Friday, 23 January 2015

GBOW Closed On Sundays For Now

It's January.....things are a tad slow. So until further notice (say, summer?) the store and the Loopy Lounge will be closed on Sundays.
But you can come on Saturdays from 2-4 pm and hang out and knit.

Looking forward to fun Saturday afternoons!  

Thursday, 22 January 2015

Men;s Knitting Class

One of our new classes started last night -- Men's Beginner Knitting. Four fellows showed up, and are off to a really good start. Take a look at their needles....there's several inches showing! Roisin reported that three of the four are here in Powell River as part of the Telus work crew installing the new fibre optic lines, so kudos to these guys for finding GBOW and deciding to learn to knit while they're away from home on a work assignment! 

Tuesday, 20 January 2015

Alexander's Purple Blanket Of Love

I am a first time Great Aunt (I have been a great aunt for almost three decades now). My niece had a son on January 18. His name is Alexander and here he is wrapped in his Purple Blanket of Love, the second one I have knitted. I wrote about the first one, for Caroline, in this post

It is a lovely pattern. The basket weave stitch gives the blanket a nice texture, and that along with the seed stitch edging keeps from boredom setting in. The pattern is at the store and the yarn is Malabrigo Rios Purple Mystery...just wonderful to knit with, and, I am sure, snuggle in.

Sunday, 18 January 2015

Fun New Classes Coming Up!

Here's some great classes coming up....all new, all fun. Oh, and if you have a Shaw email address and are on Roisin's mailing list, you are not getting email from us right now. A small problemio with the mailing list that will get sorted out. 

As always, please pre-register. 

Men's Beginner Knit Evening Class
Start Date:  Wed Jan 21st 7-9pm  (Jan 28th, Feb. 4 & 11th)
Continental Knit with Carola
$60. for 4 x 2 hr. Classes + yarn purchase

Easy Knits Class

Start Date:  Monday 2-4 pm Jan 26th (Feb 2, 9,16th)

Easy Knit Scarves, Hats, Gloves, Slippers  with Carola
$60. for 4 x 2 hr classes + yarn purchase
This will be an on-going class, start any Monday.

"The Lundie" Puddlestomper Hoodie - Roisin's design pattern and class
Tested by Brenda
Top Down one piece circular Hoodie
Any size (child's) can be achieved using different needles/yarn
Start Date:  Friday Feb 6th 3-5 pm (Feb 13,20,27)
Pattern provided, yarn purchase @ GBOW
$60.00 for 4 x 2 hr classes 
Hood is well-shaped to fit baby's head, quick to pull on and off, poncho style with hands.  Samples fit 14-20 months.

Knitted Felted Slippers - Fiber Trends pattern with Roisin's design addition (of course)
Knit the regular clog  or higher back style
Add extra yarn to prevent slipping
Start Date Wednesday Feb 11, 11-1 pm (Feb 18, 25, Mar 4, 11)
5 x 2 hr classes
$75.00 plus purchase of yarn and pattern.  Roisin's design addition included.

Thursday, 15 January 2015

Tech Talk With Jude Skeers - #1 Provisional Cast-On

Words, lots of words coming up in the next few months. Jude Skeers, our guest at GBOW for a series of classes and workshops in late October 2015, has sent Roisin articles he wrote to share with you (so the "I" in the articles is Jude himself). 
This article was first published in the Australian magazine Yarn which GBOW gets. Roisin says it's interesting so ask to have a look. 

There are lots of videos of provisional cast ons....however, I think you'll see that Jude is doing this useful technique a bit differently.

Invisible (Provisional) Cast-On
Casting On – which Richard Rutt, in A History of Hand Knitting (1987 p.13), refers to thus: ‘The creation of the first course of loops, the foundation of a piece of knitted fabric, is the initial problem in knitting.’
Mary Thomas, in her book, Mary Thomas’s Knitting Book, first published in 1938, made reference to six methods of casting-on. Method 5 is Casting-On (Invisible), p.66.
According to Mary Thomas: ‘The object of this method is rather different from that of any other, since it is to avoid and not create a definite selvedge edge. This is accomplished by “laying” the yarn round the needles and a foundation yarn, which can be part of the ball end, or of an independent nature.’
She goes on the write: ‘This is a valuable method of laying foundation stitches, as it leaves the selvedge free for any purpose. If the foundation yarn or cord is removed, a row of loops is exposed, which can be picked up and knitted in the opposite direction.’

