Winter is half over, and Spring workshops are … springing up?

It’s almost time for me to start my Spring workshop season. It’s a short season this year, but that’s OK with me. To be fair, it’s probably the busiest season I’ve ever had, with just under 2000 students currently signed up for my class on Craftsy! Haven’t signed up yet? You can still sign up for half price by using this link!

For those of you who want more hands-on experience, and are lucky enough to live on the East Coast, I’m teaching in MA, VT, ME, NJ and MD this year! You can poke around in my calendar, or just look at the synopsis below. Unlike the last time I posted this, the links now go to the workshop page where all of my workshop details are now posted. By the way, if you’ve taken my Craftsy class, you are now qualified to jump straight into the Advanced workshops if you so choose!

  • Cambridge, MA: Mind’s Eye Yarns. Intro workshops on Feb 17th and March 24th; 2-color advanced workshop on April 6th.
  • Montpelier, VT: The Knitting Studio. Intro workshops on Feb 23rd; 3-color advanced workshop on Feb 24th.
  • York, ME: The Yarn Sellar. Intro workshops on March 2nd; 2-color advanced workshop on March 3rd.
  • Mt Holly, NJ: Woolbearers. Intro workshop on March 16th; hat design and construction workshop on March 17th.
  • Glen Burnie, MD: The Knitting Boutique (schedule in PDF). Intro and advanced workshops on April 20th and April 21st.

Want more hands-on experience and don’t live near any of these places? Get someone from your LYS in touch with me! The easiest way for them to do this is to have them sign up on my workshop scheduling list. This is a list for shop owners, so they can find out when I’m scheduling workshops each season. It only gets used 2 or 3 times per year, so it’s not too intrusive.

But enough shameless self-promotion. You probably want to know what I’m up to!

First of all, I’m spending time designing a series of 6 pieces in various types of colorwork — not just double-knitting — for Willow Yarns (a Universal Yarns/Herrschner’s imprint). I don’t know whether it’s kosher for me to post them here ahead of their release, but the first one — a stranded roll-brim toque with a vertical Celtic motif in worsted wool — will be released on Feb 11. As soon as I know it’s OK I’ll post photos!

Parallax v3.0
Parallax v3.0 with 2 repeats done

Second, I’m making good progress on Parallax v1.0 (while commuting) and Parallax v3.0 (at knitting groups). Both are in Kauni, but v3.0 shows something few others have done with Kauni — 3 colorways! I don’t know what color combos I’m going to get until they happen — and I’ve added an extra element of unpredictability by adding a border around the main body of the piece. The border uses up the two colors that comprise it more quickly than the third color, which travels inside it but doesn’t get used to make stitches. This means that even if the period (the amount of space it takes for the entire color sequence to repeat) is the same across all three yarns, it won’t look exactly the same because one of the three yarns isn’t being used at the same rate. It also adds an attractive “frame” to the final piece (check out the other side). When these two pieces are done, I will finally get around to releasing the Parallax eBook. I have a Parallax v3.5 and v4.0 in mind but I will release those later as separate patterns due to time constraints and complexity.

P.S. I just got an AWESOME review on Amazon. OK, it’s probably not from an actual knitter, but I can’t help grinning (maniacally, of course). Please post this around — maybe this’ll be the start of a new “Three Wolf Moon”? But really, I could use more reviews on Amazon, even if some are tongue-in-cheek.

Join the largest double-knitting class ever!

Not the best photo of me — but so be it.

As I mentioned earlier, I’ve had a Craftsy class in the works for the past month or so. It went live first thing in January, so if you’re interested in double-knitting at all, you should perhaps go check it out! Given my precarious balancing act between work, knitting, family and social life, it’s not easy for me to travel all over the country (or the world) to teach classes. However, I’m happy to say that Craftsy is available worldwide (mostly) and you can now take a class from me even if I’m not actually there.

Despite my absence from your office or living room, I’m always here to answer questions through the Craftsy platform (vacation schedule dependent, of course) and of course the hundreds of other folks taking the class can help as well.

