by Renée Callahan

Machine Knitting: Sweater Basics, live!!

Hello!

It is live!! Machine knitting:Sweater Basics is up and ready for casting on!

machine-knitting-sweater-basics-by-renee-callahan

photo credit: Craftsy

I am really pleased to be able to offer you a whopping 50% discount on the purchase of the class! Just follow the link above or go to my website for more information and a link for 25% off any other Craftsy class you may like to take!

In Machine Knitting; Sweater Basics, you will learn everything you need to know to knit a sweater on the machine: from basic machine maintenance, how to cast on, making fabric you love, to seaming, blocking and everything in between. The class includes my Sweater Blank–a worksheet that will lead you through making your sweater in any gauge or fabric you want and making it easy to customize. I will post more about the Sweater Blank later, but I have to say I am pretty pleased about it and I hope you will be too.

Although it was excruciating for me to watch this the first time, here is the trailer, for your amusement!

Happy knitting,

Rx

by Renée Callahan

A new Craftsy class: machine knitting; sweater basics!

Hello!

machine-knitting-with-renee-callahan-on-craftsy

It is nearly time!! My Craftsy class is in the final stages of preparation and I am really excited to share it with you!

I know not all of you are machine knitters, but if you are at all interested in machine knitting, I think this class will give you a lot of information and help, not to mention a great pattern for a simple sweater.

A Sweater Blank Sweater by Renee Callahan

A Sweater Blank Sweater by Renee Callahan

A Sweater Blank Sweater by Renee Callahan

Photos courtesy of Craftsy

Although I am really proud of the whole class, I am particularly proud of this sweater pattern which will enable the knitter to knit this drop shoulder sweater in any gauge with any yarn and any stitch pattern. I will post more about this later, but I hope it will be an incredibly useful pattern for the beginner or intermediate knitter.

You can enter to win this Craftsy class by simply clicking the link below. The winner will be chosen at random when the class goes live.

Win a free class! Enter by clicking here.

Happy knitting!

Rx

by Renée Callahan

Happy New Year!

Hello!

Welcome to 2017! How’s it treating you so far? I am off to a flying start. I have made lists by the shed-load and the post-it notes have proliferated, but I am happy with that. This feeling is probably something to do with having had a good, lazy holiday break with lots of movie-watching and naps. I did have a tiny tantrum yesterday just before I accepted that Christmas was really over and Ben really was going to go back to work and I had to get up at 6am AGAIN!?>! but then I set the alarm and got on with it.

Which brings me to the first order of service for the new year: last year’s EastLondonKnit knit-along. It is officially over, but just in case you have knit an EastLondonKnit design and would like a chance to win one of the fabulous prize packages…

[instagram url=https://www.instagram.com/p/BO2eKhug_uQ/?taken-by=eastlondonknit]
[instagram url=https://www.instagram.com/p/BO1w7fIgVnu/?taken-by=eastlondonknit]
If you would like to win of these lovely packages, please post your finished EastLondonKnit project over on the thread in the ELK Ravelry group. I will choose 2 prize winners at the end of this week.

So, let’s talk about resolutions!

If you know me, you know that I love a New Year’s Resolution. Honestly, I am not restricted to New Years to make my resolutions–I make them regularly throughout the year with unnecessary zeal, but I have a real soft spot for the beginning of January. This year, in addition to the usual promises to self: more exercise, less sugar, no booze this January, I also wanted to add some different things: find somewhere to regularly volunteer, don’t be angry about the world, do things to make it better, and something completely unrelated: learn to play the guitar, because, well, why not?

I know that I should have started with the musical things a lifetime ago, but I’m one of those people who thinks it is never too late. If I start now, in 10 years I might be pretty good. If I don’t start now, in 10 years, I’ll just be 10 years older and still not playing any instruments.

And until I figure out where to volunteer (suggestions welcome!!), I am going to knit some hats and things for KnitAid. If you haven’t heard of KnitAid, please do have a look. They are making a big collection on 20th January if you would like to participate too!!

