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In Person Knitting Classes Are Back!

I have missed my students so much. I’m so happy to announce that I’ve booked my previous space, and I’m ready to resume teaching knitting while in the same room as other people!!!

So, if you’ve been missing that hands-on instruction and help, I really hope you’ll join me. I can’t wait to dive in and get my (sanitized) hands all over your knitting projects! Some problems really do get solved more easily in person, when I can see them up close. (Although, I’m really pleased with how much turned out to be possible over Zoom.)

I think our knitting-together reunion is going to be so great. I’ve been thinking of all of you, wondering how you’re doing (and what you’ve been knitting, of course!), and missing your faces and stories and personalities. I get to meet the coolest people at my knitting classes.

To ease us back in to meeting in person, let’s acknowledge that it’s going to be weird. It’s been awkward and a bit unnerving to re-emerge from my home cocoon. I think we’re all feeling a mixture of excitement and anxiety, especially since COVID isn’t gone. So let’s lean in to the weirdness together and make space for each others’ discomfort. It’s a normal feeling, and I expect everyone to have varying levels of comfort with their personal space and health concerns.

I will have a mask with me, and I’m happy to wear it, especially when you need hands-on help. You may choose to wear a mask or not, and you won’t have to explain your decision to any of us. Do what feels best for your own health and peace of mind. I’ll also bring my hand sanitizer to use between projects. (I splurged and got a lovely moisturizing one from Rocky Mountain Soap Company after the first year of dry and irritated skin, so my hands can now handle frequent sanitizing.) We’ll be able to open a window in our knitting space to bring in fresh air, and if anyone wants to sit apart or hide away in a corner, no one will bat an eye. We’re all figuring this out as we go.

New and returning students are all very welcome! I really hope everyone will pop in for at least one class just to say hi. ūüôā And please bring your pandemic projects for some show and tell. I’d love to see what you made at home. I made a lot of really plain, soothing, low-concentration things. I designed zero new things over the last 2 years. But I sure knit a ton of stripey socks and Musselburgh hats! And I did practice my painting a lot. I suppose all my creative brain power went into the paintings instead of the knitting.

You can sign up for classes here.

Thank you all for being part of my knitting circle. The best thing about knitting together is how much I end up learning from you — the incredible range of personalities, professions, interests, favourite colours, and, of course, book recommendations. My life is so much bigger because of all of you.

I hope you’re well, and I can’t wait to see you.

We start back in person April 24th. In the meantime, happy knitting!

Amanda

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Summer Knitting Classes in Ottawa

My yarn shop is closing! I’ve been teaching knitting classes at Yarn Forward & Sew On in Ottawa for the last 4 years, and it has been heavenly. The owner, Carol, is retiring, and June 30th will be the last day of Yarn Forward. It seems so surreal.

So what will happen now? Well, I’ll keep teaching. It’s my thing.

Summer Knitting Classes

If you’re going to be around Ottawa this summer, let’s knit together! I’m going to run Sunday afternoon and Tuesday morning knitting classes, and we’ll be knitting in a comfy, couch-laden space at Rideau Park United Church on Alta Vista Drive in Ottawa.

If you’re visiting the city on vacation, you can sign up to drop in for one class. It would be great to meet in person!

The summer classes will be of the “knit your own project” variety. You bring whatever you’re working on, and I’ll help you in any way you like. If you need to learn a new cast on to go with your pattern, no problem. Or maybe you’re looking for help turning a sock heel or making a sweater or learning brioche. Bring anything. We’ll figure it out.

You can sign up for classes here.

I have some new patterns, too! The latest is Kairos, a squishy brioche shawl. You can grab it here or on Ravelry.

Knitting In Ottawa

Ottawa is such a great city for knitters! Even with Yarn Forward closing, there’s a great selection of yarn shops around and knitterly things to do. If you’re travelling and looking for Ottawa yarn shops, let me get you started:

Wabi Sabi is close to downtown and full of cool knitting and spinning supplies.

In the west end, Yarn Forward in Kanata will be replaced by a new yarn shop, Yarns Ewe’ll Love!, in the same location with the same lovely Louise. She already has a Facebook page up!

In the east end, Wool N’Things in Orleans is packed full of treasures.

Middle/south is Wool-Tyme, a HUGE yarn shop; I think they say they’re the biggest in Canada?

The Canada Agriculture and Food Museum isn’t exactly a yarn shop, but it’s a working farm that you can tour that has sheep and mohair goats!

Upper Canada Village, south of Ottawa along the St. Lawrence River, is one of those old-timey villages where actors pretend they’re from the past and are confused by your smartphones. They have fresh bread, cheese, a working old spinning mill, and yarn! Very woolly yarn from their sheep.

