Loopy Lunch and Building Community

What do you do when you are a knitting instructor, have bags of donated acrylic yarn and are looking to build community? You start a charity knitting class. After moving back to Syracuse NY from the Bay Area I found myself missing the strong fiber community from the Bay. It's much colder in Syracuse so you would think there would be more knitters, and maybe there are but, how do you find them? Well its 2018 so I started so I started a hashtag on Instagram #knittersofsyracuse and it worked. I started connecting with and meeting new people but being ready to take it to the next level and really wanting to find a way to give back with the craft "Loopy Lunch" was born. 

LoopyLunch_2.jpg

The objective of Loopy Lunch is to create blankets as a group to then donate around our area to people in need. I however have bigger plans for this weekly meeting. Each week we'll use up more and more of the donated stash and get to know each other a little better each time. I'm offering free lessons to anyone willing to join us, all in effort to make the knitting/ fiber community bigger.

Knitting/ fiber groups bring people together that may never cross paths otherwise. In a time where there are so many factors driving us apart and highlighting our differences, getting out of your comfort zone is the perfect way to learn how we are all the same, human. Crossing generations, races, genders and economical backgrounds is the best way to move forward as one. There is so much we can learn from each other and so much more we can accomplish as a collective. 

Wildflowers.jpg

Loopy Lunch is hosted by  Wildflowers Armory, an artist collective boutiques located in the heart of Syracuse. The space is full of work for sale by some many talented artists and makers in our region. It is my first stop for finding the perfect gift or some new art for myself. If you don't support your local artists imagine how boring this world would be. The gallery space is the perfect setting and full of inspiration for our Loopy Lunches. Loopy Lunch is Tuesdays from 11:30am to 1:30pm.

I would love to see more groups get together and build community across the world. If you are interested in starting a similar event in your area I am happy to answer any questions you may have.  Send me an email and I will do my best to help.

Ellen Coy is the knit designer behind Ellen Rose Knits and can also be found teaching Knitting Classes of all levels at Knitty Gritty Yarns in Syracuse, NY.

 

Japananese Knitting Stitch Bible - Book Review

Exquisite they are. 260 Exquisite Patterns by Hitomi Shida; Japanese Knitting Stitch Bible is full of intricate, elegant stitch patterns that you didn't realize were missing from your knitting. Whether you are a knit designer or knit for yourself, this book has earned its spot in any knitters library.  I am happy to have chosen for my first "book report" in 15 years.

There are indeed 260 unique patterns, each as beautiful as the last.  Hitomi has organized stitch patterns in several categories; Lacy Patterns (with bobbles, scallops, and smocking), Overall Patterns, Crossing Stitch Patterns, Pattern Panels, Pattern Arrangements, Round Yokes and edgings.  Who knew there could be as many categories, but having seen them all grouped together each feels necessary. Sprinkled throughout are a few simple garments made special by Japanese stitch work.

I would definitely classify these stitch patterns as mindful and not mindless knitting. Do not crack this book for an evening of Netflix and knit. Put on a podcast or your latest audio book and focus on each stitch. You'll be twisting stitches, working cables and lace knitting all in each pattern. These are heavily detailed with up to 50 row repeat patterns with no reprieve on the wrong side rows. I quick worked up a sample of a Lacy Pattern, #58, this morning to test my abilities. There are a lot of new symbols for us American knitters and some even change pattern to pattern. I suggest taking the time to copy out which ever pattern you decide to work from and create a stitch key you can work side by side with. Like I always teach my students, do not depend on standardization in knitting, always refer to a patterns stitches and abbreviations list for each pattern or designer.

The Japanese Knitting Stitch Bible will keep experienced knitters on their toes and give intermediate knitters a chance to learn something new.  Stitch descriptions are clear and simple to follow. My hope is to see more timid knitters gain the confidence to add different design elements to their favorite patterns making one of a kind garments and accessories. Even if you never knit a stitch from it each page will you fill you with inspiration.  

Happy Knitting!

Knit Swatch of pattern #58 Knit on U.S. size 7 needles in worsted weight yarn.

Knit Swatch of pattern #58 Knit on U.S. size 7 needles in worsted weight yarn.

Grab your copy here

Ellen Coy is the knit designer behind Ellen Rose Knits and can also be found teaching Knitting Classes of all levels at Knitty Gritty Yarns in Syracuse, NY.

Listen while you Knit

How to Block your Knits

More and more people ask me how to or why block your knits.  Blocking your knits evens out imperfect stitches, softens the fabric and helps shape the final product.  After you spend however many hours/ days/ or months take the extra few minutes to finish and block your knits.  Below is how I block my knits when I finish.

Block your Knits Infographic.png

As always stop by your Local Yarn Store to pick up blocking supplies.  If you don't have a Local Yarn Store or they don't carry order the products I use on Amazon.

Happy Knitting!