Friday, August 28, 2015

Just what is College Ave Stitchers?

I'm sure some of you have asked yourself this very question.  It is a group of yarn crafters - knitters, crocheters, loom knitters - anyone who works with yarn, thread, fiber OR someone who wants to learn.

We meet the 1st Saturday of each month at the College Avenue Library located at 4180 N College Ave in Indianapolis from 11:30-1:30.

These are some of our regular attendees. 

We bring in things that we've made to show off. 
For those who are interested, we have a Yarn Lottery.  To participate, bring a full skein of yarn from a pet and smoke free environment.  Those who do will have their name entered into the drawing and one lucky person leaves each month with new yarn. 
I provide instructions for FREE and each participant needs to bring their own supplies.

What supplies? May be your next question.  That depends on what you want to learn.  For KNITTING I would suggest  size 8 or larger knitting needles and a light, solid colored #4 yarn.
For CROCHETING I would suggest a size H or larger hook and a light, solid colored #4 yarn.

For patterns, I always recommend checking out books from the library before buying them. Children's books are good ones to start with.  You can also get free patterns from yarn labels, yarn websites and  displays in most craft store yarn departments.

One of the things some of us will be doing this fall and winter is making items to donate.  I will donate blankets and hats to the Wheeler Mission.  If you're intimidated by knitting or crocheting a whole blanket you can make blocks and then join them to make a blanket.  We collect knit and crochet blocks at Michaels (where I teach knit and crochet classes for a fee) as part of Warm Up America!  I have donated several blankets that I've joined to University Hospital but will start giving them to Wheeler Mission.
Kitted and crocheted blocks 
Joined into strips

Finshed blanket

Lap blanket I made from leftover yarn

If you have any questons feel free to send me an email at

We would love to have you join our friendly, welcoming group!

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Designed by Denise Smith

As I typed and edited the written portion of my Craft Yarn Council Level II Knit & Crochet Certified Instructors Program, I was able to include "Designed by Denise Smith".  The 10th assignment was to design and write an original sweater pattern, with sleeves.


Crocheted Sweater    Knitted Sweater

I have to admit, when I completed Level I of the Certification Program had no desire or interest in desigining and writing patterns. But over the years I've often knit or crocheted items just by looking at a picture.  I've also made things "freehand".

I would write notes in case I wanted to make those items again. But it's very different to write a pattern that (1) will be evaluated by a Master Teacher or (2) made by another person.  There are so many details to be included, that is if the designer wants it to be a pattern easily understood by others.  Did you know that some designers use 'pattern testers'?  I tried once to test a pattern for a designer but I wasn't chosen.  Some pay money and some let the tester keep the finished item along with any leftover yarn.

I'm not sure if I want to make these patterns available for others.  My hesitation is (1) because the sweaters were custom made for one of my daughters so the size isn't a typical one,  (2) I only wrote the patterns in one size which limits potential customers and (3) I'm not sure that I want to answer a lot of questions when it comes to people trying to make the sweaters.  I've found free patterns on blogs and read some of the questions that people ask.  I guess if the pattern is written well enough to anticipate potential problems the questions should be fewer.  It probably wouldn't be much different than answering questions when I'm teaching a knit or crochet class.

My Master Teacher has asked that I wait until after September 2nd to mail the box to her but it will all be finished and ready today.

I'm typing the patterns from my notes (I wrote as I knit and crocheted), making sure that I've completed everything on the assignment checklists, and getting it all packed up and ready to go.

For more information about the Craft Yarn Council (CYC) Certified Instructors Program (CIP) check out the Craft Yarn Council's website.

Level I - Certified Instructor
Level II - Certified Teacher
Level III - Professional

So will I continue on to become a Master Knit and Crochet Teacher?  You never know ;)

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Just what is "Yarn Night" at Michaels?

Some of you may have been asking yourself this very question.

knitting on dpns
double point
crocheting in
the round

loom knitting

crocheting with
a big hook
loom knitting

Yarn Night at Michaels is an opportunity to get help with a yarn related project such as knitting, crocheting, loom knitting, weaving or something similiar.

People come in with their projects and can receive assistance from a Craft Yarn Certified Knit/Crochet Instructor (me) or from any of the other people who are in attendance.

It's also an oprotunity to sit and stitch without interruptions and meet others who enjoy yarn crafts.

It is not a class so  I am not teaching anything new.

It is only $5.00!

We meet once a month for at least 2 hours and have a really good time.  At our August meeting 3 of the ladies wanted clarification on creating a crochet 'magic circle'.  I was able to do that for them.

Another wanted to make sure that her knit project was on track and wanted some guidance on binding off.

Beginning on September 5th, these nights will have a new name, date and time
  Maker Night Yarn 
 the 1st Saturday of each month
 from 6:30-8:30. 

YOU are invited to join us, provided that you live near or are willing to drive to the Avon, IN area :)

Or look for the Maker Night Yarn at a Michaels near you.

I look forward to knitting and/or crocheting with you soon!

Thursday, August 13, 2015

It's about time!

It took way too long but I finally finished my knit sweater for Level 2 of my CYC Knit Teacher Certification.


I made it for my daughter and she enjoyed the fitting much more than the measuring!  I think the last time I made her a sweater was 34 years ago when she was born.

Part of the reason it took me so long is my shoulder tendonitis decided to show up.  I'd knit through the pain and then it would radiate down my arm.  I would knit until I could barely move my arm. I discovered that sitting with a pillow under my arm helped as did wearing a compression sleeve.  Not a pretty sight!

I would have done some things different if I weren't writing the pattern and submitting it to be evaluated.  And did I mention that I ran out of the green yarn?  It was something I'd had for years but I realized it wouldn't be enough for the whole sweater.  It has been discontinued so getting more wasn't an option.  I couldn't find a shade of green to match so I decided to use white for the sleeves.  The wide collar was supposed to be a hood but there wasn't enough yarn.  

I'm pretty sure other designers face the same issues.  I guess I'll just have to knit her another one with my original plans :) 

I'm happy with how it turned out.  Now I need to type the pattern from the notes I wrote as I was knitting.  I'm excited to start on the crocheted sweater!