Monday, April 14, 2014

Finishing School

Do you hate sewing up garments? You spend weeks or even months knitting a beautiful sweater then you spoil it during the finishing stage. 

Sound familiar? I can help. My next online Professional Finishing Techniques starts on 1 May. Sign up by 22 April for only $30 (approx £18). 

Many knitters find sewing up their garments intimidating. This class will teach you the easy way to seam your garment in addition to several other finishing techniques.

If you're only going to take one class, then this should be the one! 

This class will teach you:
  • shaping tricks which make sewing up quicker and easier
  • how to work short row shoulders and three needle cast/find off
  • how to sew up your garment using mattress stitch
  • how to set in sleeve caps
  • how to block and press your garment and weave in ends
  • how to pick up for neck and front bands
  • one row button hole
The lessons will consist of videos and photo tutorials.

You will be able to access the course material indefinitely, which means you can work at your own pace and view/repeat the videos as many times as you want.

I will be available to answer questions for the duration of the course. 

Leslie attended my Professional Finishing Techniques at Social Fabric in 2013 and said: "A 'eureka' day with Anniken. So simple and so obvious when you know how!!! My finishing will now be an exact science, rather than 'hit and miss'."

The advantage of an online class is that you can go back and view the class info as often as you wish and in your own time, rather than being confined to a one day workshop.

This course will start on 1 May 2014 and last for 2 weeks. 

This course is suitable for knitters of all abilities. 

Sign up by Tuesday 22 April and pay only US $30 (which is approx £18 depending on exchange rate at time of enrolment). From 23 April fee increases to $40 (approx £24 depending on exchange rate at time of enrolment).

Prefer to take an 'in-person' class? Live in the South West?

I'm teaching Professional Finishing Techniques as a half day class at Blacker Yarns in Launceston, Cornwall on Saturday 10 May. We'll cover most of the same topics as the online class but we can't cover all of it in one day class. The class listing have full details. 

You can book this class now. 

I'm teaching three other classes during Blacker Yarns De-Stash Sales this year. All the classes are listed here.

Monday, April 07, 2014

Spring Bag!

I spent another hour sewing last night and finished my yellow bags. The colour is a bit off in these photos. I love the finished bag but wish I'd made it a bit deeper. I can just about fit in my daily essentials including my Nexus 7 and knitting.

I made a zipped pocket for the outside. Love the green zip.

On the inside I did a zipped pocket and slip pockets for 2 pens, phone and my notions tin. I used a magnetic snap as the main fastening. 

I used a fairly thick lining fabric and laminated cotton bought in the Laura Ashley sale. As both fabrics are fairly thick I didn't use an interfacing.

This is the pattern I used but I made the bag slightly wider, straps longer and added pockets. Wish I'd made it deeper too. 

Sunday, April 06, 2014

Making Me Happy!

The weather has been pretty miserable here this weekend. Emily has been on a scout training weekend and camped on the edge of Bodmin Moor. She's just got home and I think her whole kit was wet.

Yesterday Simon and I went on a church training event near Truro. Afterwards we popped in to Truro to look around the shops. I decided to take a look at the fabric section of Laura Ashley. I haven't been in a LA shop in years. I loved the fabric and they had a sale on. So I got a meter of yellow spotty laminated cotton for £9.

I looked through my stash and found some fabric I bought on Etsy in January. They were perfect together.

A while ago I found a tutorial for a reversible bag I fancied making. Lately all my sewing has been about Vanessa's quilt. I had planned to finish that today but the only backing fabric I had was planned for my sofa quilt. While reading some blogs this morning I found some sales fabric at The Village Haberdashery and the code 'SALE40' got me another 40% off. So while I wait for that to arrive I'll make some other stuff.

I spent most of the afternoon sewing the bag. I added inside and outside zipped pockets and inside slip pockets. Although the bag is reversible I think I'll use it with the laminated side out. 

All that's left is to top stitch around the top of the bag and handles. I love the green zip.

My desk and the shelf above it needs a major clear out again. As a start I put some of my sewing gadgets in the tins I got last week.

I'm hoping I may manage to make an apron for myself (to wear while sewing, its such a messy activity) and a make up bag. After I've finished Vanessa's quilt I need to start a quilt for Emily.

Friday, April 04, 2014

What happened?

Not quite sure what happened to blogging this week. I've been very busy swatching and writing patterns for the book and writing a couple of other new patterns. 

On Tuesday I went up to Spin A Yarn for their knitting group which I really enjoyed as always! It was great catching up with everyone. By the way, Spin A Yarn are hosting a fashion show with Sasha Kagan at the Devon Guild of Craftsmen in Bovey Tracey next Thursday. Claire Crompton, Avril Best and myself will also be showing some of our designs along Sasha. The tickets include a tasty meal. It's usually a great evening. If you want to join us, contact Spin A Yarn to book your ticket. The food is always excelent. The coffee shop is laid out so it's easy to see all the models as they walk the runway. And afterwards you can look at the designs close up, try them on and meet the designers.

