Sunday, September 28, 2014

Worsted Weight Yarn Blanks

I had a fantastic time at the North Country Spinners Fibre Fallout. I'll do a post just on the weekend later, but I wanted to show you all the worsted weight socks I dyed after my class (we had some extra time and a few extra blanks, so we played with color and design), using the blanks that Kim Haibeck (Yarnsanity) made specially for the weekend. I have another blank, dyed in just stripes that I will cast on soon. The dye pattern was inspired by Kim's sock blank, which I also worked on over the weekend (and finished at my motel in Newark the night before I flew home).

The blank was 100 gr of superwash worsted weight yarn, which is not quite enough to knit an entire pair of adult socks. I dyed a contrasting 50 gr ball of plain yarn for the cuff/heel/toe. These are size 8 1/2, with a couple of inches of blank left, and slightly less than half of the 50 gr ball left over. The combo would be enough to knit pretty much any size adult socks.

My generic worsted weight pattern uses 48 sts on size 5 needles.

Oh, I didn't really try to match the stripes (it was a single-strand blank), but man, they came out beautifully anyway.

Kim sent me one of her dyed fingering weight sock blanks (2-strand). Everyone was fascinated with the colors and style, and they all oohed and aahed all weekend (I did too- I absolutely love this).

I cast on the mate last night. Most of my knitted things end up as gifts, but these two pairs? Mine mine mine.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Heading out

It's 0'dark thirty and I'm about to hit the road- flying to Newark, and then riding to Johnsonburg, NJ, to teach dyeing classes at the North Country Spinners Fibre Fallout. It'll be a blast, and I'll take lots of pics!

Catch you on the flip!

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Inspirational Umbria FAQ #1

From workshop organizer, Alexandra Hook. I will definitely want her newbie traveler info as well. We think that flying into Rome is the best option.

FAQs for Inspirational Umbria!
Q. How do I get to the Hotel Bramante Todi?
A. There are several ways of getting to Todi. For our participants, we intended to combine as many of you as possible into a private car (up to 7) based on your arrival time. This will lower your cost and increase your ease of arrival. Other options for the more adventurous are a bus (very economical) and trains (moderately economical, depending on the route you choose). We will happily work with you to help you find your optimal method of getting here!
Q. What is a euro and how does it work?
A. Euro is the currency used in most countries of the European Union. It is worth around $1.30-1.35. So, for example, something that is priced at 4 euros costs you around $5.20-5.40.
Q. How do I get euros?
A. The easiest way is to wait until you arrive and go to a local ATM machine. It will let you pull out euros on your normal bank card. Caveat: before you leave, call your bank to make sure that your bank card is supported internationally, and check for additional fees that your bank may tack on. You may find that it's better to use an alternative card to withdraw euros if you use more than one bank.
Q. What about credit cards?
A. Many vendors here accept credit cards, but smaller shops prefer cash. Once again, call your credit card underwriter to learn about fees and conversion policies. If you have more than one credit card, you may find that one is better than the other; however, most charge the "spot" rate, which is far better than converting actual cash currency at a local bank here. In any case, your credit card should work just fine here, as long as the merchant accepts cards.
Q. I don't understand Italian! What do I do?
A. We want this trip to be as stress-free as possible. As it happens, I have four children in town, and I am an American living here. We can happily provide an escort for shopping expeditions if you would feel more comfortable. The locals here sometimes speak rudimentary English, but it is spotty. However, they are warm and welcoming, and want to help you!
Q. The trip sounds really neat, but I'm scared! Is this going to be hard?
A. We are very excited to have all our participants, and want to make it as easy as possible! It's more fun than you can imagine to experience another culture, hear another language, and eat new foods. If you have never traveled abroad, let us know and we can give you the "what to expect" document that my husband and I put together to help some non-traveled relatives get through the airport smoothly.
I will post periodic FAQs as people ask more about this exciting workshop! I know Kathleen Prater Taylor is going to do a phenomenal job and we will have a wonderful week getting to know each other! You will love the tours provided by Elisa Picchiotti and And the Hotel Bramante? Outstanding!

Friday, September 5, 2014

Online registration for Inspirational Umbria is now open!

Click here to register online for our week-long knitting design workshop, which will be held in Todi, Umbria, Italy at the Hotel Bramante, next May 24-30. If the right popup doesn't appear, click on packages/promotions, and you'll see it. The site only takes euros, but your credit card will make the currency exchange. It's slightly under $200 US.

Students who register before October 15, 2014, get a $70 discount on the total package fee, companions get a $50 discount.

And in case you need a reminder of where we're going...

Monday, September 1, 2014

Registration for Inspirational Umbria is now open!

Edited to add: There is a $70 discount for students and a $50 discount for companions for those who register before Oct 15, 2014!

We are thrilled to announce that registration for Inspirational Umbria, a week of knitting and design workshops with Kathleen Taylor, to be held at the Hotel Bramante in Todi, Umbria, Italy, May 24-30, 2015, is now open!
Registration is limited to just 18 students, plus companions.
Fees cover room (single or double occupancy) at that amazing hotel, 5 half-days of workshops in knitting and design (for students), afternoon excursions to Assisi, a guided tour of Todi, yarn crawls and more, breakfasts, 3 light lunches, 3 suppers, wine tastings, and cooking classes. Companions get all of the above, except the workshop classes.
Student Single (1 person per room): $2325/1700 euro 
Student Double (2 persons per room): $1900/1400 euro 
Companion Fee: $1175/875 euro
Send an e-mail to Alexandra Hook at for details, and to register.
Don’t wait- this workshop will fill up quickly!
Can’t wait to see you all there!