Thursday, March 22, 2007

Great Workshops and another sign of Spring

Fiona Ellis is coming to Woven Art May 12 and 13. Yes, that is Mother's Day weekend. Can you think of a better way to spoil this (you!) important woman? Fiona is a reknowned knitwear designer and the author of the most gorgeous book: "Inspired Cable Knits". For more information on Fiona, please visit her website:

The workshop schedule is:

Saturday 9 am to noon:
3 hour workshop - All levels A single image can be a great springboard for generating many design ideas. In this workshop, Fiona will supply images and show you how to dive headlong into your interpretations. There will be time to work on your own samples and share ideas with fellow participants.
WARNING: This workshop may change the way you see the world!

Saturday 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.:
Fiona is famous for her morphing cables….cables that change and become other patterns. In this workshop she will show you the basic principles of how to get started designing your own cables. Even if you are not an advanced cable knitter, give it a try. Simple patterns can morph and create unique ideas. If you love cables but find working vertical patterns too repetitive and want to heighten the challenge, this workshop is a must! Requirements: ball of light coloured yarn in a medium weight, pair of yarn appropriate needles, cable needle.

Sunday 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.
3 hour workshop - All levels (newer knitters need to be able to knit, purl, cast on & cast off)We’ve heard the phrase “Knitting is the New Yoga”. Fiona loves both yoga and knitting. Join her as she brings awareness to what is taking place during our knitting practice. She will lead knitting exercises that will begin to teach many of the things she has learned from yoga. You can expect to come away with something new and useful; that may be a nifty new knitting trick or, you may learn something about yourself and how knitting can be used as meditation. Requirements: 2 part balls of yarn (different colours) in a medium weight, pair of yarn appropriate needles, cable needle.

Workshops are $50 each, but if you sign up for all three the cost is only $125.

Call Woven Art today, 517-203-4467, and reserve your spot. We take Master Card or Visa, or if you prefer, youy can send a check to Woven Art, 325B Grove Street, East Lansing, MI 48823.

I dyed a ton of yarn this week - in the colors of very early Spring. When the trees take on that first, pre-leaf haze of yellow green, and you see it framed in branches against a still pale blue sky.

And I also dyed black. Just because it is great for skull hats, entrelac felted bags, sweaters for guys who are conservative dressers, that Alien shadow scarf from "Stitch and Bitch" and much much more.

I finished the Kasai Vest from Folk Vests. I couldn't be happier with it. It was great fun to knit - I love color work, and the dynamic design was never boring. The style is a classic and will never ever go out of fashion. Plus I got to use the Rowan Yorkshire Tweed 4 ply ( really the same as the Scottish Tweed line now available from Rowan). In the words of one of my customer friends "I could live on 4-ply!" Yes - say that outloud.

Notice how this vest appears to be a completely different color from the one I was working on a few posts back? Same vest, I didn't make two - but the lighting makes a huge difference. Remember that when you buy yarn. Look at it in a variety of light types if possible, and be sure to take it outside to see it in natural sunlight.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007


Sweet Georgia, you are my new style guru. And - gasp - is that a Norwood?

Monday, March 12, 2007

"Huzzah!" says Eunny.

I just found out that Eunny Jang is the new Editor of Interweave Knits! Wow! This is HOT news!

Pam Allen has been the fantastic editor for the last four years, and in my opinion has really taken "Knits" in a great direction. But, she is on to other things. Or maybe it is that she wants to return at greater depth to her love of design. I can only hope that is the case. In the meantime, I am excited about the appointment of Eunny. Just take a quick stroll through her blog by clicking on her name above. This woman is serious about knitting and fresh about fashion. I think to congratulate her, I might have to knit this. That'll really make her day - won't it! ; )

Saturday, March 10, 2007

P.S. now the pictures.

This is the Salina Shawl I am making. But mine is a lovely rust color. I have this green for anyone who wants it.
And this is an image I hope to use to entice you to learn more about Fiona Ellis!

