Saturday, December 31, 2011

Happy Knit Year!

Every late December I make goals for the upcoming year, and somehow the majority of these tend to center on knitting. I guess I figure if the Knitting gets done everything else will surely fall into place. So, for 2012, here's what I hope will happen:

1) Monthly knitting workshops and/or events at The Charleston Museum.
2) Increased enrollment in my classes at Michael's.
3) A daily interactive record of knitting, starting January 1, over on Facebook.
4) My son's Christmas gift will NOT be on the needles next year at Christmas!
5) Complete my Knitting Instructors Certification course by the end of April.
6) Pick a charity for our knitting group to contribute knitted items to. Red Scarf Project again?? Warm Up America?? Something else??
7) Host World Wide Knit in Public Day activities in June.
8) Attend the SC Knitting Guild's Knit Inn in February.

Happy New Year and Happy Knitting!!

Friday, December 23, 2011

Merry Christmas and Happy Stitching!

I knew I should have been knitting. I had unfinished gifts, samples for upcoming workshops, and even a nifty pair of fingerless gloves all on the needles. Still, I succumbed to the lure of the brightly colored floss and I found myself embroidering. It was madness, I knew, but I did it anyway. As you can see by the results, a little more Dr. Seuss than Gallery of Art, I should definitely stick to my day job. It was a fun diversion from my usual craftiness though and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I'm even proud of my funny little tree.

So, no matter what your hand finds to do this holiday, enjoy it, be proud of it, and live in the moment.

Merry Christmas and Happy Stitching from KnitOasis!

Monday, December 12, 2011


As we approach the end of 2011, I look back and all I can say is, "What a year it has been!!" I have had the amazing privilege of teaching many classes and workshops this year, with still more being planned for 2012. I am grateful for the opportunities of the last 11 months and SO excited for what's in store in the future!

Highlights from this year...
* Hosted World Wide Knit in Public Day and two knitting workshops at The Charleston Museum.
* Began the Craft Yarn Council's Certified Knitting Instructor Program.
* Attended the SC Knitting Guild's Knit Inn.
* Taught a Sock Knitting Workshop.
* Began teaching Discover Knitting classes at Michael's.
* Hosted weekly Monday Morning Knit group.
* Sent 6 scarves to the Orphan Foundation of America's Red Scarf Project.
* Helped coordinate Two Huge Yarn Sales!

Coming up next year...
* Even more classes at Michael's.
* More workshops (and events!) at The Charleston Museum.
* Summer Sock Workshop.
* SC Knitting Guild's Knit Inn: Feb 3, 4, & 5.
* World Wide Knit in Public Day, June 9.
* Completion of Certified Knitting Instructor Program.

So what are these changes I mentioned? I'm glad you asked! Because of the steady increase in the number of classes and workshops, I will be making a change to Monday Morning Knitters.

Starting in 2012, Monday Morning Knitters will be held on First and Third Mondays. The location will also change to the Panera Bread near the Tanger Outlet Mall, 5070 International Blvd, Charleston, SC.

My hope is that our Monday group can continue despite my heavy schedule, so I'm counting on you all to continue to make it a success in the coming year! Come be a part of the exciting knit happenings as we carry on our quest to take over the world, one knitter at a time!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Monday Morning Knitters Holiday Schedule!

It's that time of year, Knitters, and as the holidays heat up, Monday Morning Knitters will be taking a few well-deserved breaks to celebrate with loved ones (and of course knit, wherever you are!).

We will meet on the following Mondays from 10-11:30 at the Atlanta Bread near CSU:
Nov. 28
Dec. 5
Dec. 12

After Dec. 12, we will be taking a break till Jan. 16. Check back here for more info on some exciting changes coming up soon!!

Also, SAVE THE DATE! Fair Isle knitted hat workshop at The Charleston Museum--Saturday, January 28!

Happy Holidays!!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Overflowing with Thankfulness: Red Scarf Project

In January of this year (OK, wow that was officially a long time ago!), I announced to my Monday Morning Knitters that I very much wanted to send a scarf to the Orphan Foundation of America for their Red Scarf Project. I explained what it was, handed out the guidelines from the website to any interested parties and that was that.

Today, I packed up SIX red scarves to take to the post office! I am overflowing with gratitude for the effort and hours of knitting that my generous knitting friends donated for this project.

For many years, I have wanted to participate in knitting for this, and my Monday Morning Knitters helped make it happen! Thank you all!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Autumn Knitting = Shawl Workshop!

There's something about autumn, isn't there? The way the sun slants through the trees at a different angle, the cooling of the air (only a little bit here in South Carolina, but we can tell the difference!), the changing colors of the trees, the cheering of football fans every Saturday; all these things help make autumn an enchanting time for me.

