Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Howelsen Hill Hat

My newest pattern, the Howelsen Hill Hat, is now available through the Fancy Tiger Crafts Ravelry store - you can find the link here! Soon the printed pattern will be in the store.

This is a beautiful simple hat that used up the scraps from my Quandary Peak Mittens. I love the photos and styling that Jaime and Amber did for the pattern photographs. A big thank you to Caitlin for modeling the hat.

Hope to see you wearing one of these soon!

Friday, January 24, 2014

Craftsy Class: Stranded Knitting: Basics and Beyond -

On Halloween 2013, Stefanie Japel called to see if I would be interested in working with Craftsy again. Last December, I had done a workshop for Craftsy - the Aspen Mitten - which was challenging and fun! After my last experience with Craftsy, there was no hesitation in accepting the offer. And this was for a VIDEO class - the real deal!

Photos from the first day of filming.

About a week later,  three stranded mitten patterns were somewhere between my brain and hand drawn charts on graph paper. Time to embark on test knitting and getting the patterns written/charted. A big thank you to Julie, my test knitter, who helped me to go through the patterns for errors and guidance on the difficult parts of knitting the mittens - skills to be included in the video.

Marketing shots of the Mittens by Ashley.

Just to throw a loop into things - a happy loop as it was - I had been gifted a Studio Week with Natalie Chanin and the Alabama Chanin design team the second week of November. It was a truely magical week. Natalie had some good advice for shooting a Craftsy video. She had done one about 8 months previously - a class that I had taken and enjoyed. A week with days full of sewing, design and great food, evenings full of knitting and wonderful company of like minds, got the stage set for the pre-work of class production.

AC studio week.

Fast forward through lots of frenzied knitting of samples, step outs and practicing teaching to my chocolate lab, Roscoe. There were phone meetings, in-person meetings and emails with a variety of Craftsy producers, editors and creative people getting me prepared for video. Everything from help with pattern layout from tech editors to help with wardrobe and hair.

Andrew, the camera and sound operator and knitter.
Max working behind the monitors to put everything together.

Finally, it arrived, the first week of December - time to shoot the class. The first day was completely nerve-wracking - standing in front of the crowded room nerves - even though it was just the camera man, mixing editor, producer, two cameras and a microphone. It's not that I don't teach 3-6 times a week, teaching to the camera was a completely new experience. As time progressed, it became easier. The team - Max, Andrew and Kristen were amazing. Supportive, kept things light and helped me to re-do when necessary. When it was time for shooting, I had knit about three pairs of each mitten in the previous three weeks - between completed mittens and the partial mittens needed for demonstration - so I was very familiar with my material. There were outlines and scripts, but everything was kept pretty loose, so it would not feel too scripted.

Then we fast forward again 7 weeks, through a frigid cold snap, more pattern editing, video editing (not on my end - but my producer was great about keeping me informed), marketing and learning the Craftsy instructors platform. And there is my class! It has been three days since the class launched to the public and I am thrilled that over 700 students are enrolled! I look forward to learning and teaching and working with Craftsy in a long and happy partnership!

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Evergreen Lake

My class on the Craftsy.com platform has gone live. You can see the front card on this blog. The mitten in the picture is called the Evergreen Lake mitten. There is a story behind everything, here is the story behind that mitten and its name.

Every year, my husband and I try to set aside a date day to go to Evergreen Lake and skate outdoors. Full disclosure would let you know that I am a terrible skater. One a groomed rink, I do okay, but outdoors where the ice is uneven, I am pretty bad. Yesterday, was the day we had planned to go up to Evergreen to skate the lake. However, Evergreen Lake had other plans for us - they did not open until 3pm, which was too late to get me back in time for class...

We had to find a plan B. There is a little rink in downtown Denver, called the Skyline rink. We made that plan B and had a beautiful sunny skate - round and round. You can see my Evergreen Lake mittens against the orange ice. Yes, orange ice to celebrate the Denver Broncos going to the SuperBowl next week.

Back to the Evergreen Lake Mittens. When I was talking to the producers at Craftsy about my class, I wanted to start with a mitten that anyone who wanted to try colorwork could successfully complete. I see that being similar to my ice skating - anyone can do it, the more time you spend the easier it gets and there is very little that you can do wrong. Plus with the blue and white yarn, it seems so pretty and like the ice in an outdoor rink blue in the thinner places and white where it is well worn.

I am so excited to see how others Evergreen Lake Mittens progress...

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Cables everywhere

Still working on Linda's cabled wrap.

There are beautiful gray cables everywhere.