Craftsy: Finishing Handknits

majordomo wrote this in the early morning:

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Are you holding onto your hats!? Anne has a new Craftsy class! Awhile back she flew to Denver with lots of large bags filled with notes and step outs.

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for a secret project with these guys

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and we got just a little bit of behind the scene fun

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and now all the details can be revealed—it’s a class on FINISHING!

As you know, finishing is one of Anne’s favorite subjects. She wants everyone else to enjoy it too and she feels that more knitters would get jazzed about finishing tasks if only they felt better equipped. SO many knitters feel they can’t do it well, but Anne doesn’t think it’s a matter of talent—it’s really about arming yourself well and a willingness to adventure into new territory.

Cuz let’s face it—who doesn’t feel good about learning new things?

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I love all of Anne’s previous classes—Grafting and Button Bands and Buttonholes—and this new class on Finishing is a MUST HAVE. I’m that knitter who pays/begs/barters for someone to sew a seam, insert a zipper, etc. Or, sadly, I leave a project 99% completed because I fear messing it up by finishing. Anne has always told me that I can handle it, I just need patience and a little trial and error. And I always say, “if only you were there when I was finishing.” Well, now she can be.

The Essential Guide to Finishing Handknits is a collection of beginning and intermediate finishing techniques which focuses on achieving that clean, polished look you crave for your completed knits. Lesson one and two cover the essentials you need for all finishing tasks, but after that, I can jump to any lesson I need.

One day, that might be to a few tips on blocking

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Or another, I might want to see my options for seaming.

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This is what Craftsy calls a reference class—basically a wide survey of finishing topics with as much helpfulness as they can cram into the time allotted!  This “kitchen sink” format works a bit like an encyclopedia, touching on a wide number of areas and offering the best and most popular technique or two for each, then refers the viewer to other resources for more in-depth coverage (such as other Craftsy classes on specific finishing topics, like Anne’s Button Bands and Buttonholes class or her Grafting tutorial).

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It has just the right amount of information on each subject without overwhelming you with a jungle of material. No longer do you need to fear new techniques—you can look them up ahead of time to see what’s involved and quell your fears about trying them for the first time!

Want to suss out whether you’re up to sewing in a hem or inserting a zipper in that sweater project you’re considering? It’s in there. And later, when you need step by step instructions for executing that—or just a quick tip or two—this class has you covered.

Anne can be right in my living room and I can watch it over and over until it clicks. I’m beyond excited! I’ll be able to execute a seam

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that looks like this when I’m finished.

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Watch out world! I may be able to finish a Highlander in Stone Soup DK!

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The Essential Guide to Finishing Handknits is available now here! I’m excited to hone some new skills and build some confidence! The winner for the FREE class in our giveaway has been notified by email. Congrats!

Fall Show Season is Here!

majordomo wrote this in the early morning:

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Bare Naked Wools was on the road again! This past weekend my friend Kim and I packed up the car and headed to Allegan, Michigan, to meet Susan and Emily to set up a popup store at Michigan Fiber Festival.

Susan packed up every yarn, including all the new stuff,

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and filled every square inch of a Uhaul!

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This was going to be a big show and we had to have lots of stock for natural yarn lovers!

While Susan drove, Emily worked on Squeeze Me (yes, she’s knitting now!)

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and her lovely driver even pulled over to fix a dropped stitch!

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We all made it to Allegan and set up the booth in SUPER CRAZY WIND! Thanks to helpful booth neighbors, and a few cinder blocks and bricks, we got the tent erected and secured so Kim and Susan could start laying out the displays.

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The next morning after a lovely sleep and meals at my parents’ house (HUGE thanks to them for hosting the booth staff!) it was time for customers.

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We helped lots of knitters build new projects! Cabled Keyhole Scarf was a popular new kit in Travertine

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and lots of knitters were running to the booth for the new Freefall and Floozy patterns for Chebris Lace. Kim helped a knitter build a Color Affection with Stone Soup Fingering

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plus we all built lots of Knitspot wraps, blankets, and sweater projects for shoppers.

We met many new knitters who fell in love with Bare Naked Wools for the first time, and also lots of familiar ravelers stopped by.

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kakayers realized she needed to purchase a new yarn card because we’ve added lots of colors and yarns since she bought her first one.

These ravelry friends (jukaheff, libelulaknitter, CrafTeaMama, my3greys) were very happy to pose for a group photo with their new goodies!

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And CrafTeaMama dropped off pecan brown sugar shortbread from her kitchen. The cookies did not last long! Yum!

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When I floated around on my break, I noticed lots of Knitspot samples in the Knitting Notions booth, and Briar Rose Fibers was promoting Yarn in the Barn.

Anne is teaching workshops (details here) at the event and BNWs will have a pop up store! To advertise the collaboration, Chris is showcasing Knitspot knits in BNWs and BRF.

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Highlander, Sheltie Triangle, and Hot Waffles get a totally new look with handdyed accents! When I saw all of these pieces I immediately thought a similar pairing would work for the Oatmeal Stout KAL in the BNWs ravelry group.

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You only need one Bare Naked Wools yarn in your project to participate in the KAL fun! Join us here.

The next October popup for Bare Naked Wools is Rhinebeck After Party. The event starts with shopping Sunday night and then three days exploring color in workshops with Anne. Last year, attendees had so much fun extending their whirlwind NYS Sheep and Wool Festival weekend at our after party. They loved meeting up with ravelry friends, sharing their fiber haul, shopping for new projects, learning new techniques and of course lots and lots of free knitting time. We pretty much take over the hotel lobby and it’s a fun knitting hangout all day and into the evening. Attendees love the free time built into the schedule to work on class projects or tour the local area with friends. There are openings left in all workshops and we have scored a great hotel rate (details here). We can’t wait to see you!