And with those first cool evenings giving us a taste of cold(ish) weather yet to come, I hear of more and more of my part-time knitter friends picking their needles up again after a summer's hiatus. Those of us who knit year-round also start searching for something warmer to knit. There's just something about autumn that reminds you about the mittens or scarf or hat that you wished you had made last winter.

Take, for example, the practical yet stylish shawl. Several years ago I made my first winter-weight wrap, and I realized why knitters down through the centuries have made and worn shawls for both warmth and beauty.

This November 12, coinciding with the opening of The Charleston Museum's new exhibit Coat Check, I will be teaching a shawl workshop featuring two different vintage patterns that have a timeless quality. It's that whole warmth and beauty thing, I think. See for yourself. Here is a photo of one of the shawls, a little number whose pattern was first published in 1864.

See what I mean? And it's warm and soft and cuddly, too. But, hey, you don't have to take MY word for it. Come join us November 12 from 9:30-12:30 and make your own. The only thing I have to warn you about is this: The second shawl pattern is also quite stunning and you just might have a hard time picking only ONE to knit!

Sunday, October 09, 2011

1492-2011: 510 years of knitting

Thank you, Christopher Columbus, for "discovering" America, so I can get together with other knitters on Monday morning, October 10...Columbus Day...and knit. You rock! And if you're ever in town, we'd love to see you at the Atlanta Bread near CSU at 10 am :) lol

Monday, October 03, 2011

...and now for something completely different!

One of my favorite things about knitting is meeting new people, finding out what they like to knit, how they learned and what else they do when they aren't knitting. Take Becca for example...I first met her at the World Wide Knit in Public Day at the Charleston Museum in June (she was knitting an adorable giraffe) and since then our paths have crossed several times, much to my satisfaction.

The last time I saw her, at the Big Yarn Sale, I noticed the cool spider pin she was wearing and she told me that this was part of what she does when she's not knitting...and there just happened to be a class on October 28th where one could learn to make a spider brooch of his or her own! I admit that glass working is one of those things that I've never done but have always been fascinated by, so I checked out the Blue Heron Glass website. Seriously, ya gotta love a list of classes that insists that you wear close-toed shoes! This may even cure my craving to learn to weld!

Go to the Schedule of Classes and scroll down to Spiders on the Loose to find out more about the pin workshop, plus there are other things you could learn like stained glass or glass bead making and even slumping. I don't know what that is but it sounds like fun! They also have a Ladies Night Out party--a refreshingly different choice!!

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Doll Knit-Along: One Week Away

The 19th Century Doll Knit-Along begins one week from today at the Charleston Museum. Sign up soon so you won't miss out. These dolls are so stinkin' cute! I know I ought to be planning to knit one to give to a child in my life, but if mine turns out half as adorable as the ones knit up by the Museum volunteers, I'm going to want to keep it. And name it Fred. Just saying.

Half Off Class Fees at Michael's: Today Only!

If there's a Michael's store near you and you've been thinking, "Man, I really want to take that class they're offering, but I don't know...", then today's your day!

Today only, if you register for classes at Michael's, you get 50% off the regular class price! See store for details and list of classes.

And I happen to know that the Michael's in North Charleston, SC has a really awesome Knitting Instructor who will be hanging out this afternoon...knitting :) Be sure to mention this blog if you see her!

Friday, August 26, 2011


Many knitters already know the benefits of participating in a Knit-Along (KAL), and, knitting as long as I have, you would think I would have this down pat. Last year I did cast on for a sweater on a shared birthday with a knitting friend who lives in Colorado, but we were knitting different patterns, and her sweater turned out wonderful and mine is finished but hanging in neglected shame in my closet.

This year, however, I have another knitting friend in Atlanta who came up with an idea to have a KAL with me and my 14yo knits-better-than-me daughter. I was charmed by the idea of knitting a bag with a buddy in the next state, despite it being a project destined for felting, something I've purposely avoided thus far. And then she GAVE us the yarn for the project and, well, how could I say no? It's been so fun, to do, too. Despite our starting a bag made of wool/mohair July 1st and knitting through the two warmest months in a summer of record high temps, that is. Some things you have to chalk up to Hazards of the Hobby.

Having a project that you share with a friend is one way to make knitting less isolated and thus more fun. Finally you have someone with whom you can complain about the pattern/yarn/stitches and they don't glaze over with incomprehension! You might, like I do, have the chance to attempt a technique you have been hesitant about, allowing the peer pressure of the KAL to stretch your ability. You have little built-in deadlines that keep the project from languishing when the initial excitement wears off a bit. And if you're competitive, it gives you a chance to knit to the next deadline first for bragging rights. Just don't brag too much, because these are your knitting friends, after all.

