Wichita Knitters’ Guild – Growth and Education for Knitters

https://wichitaknittersguild.com/

I am so happy to announce the new Wichita Knitters’Guild. 

We are a new TKGA nationally affiliated guild, separate from the existing (and fabulous) Central Kansas Knitter’s Guild. 

Follow the link to the website and learn all about it!  

Wichita for Knitters

This was such a great article, I feel the need to share it again after such a successful SuMMeR iCT DeSTaSH SaLe.

Wichita for Knitters

Wichita for Knitters

If you’re a knitter, you’re in good company. The Craft & Hobby Association estimates that there are around 11.9 million knitters in the U.S., including celebrities like Julia Roberts, Meryl Streep, Christina Hendricks, and Uma Thurman. Even dreamy actor Ryan Gosling has enjoyed picking up the needles, prompting a series of knitting-themed “Hey Girl” memes.

Knitting can help reduce stress, ease chronic pain, lower blood pressure, and may even prevent cognitive impairment and memory loss as you age (read more about the health benefits of knitting here).

Our area may not be a hotbed of fiber arts activity like some parts of New England or the Pacific Northwest, but there’s still lots of fun things to do for the Wichita knitter. And if you’re not a knitter yet, now’s the perfect time to start… you’ll be able to perfect your skills with plenty of time to stock your winter wardrobe with woolly wonders!


Enhance Your Stash

Enhance Your Stash

Ahhh, the three most beautiful letters in the knitter’s alphabet: LYS, or Local Yarn Store. There’s nothing like being able to see and feel your yarn in person before you buy. When going on vacation, most people will research restaurants and tourist attractions at their destination… knitters, on the other hand, research yarn shops. According to The National NeedleArts Association, knitting enthusiasts in the U.S. (a subset of the general knitting market representing those who knit regularly and count knitting as one of their primary hobbies) spend more than $400 million dollars each year on yarn and supplies, with most of that going to independent retailers. Head to one of these local shops when you need to get your fiber fix:

  • Heritage Hut at 2820 E Douglas is hard to miss, thanks to the giant “YARN” sign on the front of the building. No false advertising here – inside, you’ll find the shop is packed with yarn, from kid-friendly washable acrylics and kitchen cotton to fine luxury fibers and hardy wool, including made in the USA yarns from Brown Sheep. The shop also carries a selection of needles and other notions, as well as pattern books and magazines. Check out their weaving supplies and classes, too! A staple of the community since 1971, Heritage Hut has the yarn and tools you need for almost any project.
  • Don’t let the name fool you – Picket Fence Quilt Company at 7011 W Central caters to knitters and crocheters as well as quilters. The selection might not be as large as a dedicated yarn shop, but there’s still plenty of options for your shawls, socks, and baby projects, as well as Knitter’s Pride needles and Soak wool wash. Show your school spirit with their striped yarns in WSU, KU, and K-State colors, and spend some quality pup time with Halley, the shop’s adorable terrier mascot.
  • Heading north? Check out the Creation Station located at 605 N Main in Newton. The shop carries well-known workhorse lines like Caron and Bernat, as well as smaller specialty brands. More than just a yarn store, Creation Station is also the home of The Newton Crafters’ Boutique, featuring wonderful handmade items from local artisans. It’s well worth the short drive up to Newton to check out this charming shop!
  • Heading south? Make sure to stop by iYarn at 915 Main in Winfield. You’ll find yarns from Berroco, Cascade, Juniper Moon Farm, Malabrigo, and many more. You can also pick up Hiya Hiya and Brittany Birch needles, handmade yarn bowls from Jillian’s Ceramics, and fair trade Bolga baskets to help contain your ever-growing number of projects. The shop’s cozy atmosphere means you’ll never want to leave… though really, who ever wants to leave an LYS?

Knitters across the Wichita area were heartbroken when A New Twist Yarn Shop in Delano closed earlier this year. Formerly known asTwist, the shop had provided knitters with yarn, tools, and place to call their crafting home home since 2007. Our LYS numbers won’t be down for long, though – a new shop is on the horizon! Warped & Twisted Fiber Arts will be coming to 3555 E Douglas, with a target opening date of early September of this year. The brainchild of Constantina Mead and Debbie Romero, the shop is inspired by their deep passion for fiber arts, and specifically for practicing fiber arts as part of a local community. As Constantina puts it, “Fiber is a brilliant common ground. The thing that brings people together is unrelated to age, race, religion, gender, or income; we just want to know what’s in your project bag!” Their plan is to showcase a wide array of local producers and suppliers and to draw from the talented pool of Wichita-area instructors for their classes. Follow their Facebook page for updates as the shop develops, and to find out more about their Indiegogo fundraising campaign.


