I really enjoyed my first Knit-A-Long (KAL) with String Yarns. I've mentioned my love of teaching so many times on this blog (and I know some of my readers are students, here's a shout out to you!) and it's interesting to see the evolution of my teaching experience.
When I was a tween I'd tag along with my mother as she taught children's art classes at the North River Arts Society. I was in that weird in-between stage of being too old for the children's class but too young for the adult classes, so I was bequeathed the title of "assistant." So began my teaching career - I'd wash the paintbrushes, help with set up and clean up, assist students and even sneak in a project of my own. It was the best of both worlds (and pretty great having your mom as the teacher). While the class was always fun and the projects were incredibly interesting with my mom and her never-ending supply of great project ideas, it was the drive to and from the Society with my mom - sometimes in the cold and dark if it was winter, sometimes we'd have the windows down and the sun would still be shining if it was summer - that was my favorite thing. We'd talk the whole way and I learned how to be a good teacher from watching her. I have nothing but fond memories of working with the woman I admire most and spending time side by side in the classroom.
Like most things, teaching has gone global and I find myself in the classroom at my LYS teaching a group, tucked into a nook at the local coffee shop giving private lessons to some of my favorite advanced students who learn better one-on-one or flying away to teach at a retreat. But I also teach from here at my desk, reaching out to students online from all over the world. Knitting is so personal but incredibly social as well. Bring in today's technology and we can take a class online, learn new skills (I took a kitchen knife skills class online and it changed the way I cook) or band together for an online KAL. I love that the act of knitting has basically stayed the same (with better notions and fibers, arguably) but technology has made it this incredibly modern thing with Ravelry, YouTube, chat rooms and virtual KALs.
I'd like to introduce the project for our second online KAL with String Yarns, the Nordic Fair Isle Slouch Hat. Designed to be unisex with a slouchy fit, this hat was made for the beginner Fair Isle knitter or someone looking to learn Fair Isle from a stranded color work knitting
addict professional. The bold, Nordic-inspired motif is flattering on everyone and the Stacy Charles Fine Yarns Aran 30 Sport cashmere and wool blend is a delight with its tweedy look and super soft feel. When finished it'll feel like you have a cloud on your head!
Knitting up on US 5s and 7s, this hat is jam-packed with technique - the cabled cast on, corrugated ribbing, Fair Isle or stranded color work, spiral decreasing and chart reading. Beginning on January 12th, I'll be hosting the online KAL on the String Yarns Ravelry Group here. Join other knitters from across the globe knitting up this gorgeous hat - a perfect gift for yourself after you've done so much for everyone else this holiday season! With purchase of the pattern, you will receive a discount code for 15% off Stacy Charles Fine Yarns Aran 30 Sport available here (you'll need 2 contrasting shades), so you can be ready when we start. Each Tuesday for a month we will work our way through this hat with detailed photo tutorials, instructions, tips and tricks provided by me. I'll be there to answer questions and cheer you on as we knit together virtually. Before you know it, you'll be hearing my voice inside your head chanting "embrace the Fair Isle chart, embrace the Fair Isle chart!"
If learning or perfecting your stranded color work knitting was your 2016 resolution, this is the project for you. Head on over to String Yarns to choose your 2 colors for your kit and be sure to join the String Yarns Ravelry Group here to be part of our KAL. I'll see you on the 12th!