Tuesday, January 31, 2012

January 2012 TNNA Report - Classes

I guess it's time that I finally started to catch you all up on the TNNA show.  I am sorry for the long delay between blogs.  I had such a fantastic time at the show that I over did it and ended up with bronchitis as soon as they shoved us out the doors on the last Monday of the show.  It was worth every minute of being sick to attend the show.  

My first class was on Thursday, January19th with Cat Bordhi.  Cat taught us 7 really neat knitting tricks tat she had combined into one pattern.  The cowl pictured below is what we knitted up.  We used Shibui Merino Alpaca and Shibui Silk Cloud held together to knit it.  Cat said she might have the pattern for the cowl posted for sale in the near future.  In the meantime, it looks like I may be using the 7 tips to teach a class this summer at The Fiber Factory.  I'll know better once Terri and Susan work up the summer class schedule in a few weeks.  

I came back on Friday the 20th for an all day class with Lily Chin.  I, again, learned so much in this class.  The class was based on Lily's book called "Power Cables", which I own.  I even managed to get it autographed!  We learned several ways to knit reversible cables.  Lily uses verbal imagery to help you remember how to do the cables.  She can make you blush! It was fascinating and of course gave me tons of ideas on where to use cables in some upcoming pattern designs I am trying my hand at.
Lily Chin
Reversible Cable Class

Lily's class was an all day class with a break in the middle for lunch and a seminar with a public speaker on using social media.
Of course everyone was knitting!

On Saturday the 21st before the show floor opened I took a class with Rachel Blackledge on how to dye yarn to fake the change of colors when knitting Fair Isle.
Rachel Blackledge on the left
We took machine knitted blanks and painted them with our dyes.  Everyone had many colors to choose from and spare cups to blend or dilute the colors with.
Then we rolled them up and Rachel's assistant, Sam, put them in the steamers for us.  Yes, went home with them sealed in plastic bags!

From there it was off to the show floor until the late afternoon.

On Sunday the 22nd I was back at it again!  At 8 in the morning I was with Cat Bordhi taking a class on pattern and book design.  Again, worth every minute.
Karen Sadow and Cat Bordhi
As you can tell, I had a wonderful weekend.  There is more coming.  I just didn't want to try to put it all in one blog, and yes, I am feeling better now.


Sunday, January 29, 2012

Shepherd's Wool Yarn New Colors In Stock!

I love this yarn.  Just so you know, I truly love this yarn!  You know that Noni Ella Coat pattern that we're doing the KAL with?  I'm making another one, in this yarn.  I am also designing a sweater pattern, using this yarn!  There are now 25 colors in stock.  Woops!  The name of the yarn is Shepherd's Wool from Stonehedge Fiber Mill. 

Happy Knitting,

Friday, January 27, 2012

Running Around The TNNA Show

Attending trade shows is rough work.  Legs give out.  So do shoulders and elbows as the bags you are carrying become heavier and heavier when more catalogs and brochures get added in.  

Our son has been on a mission to convert my husband and myself to the "barefoot" lifestyle.  He says the shoes allow you do walk in such a way that is closer to human biomechanics.  

Here are my usual running shoes.  They are Asics.  When they grow old I use them to walk around in. I've had several pairs.

But then I started listening to my son and bought a pair of these Vibram fivefinger shoes.  My husband and I call them gorilla feet.  Our son has already gone through several pair.  I like them, but between the 5 toe socks and then trying to fit each toe in to the right spot in the shoe is very time consuming for me.  I could make dinner in the time that it takes me to get these in my feet!
Enter some other shoe companies that are making minimalist shoes.  The ones down below are from New Balance.  Once I got used to wearing a thinner sock and breaking them in, they have been fantastic.  I wore them all through the TNNA show and not once did my legs feel fatigued.  My arms still got tired, but my legs felt great!
So now it was time to try the most minimal shoe that I was comfortable with.  Today I added in a pair of Merrell Pace shoes.  I wore them all day while packing orders.  It's like wearing a moccasin.  Still a little bit of a struggle to get them on but not the same as the fivefingers!
I thought you might like to see what the bottoms of all of these looked like.  And I forgot to mention how light the minimalist shoes are.  These shoes were made for walking! (running too)
Happy Feet,

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Backyard Garden Update

The Phoenix area has different seasons than the normal 4 season climates.  This is a great time of year for growing.  Below are more current pictures from our little garden box.  Jay is planning on putting in a larger garden space for me on our West wall so that it will be shaded after noon during the summers.  Really looking forward to that!

Tom Thumb Butter lettuce
Snow Peas, empty blossoms were ones we ate already
Baby tomatoes starting to ripen
Broccoli off shoots
Carrot tops
Flat Leaf Parsley
This is a head of organic lettuce that I picked up at the Farmers Market this past Saturday.  It was $2.50.  That's a teaspoon in front of it for scale. WOW!

Happy Eating!