Wednesday, April 29, 2009

News from Pam

The Twist blog will now feature entries from our entire staff - instructors, shop assistants, and FOT (Friends of Twist.) Today, Pam will tell us about her recent knitting class and has a couple of great tips! Pam is a knitting and crochet instructor, and is the person who helps on Wednesday afternoons when you bring in your projects with questions.


I am just back from my class with Lucy Neatby, at Wildflower in Manhattan. What a class it was! We learned how to knit a tube on flat needles. I am sure lots of you already know how to do that; I knew how to do that too. But she went somewhat beyond the basics. I had never thought about knitting glove fingers in a flat tube, but that sure beats doing them on double-pointed needles! She also suggested we could use flat tubes for doll or bear clothes, not to mention the doll or bear itself. She has a free tutorial on her website for a double-knit bag for an mp3 player (or iPod). Shelly has Lucy's instructional DVDs in the shop.

The other thing that made Lucy's class "interesting" was the weather. It was raining cats and dogs, when one of the student's husband called to tell us we were under a tornado watch. The only word that several of the students heard was "tornado" and they were through with class. They packed up and left. Lucy is from Nova Scotia, and doesn't know the first thing about tornadoes. But she was nervous after a third of the class got up and left. I couldn't figure out the extreme reaction until I realized that Manhattan got hit by a tornado last year. We finished the class promptly at 5, and I think Lucy was ready to leave about 5 minutes after we were done. Hopefully if she ever comes back to Kansas we won't have such awful weather.

All of you who haven't joined the vintage underwear KAL (Knit-A-Long) are missing a great group! Not all of us are knitting underwear; I am adapting a pullover sweater out of the pattern for the teal bed jacket. The jacket itself makes a great spring/fall cover-up. Cori is knitting a slip pattern into a night gown, and if we used heavier yarn, that pattern would make a cute slip dress. Don't worry about not being able to size up a pattern or change the yarn used. I will be glad to help you get the size and the yarn you want to use with the pattern you like. (You know that office Christmas party? Some of these patterns would make a dress that would make you be the star of the party!)

We started a CAL (Crochet-A-Long) with "plarn" last Saturday. Plarn=plastic yarn. We're making our plarn with strips of plastic grocery bags. Then we're crocheting them into durable market bags. The ultimate recycling!

I am still making plarn. I decided I didn't want to start making my bag until I had enough plarn to finish it. Truth be known, lots of people on the internet have said it is hard to actually crochet the bags because of the big hooks, and the plarn doesn't stretch or give like regular yarn, but Lee and LeeAnn dove right in and started crocheting. Neither of them were having many problems. Lee said it is slower than using regular yarn, and maybe that is what people are talking about when they say plarn is hard to use. Even if you don't want to crochet or knit - yes, I do have a knitted pattern with plarn - join us! You could also use kitchen cotton to make a bag or two. Shelly has some great colors of worsted weight cotton yarn, and your bag could have stripes or a design on it. The main thing, though, is that if we all made re-usable bags to take to the grocery store we could stop some of the non-biodegradable trash in the landfills. And its a whole lot more enjoyable crocheting/knitting with a fun bunch of people!

The Recycled Market Bag CAL meets every Saturday through April, May, & June from 11:00-1:00.

Speaking of recycling, there is super blog out in cyberspace: My Recycled Bags. She has links to patterns that use old VCR tapes, cassette tapes, soda pop tops, and plastic bags. It is quite a collection and worth a look.

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