If you've never participated in a KAL, I highly recommend it. And if you're looking for a KAL with some history thrown in, I've got just the thing. I signed up for a
19th-Century Doll KAL, to be held Saturday, September 17 at the Charleston Museum. The project is based on a hand-written pattern in the museum archives, and includes a special showing of items from the Museum's knitted and crocheted collection. My daughter is so excited about this she intends to make two. I did mention that she knits better than I do, didn't I?

Friday, August 05, 2011

Purse knitting workshop

History. It's where we all come from.

Knitting. It's what most of us wish we were doing right now.

Combining the two is easier than you think. The Charleston Museum is offering a knitting workshop featuring a modern take on a vintage design. A miser's purse was a popular choice for the smartly dressed Victorian gal, and if the purses in the Museum's collection are any indication, everyone had their own unique style of knitting (or crocheting) one. Since I don't crochet, I wrote knitting patterns for this venture. Three of them! All similar, but different, like the purses in the Museum. And I can't wait to see what the knitters who get hold of these patterns come up with!

If you can cast on, bind off, knit and purl, and you'd like to spend a morning with some awesome knitters at America's first museum, you can register HERE or call 843.722.2996, X 235.

Advance reservations are required. $20/members, $25/non-members.

Monday, August 01, 2011

Simple Knitting-book review

My criteria for loving a knitting book are simple.
1) Good photography. Yes, I like to look at the pictures. Knitting is visual and if I can't see the finished project or the stitch lesson, it makes me nervous.
2)Projects that meet expectations. This one varies from book to book. For Simple Knitting, I expect simpler projects that take into account a beginner's skill levels. For a book that purports to have more advanced work in it (like Stitch n' Bitch Superstar Knitting: Go Beyond the Basics--another book I love) I expect more advanced projects with the appropriate information to tell me how to knit it.
3) Projects I want to knit. And lots of them, preferably!
4) Clear directions. Need I elaborate?
5) Good attitude. Can you believe I've read knitting books that talked down to knitters? Sad, but true. If the author of the book can't be positive and encouraging and friendly, why bother.

Extras~~Things that put a knitting book over the top.
1) Amazing color palette. Simple Knitting has so many beautiful yarns used in the examples and projects; neutrals mostly, and the design of the book incorporates this well. It makes for a pleasing overall color palette.
2) Classic design. Maybe it's because I'm not a very trendy person myself, but I like a book that has patterns that will stand the test of time. Or maybe I'm just realistic about how long it will take me to knit that super trendy sweater, knowing full well that it will be so last year (or last decade!) by the time the wearer receives it.

Because I love knitting so much, finding a wonderful knitting book is little like meeting a new knitting friend--someone else who "gets it." Simple Knitting is one of those who "gets it"--completely.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Miss Manners and Knitting in Public

I quote below from Miss Manner's column from July 30. I find it fascinating that someone is so bothered by knitters knitting in public that they have complained to that bastion of politeness, Miss Manners.


Over the years I have noticed people knitting in public and have had no particular problem with it. However, I am a bit put off by those who knit in church or at an event such as a recital or concert.

Is it acceptable to knit at a church, synagogue or other religious service? And what about a concert or recital? I recently attended a piano and violin recital in a small venue where someone was knitting in the third row. Surely it was evident to the performers. And if such knitting is not appropriate, how should the knitters be approached, or prevented?

GENTLE READER: Please do not -- repeat, not -- make a hostile approach to knitters. Have you not noticed that they are armed with long, pointy sticks?

Of all the multitaskers who could annoy you, Miss Manners would not have guessed that knitters would top the list. There is a centuries-long history of ladies quietly doing needlework while remaining alert to what was going on around them.

But perhaps your complaint is that they are not quiet. If the clicking of needles is what bothers you, you could appeal to the authorities at church or concert hall that as they ban texting, it is only fair to ban activities that create similar noise. And if they don’t already ban texting, you might start by asking that they do before going after those comparatively unobtrusive knitters.

Visit Miss Manners at her Web site,, where you can send her your questions.

2011, by Judith Martin

Distributed by Universal Uclick for UFS

I want to address this "Gentle Reader" and ask what is it that is really bothering you? Did you have an aunt who knit you itchy sweaters that you were forced to wear as a child? Or are you just too inept to actually learn a constructive hobby, rather than just griping in a public forum about someone else's choice of recreation?

