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Are you snowed in too? That’s how the world looks like through my windows today.

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Seems like a perfect day to tell you a story about Blankets for Canada.

Once upon a time a knitter went to Michael’s-at-the-Bayers-Lake. She saw a bin full of knitted and crocheted squares. “Who could make them and why?” she wondered. Her quest led to a kind Lady Marilyn. Together they decided to set up a table and let other crafters know that through the magic of a Tapestry Needle and a Crochet  Hook crafters can join squares to make warm blankets for people who are cold. 

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They sorted the squares and set out to work. Hours passed by as two women were stitching, talking to other knitters, and serving customers (because Lady Marilyn was At Work)… and that’s all they could stitch together. “We need some help” thought the knitter. Luckily, Lady Marilyn told her that she plans a party and all knitters and crocheters are invited!

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There will be squares, and yarn, and Crochet Hooks, and Tapestry Needles and all crafters can practice a bit of magic. The End. 

Blankets for Canada

Joining Party

Michael’s Arts and Craft Stores

(Bayers Lake, 45 Washmill Lake Ct, Halifax)

Saturday, January 18th, 1:00 – 4:00 pm.

See you there!

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Nowadays, it’s possible to learn how to knit without stepping away from a computer. All kinds of tutorials on Youtube demonstrate basic stitches, various stitch patterns, and advanced knitting techniques. However, sometimes it happens that you don’t know what to type in the search box (Does my left sleeve seem shorter to you too?) or you simply want to spend an evening learning something new in a friendly atmosphere, surrounded by fellow knitters.

Here is the list of knitting classes and workshops from local yarn stores around Halifax. Please do click on links for more information and don’t shy away from picking up the phone — they are lovely people to talk to about knitting. The following list is arranged by the shop, in alphabetical order, plus Nova Scotia Centre for Craft and Design.

Dartmouth Yarns

Fall-Winter Classes 2012 (full schedule and details)

Location: Most classes meet on Wednesday evenings in the Dartmouth Yarns shop at 52 Queen St., Dartmouth, from 6:30-8:30 pm (Thrumming is the exception).  Class enrollment is limited to 7 students per class. You can call or e-mail (422-YARN or info@DartmouthYarns.com) to register for a class, but space is not guaranteed until the full class fee has been paid.

Knitting 101:  The Basics—In Progress
Requirements:  No prior knitting experience or knowledge is expected.
Meeting dates:  September 12, 19, 26

Introduction to Top-Down Socks
Requirements:  No experience knitting socks is expected, but you should be comfortable with the knit and purl stitch, as well as basic casting-on and binding-off.  Experience with increasing and decreasing is helpful.
Meeting dates:  October 10, 17, and 24

Thrumming (as in for thrummed mittens)
Requirements:  This workshop is planned for comfortable knitters who have some experience knitting in-the-round.)
Meeting dates:  October 20, 2:00-4:00

Colorwork using Fair Isle Techniques
Requirements:  The course is designed for intermediate-level knitters, although no experience with colorwork is required.  You should be comfortable with single yarn knitting in the round.
Meeting dates:  November 14, 21, 28

Cable Workshop
Requirements:  The course is designed for comfortable knitters. No experience with cables is required.
Meeting dates:  October 3

Double-Knitting Workshop
Requirements:  The course is designed for comfortable knitters. No experience with double-knitting is expected.
Meeting dates:  November 7

Wet-Knit Felting
Requirements:  The course is designed for any level knitter.  Required skills include knit, purl, cast on, and bind off.
Meeting dates:  Dec. 5 & 12

From Ewe to You

Location: 546 Sackville Drive, Suite 850, Lower Sackville
Phone: (902) 252-9665

Fall Needle Felting (flat technique) Workshop

During this workshop you will create a beautiful design on a felt pad (a ‘fall’ theme design will be provided by the shop or something from your own imagination). This workshop will take you from idea stage through development, to finished product. Learn the techniques of flat needle felting, and how to translate your ideas into beautiful works of art.
When: Saturday, 29th September 2012 (1pm – 3pm)
Skill Level: Beginner

Knitting With Beads Workshop

Learn to add beads to your knitting in this fun workshop, we will be making a 6” Christmas Stocking.
When: Saturday, 20th October 2012 (1pm – 3pm)
Prerequisite: must be able to knit in the round on double pointed needles. Bring your own needles (BYON) – a set of 2.75mm double-pointed needles.

