Last month I taught at what I believe was the fourth annual Salida Fiber Arts Festival in Salida, Colorado. I taught two three-hour classes (Socks At Any Gauge and Introduction to Sweater Design) one day, then Sweater Basics and Finishing for the next two days. The three-hour classes are mostly lectures, but students knitted sweaters (and sewed them together) in the two-day class.

Class sweaters

I can’t remember how many booths of yarn and knitting, weaving, and spinning goodness there were, but I do remember that there weren’t a lot of places to sit. A bar across the street made the most of the situation.

Patient husband waiting zone

I stayed with my friend Jane (on the left), who I met when teaching at SOAR (SpinOff Autumn Retreat) several years ago. Like me, she has yet to knit a sweater out of the yarn we spun in class. The festival was sponsored in part by Serendipity Yarns, a fantastic little yarn shop in nearby Buena Vista, Colorado, owned by Sheryl (on the right).

Jane and Sheryl and bloody mary's

What you see on the table are the bloody Mary’s we enjoyed at the end of the day.


There’s a little bit of everything in these drinks–I think all the major food groups are represented. The one I ordered is called “dinner.”


Periodically I look on Amazon to see how my books are performing in relation to other knitting books. I about fell out of my chair today when The Knitter’s Handy Book of Sweater Patterns was #1 among knitting books and #182 in overall book sales (that includes books by such notables as Steig Larsson, Jodi Picoult, and John Grisham)!
How did a 6-year-old book rise to such lofty heights? I can only surmise that it has to do with marketing. Knitting Daily featured The Knitter’s Handy Book of Sweater Patterns yesterday and again this morning. I don’t know how many tens of thousands of people read Knitting Daily, but it must be a lot to affect such a dramatic surge in book sales.

The moral? If you plan to write a knitting book, sign up with Interweave because they continue to promote books for years after they are first published.

I think it’s time for another celebration!

I’m heading out to the beautiful Pacific Northwest this weekend to teach a workshop at Camp Yawatink, sponsored by Ana-Cross Stitch in Anacortes. I’ll give an introduction to sweater design based on The Knitter’s Handy Book of Sweater Patterns. It will be the first time I teach this workshop and I can’t decide if I’m expecting to accomplish too much or too little. Over the course of two days, we’ll knit a baby (or teddy bear) sweater following the instructions outlined in the Handy Book. Students will choose between a V or round neck, and between drop-shoulder (blue), modified drop-shoulder (green), and set-in sleeve (rust) options. We’ll work the sweaters with worsted-weight yarn and only 40 stitches for the front and back, but still, it’s a fair amount of knitting. I’ll talk about cast-ons, shaping, bind-offs, seaming, and picking up stitches, and whatever else comes up along the way.

Wish me luck! I sure had fun knitting sample sweaters for the class.