Sharpen Your Skills

If you’ve taken a knitting class in Wichita, you may have already met Chauntel Ensey. A knitting instructor since 2003, Chauntel teaches classes at locations all over the city, and also offers private individual and group instruction by appointment. Some of her classes go in-depth on a specific technique, while others will walk you through the entire process of knitting a certain pattern. Chauntel’s goal is not just to help you expand your skills, but also to expand your circle of fiber friends. “I have worked hard the 4+ years I have been in Wichita to draw more knitters out of their homes and into the social realm of our art. I am proud of our community of fiber artists here in Wichita; we are diverse, we are fun-loving, we are caring, and we have each other’s best interest at heart,” she said. Visit her Facebook page,Firebrunette Knits, for information about classes, community destashes, and social events, and to sign up for her email newsletter.

All of the yarn shops mentioned above offer some type of knitting instruction and assistance. Whether it’s informal drop-in hours or scheduled classes, knitters of all levels can benefit from the expert education offered at your LYS. Times and topics change constantly, so your best bet is to call or visit the shop to see what they currently have on offer. As though you needed another reason to stop in!

If you know someone who wants to learn to knit but you’re not able to teach them yourself, point them towards the Wichita Parks & Recreation Department, which offers beginner knitting classes for a very affordable fee. This summer, there are two sessions for adults (one beginning July 21st and one beginning August 8th) and one for kids (also beginning August 8th). The whole family can get in on the fun! Jo-Ann Fabric and Craft also regularly offers 101- and 201-level knitting classes at both East and West Wichita locations. Call or visit the store nearest you for details.

On the other hand, if you are able to give a lesson or two, gather up your supplies and head to one of Wichita’s awesome breweries, likeThe Hopping Gnome or Central Standard Brewing for an afternoon or evening of education. You provide the knowledge, your friend provides the drinks!


It’s Better Together

Although we knitters know how wonderful our craft is, sometimes the world in general doesn’t see it the same way. We get snarky comments about being old-fashioned or having too much time on our hands. Even non-knitters who appreciate what we do don’t always truly understand the work that goes into it. That’s why knitting groups are so amazing! For a few hours, you’re surrounded by folks who speak your language, can offer you invaluable advice, and will celebrate with you when you manage to fix that stitch that dropped back a dozen rows in a complex lace shawl. (If you’re not a knitter, just trust me – that sentence was scarier than anything Stephen King’s ever written.)

You can find knitters at Common Grounds Coffee House several days a week. Meetups occur Mondays from 5:30pm to 10:00pm, Wednesdays from 10:00am to 4:00pm, and Thursdays from 6:00pm to 8:00pm – though you certainly don’t have to be present the entire time to participate! Come when you can, and leave when you need to… well, after you finish one more row. New members are always welcome and it’s free to attend, though it’s common courtesy to buy a drink or snack while you’re there to show some love to Common Grounds. Join the Twisted Sisters Facebook group to stay up-to-date with meetups and events.

The Alford branch of the Wichita Public Library hosts the Hook & Needle Friends group every Wednesday from 10:00 to 12:00. All needlecrafts are welcome! Share your projects and plans, get advice, and help newer crafters improve their skills.

If you’re looking for a bit more structure, check out the Central Kansas Knitters Guild, who meet the second Tuesday of each month in Newton. Meetings includes time for sharing projects, education on a specific knitting technique, and special guest speakers. The guild also plans trips and other events and organizes charity and community service projects. Membership costs $25 per year, but the guild is happy to have you attend a few meetings before officially joining. If your love of knitting has expanded into other fiber arts, you may also be interested in the Wichita Weavers, Spinners, and Dyers’ Guild or the KS My Stitch Crochet Guild. Not only are guilds a great way to meet new friends and learn new things, it’s just plain cool to be able to say “Yeah, I’m in a guild.”