In this class, I start you off with a little flat double-knit swatch, then I switch to double-knitting in the round for my new wristband/headband/cowl pattern Duvino. Then I teach some double-knit increasing, decreasing, and traveling cables (by the way, the traveling cables are not documented in my book — this is a new technique that only a few people in my advanced workshops have learned), and we begin building a new hat called Atyria. After that, I give you a taste of some new techniques I’m working on, and show how to do a couple of them. Then I’ll show you how to deal with some common double-knitting issues in my troubleshooting lesson.

Better photos once Craftsy gets my samples back to me!

You’ve already seen Duvino in progress in an earlier post, but I’ve kept Atyria under my hat, so to speak. Here’s a photo of it, done in Lorna’s Laces Shepherd Sport, and a couple of other views here and here.

Want to sign up? Right now there’s an intro sale price but it’ll go up eventually. You can get the sale price anytime, however, by clicking this link.

P.S. – Next weekend I’ll be running a shortened version of my Intro to Double-knitting workshop as well as a workshop on Charting with Illustrator at FiberCamp Boston. Tickets are still available and the price doesn’t go up until the day the event starts (Jan 12) so if you’re in the area and free, you should consider coming down to MIT. Also, I’m planning on going to VKL in NYC for Saturday or Sunday the following weekend and will have some of my 52 Pickup books and kits there. Check my Facebook page for more details on that soon.

Spring workshops announcement

Thanks to Ann Falcone of the Village Knitter for this great photo!

Hey folks! After my packed Fall, I’m happy to relax for a little while — but I know you’re itching to learn some double-knitting, so I’m posting my workshop schedule for the coming Spring 2013 season. For more info and updated times, check out my calendar of events:

  • The Eliot School, Jamaica Plain, MA: 6-week double-knitting intro and hat design workshop starting Jan 3rd
  • FiberCamp Boston 2013, Cambridge, MA. Jan 12th and 13th, intro workshop and other awesomeness.
  • Mind’s Eye Yarns, Cambridge, MA: Intro workshops on Feb 17th and March 24th; 2-color advanced workshop on April 6th.
  • The Knitting Studio, Montpelier, VT: Intro workshops on Feb 23rd; 3-color advanced workshop on Feb 24th.
  • The Yarn Sellar, York, ME: Intro workshops on March 2nd; 2-color advanced workshop on March 3rd.
  • Woolbearers, Mt Holly, NJ: Intro workshop on March 16th; 2-color advanced workshop on March 17th.
  • The Knitting Boutique, Glen Burnie, MD: Intro and advanced workshops on April 20th and April 21st

If you don’t see the workshop you want to take on the shop’s website, don’t hesitate to contact them directly. All shops post their workshops on their own schedules but most have ways of reserving your space even if you get in touch early.

Don’t see a workshop in your area? Sorry about that! I don’t pursue specific shops or venues — they have to request me. If you want to get me to your area, send this link to your local yarn shop and ask them to get on my list to find out when I’m scheduling dates for the next teaching season. I am also willing to schedule into the early Summer this coming season, but I find many people don’t want to learn double-knitting in the warmer months. I’m not sure why!

In addition to my traditional, in-person workshops, there’ll be a new opportunity for everyone in the whole world to take a class with me on Craftsy, starting sometime in January! This affordable, interactive, online platform allows me to reach worldwide to spread the word about double-knitting to a much larger audience. In addition, I designed two brand-new patterns just for this class, which I’ll post photos of when I announce that the class has gone live!

52 Pickup Kits are now available!

In pattern news, the long-awaited yarn is arriving tomorrow according to tracking numbers and those who preordered 52 Pickup kits will still get them before Christmas if the Postal Service cooperates. I’ve got yarn enough to make a few more kits so if you’ve been waiting on purchasing one, now would be the time. Of course if demand is high enough I may be making more kits after the holidays, but I can’t make any promises about precise timing. I’ve also upped the shipping price (for Priority Mail) on the books alone to make sure any new orders still arrive before Christmas; the price will drop again after Christmas to the normal (Media Mail) price. Shipping to Canada is still the same price since I can’t guarantee Christmas delivery anyway at this point. Shipping on the kits is already at Priority Mail levels. But time is running out if you want to get any of this stuff before the holidays, so order now if that’s what you’re after. I’ll always ship the morning after payment reaches me.