It was in the mid-eighties that I first used this method of cast-on. I designed a framed knitted wall piece that was made of 3 squares with circles inside them. They were knitted from the outside to the centre. I invisibly cast on 400 stitches for each square using a circular needle and waste yarn. I found this method of cast-on incredibly difficult. But the completed squares were grafted together to form a rectangle and I then picked up the 800 invisible stitches to knit the edging.
Returning to using this method of cast-on, I worked at solving my problem of casting on using waste yarn. I found that the waste yarn was not substantial enough to hold the stitches straight. To solve my problem, I now cast on using monofilament to replace the waste yarn. I have tried 1.5mm, 2mm and 2.5mm monofilament and find the 2mm cord to be most successful. It is large enough to hold the shape of the stitches and yet not so thick as to make the loop of the stitches oversized.
Where to find monofilament? It is the cord in circular needles. Knitters who have interchangeable needle kits with extra cords can try them. But the simple place to find 1.5mm,  2mm and 2.5mm monofilament cord is at the hardware shop or in the garden shed. The monofilament that I use is ‘line trimmer’ cord – the cord that is used in lawn edge cutters.
Invisible cast-on is easy to learn. Elizabeth Zimmermann writes in Knitting Around (1989, p.183): ‘Once mastered, you will find countless uses for this technique. In reality you are simply winding the working wool around the needle, separating the loops with a strand of spare wool.’ And thanks to the internet, there are many videos demonstrating how it is done.
Below is the basic method that is to be found in knitting books that include how-to details. It may be named Invisible, or Provisional, cast-on. You are making a provision to knit the stitches in the other direction.
1)    Place stoppers on both ends of length of monofilament to prevent the stitches from slipping off the end. A piece of cork or elastic band will suffice.
2)    Tie the knitting yarn onto one end the monofilament.
3)    Hold the monofilament and knitting needle in your right hand.
4)    Wind the yarn around the needle and the monofilament and back over the needle.

5)    Continue until you have the required number of stitches.

Friday, 9 January 2015

Jude Skeers Event - October 2015

Well, *this* is exciting! As readers of this blog know, Roisin is a friend of and collaborator with  Australian designer, artist and knitter, Jude Skeers. His true Moebius designs have been the basis for many beautiful items we've showed you photos of...some are reproduced below. And we've mentioned that he was coming here to Powell River--to Canada for the very first time, from October 16 until the first week in November.

And ta da! Here is the preliminary schedule. Do NOT delay expressing your intent to attend if you are interested as attendance in each class and workshop is quite small. Costs will be somewhere between $125 to $325 per class/workshop. Roisin is still working out details.

Friday 16th October - Jude arrives, meet and greet social afternoon/evening

Saturday 17th October - Knit your own Spider Web. Fun time, morning and afternoon session. 

Monday 19th October - Jude's Circular Shawl. One of his patterns which is an original design. For those wishing to take this workshop, Roisin will get you started with your cast-on prior to Jude's workshop.

Tuesday 20th October - Jude's Elizabeth Zimmerman Style Jacket, Children's or Adult Size.

Wednesday 21st October - Moebius Shoulder Wrap/Shawl
A pre-requisite for this workshop is taking one of Roisin's Moebius classes. For further information, get in touch with Roisin.

Thurs 22nd October - Stranding, Fair Isle techniques for Beanies, Toques, etc. Another specialty of Jude's.

Friday October 22nd, Saturday 23rd and Sunday 24th. A 3-day workshop learning to make Jude's wonderful creation, the Moebius Wrap/ Shawl. Samples of these are on display at Great Balls of Wool. This class will be limited to 5 participants and will be held at The Magical Dome in Lund. For more information on this, just ask Roisin.

For the week of Monday 26th October , classes will continue on the same schedule.

These classes and workshops are subject to change depending on number of participant
s--and updates will be provided as we have them. 

Fiber & Fabric Weekend

Some changes made (as noted by Kevin and highlighted) so I am reposting.

Ooooo! This looks like it will be an amazing event! GBOW pal Kevin Wilson is organizing a Fiber and Fabric Weekend. Must register....before January 10, the cost of the weekend is only $99 (but check out all the options via the link below).

