Monday, September 29, 2014

The Loopy Ewe Fall Fling 2014

Hi, Knitters,
It's time to get back at this blog writing thing with gusto. I want to start by mentioning two longtime friends of mine. I have kept in touch with both of these women for years and have worked with both off and on for years in the knitting industry.  And both of my friends have started new businesses which I think will be enormous hits.

First is Merri Fromm who is a talented knitter, writer, designer, tech editor and graphic design artist. Merri has left her office job recently and is starting a new design brand and website called Tangletown Knits. This is a new venture but she already has a few adorable designs up and available for purchase. Merri is a good one to follow and I can't wait to see what she continues to come up with over the months to come.

Secondly, my buddy Tanis Gray, who you might know as a Vogue Knitting magazine editor, Knitting Daily TV show contributor, fantastic knitting teacher, talented knitwear designer (she has so many books and magazine covers and designs), sewer, and all-around good person, has just opened one of the sweetest Etsy shops around selling her sewn project bags. I will be ordering again and again from her shop because these are my most favorite type of project bags. They are soft, roomy and they have the fabric drawstrings for closure which is such a great added feature. You will want to check out Tanis' Etsy shop and stock up for yourself and for your knitting friends! The bags are the perfect gift price point. 

I better get my order in before you all jump over there and sell her out. Everything Tanis does is top-notch perfection and I can say that with complete confidence. The other thing is that for someone who worked at Martha Stewart and Vogue Knitting and is currently working for several yarn companies in various roles, Tanis is the most honest, down-to-earth soul around. She has had and continues to have great successes and she is humble, generous and kind and really fun and funny. You would all just love her in person. She is one of the hardest working talents in our industry.

Click here for TanisKnits website! She has a fantastic blog, too.

Now on to today's topic at hand....

I have been traveling to teach over the past couple of weeks and I'd like to share a bit about these events with you.  

First in terms of events, about two weeks ago I went to Fort Collins, Colorado to teach at The Loopy Ewe's Fall Fling. The event is now alternating between a Fall Fling and a Spring Fling which I think is a genius idea. Sheri Berger, the owner and host of the event, is one of the most organized people around. She has every detail planned out and the event runs like clockwork. 

Click here for The Loopy Ewe website. (Get on their newsletter list to keep up with the ever-changing and exciting yarn updates! I look forward to this email every time.)

The 150 or so attendees get to take classes. The teachers (see the photo above) were from left to right, Stephanie Pearl-McPhee (she also spoke twice while in Colorado, once at the event and once before the event for the community of non-attendees), Ann Budd, me, and Marly Bird. It was a great group, with lots of fun and laughs included. 

I taught four workshops, two sessions of Little Dragon, and two sessions of Fair Isle Fingerless Mitts. Both topics went well. I especially enjoyed seeing how many students continued on with their Little Dragon knitting after the class. Many finished or almost finished the dragon project while at the retreat. That was fun to see.

I showed my classes that the Little Dragon can cover his eyes by tucking his nose under his arms so a lot of the photos have the dragons being bashful. It's very sweet.

Here are a few of the finished Little Dragons:

The following photos are of Marion Hooks Little Dragon. She messaged me to share her completed Little Dragon a couple of days ago. I thought her dragon has so much expression and personality that you might enjoy seeing it as much as I did.

photo by MarionHooks

photo by MarionHooks

Photo by MarionHooks

Sheri schedules trips to her shop, The Loopy Ewe, for all of the retreat attendees. The Loopy Ewe is fabulous. There are rows and rows of expertly cultivated yarns. Many staple yarns, including their own brand of sock yarn, and also many indie dyers that you don't often see in person. It is a treat to be at this calm, large and well-organized yarn shop. I just love it there. Plus, there is now an enormous well-stocked fabric section at the back.

The photo above is of the talented spinner/knitter/weaver/chain mail artist Lynn Zimmerman, the shop manager (I think this is right). She's standing in the first aisle of yarn at The Loopy Ewe and she's wearing a newly finished top that looks so good on her. I can't remember the name of the pattern..... okay, here I found it:

Stephanie brought the house down on the first night with her informative speech and super funny Q & A session! What a treat. She is such a talented and impressive speaker. I soaked in every minute.

This table of goodness is from my first Fair Isle Mitt workshop! Aren't they great?

This table is from my second session of the Fair Isle Mitts workshop! Later that night at the closing ceremony I saw a few finished mitts and the class was earlier that day. Pretty impressive!

Every year there is a group photo. What a talented and fun group of knitters. Do you see me there? I'm in the front row, sort of in the center off the to right a bit. Stephanie is two down to the right from me. 

I didn't get a huge amount of knitting done at the retreat but here is a little of what I accomplished. I started the sock on the left, String Theory sock yarn that I purchased at The Loopy Ewe the first day of the retreat. It is a dream to work with and I did a (slip1, knit1) repeat for 1 round every time the color changed. I have now finished this sock and started the second one. The sock on the right is the second sock in The Lemonade Shop yarn called Rainbow Stripes (I think she is taking custom orders now as the yarn is sold out, but check out the stitch markers!). I have now finished both Rainbow Stripes socks and have a new pair for the sock drawer.

Thank you to Sheri for organizing such a successful and well-run event! And thanks for having me back! I will come and teach for you anytime.

Okay, next I'll be back with a look at the Knitting Pipeline Maine Retreat, which was a completely different experience. These two retreats, both wonderful, could not be any more different. That's what makes my job so much fun, every day is so different.

xo ~ susan
p.s. More sweater talk coming up, too!