Do you make resolutions? If so, do you keep them?

Happy knitting!

Rx

 

by Renée Callahan

Happy Holidays!

Hello!!

How are you? I love Christmas and am now in full holiday mode, but I do have a ton of exciting plans for 2017 that I can’t wait to share with you. Until then, I hope your holidays are wonderful and here is just a peek at what is coming up:

machine-knitting-on-craftsy

This January, Craftsy will have a new class in machine knitting! Stay tuned for announcements and special discount codes!

boreal-forest-cowl-by-renee-callahan

If you are still looking for a holiday knit, I might have just the thing for you: the Boreal Hat and Cowl patterns are now available for individual purchase!

boreal-forest-hat-by-renee-callahan

Happy Holidays to all and to all a good knit!!

Rx

by Renée Callahan

A Romanian Retreat

Hello!

November is flying by! You know that thing, where you are waiting for a bus forever and then 3 come at once? I feel like that is my knitting life right now and after a slow start I now have ALL the projects on the go, including several hand knit designs and a very special machine knitting project with Craftsy (!) that I am dying to tell you more about, but it will have to wait.

Last month I had an amazing opportunity. Natasha of Taking a Moment in Time invited me to join a retreat in Romania as a knitting tutor. I jumped at the chance and it was a superlative trip. Words don’t really do it justice, so I will just show you a small part of what made the trip so special.

 

romania_by_renee_callahan-2

 

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romania_by_renee_callahan-2

romania_by_renee_callahan-2

romania_by_renee_callahan-2

romania_by_renee_callahan-2

romania_by_renee_callahan-2

romania_by_renee_callahan-2

romania_by_renee_callahan-2

romania_by_renee_callahan-2

My photos in no way do justice to the beauty of the experience. Many thanks to Natasha for the invitation and for organising such a wonderful week.

In addition to other exciting things, I am looking forward to sharing a new sweater pattern, designed for  Natasha’s gorgeous new Hill Farm Yarn at the end of the year.

Happy knitting,

Renée

by Renée Callahan

The Asterisks Shawl

My pattern for February!

asterisks (82 of 97)-Edit

The Asterisks Shawl info:

I was recently feeling the need to knit something substantial that would wrap around me and then some. I
wanted an easy, satisfying knit; something that was interesting but easily memorised and didn’t require too
much attention to the instructions and charts. This shawl is just the thing for comfort knitting: it begins with
a top down garter tab cast on, and then grows from plain stockinette stitch to a dual-coloured open stitch,
ending with a super-simple lace border.

Asterisks Shawl from behind.

The Asterisks Shawl in all its bum-covering glory.

I was really keen to make the increasing in the shawl as simple and repetitive as possible, and I think I have managed that.  One of the things I like about knitting is the aspect of physical meditation.  There are times when I want to be challenged by the knitting, to pay attention and to make something that looks really amazing, and there are times I want to enjoy the knitting for the physical act of knitting.  What I hope to have achieved here is an enjoyable knit that looks good.  Y’all will have to let me know if I managed it.

YARN
MC: Artesano Alpaca, Inca Cloud 100% Alpaca, 131 yards (120 m) per 50g ball.
4.23oz (120g) 312 yards (286 m) used.
CC: Kona Superwash 100% Merino, 70 yards/oz (228m/50g)
8.1oz (231g) 560 yards (512 m) used.
Note: The two yarns used here are are not exactly the same thickness: the merino is slightly thicker and
has less halo than the alpaca. Neither yarn is readily available now, but luckily the shawl pattern is forgiving,
and any fingering or 4 ply weight yarn can be substituted.

The shawl is generously sized at 62 inches (182 cm) across and 33 inches (83 cm) deep. The pattern includes instructions to easily increase or decrease the size.

Asterisks Shawl

Asterisks Shawl in East London sun

The Asterisks Shawl Pattern on Ravelry.

Talk about getting in under the wire. Everything I do is a little last minute at the moment, but that will all change this month, when surely things will get done early and efficiently.  A girl can dream…

ps do you ever get used to seeing your own face on patterns and websites?  I assume the weirdness/discomfort passes?

by Renée Callahan

Outlaw Craft

Hello!