There's been some very good post days this week. The new issue of Simply Crochet arrived and I have a pattern in this issue. I'll tell you more next week.

My knitters have been busy knitting up samples for this year's shows. Above is a Silky Cashmere shawl waiting to be blocked. And yes there is a fabric bundle there too. Its so pretty!

I treated myself to some of my favourite magazines and that pink stuff is some swatching for a new design.

After knitting group on Tuesday I popped in to Serendipity, a quilting shop in Bovey Tracey. So much pretty stuff! I escaped with 3 fat quartets and a set of pretty tins.

I've been asked to review a new yarn for Hobbycraft, more on this next week.

I've got several new designs to tell you about and I will next week. Don't forget my next online Continental Knitting with Norwegian Purl class starts on Monday! Sign up now!

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Making Me Happy (& a discount for you)

Today is Mother's Day here in the UK so to celebrate Mums, I have a special Mother's Day discount - 10% off on all yarn today only. Use discount code: Mum10 Not valid on clubs. Finishes at midnight. Take a look in the shop and treat yourself or your Mum.

This is the first Mother's Day with Vanessa away and I miss her but she'll be home in just over a week.

What's made me most happy this week, is finally finishing a big shawl I've worked on since before Jersey. I finally cast off and blocked it last night.

I promised the girls a quilt each for their birthday. Vanessa's birthday is only a week away. I have a big pile of 9 patch blocks. Today I want to start pressing and joining the blocks. No idea if I have enough as I haven't done any maths for this and I'm aiming for a double bed size quilt.

Unfortunately Simon has to work today which means I can't get to church. So my plan for today is to watch Formula 1 Malaysian GP which I'm watching now, do some sewing on Vanessa's quilt, knit and finish writing a pattern. Tonight we are having a Chinese take away with my in laws. Simon's sister and brother in law are visiting too.

Happy Mother's Day to all Mums. Enjoy your Sunday x 

Friday, March 28, 2014

How do you knit?

How do you knit? Did you know there's more than one way to knit?

I grew up in Norway and when I was growing up everyone I knew knitted like me. The first time I saw a different knitting style was after I moved to England in 1. I've also had a lot of people commenting on how I knit and the first thing they notice is my knitting speed.

I knit the continental way and I have done all my life. My most popular class is my 'Continental Knitting with Norwegian Purl' class. I teach it regularly in yarn shops. In fact I'm teaching it as a half day class on Friday 4 April at Social Fabric in Totnes.

If you don't live near any of the venues where I teach, you can take this class online. Have you ever taken an online class? It's very convenient. You can watch the class when you want to, wherever you want to. The class starts on 7 April and lasts for a week but you keep indefinite access to the class materials so can go back and review any lessons any time you want to.

So what's the advantage of continental knitting? The main advantage is speed and the main reason its faster, is because the movements are smaller. This also reduces the risk of repetitive strain injury. 

Are you a 'fair isle'/stranded colourwork knitter? Learning to knit the continental way means you can knit with one colour in each hand.

In continental knitting there are two ways of purling. I teach the Norwegian purl which means you hold the yarn at the back for both knit and purl. This makes combined knit and purl stitches like ribs and moss stitch much quicker as you're not moving the yarn back and forth.

@RYarns tweeted earlier: '@YarnAddictAnni Great class. it really sped up my knitting and helped reduce stress on hands and wrists'.

Out of knitters who've taken my continental class in yarn shops or online, more knitters who have taken the online class seem to have permanently changed their knitting style. Do you want to join them?

Sign up by Monday 31st March and pay only US $30 (approx £18). On 1st April it'll go up to the regular price of US $40 (approx £24).

Monday, March 24, 2014

The Alexandra Shawl by Sweet Georgia Yarns

I've got another new design for you today. I've had several new designs published recently and one of these is my Alexandra shawl for Sweet Georgia Yarns. Sweet Georgia is a Canadian luxury hand-dyed yarn company. Alexandra is knitted is CashSilk Lace which is a blend of cashmere and silk. Its a gorgeous yarn to knit with creating a truly luxurious accessory.

Alexandra is worked from the top down in a hybrid triangular shape which is a triangle with an insertion panel at the centre back. This creates a little bit of shoulder shaping and makes the shawl sit realy nicely on the shoulders.

Beads are added using the crochet hook method. Take a look at my video demo if this technique is new to you. I think this shawl would look gorgeous without beads too though. I used size 8/0 seed beads from The Bead Room in Totnes (they have an online shop too).

Alexandra is finished off with a delicate crochet chain cast off which is easy to do even if you're new to crochet and yes I've got a demo video showing this technique too. If you prefer you can use a regular stretchy cast off (I recommend the Russian Cast/Bind Off) and block the edging into scallops if preferred.

I love Sweet Georgia Yarns. I've been a member of their Fibre Club for ages now and almost all the fibre I spin is Sweet Georgia. I do have a few skeins of their yarn in my stash too and it's absolutely wonderful. The base yarns are luxurious blends and the colours are amazing! You only need one skein of CashSilk Lace for this shawl.

A big thank you to Jen for knitting up this sample for me!