Once more unto the breach, dear friends

It’s beginning to feel like Autumn, which means fresh apples, more comfortable knitting weather, and for me, my Fall workshops begin again. Historically, I’ve noticed that most people aren’t interested in learning new techniques in the Fall when they’re working toward holiday projects, so workshops that would sell out in the Spring struggle to fill in the Fall. This year I’m taking a new tack — I’m running bigger workshops at bigger events, cramming a whole season’s worth of teaching into a few weekends. We’ll see how it goes! I’ve also got some other cool news. I’ll try to keep it brief though, since I know attention spans aren’t what they used to be (squirrel!)

Interweave Knitting Labs: I’m teaching my entire repertoire of workshops at both Labs, one in Manchester, NH next weekend, and the other in San Mateo, CA a month later. While in Manchester, fellow Guild member Stephanie from Dirty Water Dyeworks has graciously agreed to field sales of my books in her booth there! In San Mateo, Bijou Basin Ranch will sell them as usual. Thanks to both of you!

Rhinebeck: I’ll be doing a day-trip on Saturday, Oct 20 from Boston with the Eliot School in JP — so I’ll be there at the Cooperative Press booth to sign books and generally shmooze. More definite schedule TBA.

A Guild-tastic weekend: On Friday, November 9th, I’ll be presenting Gale Zucker at the Common Cod Fiber Guild here in Cambridge, then leaving town to present at the Kitchener-Waterloo Knitters’ Guild in Ontario. On the way, I’ll be teaching at All Strung Out in Guelph, Ontario. I thought I might be able to make a meaningful layover in Chicago but it appears I’ll just be hanging out at the airport.

Finally, on the weekend after Thanksgiving, I’ll be heading out to Denver to do a shoot at the Craftsy HQ, so I’ll finally be able to teach double-knitting to people in all corners of the world I wouldn’t normally be able to reach. I’m working on a couple of new patterns for this, and I guess it’d be OK if I showed a photo of one in progress here.

I’ve got some other kind of awesome news but I’m going to keep it under my hat until it solidifies a little bit. More to come soon! Thanks for putting up with my very sporadic updates!

Back home for a spell

Well, the first leg of my workshop tour is over. I’ve taught in Providence, Northampton and NYC, and got to take a well-timed break today before heading back to my day job tomorrow. Next weekend is free of workshops, but then the whole rest of the month of March is just packed with them. I’ll be teaching two intro-level workshops at Mind’s Eye on March 3rd and 17th, an advanced two-color workshop at Mind’s Eye on the 4th and an advanced three-color on the 18th. On the 24th and 25th I’ll be teaching intro and advanced workshops at Gather Here. Mind’s Eye is now taking registrations; Gather Here doesn’t have it up on the website yet but will probably take registrations in the shop. Go sign up if you’re in the Boston area and want to learn some double-knitting, or hone your existing knowledge with an advanced workshop.

What about the other weekend? Well, I’ll be at FiberCamp Boston, of course. March 9-11, we’ll be getting together and un-conferencing at MIT. I’ll be working the registration table and teaching whenever I can get a slot. It’ll be great fun, so come and check it out. We’ve had a good time the past couple of years and if you missed it, don’t miss it this time. Tickets are still on sale and we’ve now got a single-day ticket for those who can only make it for one day.

Now that I’ve got the self-promotion out of the way, I’ve got a favor to ask of you. When I was in Northampton teaching at WEBS, I went out for dinner at the fantastic India House restaurant. The wait for a table was long, but while I was standing in line I noticed a woman a few groups back wearing this amazing sweater with colorwork unlike anything I’ve ever seen. I finally got up the courage to ask if I could take a picture of her sleeve. It was an awkward moment and while she did graciously let me take a photo, I didn’t get more info out of her about the sweater. It looks handknit, but I could tell from overheard snippets of conversation that it was not she who had knit it. The photo was bad because some kind of filter got turned on by mistake, but I got enough out of it to chart the pattern when I got back to my hotel.