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four words

anne wrote this around lunchtime:

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CORN for the freezer. i bought this early on saturday at the farmer’s market, fresh picked that morning and put it up that  night after supper. this is gonna taste SO good in january and february! (or even november, haha).

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TOMATOES which i also put up on saturday night. i had thought i’d make ratatouille, but when i saw the amount, i decided squirrel them away for winter instead. there are more for ratatouille (along with fresh eggplant and squash); they’ll be ripe later in the week, probably wednesday.

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PEACHES at their perfect peak of ripeness; beckie and i took a ride to the orchard on saturday morning before yoga class and scored big time. i bought two boxes, which ended up being a lot more than i thought. after writing a pattern on saturday afternoon and sunday morning, i got to work and spent the rest of the day peeling and slicing or cutting them up to freeze.

their flavor and fragrance are so good it aches. i will leave it to your imagination what i baked with them this morning—pictures tomorrow, i promise.

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GREEN BEANS  (which technically makes it five words) which is what i’m working on now (i took a break to throw up this quick, drive-by post!). we ate some of these fresh in a nicoise salad david put together last night. salad is one of his four or five specialties (besides, of course, his special specialty, which is loving ME). i’ll freeze all of these because as you know, there will likely be more in a few days.

i’ll be back later today or tomorrow with a long post—i have lots of knitting to share and some new recipes for green beans (because when you eat them nearly every night, you need variety, right?).

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the empreinte crescent shawlette i have on the needles now in organic color grown cotton lace is nearly done; i’m hoping to finish it off in class today—isn’t is stunning? this is the forest mist shade; i love it, i keep stopping to look at it. it’s gone so quickly now that i’m on the garter section; it’s perfect knitting for the kitchen, to pick up whenever a pot can spare a few unattended minutes. a good reason to rest my ankle, haha.

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ok, that’s enough rest now—back into the kitchen for me. happy monday!

oops! i forgot to mention my NEW craftsy class will be live very soon.

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for a chance to win this class for FREE, click here. but hurry, the contest ends tonight!

freefall and floozy

anne wrote this terribly early in the morning:

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last summer i was lucky enough to be knitting with a soon-to-be-but-not-yet-released yarn from kelbourne woolens, a new lace blend named meadow that was perfect for summer, with a good measure of silk and flax to lighten up its merino and lama content.

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for the opening installment of our 2013 fall in full color club, we were able to secure a colorway that wouldn’t be available to the rest of the knitting world for another year. this is was bluebonnet, a pretty gray/blue that seemed perfect for the waning summer season—reflecting the earlier evening sky, it could be worn on chilly mornings without looking heavy.

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the yarn knits up with a silky hand that yet has some bounce and crunch—that bit of linen content provides structure and loft to an otherwise completely liquid combination of fibers; it’s a brilliant addition that adds just the right amount of body to the fabric.

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for the design i wanted something fresh and pretty to carry us into the first days of fall. i though that working with a lace yarn—though one that is on the heavier side—was a great opportunity to knit a fabric with a larger, overall motif.

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when my eye lit on this cable and lace pattern, it all came together in a moment for me—i loved everything about it. big mesh squares on the diagonal, crisscrossed with heavy solid bands that wound around each other like ribbon ties at each corner; it had the look of a big picnic cloth, a little remnant of summer days to carry along into frosty fall weather—so cute! it was settled.

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freefall (the rectangle) is knit all in one straight piece from end to end, but has a gentle, curving shape when completed and blocked, due to its asymmetrical use of edgings. this allows it to drape nicely around the shoulders and flutter just a bit at the edges.

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floozy (the triangle) is knit from the top down, beginning with a few stitches and ending with a knit-on hem edging. it can also be blocked with a bit of a curve to the hem, taking advantage of the ripple in the edging to create a little flair that finds each and every breeze.

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i’m not sure if this colorway of meadow has been release yet, but we kept some in stock to celebrate this general release of the pattern with an accompanying kits, one for freefall and one for floozy.

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who doesn’t love that? kits come in two sizes, single and double so you can knit small, big, or both. we are happy to accommodate special requests such as adding both patterns or a third skein of yarn—just ask! (we also have lots of other choices in kits for our designs—come take a look)

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if it’s the single pattern you’re after, click here to view more information about the floozy triangle shawl or here to read about the freefall rectangle scarf/stole. you may also view them in my ravelry pattern shop—click here for floozy and here for freefall.

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these patterns are also included in the 2013 fall in full color eBook, along with fifteen other accessory patterns from the 2013 fall color collection—that’s a lotta patterns! anyone looking for a knitalong around these designs need not look further than the ravelry clubhouse where our color clubs meet—all are welcome and appreciated.

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and erica just texted me this photo from the road of a brand new freefall sample knit up in our chebris lace yarn—can you spell H-E-A-V-E-N-LY??

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she picked it up on her way to meet up with susan and emily for the michigan fiber festival in allegan, MI, where the three of them will be running our bare naked wools booth this weekend. it’s a great opportunity to see all of our yarns in person, give them a squeeze and sigh over a multitude of samples.

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the freefall  kit is just one of our show specials—please come out and visit us there today, tomorrow, or sunday!

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and now let’s begin our weekends—tell us what you’ve got planned! for me, i believe there are more green beans and now tomatoes too. i’ll also be on the hunt for peaches, so i’m heading to the orchard farm saturday morning to see what i can score.

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i was supposed to race tomorrow but my ankle still needs some recuperating so instead, i’m going to bike, which the chiropractor says is a good idea. i think erica B and i are heading out sunday for a long ride and naturally, ice cream to go with it.

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