Note: Your seat is reserved when class is paid in full. Drop-in to the shop to register.

Thrummed Mittens or Thrummed Slippers

When: Saturday, 17th November 2012 (1:00 PM – 3:30 PM)

Prerequisites:

  • Mittens: Knit in the round on double-pointed needles
  • Slippers: Basic Skills (i.e. knit/purl/cast-on/cast-off

Gaspereau Valley Fibres

Classes Schedule

Location: 830 Gaspereau River Road,
Wolfville, Nova Scotia, B4P 2N5
Phone: 1-902-542-2656

Scared Silly by Steeks?
Saturday, November 17th 10am – 3pm

Why not join us and lean how to steek with confidence? Gain experience while knitting a sweater for your yea pot? This course is designed for those knitters who are familiar with working in the round and have some experience of stranded knitting. All demonstrations will be on circular needles.

Two Socks in One Day with Susan Doyle
Saturday, November 24th 10am – 3pm

Join Susan in discovering how to knit two socks at once. No more one sock wonders! Susan guarantees there will be “lots of laughts, knitting and new friends!” Participants should have experience knitting socks already.

Needle Felting for Beginners
Wednesday, November 28th 10am – 1pm

Join artist Sandy Charbeneau as she takes you through the joys of needle felting! In this workshop participants will create a 10″ x 12″ photo of clothes blowing in the wind on their very own clothesline. Learn the tips and tricks of felting and how to mix and match different elements into your art.

Lace for Beginners
Saturday, December 1st 10am – 3pm

Let Lace Queen Kelly take you through the ins and outs of lace knitting 101. Using squishy soft baby alpaca yarn, learn how making holes in your knitting can be a good and beautiful thing.  Learn how to not only read a lace pattern and chart, but your knitting as well. Lace – you’ll love it! Participants are asked to bring a 16″ 6.5mm circular needle.

Have a Yarn

Events Schedule

Location: 575 Main Street, Mahone Bay Nova Scotia
Phone: 902-624-0569

Introduction to Sock Knitting
Level: Advanced Beginner to Intermediate
Saturday, October 13, 2012 12:30 to 4:30 pm

Meet designer Ilga Leja
On Saturday, September 22 at 1:00, Ilja Leja will be at Have a Yarn. Come meet this wonderful designer and see many samples of her patterns and projects featuring Kauni yarn. For more information on Ilga you can visit her website www.ilgaleja.com.

The Loop

Full workshop schedule, Sep – Dec 2012

Location: 1547 Barrington St, Halifax, NS
Phone: 429-5667

Beginner Level Classes

Knitting for Absolute Beginners
Sun., Sept. 23rd, 10 a.m. – 1 p.m.
OR Tues., Oct 16th, 6 p.m. – 9 p.m.
OR Sun., Nov 4th, 10 p.m. – 1 p.m.
Prerequisites: None

Skills-building series:

Beyond the Basics
Tues., Oct. 2nd, 6 p.m. – 8 p.m.
OR Sun., Nov. 11th, 4:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.
Prerequisites: Basic knitting experience

Crochet for Beginners
Thurs., Oct. 18 6 p.m. – 9 p.m.
Prerequisites: None

Embroidery for Beginners
Sun., Dec. 2nd 10 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Prerequisites: None

Introduction to Needle Felting
Sun., Oct. 28th 10 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Prerequisites: None

Finishing School: putting together your knits
In time for Christmas projects!
Tues. Dec 4th 6 p.m. – 9 p.m.
Prerequisites: Basic knitting skills – cast on, knit and purl, increasing, decreasing

Introduction to Sock Knitting
This class in two parts:
Part 1 – Sun., Nov 18 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Part 2 – Sun., Nov 25, 10 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Prerequisites: basic knitting skills and some experience with knitting on double-pointed needles.