Now I’m aware I’m obsessing, but I’ve asked dozens of people and nobody has seen a color chart quite like it. It’s an all-over pattern — the whole sweater was covered — in white on black. I intend to do some double-knitting based on a similar design but I’d really like to know where on earth (literally) this comes from, and whether there’s anything else like it. People seem to think it looks North African, Middle Eastern, or possibly Lithuanian or Latvian. But nowhere in my copious number of chart books have I found anything even similar. So I wonder whether you’ve seen it before? Do you know the pattern it came from? Do you know the nationality of this type of design? Let me know in the comments, and if you’re the one who can give me a definite answer with proof, I’ve got a special gift for you.

Spring Workshops begin soon!

It’s probably news to my neighbors in the northeast who’ve just had their first winter snow (not counting that freak thing over Halloween weekend), but it’s Spring! Well, at least it’s the beginning of Spring workshops. That’s right, folks, I’m starting my travels this weekend and I’m not going to stop until everyone in the northeast knows how to double-knit!

Well, OK, it’s not quite as ambitious as all that, but if you’d like to take a workshop in double-knitting with me and you live somewhere in the Northeast, check this out:

  • Saturday Jan 28th – Intro to Double-Knitting workshop at Fresh Purls in Providence, RI (SOLD OUT)
  • Sunday, Jan 29th – New Adventures in two-color Double-Knitting workshop at Fresh Purls in Providence, RI (SOLD OUT)
  • Saturday, Feb 4th – Intro to Double-Knitting workshop at Seed Stitch in Salem, MA
  • Sunday, Feb 5th – New Adventures in two-color Double-Knitting workshop at Seed Stitch in Salem, MA
  • Saturday, Feb 11th – Intro to Double-Knitting workshop at Webs in Northampton, MA (SOLD OUT)
  • Sunday, Feb 12th – New Adventures in two-color Double-Knitting workshop at Webs in Northampton, MA (SOLD OUT)
  • Saturday, Feb 18th – Intro to Double-Knitting workshop at Knitty City in New York, NY
  • Sunday, Feb 19th – New Adventures in two-color Double-Knitting workshop at Knitty City in New York, NY
  • Saturday, March 3rd – Intro to Double-Knitting workshop at Mind’s Eye Yarns in Cambridge, MA
  • Sunday, March 4th – New Adventures in two-color Double-Knitting workshop at Mind’s Eye Yarns in Cambridge, MA
  • Friday-Sunday, March 9-11 FIBERCAMP BOSTON 2012. I’ll be running a workshop or two here.
  • Saturday, March 17th – Intro to Double-Knitting workshop at Mind’s Eye Yarns in Cambridge, MA
  • Sunday, March 18th – New Adventures in multi-color Double-Knitting workshop at Mind’s Eye Yarns in Cambridge, MA
  • Saturday, March 24th – Intro to Double-Knitting workshop at Gather Here in Cambridge, MA
  • Sunday, March 25th – New Adventures in two-color Double-Knitting workshop at Gather Here in Cambridge, MA

Want to get in on the sold-out workshops? You should have kept an eye on my Calendar of Events! But to the best of my knowledge both sold-out venues are keeping a wait-list and we’ll probably schedule new workshops at both venues if the demand is high enough.

Want to get me to teach at some other venue? I’m still scheduling for weekends April and beyond. Email me at doubleknitting at gmail dot com and we’ll talk.

Upcoming appearances

Sorry for the string of non-project-based posts. I’m sure you’d like to see what I’m working on, but I don’t have new photos yet. Suffice it to say, the book is out, the buzz is good, preorders are shipping and my trips to Rhinebeck and Stitches East were fruitful. I am now about to take a much-deserved vacation to a cabin in central Vermont with my wife for a long weekend, and before I go I wanted to make sure you know when I’ll be popping up next.

In November, I have a bunch of appearances in the Boston area. Please come and visit your LYS, buy my book or bring your copy for signing. The first appearance will be at Windsor Button from 12-3 on Saturday, Nov 5. Then I’ll be doing a presentation at the Common Cod Fiber Guild on Friday night, Nov 11 at MIT, followed by a Level 1 and Level 2 workshop at Mind’s Eye Yarns. The following weekend I’ll be doing trunk shows and book signings at Gather Here in Cambridge and at Newbury Yarns‘ new location in Boston. For more info, please check out my calendar. December will be mostly virtual appearances for me, and I will be planning workshops for the Spring.