Alpaca Tracks T(h)read Lightly is an alpaca farm out in the country south of the city, not far from highway 416, and with a little farm store full of alpaca things.

If you go a little further south, you’ll find Louet just outside Prescott! They have a little shop, Hilltop Wool Boutique, to visit.

In nearby Perth, there’s Unraveled, a fantastic yarn shop full of good stuff.

Smiths Falls boasts Yarns Aplenty. I still need to visit that one!

Sheeps Ahoy! is actually a mostly mail-order Canadian source for Jamieson & Smith yarns from Shetland, but if you make an appointment, Deb will show you every single Jamieson & Smith colour available. She carries the entire line, here in Ottawa!

We’ve got local indie dyers and fibre festivals, as well! Depending on when you’re visiting, you might find a festival nearby in Almonte (Fibrefest), Kemptville (Leeds Grenville Fibre Extravaganza), Picton (Prince Edward County Fibre Fest), and in Ottawa (Lansdowne Textiles Festival). Am I missing any?

Purlin’ J’s Roving Yarn Co. is a yarn truck. Let me repeat: yarn truck. Yarn that travels around the area! How cool is that?

Jo-Ann of Yarn Forward & Sew On will be opening up a sewing store with all the Husqvarna sewing machines and classes and repairs in August. It’s called Sew-Jo’s, at 405 St. Laurent Boulevard. She’s hard at work getting it ready to open.

 

I want to list all our local indie dyers by name, too, but maybe I’ll save that for another day’s post. There are so many great ones.

If there’s a local yarn shop I’ve forgotten or haven’t learned about yet, please tell me. Isn’t our area great? Maybe I’ll see you around Ottawa this summer!

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Diving into Craftsy

I’ve just signed up for a¬†Craftsy¬†class! ¬†I noticed that they’re having a sale this weekend for Black Friday, where you can sign up for courses for half price. ¬†(Thanks, Twitter!) ¬†So, I followed the link to see what they offered.

Well, what do you know? ¬†They had a class that looked like it would answer some of my questions. ¬†I’d love to start designing sweaters, but I was feeling under qualified. ¬†I don’t want to design garments that won’t fit everyone, but how could I possibly test knit every single sweater size before publishing a pattern? ¬†As much as I love knitting, I don’t have the time or the yarn budget. ¬†But I also refuse to publish patterns that I’m not proud of.

Amazingly, there’s a class currently being offered called Sizing Knitwear Patterns.¬† How perfect is that?!? ¬†So, I signed up.

There are lots of other interesting knitting classes being offered, as well.  As far as I can tell, all of them are online video courses, in which you can ask the instructor as many questions as you want.  Your video links never expire, so you can take your time watching them.  There are discussion forums for your class.  You can even make video notes.

(I’m not sure what that means yet, but I’ll find out soon. ¬†I think it means I can bookmark bits of video that I want to go back to later and make notes about them. ¬†Sounds neat, eh?)

While I was there, I figured I’d also look into the Craftsy¬†Affiliate Program. ¬†Now that aknitica is self hosted, I can add links to sites I find useful in my knitting life so I can share them with everyone. ¬†As a happy bonus, I get a bit of commission from them occasionally, which should help fund my yarn sample purchases and website fees. ¬†It turns out that¬†Craftsy¬†has a really incredible user-friendly program for affiliates. ¬†(You’ll notice I have some banner ads at the side and bottom of the site now. ¬†I added the ones I found most interesting, although right now, they’re all in their Holiday mode!) ¬†If you have your own website, you can¬†Join Craftsy‚Äôs Affiliate Program Today¬†too, if you like.

I was surprised to get an added bonus from them when I got my approval email.  I get to sign up for one of their classes, for free!  haha

But I think what I’ll do is sign up for the Sizing Knitwear Patterns‘ sister course, the Pattern Writing for Knitters¬†Online Knitting Class. ¬†Maybe it will help me take my patterns to a whole new level of awesomeness. ¬†That’s always a good thing.

And here’s another one that would be perfect for my Knitting Guild, since our annual knitting challenge’s theme is shawls this year. ¬†There’s actually a Knit Shawls Class¬†that promises to help you master lace techniques. ¬†Darn it, now I wish I could take it, too. ¬†Too much to do, too little time. ¬†I so completely love taking knitting classes.

Online Knitting Class

Now, to carve out some quiet minutes to watch my videos. ¬† In a house full of homeschooled children. ¬†It’s a good thing there’s no time limit! ¬†(And hey, maybe they’ll learn something. ¬†Mwahaha….)

Have you every taken an online class?  How did it go?

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[box]Some of the links in this post are affiliate links. But I only talk about things that actually interest me, that I hope could benefit my readers, as well.  Regardless of whether or not I make money from them.[/box]