This is precisely one of the many reasons I DO knit--to help me keep my foot out of my mouth during such events as congregational meetings and Little League baseball games. It never distracts me from what is going on around me, rather it gives me focus that keeps me sane. I joke to friends that "I knit so I don't kill people" and while that is extreme, there is an underlying truth. By "sticking to my knitting" I am able to be involved on a level that keeps me coming back, and prevents me from being asked to leave because I've said too much in the heat of a moment.

I adore what Miss Manners says about the "centuries-old history of ladies quietly doing needlework while remaining alert to what was going on around them." This contrasts sharply with the current trend of ladies AND gentlemen too engrossed in their latest smart phone app to notice what is happening in their lives and the lives of those around them. I have tried both, and if you are checking your email during a meeting, you really can't LISTEN to what is being said. But knitting lets you do it all--listen, pay attention, and retain what you hear.

All this doesn't even take into account the fact that some people listen better if they aren't perfectly still, and having something to do with their hands enables them to listen better than if they were otherwise unoccupied.

For now, all I can do is shake my head and wonder, with all the evils running rampant in this world, why ANYONE would have a problem with quiet knitting. If someone is poking you with a sharp pointy knitting needle, you have a more than valid complaint. Otherwise, maybe you should stick to YOUR knitting!

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Yarn Sale Follow-Up

The One Day Only Huge Yarn Sale was a success! But success is a tricky thing, and for the sweet lady with all the yarn, true success will be won when she no longer has bags of yarn to pack up and take home.

I know we've all been to yard sales and estate sales and even yarn sales where the merchandise was just thrown about and pricing was confused or non-existent and the people working the sale were less than helpful. THIS was NOT one of those times! The yarn was organized and easy to look through (and there was a lot of it!), the prices were clearly marked, fair, and negotiable, and Linda and Amy are two of the nicest ladies you'll ever meet. We came, we shopped, we sat and knit, and it was a lovely experience, dampened only by my own lack of funds to buy MORE yarn! Well, that and the thought of where in the world would I put it all.

We got to talking at the yarn sale and agreed that July is a month for vacation for a lot of folks and maybe, just maybe, more yarnies would be available in another month or two to make it worth setting up the yarn sale for a second go-round. So, for those of you who missed it the first time, and for those of us who would like to set aside a little more $$ for the next time to get more Noro Kureyon (heh, heh), I just wanted to say....STAY TUNED!

The price of yarn is going up at our favorite retail and online sources, so in order to keep the hobby going full steam, whether it be knitting or crochet, we're going to have to get creative. Let's be honest, though, there's only so long that any of us can knit solely from stash.

So watch this blog, check the Facebook page, keep an eye on the South Carolina Knitter's group on Ravelry...and as soon as I know something concrete (like a date, time and place!), I will spread the word!

Saturday, July 09, 2011

More Yarn Sale Info...

We are now one week away from The HUGE Yarn Sale!! Linda, the lady holding the sale, sent me a list of most of the yarns that she will be selling, as well as some of the needles available. Because it's so astounding, I wanted to share it with you (because who doesn't want to share an astounding list of yarn??).

The yarn listing starts with #3 and goes through #375. Each number refers to one yarn. Not always one skein, though; #75, for example is 64 skeins of Berroco Sensu Wool, black, dye lot 42. Yes, you read that right--64 skeins. Do you like Cascade 220? There are 15 skeins of Colonial Blue Heather listed at #8. Here are some more random numbers, just to give you an idea:

#26: Jaeger Matchmaker 100% Merino Wool in Cherry, dye lot 0656--10 skeins
#103: Brown Sheep Co. Nature Spun, 100 % wool, Pepper--5 skeins
#216: Schachenmay Nomatta Mohana, 35% Cot 35% Polymide 15% Kid Mo 15% Wool, Maroon-10 skeins
#349: Regia Mini Rengel Color, 75% wool 25% Polyaminde , Green/brown/white--3 skeins

I counted 27 different Noro yarns, averaging 10 skeins per color. There are 20 skeins of Rowan that I'm hoping is a color I love, plus yarns by Sirdar, Manos del Uraguay, Tahki, Mountain Colors, Plymouth, Trekking, Lang, and more.

So what's the big deal? So this lady in St. George has a ton of yarn, so what? Well, my friends, the big deal is this: She wants to get rid of this ton of yarn and she's hoping that you will come help her out. Hence the One Day Only Huge Yarn Sale or ODOHYS, if you prefer.

Pricing? All yarns will be at least 40% off retail prices, with the vast majority 50% off retail. They come from a smoke-free, pet-free home, and they want to come to your home and grow up someday to be something fabulous.

Crystal Palace, The Noble Needle, Addi, Boye, Inox, Clover....straight, double-pointed, circular....wood, metal, bamboo, Ebony, Rosewood, Birch....US sizes 0 to 17.

Bring cash, 'cause you're gonna want to stock up!!

Monday, June 27, 2011

Time for a Holiday

In observance of the Independence Day holiday, Monday Morning Knitters will NOT meet on July 4, 2011.

Join us the next week, July 11, 2011 and we can talk about possibly carpooling to the huge yarn sale on 16th! We will continue to meet throughout the summer at the Atlanta Bread near CSU from 10-11:30 am on Mondays. It's fun and you don't even have to knit to join us :)

HUGE Yarn Sale!

Private Collection Yarn Sale!!
One day only----> July 16th 10:30am-1:30pm

Sale will be held at Memorial Baptist Church
101 May Street , Saint George, SC 29477
By Linda Shook 843-636-4067

From Charleston take I-26 to exit 172-A aprox. 30 miles to
(US 15 South) go 8.3 miles go to 2nd light, turn right, go 1 block to stop sign, turn left. You will see the church.

Sale includes-
All types of yarn, variety of knitting
needles, patterns and books

Over 300 large zip-lock bags of yarn—includes some
handspun and hand dyed by Mountain Colors and
Bovide Farms—Sunsu Wool & Smart Cotton by Berroco—Lots of sock yarn—Kid Mohair

Knitting needles- bamboo, birch,
ebony, metal
Circular, single point and double point

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Rockin Sockin Knitting!

Sock Knitting Workshop #1 is now history! It was so much fun. I truly love teaching people to knit, and since socks are one of my favorite things to knit, it was extra special! I had a particularly talented class for my first foray into sock instruction....I think I am now spoiled. If they had half the fun I had, then they had a blast!

All this talk of sock knitting has me thinking about sock yarn and needles. Although there are many ways to knit socks, the class was for a cuff-down sock on double-pointed needles (aka "dpns"). After many years of trial and error in sock knitting, including knitting 2-at-a-time on one long circular needle and knitting one at a time on one very short (9") circular needle, I have decided that my favoritest way is with dpns. And my favoritest dpns are
Hiya Hiya bamboo, preferably at least 6" long. My only regret is that I didn't discover the Hiya Hiyas until after I'd already acquired several sets of Clover bamboo. Nothing wrong with Clover, but Hiya Hiya is my new bff.

There are a million and one sock yarns out there, too, especially when you consider that, technically, you can knit socks with ANY yarn. I have a strong fondness, however, for Regia and Berroco. The Patons Kroy Socks I got from (gasp) the **craft store** was surprisingly nice to work with for such an inexpensive yarn. I have yet to wash it, so I don't know anything about the longevity factor. Yet.

Now I will be knitting...other things....including an exciting knit-along with my daughter and a wonderful friend who supplied all the yarn (don't you love a friend who knits AND supplies you with yarn??), yet another Red Scarf Project scarf (red) and some odds and ends that are going to be Christmas gifts so I can't tell you about them!

And I will be counting down the days till Sock Workshop #2 begins...July 12-14. Details here. Are you in?

Friday, June 10, 2011

Stitch in Public--tomorrow!!

Tomorrow is the official date of World Wide Knit in Public Day. If you're in the area, feel free to join us at the Charleston Museum, details here. Please keep in mind that Cupcake IS within walking distance. You've been warned.

And if you can't join us, find some place, some where to knit in public. Or crochet, or spin or tat or weave, or even sew. Do your bit to bring fiber art out into the open. Don't be that selfish fiber enthusiast who refuses to share what you do and how to do it with others. You know your mama raised you better than that.

This is our chance, on an official date every year, to preserve for posterity what our ancestors took for granted--that the ability to do things with string and fabric would be passed down to the next generation. My casual poll of knitters showed that less than 50% were taught the craft by an older relative. Probably more like 30%. So that means that about 70% of all knitters were taught by someone like you and me; someone who knit and taught that skill to a friend or coworker or colleague. This tells me one important thing: If we don't keep it up, then 70% of all future knitters will never know the joy of taking sticks and string and turning them into something wonderful. Nope. They will no doubt instead be sitting around, years from now, unfulfilled, unhappy and unproductive. And who's fault will it be? Yours and mine, because we did not shoulder our responsibility and pass along to others what we know.

And if you can't do it tomorrow, keep the spirit of Knit in Public Day alive all year. Take your knitting with you when you're out and about. Knit proud, knit boldly and find someone to teach it to. It's your duty as a knitter.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Memorial Day 2011

On Memorial Day we remember those who gave their lives in service to our country. One of the ways to remember, according to, is "by renewing a pledge to aid the widows, widowers, and orphans of our fallen dead, and to aid the disabled veterans."

Being an amateur historian as well as a knitter, I look for ways to combine my love of history with my love of knitting whenever I can. The National WWII Museum has a program that does this and does it well. Knit Your Bit provides scarf patterns for knitters (and crocheters) and then distributes the scarves to Veterans Administration Centers nationwide, a tangible, yet small, way to say thank you to those who have served our country.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Knitting Events at the Charleston Museum

The Charleston Museum is sponsoring two great events on World Wide Knit in Public Day. In addition to the group knitting time in the courtyard, 10am-1pm, check these out:

Textile Workshop Series: Mid-19th Century Knitted Mitts
June 11, 2011
$30 for members and $35 for non-members


June 11, 2011
11:00 am
Free for museum members and free with admission ($10/adults, $5/kids, under 3 free)

World Wide Knit in Public Day

We are excited to announce that KnitOasis is partnering this year with the Charleston Museum for World Wide Knit in Public Day! The Museum has a day full of fun knitting activities planned, in fact, with more on the horizon to come.

Knit in Public Day details:

Date: June 11, 2011
Time: 10:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.
Location: The Charleston Museum
Address: 360 Meeting Street, Charleston, SC
Price: FREE for Museum members and FREE with admission ($10/adults, $5/children, under 3 free)

World Wide Knit in Public Day is celebrated, well, World Wide! Since 2005, knitters (and crocheters) have been finding public areas to congregate and share the fibery fun with each other while taking some of the mystique out of making things with sticks and string. A lot of us knit at home alone much of the time, and this is a great way to get to know other knitters in our communities.

So join us for the largest knitter-run event in the world--you'll make progress on your latest project, get some fresh air (weather permitting!) and make new friends, too.

For more info, email me at, click on the links above to the Museum or World Wide Knit in Public Day, or email the Museum at

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

What to do when knitting goes wrong...

One of the hardest things I've had to learn to do as a knitter is to fix my mistakes. If you knit for any length of time you'll realize that mistakes in knitting, as in life, happen. Some are harder to fix than others, and some can be left in and called a pattern adjustment. Hey, don't judge.

So what do you do when you find yourself in a knitting pickle and there's no one around to ask for help? Here are a few resources that have saved my knitting and my sanity on more than one occasion:
When I first started knitting, it was this site that I turned to most for clear, easy to understand videos showing techniques from casting on to binding off and every step in between.

The Knitting Answer Book: Solutions to Every Problem You'll Ever Face: Answers to Every Question You'll Ever Ask
In this case, go ahead and judge the book by the title!

KnitPicks Tutorials
Love the store, love the site, love the tutorials!

I know knitters who have had great success finding how-to videos on YouTube, and of course you can always Google your problem and see what comes up. Sometimes a knitting friend far away can answer your questions via email or Facebook--or you can always post a question on our Facebook site (KnitOasis) and we'll try to help out anyway we can.

How about you? Have you got a tried and true resource to help you over the rough patches in your knitting?

Friday, February 18, 2011

President's Day Knitting!

Looking for something to do on Monday, February 21, aka President's Day? Ever wanted to try your hand at knitting, but didn't want to pay the $$ it costs for lessons?

Come join us at Atlanta Bread near CSU on Monday from 10-11:30 for Monday Morning Knitters, a group that meets regularly for knitting instruction and support. We have knitters of all ages and skill levels.

If you're new to knitting, we have spare needles and yarn to get you started, or you can bring your own.

Knitting is a centuries-old art that is experiencing a resurgence in popularity. It can be whatever you need from a hobby: simple and inexpensive or complex and pricey (and anything in between!). It's portable, not that hard to learn, therapeutic and fun. I have taught knitting for 5 years to boys and girls as young as 8 (if you don't count a friend's 2 year old toddlers!) and adults so old they wouldn't tell me their age :)

For President's Day, we have a special bonus: The first 5 attendees who arrive wearing red,white and blue will get free yarn!

There's never been a better time to try it!

Hope to see you there!

Wednesday, February 09, 2011

Getting to know some knitters, part 1

When I went to the SC Knitting Guild's Knit Inn 2011, not only did I get to see my pal Becky and her very funny Dr. Who-loving friend Lisa, I also got to meet many interesting new people. I said yesterday that knitters were a good group--I'd like to introduce you to a few of them over the next couple of days, in no particular order...

Mimi (I know her as Michelle) and her friend Flo were among the knitters who were so sweet to me when my friend Becky was MIA on Friday night. They were so lovely in fact that I spent the rest of the weekend touching base with them because if I could have, I'd have packed them in my suitcase and taken them home. When I gave them an official standing invitation to Monday Morning Knitters, they reacted as though I'd suggested the funnest thing they'd heard of in ages. It's a bit of a drive from Hilton Head, much less Ohio, but I hope they know that if they ever do pop in, they will be welcomed with open arms.

Mimi has some mad sewing and embroidery skills and has a great Etsy site with creative gifts for all ages (pictured above: personalized knitter's pillow case). During the weekend, she and Flo were seen sporting the custom Knitting Guild t-shirts that she also sells. Two words: TOO CUTE! Much like Michelle and Flo, in fact.

Tuesday, February 08, 2011

It's a Small World, After All

I just love knitters. I've met them online, in person, and blogged about them without having met them. I'm sure there are other hobbies that have super nice people (the quilters I know are pretty awesome, for example) but my hobby is knitting and I have met so few super nice knitters that I'm calling it a trend. ***Correction: This was supposed to read: ...I have met so few knitters who were not super nice... Duh. Note to self--don't post to blog too early in the morning!!***

Just yesterday, for example, who should show up at my Monday Morning Knitters Group, but the mom who inspired me to take my knitting everywhere. And in a typical burst of tactlessness disguised as comedy, when I met her I said, "You inspired a blog post! Because you were knitting during that class at the museum and I wasn't!"

To her credit, she stayed anyway.

When I said in the post that I thought she must be a "kind, generous, lovely person," I was close. She is an extremely kind, generous, lovely person, and I was so glad to meet her and knit with her yesterday. I hope I didn't scare her off, because she was such a nice addition to our little group.

I had to wonder, too, if I write about other knitters, will the universe send them to me? Hmm...I can certainly think of a few I'd like to see walk through the doors of Atlanta Bread some Monday, knitting bag in hand. Why? Because knitters are just that nice.

Tuesday, February 01, 2011

New free pattern: The D.C. Traveler

So I knew I was going to Washington, D.C. for a few days. In January. This led me to believe it would be cold and I thought, maybe I should dress accordingly. I gave serious consideration to all my handknits. I know that a scarf is practical and can be versatile, depending on its length and width and yarn. After examining all available scarves and wraps, I realized that really there was not one that would fit ALL of the following criteria: a) provide warmth b) go with every outfit I would wear that week, from casual to business casual c) be short enough to not get caught in the closing door of a Metro train, or trail behind me as I scurried across a busy intersection.

I realized I would have to either forgo the scarf idea entirely or make something---quick! I scoured the internet (as in, Ravelry) and came up with this lovely scarf from Melanie Tindale, which I love. I came very close to knitting this exact scarf in a different color, and yet, I felt that the pointed ends were not what I wanted for this particular scarf, for this particular trip. I am indebted to Melanie for her ingenious key-hole design, which I used to make The D. C. Traveler. My daughter made a neck wrap a few years ago using Seed Stitch and I loved how that looked, so well, I knit up my own version of a keyhole scarflet and now I'm sharing the pattern with you....
The D.C. Traveler.

Here I am wearing The D.C. Traveler in the company of that great knitter, Eleanor Roosevelt. This scarflet worked so well for my trip. I could put it on or take it off with a minimum of movement (great for when you're on a crowded train), and it was small enough to fit easily in my pocket or purse. And because the keyhole design makes it self-closing, I never had to re-position it like I invariably do with other, longer scarves. It was also the perfect color for conservative Washington.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Local Charity Option for Hand-Knitted Items

Because I had a friend ask me for a local charity or ministry that would take knitted baby hats, I did some asking and found out that a wonderful local organization called
Tricounty Family Ministries will gladly take knitted (or crocheted!) items. They also have a current need for clothing, as they have given out all their clothing to the less fortunate in the Tricounty area.

You can also volunteer there in many different capacities as well.

I know there are a multitude of charities that take knitted items, both in this country and around the world, but if you ever want to help folks in your own backyard (and you live in the Charleston, SC area), this is a good option. And think of all the postage you'll save :)

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Knitting in Public (or How Not to be a Hater)

There are many variables in my life (despite appearances to the contrary). I have many interests and a few true passions, plus there are things that must be done every day or every week to fulfill commitments and obligations. Knitting is one thing that can be described as a constant in my life, though. I've knitted through good times and bad. I've knitted easy things and things that were so challenging that I swore it was going to make me give it all up; lock, stock and yarn stash. I've knit alone and in large crowds and in everything in between. It is a rare day that I leave the house without a project, carried along "just in case" there is a moment that could become knitting time.

And yet...