Try Your Hand at Mittens
This class in two parts:
Part 1 – Thurs., Nov 1, 6pm – 8pm.
Part 2 – Thurs., Nov 8, 6pm – 8pm.
Prerequisites: Basic knitting skills – cast on, knit and purl, increasing, decreasing

Nova Scotia Centre for Craft and Design

Full Courses Brochure

Location: 1061 (Suite 140) and
1096 Marginal Road, Halifax, Nova Scotia
Telephone: (902) 492-2522

Felt Embellishment
Wednesday, October 3 – 24 6:30-9:30 (12 hours/4 weeks)
Class size: 6 (no experience necessary)
Registration Closes September 26

Sculptural Knitting
Wednesdays, November 7 – 28 6:30-9:30 (12 hours/ 4 weeks)
Class size: 8 (some experience necessary)
Registration Closes October 31

Hope you will find it useful, and if you know about other interesting classes in the area, please give us a shout. As they say — live knit and learn.

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You know Rachel, the owner of From Ewe to You in Lower Sackville, right? She supports the Liver Foundation and periodically organizes fun charitable events for this cause.

Last Thursday she hosted the Fastest Dishcloth in the East competition.

Brave knitters, who rigorously practiced making dishclothes at home, came forth and crossed their needles at 6:35 pm. The clock started ticking and the needles started clicking. What began as a fun activity soon turned into a foul play as it was clear that Rachel was winning. Some knitters lost their cool. Distracting cupcakes were offered. Suggestions were made to move closer to the table to see the pattern better. One crafty lady called the store from her cell phone hidden under the table to make Rachel get up and loose precious time. I am telling you, it was madness.

So while the knitters are clicking with their teeth clenched, let me give you a little tour of the store if you haven’t been there yet. We could probably agree that yarns stores are wonderful and magical places. They all have their distinct atmosphere and feel. From Ewe to You feels warm and friendly to me. It has a welcoming table with chairs around it. It has a huge sheep toy tucked under the table. My kids call him Sheepie and take turns riding him, which makes Sheepie a Very Helpful Animal if you ever consider taking two preschoolers to the yarn store. It has the Lost Mittens tree with the crow wearing a scarf.

The store has a knitted Santa and at Christmas time it has the wolliest Christmas tree I have ever seen.

Rachel herself is very nice and friendly. She provides useful public service to Lower Sackville knitters who knit for the IWK by collecting donated items and delivering them to the city. I picked up three bags full of baby hats that I will drop off at the hospital on Monday.

Did I tell you that the store has yarn, too? It does.

Back to our knitters. Rachel got carried away with her early success and blew past the decrease point ending up with 46 stitches instead of 43. There was evil laughter. One contender was so nervous, she kept dropping her needles, after which inappropriate giggles were heard. Meanwhile, some knitters passed the decrease line and were getting closer and closer to the finish. This happy knitter is Caroline, the Second Place Winner, who finished her dishcloth in 65 minutes. Rachel gave her the most logical gift, a bottle of dishwashing liquid, and Donna donated a family pass for the Haunted Hollow in Hammonds Plains. (They are scary but nice people who give money to local charities).

This is the Winning Dishcloth, that was finished in 55 minutes. The winner was really surprised and she confessed that it was her first dishcloth ever.

She was presented with these wonderful prizes, the Fastest Knitter in the East Cup, a pass to the Haunted Hollow and the beautiful Queen of the Dishcloth towel embroidered by Ann-Louise.

Thank you, everybody. It was a lot of fun.

Royally yours,
Queen Olha

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