"Fiber and Fabric from the Ground Up" Weekend of Workshops, Jan 24-25
This full weekend of workshops and classes will expand the possibilities for fiber and fabric arts and crafts in your life, with hands-on sessions on all kinds of different topics:


8:30 – 9:00 am Check-in and coffee
9:00 – 10:30 am Make Do & Mend – Fran Cudworth Demystifying the Sewing Machine – Cam & Shawn Bailey
10:45 – 12:45 Knit a Sock in a Weekend (part 1) - Kevin Wilson Felting and re-purposing wool items – Roberta Pearson
1:30 – 4:30 pm Beginning continental knitting – Marlaine Taylor Off-loom weaving – Hana-Louise Braun

8:30 – 9:00 am Check-in and coffee
9:00 – 10:30 am Knit a Sock in a Weekend (part 2) – Kevin Wilson Beginner spinning on a drop spindle – Val McKeen
10:45 – 12:45 Art yarn on a drop spindle – Katrina Craig Rugmaking with recycled clothing – Alice McCallum
1:30 – 4:30 pm Simple Hand Applique – Marlaine Taylor Learn to Crochet: simple handwarmers – Roberta Pearson

You can attend the whole weekend, or just one day, as you wish. Full details and registration available here:
or by calling Kevin at 483 9052.

Wednesday, 7 January 2015

2015 Trends

In the grand tradition of New Year fearless prognostications, I am sharing some yarn-y trends with you. Amazingly, they can all be summed up with one sentence: Making and wearing things from lovely yarns will be popular. There! You can stop reading if you have a serious knitting project to get back to.

However, here's some trends identified by various sources. Make of them what you will...and be thankful we have a source of excellent and beautiful yarns in Powell River. 

1. Vogue Paris says "all over knits" is one of this season's Top 20 Trends, citing designers such as Stella McCartney, Sonia Rykiel, Celine, Marc Jacobs... I am not sure about matching knitted pants, myself. 

2. A second Top 20 Trend from Vogue Paris is ponchos....and we all know that ponchos are great crochet and knit projects! GBOW even has a class on poncho knitting...ahead of the trend, that's us.

3. Related to Trend 1....oversized everything. Big coats, capes, sweaters, and definitely yarns. Which is a good trend for slow knitters such as myself, as big yarn on big needles knits up quickly. Come check out our selection of Big Yarn. 

4. Marsala...not the wine, the colour... late each year, Pantone, the world-renowned authority on colour, announces a Color of the Year. 2015's colour is Marsala, a rich, dark red. Can't you picture a poncho, or a hat knit using Marsala? And to help you imagine "go with" colours, Pantone helpfully published seven colour pairings (I particularly like #6). Take notes and come to the store to pick your colours!

5. Do-It-Yourself (DIY) continues to be very popular which means knitting, crochet and weaving are hot as (serious) hobbies but also as ways of making useful new items, and repurposing old ones. Reusing yarn and fabric is eco-friendly...and older fibers can be mixed with new ones for a fresh take on a rug or sweater. 

6. Related to Trend 5 is ongoing and increasing local support here in Powell River for all things fiber and yarn. There's the success of our very own LYS, Great Balls of Wool. There's the upcoming Fiber and Fabric weekend put on by the Urban Homesteading School of Powell River. And there's the Vancouver Island Spinners and Weavers Retreat coming up in March, to be held at Beach Gardens. I predict this is a trend that has not peaked yet! 

Happy Yarn and Fiber projects in 2015! 

Saturday, 3 January 2015

Upcoming Classes

And these classes are confirmed: 

Crochet Class - Mondays 11-1pm Start date Jan 12th with Carola. Fresh beginners and skills improving. 3 participants, room for 3 more. 4 x 2 hr classes $60.00

And...a new addition! Fancy Felted Dryer Balls with fun designs. Brenda will be teaching this. $25.00 for 2 classes. Start date is Tuesday Jan 13th 10 am - noon. 

Kid's Cowichan Style Sweater Class

Roisin has added a class for a Cowichan style Kid's Sweater. There are
four people signed up and room for only ONE more, so don't delay if you're interested.

Start date:  Friday Jan 9th from 3 - 5 pm

$60 for 4 x 2 hr classes - Jan 9, 16,23,30.  Purchase materials at GBOW. The pattern will be supplied.