Sunday, November 8, 2015

The start of something new... Building Blocks: Block #1

Whoa!  Life has been BUSY.  I started to write this post two months ago and am just now getting the chance to finish up what I started.  Over Labor Day Weekend, I decided to put in my paperwork to retire from my job of 25 years.  I was going back and forth between leaving October 31, 2015, or December 31, 2015.  I decided on October 31, 2015.  Life has been pretty busy since Labor Day. I've been retired for a little over a week now and it's going great. I am getting so much done. Now maybe I can catch up on some blogging, too!

Here is the post I started two months ago.  I have been knitting like mad on this project.  I'll post more about this project in the next few weeks. I am now working on block 8 of 12.

The owner of my local knit shop, Ann, and I have been talking. She asked me if I'd be interested in teaching an afghan class at the knit shop (The Yarn Shop at Words of Life in Canon City, CO).  Ann was hoping I'd have more time to teach more classes at the shop now that I am getting so very close to retirement. As my retirement date approaches, we've been ironing out the details.  Ann found the "Building Blocks" pattern by Michelle Hunter and would like for me to teach one block a month for a year.  So far, a few ladies have already expressed an interest in the class.  If you'd like to see the pattern book we'll be using, you can check it out by clicking HERE.  I am glad Ann picked this pattern, as I am already a huge fan of Michelle Hunter and her patterns!

Marilyn at the knit shop (I affectionately refer to Marilyn as my Knitting Guru) has been teaching afghan classes at the shop for years now.  I was a student in her very first afghan class a number of years ago and we primarily focused on the Great American Afghan pattern, although some folks also used patterns from the Great North American Afghan pattern booklet and also the Great American Aran Afghan pattern booklet.  Teaching the afghan classes is a big commitment and I think Marilyn is looking forward to having a bit more time to travel (she's quite the globe trotter!), and I am tickled to be afforded the opportunity to teach a series of classes.

For now, I am trying to madly knit up a shop sample so folks can see a completed Building Blocks afghan in person. For my afghan, I am using just one color but many folks complete this pattern using two, three, or four different colors.  It's fun to look on Ravelry to see the completed Building Blocks afghans.

Since I am knitting up a shop sample, I got to take yarn from the shop for FREE to make the sample. I selected Cascade Pacific yarn in a nice taupe color.  I like that the yarn has a bit of a sheen to it. Some folks complain the Cascade Pacific yarn splits easily, but I've not experienced that problem.  This yarn is 40 percent merino wool (superwash) and 60 percent acrylic.  I picked a lighter color so the knitting designs show up nicely.  I know some of the details would get lost if I were using a darker colored yarn.  Cascade Pacific yarn comes in a nice variety of colors.  When I teach the class, I plan to knit up a second Building Blocks afghan along with the class.  This will be an afghan I will keep for myself and I plan to use Cascade 220 Superwash in a gray or silver color or maybe a few different shades of gray?  I need to look into that, but for now... I am madly making squares.

When I teach Block #1, the skills we will focus on are:

  • learning the long tail cast on
  • seed stitch
  • the importance of casting on and binding off loosely
  • learning how to read your knitting
  • using markers to help you keep track of your place in the pattern
Here is a close up of Block #1

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