And now, for the curious among you, project updates. I am still working on the 52 pickup scarf; I am starting the 11th repeat (of 18). If you last saw it at TNNA, it’s about 3 times longer now. Parallax 1.0 is creeping toward completion but is still about 1/3 to 1/4 done. I have started Parallax 0.5, a lower-res version, in Bijou Basin Lhasa Wilderness (a yak and bamboo blend). I have also accepted yarn to design a new necktie and a belt in Findley for Juniper Moon Fiber Farm. The necktie I will most likely release on Ravelry although I am tempted to see about releasing it as a kit; the belt should be in an upcoming Juniper Moon book.

Extreme Book Touring

Extreme Double-Knitting should be out at the end of the week, and by coincidence (not really — by design) I’ll be heading out to Rhinebeck at the same time. The first physical copies will be sold there (come see me at Bldg C, Booth 37 from 1-2pm Sat and Sun — I will be there other times but those times are guaranteed).

I had workshops at Webs and Fiber Lab set up, but neither one panned out. Because the workshops didn’t run, my publisher decided to scrap the trunk shows and book signings at both places too. So I will be having a slightly more relaxed travel weekend — but I’m sorry to those who had hoped to find me at one of those locations. You’ll just have to head to Rhinebeck or Stitches now.

The following weekend, I will be heading to Stitches East (Hartford, CT) and hanging out in the Market with Cooperative Press. Apparently we’re sharing space with Bijou Basin Ranch in 1005, 1007 and 1009. More info on that as I get it.

Visit my full calendar for more event details.

Hope to see you there!

Upcoming workshop and Facebook page

Well, my friend Guido has proved again that he’s a bad influence on me, but I know he has my best interests at heart. First he makes me ditch my antiblog and start an actual blog, now he’s gone and forced me to join Facebook. I’ll be posting updates up there as well as here.

Also, I have another Intro to Double-Knitting (Level 1) workshop running at Mind’s Eye Yarns this spring, on May 7th. Sign up if you want to learn double-knitting and live in the Cambridge area! I’m going to try to set up some other workshops but I’ve been either ridiculously busy or sick all this winter, so it may well be too late. We’ll see.

Oh, and thanks to everyone that came out to see me at the Red Line Yarn Crawl — it was lots of fun.

Coming down from FiberCamp 2011

More experiments with community-building in the Boston knitting world and beyond! Last weekend, the Common Cod Fiber Guild hosted the second annual FiberCamp Boston, which we held at MIT in some unused classrooms. It was a little crazy — nobody told us that there were going to be high-schoolers running all over the halls — but we managed to pull off a great event anyway. I ran the registration booth, which was enhanced this year by the fact that we actually had an internet connection, and I still had the opportunity to run one workshop and take a couple of others.

My workshop was meant to be more of a hands-on affair, using the document camera I usually bring when I’m going to present to a large group, but due to some technical difficulties, I was unable to use this machine and was stranded in front of 30-some expectant knitters with nothing but a giant bag of double-knitted samples. So I did a glorified trunk show — showed off the progress of my work in double-knitting techniques, then did Q&A for a little while before showing the very basics of double-knitting — my cast-on, and the general technique of double-knitting. Little did I know that Sara Streeter was filming with the intent to publish … or I would have practiced my spiel, and paid more attention to how many “ums” and “ahs” I interspersed with my talk. Nevertheless, I think it came out OK.

Aside from that, I took half of a photography workshop, then raced off to learn how to knit and purl backwards — not as hard as it sounds — and now I need to figure out how to do that in double-knitting. Then I need to make a double-knit entrelac pattern! I got to hang out with a bunch of awesome people, and I got to show my Whorl’d Tree bag to Kathy Elkins of Webs, who provided the yarn for it.

Next stop: Mind’s Eye Yarns for the Red Line Yarn Crawl on March 26th, where I’ll be at 2pm until they get tired of me. I’ll probably hit Windsor Button beforehand, just because I don’t think I’ll have time to visit Dorchester.