Sunday, December 8, 2013

Big Stitch University - January 11, 2014

The Holidays are here and it’s difficult to think forward to January, but we must - the next Big Stitch is in five weeks! Now is the time to take the 
Big Stitch University class survey 
to help decide what will be offered next month. 
The survey will be up until December 15 -- 
go ahead and respond!

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Doll clothes by Sharon Utin

Sharon Utin

  It's amazing that Sharon can make 
these beautiful garments with such small 
amounts of yarn using size 0-3 needles!

Saturday, October 5, 2013

FREE Shred Day Saturday Too!

Vogue Knitting Live!

 Vogue Knitting Live in NYC Jan 18-20, 2013

I’ve never attended a knitting convention before, although I’ve been on knitting weekend retreats to the mountains with friends, and even a knitting cruise and I love visiting yarn stores when I travel.  I really enjoy Vogue Knitting Magazine and when I got their e-mail mid-year last year about Vogue Knitting Live in New York City and it was only a few days before my birthday in January (and it was one of those big birthdays with a ZERO at the end), I told my husband that it would be a fabulous birthday present for me!  I found a friend, Eileen, who had been knitting for only about a year, to go with me. When general registration opened, we picked the Time Square Day Tripper Package (about $100) that got us unlimited access to the Marketplace and our choice of a one hour lecture and a three hour class.  So we poured over the choices and finally decided on ones that we were both interested in – “Finishing School Workshop” with Deborah Newton (the three hour class) and “Making the Most of Your Yarn Collection” (the one hour lecture).

Friday we were up early as our first VKL event was in the early afternoon, the one hour lecture “Making the Most of Your Yarn Collection”, which was just great and not at all what we expected.  It was fun meeting the other knitters and to feel the rising excitement because the Marketplace opened late in the afternoon.  When it was time for the Marketplace - we lined up early, like a lot of others - and noticed a young lady just ahead of us wearing lovely knitted beret, shawl and fingerless mitts.  Eileen, the social one, started chatting with her and we found out we were talking to a young designer, Toby Roxane Barna who was wearing some of her own lovely creations.  We just loved her and ended up getting a bite with her later that night.  If you like shawls, check out her designs on Ravelry – . 
By the way, the marketplace was FABULOUS – two floors of the convention center with so many interesting activities, yarn art displays, and LOTS OF YARN and yarn-related items.
Included in the event were a lot of free things, like fashion shows and demonstrations, a ‘yarn tasting’ where there were stations with needles and balls of yarn where you could sit down and knit a bit to see if you like that particular yarn, a Knitter’s Lounge where you could sit and knit and visit with other knitters.  There was a ball winding station where you could wind your purchases, a fitting station where they helped you learn about fitting your knits, an ‘expert bar’ where you could ask questions and get help, and a beginner’s lounge where basic instructions and help were given.  And did I mention vendors? Yarn shops and manufacturers from across the country had brought some of their finest and most luscious yarns to sell and we were in HEAVEN!!

Saturday morning we were off to our three-hour workshop with Deborah Newton of “Finishing School Workshop” fame.  She had with her almost every knitted item in that book which she passed around for our examination as she discussed the techniques.  We had to do ‘homework’ to prepare for the workshop and part of our class time was spent using that swatch to test out some of her techniques.  It was really helpful and we both bought the book and Deborah autographed it.

 Oh yes, - and what did I buy? – A lovely Atenti overnighter bag and matching smaller project bag, several kits for scarves/cowls that I will probably make as gifts, some fabulous 100% mink yarn (I started a scarf but have recently seen it knitted up in “Isbel” and may frog it and knit that), a luscious silk and cashmere, Silk Gyred, that I made into a lace scarf, curly tendrils or locks straight from the sheep in a kit to make a lovely collar, some aqua and cream merino for a lattice yoked top, and for my VKL NYC ‘memory’ item, I picked up some lovely fingering weight yarn – a pale blue and a white – to make one of Toby’s designs, a shawl called “The Queen of Pentacles”.  Blue and white are the colors of the Argentine flag, so it also reminds me of seeing “Evita”.   I just finished it and it’s on the bed being blocked right now, as Toby’s latest book “The Tarot Collection” just came out and I was waiting on the book rather than buy the individual pattern.  I’ve made a couple of her shawls from her first book, “London Underground”.  You can check out my projects on Ravelry – krwabby. 

If this has enticed you to attend a Vogue Knitting Live Conference, the next one is in Chicago on Nov 1-3; there is still plenty of time to register, and I’m sure you’d find lots of great things to do there as well. Personally, I am considering the upcoming one in Seattle, dates not announced yet, but probably in the spring; I’ve never been to Seattle but have heard there is lots to see and do.  And there is always New York again in January.  Happy Knitting!! 

- - - - Karen 


Sunday, September 22, 2013

Big Stitch University October 12, 2013

Here are the classes offered at 
Big Stitch University October 12, 2013.  
Email me at to register.

Monday, September 2, 2013

Donation from Simplicity

Check out just a few of the items 
that will be available for sale 
at the Big Stitch Boutique on October 12!
Selection includes 10" aluminum needles,
afghan hooks, 10" plastic needles, doublepoints,
aluminum circular needles, beaded stitch markers,
14" plastic and aluminum needles, crochet hooks
and on and on and on!!!

The Great Tennessee Spin In

Good afternoon,
I wanted to pass this information on to you and your group. The National Spinning and Weaving Week is coming up in October (National Flyer is attached to this email) and to get a jump start on the festivities the TN State Fair is hosting the first annual ‘Great TN Spin In’ event (flyer attached to this email) on Monday Sept. 9th from 10-2pm.  That is also School Day, so there will be Elementary School students bused in from across the state to attend the Fair. The Spin In will allow the children to see, most for the first time, the craft of Spinning. There will be a large display area set up with posters explaining what spinning is and its history. If a picture is worth a thousand words, then a live demonstration must be worth a million.

We hope to have the largest gathering of Spinners in one place in the State at the Spin In. Please pass this information on to your fellow spinners and make plans to come join us!

Thank you,

Alicia Williams
TN State Fair
Volunteer Department Head for
Spinning, Weaving and Rug Hooking

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

State Fair 2013

I’m the Volunteer Department Head for the TN State Fair over the new Spinning, Weaving and Rug Hooking section of the Creative Arts Exhibitions. I’m sending you two letters to pass along to the group, if you will. The first is to see if anyone is interested in coming over and doing live demonstrations during the Fair with me. We’d just be doing what is normally done at regular meetings, only just doing it at the Fair. Bring a wheel and work on any project you want. The main difference would be answering questions for observers.  Monday and Tuesday of the Fair are when the school kids come and I’d love for you all to come up and hang with me to demonstrate on one or the other of those days. It will be so much fun! I’m really excited about the booth space. It’s large, air conditioned (inside the Creative Arts Building, not the Sheep Barn), near the restrooms (no porta potties) and I am working hard on decorations already.

The second letter is to encourage group members to enter stuff in the Fair this year. The Premiums are good and went largely unused last year. There are so many talented members in the group and they do such beautiful work, it’s just a shame not to showcase it at the State Level, in  my opinion.

Anyway, pass them along if you don’t mind and discuss it. Let me know if you have questions. Looking forward to seeing you all soon!

Thank you,

Alicia Williams