 2014 from 1 Р5 pm at Yarn Forward on Bank Street. You can book your spot at www.bookeo.com/yarnforward

Have you ever groaned in fear at the thought of sewing seams or working a button band? ¬†So have I. ¬†But I’ve learned a couple tricks over the years that have made my fear a thing of the past. ¬†Join me for this afternoon seminar where I’ll teach you the four most important finishing skills I know.

Knit a Beautiful Lace Shawl

Six 2-hour classes
Lacy shawls are in style!¬† We’re going to knit a simple, triangular shawl, with the kinds of techniques you’ll find in many patterns online: garter-tab cast on, a simple increase pattern that creates the shape, and a beautiful-yet-simple allover lace design. ¬†We’ll talk about placing stitch markers, how and why to use a lifeline, how to read your lace and avoid making mistakes, and then how to fix your mistakes when they happen. ¬†We’ll finish up with a simple and stretchy lace cast-off technique. ¬†Then, we’ll wash and block our shawls together and sew in our ends. ¬†When we’re finished, you’ll have something absolutely beautiful to wear and the confidence to make something more complex.
Scintillate Shawl pattern by Amanda Schwabe. www.aknitica.com #knitting  #shawls #cozy

Two-at-a-Time Toe-Up Socks

Six 2-hour classes
Are you looking for a different way to make socks? ¬†There are so many fun methods to try! ¬†With the two-at-a-time Magic Loop method, never suffer from Second Sock Syndrome again. ¬†In this class, we’ll learn a special cast on for starting at the toes and a couple ways to increase them. We’ll talk about sock construction and how to modify it. ¬†We’ll talk about toe-up heel methods and how to choose a favourite. ¬†We’ll knit the legs, and then we’ll learn some stretchy bind-off methods so we can actually put our socks on. ¬†We’ll also talk about knitting socks that fit and how to measure feet.