Hit the Road

As much as we love Wichita, sometimes a change of scenery is just what you need. When it’s time to get away, why not take a fiber field trip? There are tons of knitting events all over the country, but here are a few within the good old Sunflower State. Bonus: if you get a friend to drive, the car ride will be extra knitting time for you!

  • Feel like showing off your skills? The Kansas State Fair hosts many clothing & textile competitions, including 22 separate categories of knitting projects. There’s also the Fastest Needles in the West event, where knitters race to complete an adult-sized stocking cap. Not in a competitive mood? You can also just enjoy the exhibits of submitted projects, showcasing some of the best local knitting talent. If you want to see a bit of what goes into producing the yarn we love so much, make sure to catch a sheep shearing demonstration! The deadline for entering the competitions is August 15, and the dates of the fair are September 9-18.
  • You may have cuddled a skein of alpaca yarn, but have you ever cuddled an actual alpaca? Thanks to the Kaw Valley Farm Tour, you can. During the tour weekend, farms in the Kaw Valley area (near Lawrence) open their doors to the public, offering educational activities and demonstrations, with most also having products for sale. The tour covers more than 30 locations, including four alpaca farms: Manna Meadows in Bonner Springs, Ad Astra Alpacas in Baldwin City, Coal Creek Farms in Lawrence, and Marie’s Alpaca Acres in Carbondale. For just $10 per carload, you can visit as many farms as you like! Since there are so many different options, you may even be able to convince your non-knitter friends to come with you… just promise them that for every alpaca farm you visit, you’ll also hit a winery. This year’s tour takes place October 1-2.
  • The Central Kansas Yarn Hop is a yarn shop tour that will take you from Winfield to Topeka and everywhere in between. Get your Yarn Hop passport stamped at every shop you visit for a chance to win prizes! It’s an exciting time to visit a new-to-you LYS since every shop will be buzzing with activity. This year’s Hop runs October 18-23. Plans are still being finalized, so keep an eye on their website or follow their Facebook page for updates.
  • The Creative Hand Show and Sale is a celebration of fiber arts, held every year in Shawnee. Highlights of the event include a juried artist showcase, fascinating demonstrations, and a marketplace packed with yarn, fiber, gifts, accessories, and much more. This year’s event takes place November 18-19, and parking and admission are free!
  • Many knitters spend the entire month of December furiously working on Christmas gifts. Once it’s all over, we just want to get back to our own projects! If this sounds familiar, Winter Woolfest is the event for you. Held each January in Wamego, Woolfest features super-fun classes (last year’s classes were superhero themed) and vendors offering all the fiber goodies that you wish had been under the Christmas tree. Details for the 2017 Woolfest haven’t been announced yet, but you can follow their Facebook page to make sure you don’t miss a single update.
  • Every other year, knitters come from all across the Midwest to the KC metro area for Knitting in the Heartland, drawn by the opportunity to meet and learn from celebrities of the knitting world like Franklin Habit, Fiona Ellis, and Stephanie Pearl-McPhee. But KITH is so much more than just big names. Their classes will take your knitting to the next level, and having the chance to fill a hotel lobby with the sound of clicking needles as you sit and chat with new fiber friends is something every knitter should experience at least once. KITH will come around again in 2018, giving you plenty of time to save up for the vendor’s market!

Casting Off…

If you didn’t already know that knitting is a fun and rewarding hobby that can be as social as you want it to be, I hope I’ve changed your mind. In our increasingly digital world, many people crave the satisfaction of working with your hands to create something both beautiful and functional. Knitters know that our craft is a fantastic way to fulfill that urge, and as you can see, Wichita is a fantastic place to be a knitter! If I’ve left anything out, please add it to the comments below. Happy knitting!

Source: Wichita for Knitters

 

Unwind with StevenBe

What a fun getaway we had today!

Unwind is a fabulous shop in Manhattan, KS; beautifully lit, smartly arranged, a huge selection of workhorse yarns as well as specialty & hard to find yarns.
StevenBe  graced us with his presence, and a trunk show of some of his fabulous designs and specialty dyed yarns.
If you haven’t found Steven yet, here you go, thank me later after hours & hours of entertainment.

