Past blogs – this and that

My A-Line Hoodie.  I really must finish it!

My A-Line Hoodie. I really must finish it!

In August 2012 I began writing some of the blog posts for Jimmy Beans Wool.  It all started with a KAL for the A-Line Hoodie by Diane Soucy of Knitting Pure & Simple. This is a pattern published in Knit Red, the first book in the red series which kicked off the Stitch Red campaign. (If you haven’t heard about the Stitch Red campaign you can read all about it on the Stitch Red site.)

In conjunction with this first KAL, Diane and I filmed some instructional videos demonstrating some techniques typically used to knit top down sweaters.

Over this past year I’ve written about various things including another KAL for the Truckee Shawlette designed by Kristen Ashbaugh Helmreich (Kristen’s site is Marinade Designs), Stash Guilt, Fiber Features, various instructional articles, and the current KAL – The Great American Aran Afghan (TGAAA).

The focus of my writings has become educational.  I hope to continue in this vein. In the Fiber Feature posts I have been giving an overview of the individual fibers used in many common yarns. I started with plant-based fibers, moved onto synthetics, then animal-based fibers. I’ll continue on with animal fibers with my next post on this new blog.

I am working on a page for this blog that will have links to all of my past posts published on the Jimmy Beans Blog. I’ll add links to the instructional videos I’ve filmed as well.  Then, I will resume my two ongoing serials, Fiber Feature and The Great American Aran Afghan.  Next Friday I will announce Square #6 for TGAAA KAL.

I have many ideas I would like to share with you.  Managing a blog is a whole lot different from merely writing a post and WordPress is a new format for me. I’m learning a lot but slowly.   I hope as I get things figured out that I’ll be able to put these ideas into words and that the writing will flow more naturally!

I love suggestions and feedback!  Please tell me what you would like to read about! Is there anything that you’re curious about?  Do you have suggestions for patterns, products, new techniques, anything that you would like to let others know about?  Are there designers, indie dyers, quilters, spinners, or any other talented people who deserve recognition….?  Techniques or puzzles you would like me to attempt to explain? Let me know about them!

I’ve just created a page where I will post the latest Jimmy Beans class schedule. Whether you’re local or just visiting Reno we would love for you to participate!

I’ve also created a Contact page!

Thank you for reading!


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My New Blog and The Great American Aran Afghan Knit-A-Long!

Well here it is! My own very first blog post!  I had actually set this blog up a year ago but just wasn’t ready to start yet.

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New Beginnings!

It is a bit daunting to be starting a blog of my own.  Will I have anything to say? Will anyone even read what I write? So many things to think about!

I often feel a bit lost when starting something new.  After all, this is a blank canvas!  So many possibilities, so many directions to go!  Where should I go with this blog?  I suppose the only way to find out is to set foot on the path and see where it leads.  I hope you choose to join me and offer feedback to help shape this blog.

Just a bit about me to start with seems appropriate.

I’ve been knitting & crocheting for over 40 years.  I’ve dabbled in every stage of fibers from raising my own fiber animals to finished garments. I currently hold the position of in-house teacher at Jimmy Beans Wool. If you have questions about knitting, crochet, felting, or spinning a large part of my job is to answer those questions.  I also work in the brick and mortar retail store helping customers find the right yarns for their projects. I teach classes, film instructional videos, fix mistakes, some tech editing, pattern designing, and repairs. Doing all this allows me to learn something new every day.  Which is one of the reasons I love my work, there is always more to learn!

I love learning and sharing what I learn with others!

One of the many tasks that I have had over the last year or so is to write some of the blog posts over on the Jimmy Beans Wool blog. Now that I’ve started to find my own voice, the time is right to get my own blog rolling.

So, without further ado, I’m going to continue an ongoing thread that I started on the Jimmy Beans blog and the Jimmy Beans Ravelry thread, The Great American Aran Afghan Knit-A-Long!  For those of you who haven’t heard about this, it’s a year long, work at your own pace, learning experience.  As a knitting teacher I’ve had many people ask me to teach cabling, aka aran knitting classes.  This project is a great way to teach cabling because of the diversity of techniques used in the various designs yet each square can be completed in a short amount of time.

Below, I’ve linked to the various posts I’ve already written and hope you will read them and join the Ravelry group as well.

For this knit-a-long (referred to as KAL from here on out), we are using the booklet put together by Knitter’s Magazine called The Great American Aran Afghan.

The KAL officially started on August 25th and I’ve announced 4 squares so far. Today will be the 5th.  I chose to start with what I think are the easiest squares and we will be progressing to the harder ones as we go along.

I’ve chosen to use Cascade Longwood yarn for my afghan.  This is a fantastic new yarn from Cascade Yarns that I just had to try.  It’s plush, yummy, and squishy with fantastic stitch definition! I do find it a little splitty but not so much as to deter me from knitting with it.  The pattern was written for Plymouth Encore but  you may use any worsted or aran weight yarn you like.  If I link to a product on the Jimmy Beans website it’s because I’m familiar with the website and know the products.  Feel free to purchase your materials anywhere you like.

The squares we have worked so far are:

Square #1 by Carol Adams on page 22 – JBW blog post link
Square #2 by Barbara Selesnick on page 16 – JBW blog post link
Square #3 by Julie H. Levy on page 4 – JBW blog post link
Square #4 by Hanna Burns on page 32 – JBW blog post link20131018_084943 (1212x1280)

For square #5 I’ve chosen the square on page 34 of the booklet.  This square was designed by Ann Strong and will further our learning by adding texture in the form of seed stitch to the cables and as filler in the center motif.

Materials needed for this square are:

  • US #7 needle, straight or circular
  • 1 – 200 yd skein of your chosen yarn
  • cable needle
  • stitch markers

This square is pretty straight forward. The Pattern Arrangement Chart looks a bit more complicated than what we’ve seen so far.  It seems more complex because the designer did not incorporate the background stitches into her charts.  As a result, the background stitches have their own sections between each Pattern Chart.

I hope you join us, if you haven’t already.  I’m here to help with any questions or difficulties you may encounter.  Feel free to leave comments, question, or suggestions in the comments on this blog or in the Ravelry thread.  I’ve also created a Q & A thread in the Ravelry group, so you don’t have to wade through all the chat to find the information you want. To find me on Ravelry, my Ravatar is hojasdetejido.

Happy Knitting!


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