See? I have finished knitting the body of "Kasai" from the book Folk Vests. I love it, love it, love it. Tomorrow I will cut it. I mean I will cut the steeks. Eeks! I am going to do the cutting here at Woven Art, surrounded by friends and supporters. I know it will be fine. I have cut a steek before - but it was a pillow, and it was in a class, and I believed Sarah when she said "It will be fine". And it was! More than a year later, and lots of showing off, the pillow (which remains unstuffed) shows no signs of unraveling itself into a useless pile of yarn bits. But the reptilian part of my brain thinks that might have been because Sarah was standing next to me. And there is a good chance she might come stand next to me again tomorrow. If not Sarah, at least I know there will be friends here to encourage me through it. So- tomorrow I cut.

I have begun a new project - the Salina Shawl from Lana Grossa. It is featured at Go see it! You can come right back here when you are done! I have seen a shawl in progress, being knit by my naughty yarn rep. Her tactic worked like a charm, causing me to buy lots of this Bamboo/Cotton soft ribbon yarn, in lots of colors.

I am also in the process of planning for Fiona Ellis, author of "Inspired Cable Knits", a really beautiful book with a very fresh take on Cabling. She will be teaching workshops here at Woven Art on May 12 an 13. That is Mother's Day weekend. Can you think of a nicer present for Mom? Saturday morning will be "Dive into Design", Saturday afternoon will be (Morphing Cables). On Sunday afternoon (because you'll either be haviing or serving breakfast in bed on Sunday morning, right?) we will have the class "Knitting as Meditation". Wow! For more detailed information, visit Fiona's website: You'll be blown away by her designs, and inspired by he class descriptions. Reserve your spot by calling Woven Art: 517-203-4467

Monday, March 5, 2007

Tomas' Fruit Salad

"Tomas' bought a wax-paper cone filled with diced mango, papaya, orange, and shaved coconut. He sprinkled chili pepper over it and ate the tart cubes with a toothpick."
From "The Hummingbird's Daughter" by Luis Alberto Urrea.

The Woven Art Book Club met this past Sunday to discuss the above mentioned book. In addition to the fruit salad, Marge brought pig cookies, using a borrowed cookie cutter from Lopez bakery. We had a great discussion, and most agreed it is a great book. One member said she began to re-read it as soon as she finished the last page.

Important note to the monthly stitch-alongers. Angie noticed a mistake in the February square. Line 13 has an ommission. Here is the correction:

Row 13: (K1, P1) 2x, K3, *K4, yo,ssk, yo (sl 1-k2tog-psso), yo, K2tog, yo, K3*, K4, K2, (P1, K1) 2x

P.S. Thank you Angie!!

Saturday, March 3, 2007

A Tree gets a Sweater in East Lansing

This is the tree outside of Woven Art, my little yarn shop/gallery in downtown East Lansing. It got a new sweater this week. The green sparkly one, in honor of St Patrick. For some reason, St. Patrick's Day is a big event in East Lansing. No formal programs - but the students celebrate like it's Mardi Gras. My shop is just enough off the main downtown area to miss most of the craziness. If you want a good observation point, choose that afternoon to have a beer at El Azteco.

Last week the tree sported a bright turquoise sweater with multicolored buttons. It was so cute! So cute that someone else decided to take it home. But, that's just part of it. Makes the whole thing more interactive. I began dressing my tree after reading in Spin Off magazine about a nation wide phenomena called "Knitphitti". Like Graphitti, but with knitting. Connie Henslee liked this idea so much that she is organizing an event with the Lansing Art Gallery on March 13. Connie will be there to demonstrate knitting, Jacquie Vaughan will be spinning yarn, and I will demonstrate the art of crochet. Connie also plans to committ some random acts of knitting outside on the street. Downtown Lansing will be all dressed up!

In addition to knitting, crochet, spinning, felting and dyeing, we also teach weaving at Woven Art. Well, duh. Most of the looms are currently at a frightening state:

This is why we call it "warp", warping" or "warped".

This is also what inspired the bumper sticker; "You have to be warped to weave". But if you hang in there, persevere, put up with sore knees and back, you get to do this: