Designing, Updates, WiP Posts

How are things?

Wow, things sure have changed since my last post in early March! How is everyone doing?

Pretty much all of my 2020 events have been cancelled, which is understandable, but still disappointing. A pretty big percentage of my yearly income is from teaching, so that’s hurt a bit. On the other hand, I’ve had more time to tech edit, and I’ve gained several new clients – which is exciting, and certainly helps to offset some of my lost income from teaching. (If you’re looking for a Tech Editor, I have openings!) πŸ™‚

I’ve still been designing – here’s a sneak peek at a lace shawl that will be in the upcoming issue of Cast On magazine:

This is worked with Greenwood Fiberworks Yakity Yak yarn in the color Cherry Semisolid. I loved working with this yarn! Look for the new issue later in July.

I’m working on revamping my pattern layout and design, and I’m going to try to produce something that is much more accessible for knitters that use page readers and the like. I have a few designs ready or almost ready to release, but they will likely be delayed a short bit while I learn new software and work on revamping the design. But in the end I hope to have something much more useful to more people! I’m always open to suggestions if there is something you think I should be considering.

My patterns are currently for sale mostly on Ravelry, and I know lots of people are having trouble using the new site. Many of my patterns are also for sale on LoveKnitting, so that is an alternative for those of you that understandably want to avoid Ravelry. I’m also looking into alternatives for selling my patterns via other means, so changes may be afoot in my website as well. (I have lots of research going on right now!!)

I’ve also got some new tutorial videos in the works, so keep an eye out for those!

I’ve been doing a little “fun” knitting during Zoom knit groups and the like – here’s a pair of socks that are half done. My favorite method – top down with afterthought heels. I’m not sure what color I’ll do the heels in yet. I have plenty of sock yarn to pick from in my stash for those, though!

I’m available for private or small group knitting lessons via Zoom, so do get in touch if that’s something you’re interested in! You can also buy me a coffee at https://ko-fi.com/hstorta! I appreciate your support immensely.

Until next time, Happy Knitting!!

Patterns Released, Teaching, Updates

How is it March already?

Ok, so – I’ve been a bad blogger. lol. I can’t believe I never posted a SAFF recap, or at all since Rhinebeck. Oops. Forgive me?

I’ll bring you up to speed on all that has been happening in Heather-ville:

  • SAFF last October was great – I taught 9 classes over 4 days, so it was non-stop teaching. I had very little time to roam the vendor hall. But I had fantastic students (as always) and had a fun (but exhausting) time!
  • In November my family and I went to Walt Disney World, and got to see the new Star Wars Land. That was fun (of course!) Later in the month, we hosted our first guests at our new home for Thanksgiving, and had a very nice visit with family.
  • In January I was supposed to teach an all-day workshop for our Guild, but I caught the flu and had to cancel. (Boo.) My whole family ended up with the flu, and that was no fun, but at least we were all staggered in when we had it – so there was someone to take care of the sick ones! (Thank goodness for older children and their ability to take care of themselves and others to an extent! If this had hit while the boys were little, it would have been a disaster!)
  • I released my Rhinebeck sweater-vest pattern, finally: October Dreams is now available on Ravelry.
  • In February I was appointed to the Board of Directors of TKGA, as their new VP of Education. I’m very excited about this – I believe very strongly in TKGA’s mission and am honored to be able to be a part of moving the organization forward.

That’s a quick update! Now, what’s in store in the future? 2020 is looking to be a very busy year for me!

I will be teaching a class this Sunday as part of Knitrino’s Virtual Knitting Extravaganza – check it out on Instagram if you haven’t heard about what they’ve whipped up in response to the postponement of Vogue Knitting Live Seattle.

Registration is open for the first TKGA Retreat this November in Portland, OR. I will be one of the two instructors at this year’s retreat (the first since the reorganization of TKGA as a non-profit.) It promises to be a fabulous event, and I am super excited about it! There are only a few spots left, from what I hear, so if you’re interested you should register ASAP.

Dallas Fort Worth Fiber Fest is fast approaching! I will be part of the team teaching on TKGA’s Master’s Day. And I will be there all weekend staffing the “Brilliance Bar” and roaming the vendor hall. Say hi if you see me!!

Later in April I’ll be participating in Unwind Retreat in Blowing Rock, NC. I love the people at this retreat so much that even though I am not teaching this year, I had to sign up to go. It’s such a fantastic retreat.

In June, I will be teaching a couple classes at the Blue Ridge Fiber Fest in Sparta, NC. ‘Short Rows’ on Saturday morning and ‘Entrelac Baskets’ on Saturday afternoon. Registration is open now, so go sign up for classes before they fill up!

I have some other things on the horizon later in 2020, you’ll have to stay tuned to find out about those. πŸ˜‰

On my needles currently are some pillows to go along with the article I am writing for the upcoming issue of Cast On magazine. And I have some designs in my head that will need to get on the needles as soon as these pillows are done!

Whew! Ok, that’s my update. Now to try to do better at regularly blogging!

Until next time (hopefully sooner than 5 months from now, lol), Happy Knitting!!

 

 

Conference/Festival Recaps, Teaching

My first Rhinebeck!

Warning: Long post with lots of pictures ahead!!

My first Rhinebeck experience was AMAZING. If I had to describe it in just one word I would use the word “Community”. As much as the sights, sounds, food, yarn, and everything else was wonderful, it was the PEOPLE who made my Rhinebeck phenomenal. So many lovely people all in one place. The love and joy was palpable in the air.

So, I drove up partway on Tuesday night and stayed with a friend, then drove the rest of the way Wednesday. My AirBnB was simply the quaintest spot ever. A 1750s house with a private room with bath attached. And sheep just outside the window, too.

My room key. πŸ™‚

My classes were all day Thursday and Friday. (All 4 of them sold out, I was blown away!) I really lucked out and my classroom was inside in the Foster’s building – which was really nice on the Thursday when it was so wet and rainy.

On Thursday I taught Double Knitting and then Mosaic Knitting. My students were fantastic.

 

 

 

On Friday I taught A Sampling of Short Rows and Estonian Decorative Stitches. Again, my students were fantastic. (I forgot to take a picture of my short row class, oops.)

Friday night I splurged and had dinner alone at Reginato Ristorante on the other side of the river closer to my BnB. The food was so good. It’s a lovely spot. I felt a little out of place among all the romantic couples dining, but my waitress took good care of me and I had a wonderful meal.

Saturday was the festival. I only had one day to take it in, since I needed to drive back home to NC on Sunday in order to be home for Monday. Let me tell you, I had heard that the festival is huge. I had NO IDEA. Wow. Huge is an understatement. You need two days to see everything, really. I was wishing I could stay another day. I met so many wonderful people, and ran into so many of my students – who now all felt like good friends. (A bonus benefit of having taught leading up to Saturday!) I got such lovely feedback and compliments from my students, they really made me feel special. ❀

My Saturday outfit: Rhinebeck sweater vest and vintage style blouse and jeans and boots.

I met Kristy Glass for the first time (she’s so sweet!) and she filmed me for her Rhinebeck sweater video – and even gave me a prize! How cool is that!?

Kristy Glass
Prize from Kristy!

I accosted Stephanie Pearl-McPhee for a photo, I met my vintage knitter crush, Sydney, and got a photo with her, and ran into Alison and Julia and got photos with them to! (We’re totally plotting a pre-planned vintage girl meetup for next time!) And I ran into a student from my Estonian lace class at Galina’s booth, and saw her Orenburg shawl (so gorgeous!!)

I tried to wait in line for cider donuts, but couldn’t do the long line – so I got an apple crisp instead. I had a lovely corned beef rueben for lunch, got some hot apple cider, and bought way more wares than I planned to. (But I have no regrets!)

Yarn: Neighborhood Fiber Co Rhinebeck colorway and White Birch self-striping sock in colorway “Nothing Says Screw You like a Rainbow”.

Buttons from Dusty’s Vintage Buttons (I love Michelle! Have to buy buttons from her whenever I see she is vending!)

Shearling slippers from Shepherd’s Flock, since I heard his stuff was wonderful, and he was retiring on Sunday after the show and was selling out. I snagged the next to last pair of Women’s slippers in my size.

And of course, festival souvenirs. (I was smart and pre-ordered these! The line for the souvenir tent never got short on Saturday!! It was a sight to see.)

I also watched some of the herding dog demo, and the agility course dogs too. And I saw lots of cute animals!

I drove partway home on Saturday night (that was an adventure, if you follow me on Instagram you’ll have seen.) And came the rest of the way home on Sunday. And now I’m prepping to leave tomorrow for SAFF to teach for 4 straight days. Whew.

I will be back to Rhinebeck – hopefully as a teacher again (I do so love teaching knitters!), but if not, certainly as a participant. It was an amazing experience.

Until next time (probably this time next week with a SAFF recap!), Happy Knitting!!

 

Designing, Teaching, Updates

Checking In!

Hello all!

So sorry it’s been so long – a lot has happened, and I’ve been super busy! But I’ve reached a bit of a breather in my schedule (albeit not a very long one) so I figured I should post to catch you up!

If you remember, I told you all about our house selling and buying in my last post. Well, we bought our new house at the beginning of August, and sold our old house a couple of days later, and basically it has been chaos ever since! It’s only just now settling down – although I still have boxes upon boxes in my bedroom, but the kitchen is unpacked, and the living room is being decorated, so at least we can “live” in the house a bit. (And we are loving it!)

And at the same time I had more deadline knitting for Cast On (look for the Stitch Anatomy article and two patterns from me, plus the ‘On Your Way to the Masters’ article in the upcoming issue) – and I have stacks of Master Knitting submissions to review as well (I apologize profusely for the delay in reviewing your work if I am your Co-Chair!) Basically, it’s been a whirlwind couple of months.

So, on to what’s happening now!

Rhinebeck is in just a couple short weeks!! All four of my classes are sold out – how crazy is that!!?? I’m beyond excited. If you are signed up for one of my classes, look for an email from me later today! I’m looking forward to meeting new folks, and experiencing my first Rhinebeck, too.

SAFF registration is still going strong! There is still space in all of my classes as of the last update I received, but a few of my classes are filling up fast, so don’t wait if there’s a particular class you had your eye on! I’m teaching 9 classes in all: the workshops are all listed here.

Also, registration for Kanuga is open now! I’ll be teaching cables — with my Harmonious Echo sweater as the project, or a cowl instead if you don’t want to knit the whole sweater. Come join us at this wonderful retreat!

Now that my deadline knitting has died down for the time being, I have picked back up my Rhinebeck sweater vest! I just bound off the back neck a day or two ago, and am almost done with the body. Next it will be time to cut the steeks (I’ll try to film a video when I do – watch Instagram and/or Youtube for that) and do the neckline and armholes. Fingers crossed I actually have it done in time to wear at Rhinebeck! (I have a swing skirt and a 40s style blouse to wear with it already!)

I’m writing the pattern up and have it almost complete as well, I just have to figure out the charts for the neckline/armhole – it’s a bit tricky with like 10+ sizes and all different decrease rates. I’ll be getting it tech edited and then put out a call for test knitters – but most likely not until after Rhinebeck and SAFF are over!

Oh! And I’ve filmed a few videos that have been posted on YouTube – they go along with my articles that will be published in the upcoming Cast On, but you can view them now. One each on the Chinese Waitress CO and BO, and a couple videos of my tips for entrelac knitting – one on picking up stitches and one on color peek. I hope they are helpful!

So, whew! That was a long update! I’ll post periodically from Rhinebeck on Instagram (be sure to follow me there!) and I will be sure to post a recap here when I’m back!

Until next time, Happy Knitting!!

 

Designing, FO Posts, Teaching, WiP Posts

FO Friday 7/19/19

Are you registered for Rhinebeck yet? Better hurry up, since lots of classes are already sold out! As of today there is one seat left in my Mosaic Knitting class, and three seats left in my Estonian Decorative Stitches class – my other two classes are sold out!

Registration for SAFF has started as well – I have 9 classes available! Go here to register. (Wow, I’m going to have a busy Fall!)

Will I see you at one or the other Festival?? I look forward to it!

I’ve finished up my current deadline design knitting – look for a new article and a fun pattern from me in the upcoming issue of Cast On magazine. It’s always a relief to have deadline work done (and in time too, lol.)

Guess what! I have a couple Finished Objects to show you today!

I finished my Wonder Woman shawl! Woo Hoo! It still needs to be blocked and the tails woven in, but I’m calling it done.

Pattern:Β Wonder Woman Wrap by Carissa Browning
Yarn:Β Malabrigo Yarn Sock in Ravelry Red, Matisse Blue, and Black. Yellow is Wooly Wonka Rhiannon in color Brocade.
Needles:Β (I don’t remember – I think the needle size called for in the pattern.)
Size: Unblocked, it is about 13 inches deep and 56 inches wide. I anticipate it growing a good bit when I block it.
Started: April 27, 2019
Finished: July 10(ish) 2019
Modifications: I worked the large size, and worked the first two rows of the first yellow block in black. I did the center stripes in black, and worked the last two rows of the final yellow block in black. I worked a few extra rows at the top, maintaining the increases (just because I had lots of yarn left, and I wanted the top block a bit deeper.)

I’m really happy with it, and can’t wait to wear it this Fall! πŸ™‚

I finished up a pair of plain (aka “waiting room”) socks as well:

These are plain stockinette socks, with afterthought heels, using String Theory Colorworks sock yarn in colorway Hippocampus. (Get it? – hippocampus, the memory center of the brain – Finding Dory?) πŸ™‚ I love these and can’t wait to wear them – they are so bright and happy!

I have another pair of plain socks in progress- these going top down 2 at a time:

The yarn is Must Stash yarn in their perfect match sock base – colorway Martian Rainbow. Talk about bright! I love them. I’ll be doing an afterthought heel (and the toes) in a contrasting color (not sure what color yet, maybe my leftover black from the Wonder Woman shawl.) I am almost ready to start the toes on these.

I have one other WiP that I just started – I’m designing a sweater vest for Rhinebeck! This is a Fair Isle vest in a vintage-inspired silhouette. I’ve only just started the colorwork section above the wide ribbing:


I’m hoping to have this done in time to wear it to Rhinebeck, and I’m writing the pattern as I go as well, so hopefully I can also release the pattern around then, too. I do have more deadline design work creeping up on me, but I should have a little bit of down time to work on this before that ramps up.

Anyway, that’s what has been going on with me lately knitting-wise! (Life-wise we’re selling our house and buying a new one, so that’s adding a whole other layer of crazy around here! Life is never boring, that’s for sure!)

Until next time, Happy Knitting!!