My second blog post!  Two weeks running, and I am sooo patting myself on the back for this amazing accomplishment.  It’s not literally winning a gold metal or anything, but I take the little prizes when they come.  There is a saying about beggars and choosers, but I had a glass of wine with dinner and am no longer sure of the exact wording.

Anyways, I have news!  I have every intention of going to the Outlaw Craft Fair www.outlawcraftfair.co.uk on 5 April in Penzance.  I say ‘intention’ because part of the rail line between London and Cornwall (aka me & them) has washed away in the recent flooding.  Check out the drama:  www.westernmorningnews.co.uk/Violent-weather-leaves-trail-destruction/story-20631838-detail/story.html

If all goes to plan and I am able to make the trip, I am really excited to be teaching 2 workshops, ‘Revamp Your Jumper’ (a shortened nomenclature: I wanted to name it ‘Revamp that Jumper and Learn to Love Again’ but it doesn’t fit the title space with all that hyperbole)  and ‘It’s the Knit! A Beginner’s Guide to Knitting’.  I will also have a stand selling ‘Learn to Knit’ kits, and pom pom making kits, among other knitterly things.

Please let me know about your ‘Sweater Saves’!  I would really love it if you would share your story of saving a beloved sweater from ruin, or rescued a fugly jumper from a horrible death.  I am looking to inspire people to put a little work into something and come out the other side with a garment they will wear!  Save Our Sweaters!  I am thinking about embroidery embellishments, steeking to make cardigans out of pullovers, fancy darning, that sort of thing.

It will be only my second ever trip to Cornwall.  My first was many years ago, and we had a wonderful time with perfect summer weather.   I know I shouldn’t get my hopes up, what with the flooding and wind storms, but I can’t help but think of sunshine and holidays when I think of Penzance.  Here’s hoping…..

Til next time,

R

p.s. if anyone knows about how to make proper hyper-links in wordpress posts, and actually put pictures in, I would be totally grateful for the advice.

p.p.s.s. 6 music is playing a Morrissey playlist.  I am not listening to it in order to write this.  I fear I may be missing ‘How Soon is Now’.  I am going to download the Craft now.

by Renée Callahan

Tardy New Year’s Resolutions

This year I am all about the New Year’s resolutions.  I have tons of them.  And (almost) none involve fitness and diet.

This year it’s all about the Knit.

Now, I realize I am seriously behind on all of this.  I don’t mean the fact that I am writing about the New Year’s resolutions on 9th February, but about the blogging thing and even the knitting thing in general.  I love knitting, but not so much the social networking aspect.  I love to read other people’s blogs and appreciate the large amount of work that goes into a good one.  And although I am sloooowly coming around to the idea that this here is the place for me to show the knitting world what I am about, I am both extremely lazy and, well, a little shy.

But, as this is the year of the Knit and of the New Year’s resolutions that are adhered to, I am going to work on this blog.  I am going to make it a thing of beauty, or failing that, a useful thing.

Not yet a thing of beauty or especially useful, this post is a statement of intent.

With this blog, I will learn to teach. My first series of photo tutorials will be about double knitting techniques.

With this blog, I will organize my unwieldy and random interests and research.  I have a mile-long list of topics that I have been wanting to explore and the blog is a great way to process this research and share it.  I think it could be the difference between having a look at something interesting on Wikipedia and really engaging with all the weird and wonderful things out there.

With this blog, I will document and promote my hand knitting designs and other works in progress.  Keeping with the theme, I am taking the hand knitting seriously this year.  I am going to publish one pattern a month (I really hope!) and here is the place to talk about it and, well, be held to account.

There is something about making public declarations.  The declaration takes on a weight and significance when it is public.  In this case, I really hope that means I will manage to do something interesting for you with this blog.

I have a ton of kinks to work out, so be patient, ok?  And please, please tell me when you find them!!

So, see you here next week? !