And yet I sat today in a lovely class at the Charleston Museum (aka one of my favorite places), and witnessed someone, other than myself, knitting during the class. Why is this even worth mentioning? Because, believe it or not, I HAD NO KNITTING WITH ME. Knitting in the car, knitting in several rooms of my house, but not with me. I had just been chatting with a dear fellow Knitter-Mom about how we really should have brought our knitting in with us, chuckle, chuckle. Then not 10 minutes into this class, I catch a glimpse of this other mom, knitting away while listening to the teacher. I am sure this woman is a kind, generous, lovely person, but I found myself being a Hater. As in, I hate that SHE thought to bring her knitting, and I didn't. It was bad, let me tell you. The milk of human kindness had ceased to flow from my heart and I had no one to blame but myself.

I can excuse it all by saying I had no idea what the structure of the morning would be and thereby could not have known I'd have tons of sit-and-listen time to make use of. But really, is that a good excuse? I think not. I purposely carry a handbag large enough for at least a small knitting project (and I don't fill it with things that would take up valuable yarn space), I make sure I always have a small project on the needles to keep handy for excursions, and I know that knitting is an activity that can be done in so many different situations without being considered rude or distracting. (Of course, there are exceptions to this, but that's another story.)

Later, as we toured the Civil War exhibits in the Museum, I saw displays that featured knitting needles and yarn and descriptions of how the women left behind during the war knit ALL THE TIME for the boys on the front. I felt them mocking me, those women of the 19th century. I just know they were always prepared when they went visiting...Parasol? Check. Lace gloves? Check. Knitting? Check.

I claim to be committed to my craft, and I have big plans for all the things I will knit this year. So, if you see me taking a few moments to knit in public somewhere, please know it can mean only one thing: I'm trying not to be a Hater.

Monday, January 24, 2011

8 Things to love about Ravelry

Ravelry is an online knitting/crocheting community, a social-networking site for fiber enthusiasts. Whether you're new to knitting or a seasoned pro, Ravelry can help you connect, learn, and make the most of your knitting.

Here are 8 random reasons why Ravelry is so awesome:

1) Online "Brag" Book: Ever want to organize all your projects, show them off to others, keep track of what you knit when and for whom? With Ravelry, you have "My Notebook", a place to organize your projects and keep track of such details as how long it took you to make something, whether you followed the pattern word for word or deviated to suit your tastes, and the exact yarn and needles you used. Plus a picture! Or several pictures!
2) Organize your yarn and needles. And your books and patterns and future projects.
3) Get to know other knitters through the forums, through the patterns and projects, through the whole site. Knitters are really nice people, if I do say so myself.
4) If you're looking for a pattern, say a scarf pattern that's just a shade beyond garter stitch, and you don't have a knitting book handy and you don't want to go get one, Ravelry has pages and pages of scarf patterns (and other patterns, too). Many are free and available instantly.
5) If you're considering the purchase of a knitting book, but wonder if the patterns are all that great, look it up on Ravelry. See the patterns, find out what other knitters have to say about it, take the guess work out of it. This is also true of yarn, needles and knitting accessories. If it has something to do with knitting, you can bet it's been discussed on Ravelry.
6) Ravelry is like a lot of things on the can be a bit of a time sucker. You log in at 8 a.m. to look at Log Cabin blanket patterns, you look up, and suddenly it's 4:30 the next day and you're really hungry. But hey, you've gotten some amazing inspiration and done research on your hobby (even though research that is this lengthy pushes it away from "hobby" and into "obsession."). (And this is only a hypothetical example. Really.)
7) Are you ready to market your original knitting designs to others? Ravelry is just what you need. They'll walk you step by step through the process of setting up a designer account and putting your patterns before your soon-to-be adoring public.
8) It's free. Seriously. All this fabulous resource needs from you is a user name and log in, and you'll have a well of knitting info at your fingertips, day or night.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Monday Morning Knitting Returns

After a lengthy hiatus, Monday morning knitting group returns tomorrow. Join us at the Atlanta Bread near CSU from 10-11:30. I can't wait!!

Saturday, January 01, 2011

Happy New Year!

Our Monday morning knitting group will begin the new year with a little break. We will take Jan. 3 off and meet again on Jan. 10.

Did you get new yarn or needles for Christmas? Want to learn some new knitting skills as part of your New Year's Resolutions? Come join us for a great time of knitting and chatting--Mondays starting Jan. 10 at Atlanta Bread near CSU, 10 am until 11:30ish.

Also, with the new year comes new opportunities...
**We are working with the Dorchester Road branch of the Charleston County Public Library to host a knitting group in the evening.
**This year we will attempt some charity knitting projects that anyone can participate in.
**Mark your calendars now for the weekend of June 11/12, 2011 for
World Wide Knit in Public Day. We plan to host an event this year and will be looking for potential venues in the next few months.

New Year's Blessings to you all!