Monday, October 29, 2007

Galina Khmeleva and Orenburg Knitted Lace

There are women who are talented. There are women who are amazing. There are women who are inspiring. Galina Khmeleva is all of these plus so many more.

I recently had the pleasure of attending one of Galina's workshop on Orenburg Lace in Newburyport, MA. Kelly, a wonderful new friend of the shop, mentioned the class to me and luckily there was still an opening! Julia - thank you, thank you , thank you - hosted the event at a wonderful inn run by the charming and talented RoseAnn (whom I hope to have come in and run a Knitting with Fabric workshop).

Galina entertained 9 of us with the history of the women in the Orenburg region who make these wonderful shawls as well as starting us on our own Orenburg Design Shawl. As we started our shawls, Galina praised us, scolded us and guided us through any anxieties that we may have had while sharing tips with us from perfect edging purl slip stitches to needle size selection for perfect gauge based solely on yarn selection.

Lovely little disks of fun yarn - Zephry Lace Weight - coupled with Addi Lace needles and the desire to do good lace equals one really cool swatch!

Ta Da! My days lace work!

What makes the Orenburg shawls different from others? Patterning on both sides, no purl stitches (except the edged slip as if to purl stitch), and lovely, lovely patterning that is easy to follow and accordingly to Galina, eventually becomes intuitive as you are working on the pattern!

Galina will be visiting with us and teaching a 2-day class - we have yet to nail down the dates but it should be within the year. This is not to be missed! If you are a lace fan, let us know and we are happy to put you on the waiting/call list. She is wonderful!

Oh, and to end off a perfect day of lace knitting - the purchases.....
1 Orenburg Shawl - (How could I resist especially after I found out that one of these takes an experiened Orenburg knitter 290 hours to make!) Plus, it keeps me warm already as I work through my lace knitting - currently Mystery Stole 3 but I am eyeing a certain Orenburg in my newly "signed" books by Galina :)

2 skeins of silvery-beige 55% Silk, 45% Cashmere lace weight Skaska Designs yarn in 1650 yd sks

2 skeins of springy green 55% Silk, 45% Cashmere lace weight Skaska Designs yarn in 1650 yd sks - I just LOVE this color - note 1 has already been wound!

What's not to love about it all!!!! Excellent class, amazing teacher and fellow lace knitters, perfect location, wonderful potluck lunch, wonderful yarn to purchase and amazing shawls to buy! Well, maybe 290 hours is a long time, but maybe sleeping is overrated!

Hee hee!

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Friday Nights are Hosted by Gina!

I needed to drop by on Friday to see how the Friday Night Knitting Club was doing. Last week we had noticed a fairly full parking lot, and it is a big lot, they can't all be here for knitting, can they?

Well most of them were!

This Friday wasn't quite so hectic, at least early on while I was there, Gina draws quite a crowd though. Gina was taught to knit by her great aunt when she was a child, and started again about six years ago when she was pregnant with son Ben, you know how that is! After Ben was born, Gina took on the new mother lifestyle together with a new passion for knitting.

For most of us this would be more than enough, but not for Gina, she started the "Manch Vegas Knitters" (Manchester New Hampshire) with Ericka, now about 40 members strong, and has been hosting a pod-cast and blog "Sleepy Eyes Knits" for about a year, she teaches yoga too!

Gina met Kate Jacobs, author of "The Friday Night Knitting Club" at a book signing at Barnes and Nobles and was inspired to offer to start one at our shop. You can join her any Friday night between 6:00pm and 9:30pm.

In case you were wondering Gina is modelling a crocheted hat I worked up while waiting at the shop to take Cyndi out to dinner, Gina dubed it "The Waiting Hat". It certainly looks better on her than on Stitch! [Personally I think it looks like a bath cap!] If anyone is crazy enough to want one (Gina is) it is a basic double crochet, cast on 5 chain stitches passing through the first to make a loop. Then double crochet. To increase just crochet two stitches onto each of those in the previous row, or every other until you get the size you want. I finished with a row of single crochet. I used a size P hook and the biggest yarn I could find in the scrap yarn bucket (GGH Coco which on sale right now would be perfect)

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Friday Night Knitting Club

Ever since Kate Jacobs published "The Friday Night Knitting Club" we thought, probably like many other yarn shops, that it would be cool to have our own Friday Night Knitting Club.

For those who do not know about it The Friday Night Knitting Club by Kate Jacobs is a touching tale of women joining together in a common love of knitting and each other. Georgia Walker is a single mom whose life revolves around her 12-year-old daughter, Dakota, and her small knitting shop, her life is busy, but lonely. But all that's about to change in ways she never expected.

Of course our Friday nights are not necessarily producing book making material, but our wonderful host for the evening is the talented Gina, knitter, blogger and host of a popular online pod-cast. Could we wish for more!