Sarah and I had such a relaxing time with Steven and the Unwind staff, shopping, chatting, and generally just loving being there.
We were more than happy to model his wares, being draped with art is always fun, don’t you think?

Unwind really has a depth to it that not many yarn shops have. A huge range of all fibers, brands, and weights. You can spend hours & hours combing through shelves, start back at the front of the shop and find more that you missed the first time through.
Very friendly, happy staff. So very welcoming!

I love hearing other designers and teachers express their paths to creativity, and StevenBe’s is an interesting one, to say the least. If you have a chance to meet him & hear his story & views on our craft, do it!
I had a few parallels with his story; learned shaping in knitting by mimicking the shapes of sewn pattern pieces, I sewed dresses in high school to pay for the start of my college, but unlike him I didn’t get to the Institute of Design like I had planned…I became a firefighter/EMT. Go figure!

Of course, I did buy a few trinkets. Hedgehog Fibers in a Potluck colorway, single spun Merino…so smooshy and oh, so gorgeous.
And how freaking awesome is the shawl pin? Locally made by Teresa Arment at Cedar Lane Cottage, the upcycled spoon & flower make me swoon. It’s official, I will now wear shawls year round.
And did you know that Juniper Moon Zooey comes in super brights?? This citron lemon & coral screamed to be knit together. Or at least displayed for my viewing pleasure…

Go out of your way to get in to this shop. Seriously!
UNWIND
121 S 4th Street, Suite 106
Manhattan, KS  66502
Phone: 785-320-7334
Facebook: Unwind MHK
Twitter: @UnwindYarn

Crochet Peek-a-Boo Vest ~ Great for Beginners 

Crochet Peek-a-Boo Vest ~ Great for Beginners

FULL PRICING & PAYMENT DETAILS BELOW

Class Dates:

Wednesday Evenings, 5:30pm – 7:30pm

7/13

7/27

8/10

This is a great beginner crochet project!
In this 3 session class you will learn to crochet cast on, a few basic stitches, simple construction, and just look at how cute the finished vest is!!
Using a heavy worsted, aran, or chunky weight yarn it stitches up quickly, use a washable yarn and you’ll have a really utilitarian, yet awesome looking, vest.

Homework to be done before class:

Gauge swatch finished, matching gauge as required per crochet directions below.
Remember to change hook size until you match gauge given on pattern.

Please bring all required materials, including the pattern which can be found by clicking here.

Craft

Crochet

Published

April 2015

Suggested yarn

 In my stash

Yarn weight

Bulky / 12 ply (7 wpi) ?

Gauge

8 stitches and 5 rows = 4 inches

Hook size

5.0 mm (H)

Yardage

738 – 1312 yards (675 – 1200 m)

Sizes available

Small, Medium, Large, Extra Large
 This pattern is available for free.

Payment Info

$45 non-refundable

While the Registration is ‘Free’, the cost of the class needs to be paid in full by the class start date.
It’s important to me that my customers have choices in payment options. To offer you the most options I will have you pay in one of three ways:
cash, check, or Paypal accepted by clicking here;

send payment using Goods and Services to firebrunetteknits@gmail.com

Paypal accepts major credit cards, payment through bank account, and using existing Paypal balance.
You do not have to have a Paypal account to pay, there is a guest checkout feature.

Minimum number of 3 students required for class to take place. If less than 3 are registered 24 hours prior to event your class fee will be fully refunded to you either by cash, Paypal, or if you wish, class credit to be put towards another class at Firebrunette Knits.

Grab some friends & get crochetin’!!

Line Dance Cardigan Class

FULL PRICING & PAYMENT DETAILS BELOW

Class Dates:

Saturdays, 10:00am – 12:00pm
6 Sessions

9/24/16

10/8/16

10/22/16

11/5/16

11/19/16

12/3/16

This cardigan is all about neat lines created by a combination of squishy garter stitch, i-cord edges, pockets and slipped stitch details. It is worked top down in one piece, and has a gentle A-line shape.

Intended to fit with 0-2 inches of positive ease. The front sections overlap by about 1 inch.

Suitable for a knitter with some experience.

Homework to be done before class:  Gauge swatch finished, matching gauge as required per knitting directions below.
Remember to change needle size until you match gauge given on pattern.Please bring all required materials, including a printed copy of the pattern.

Yarn weight

DK / 8 ply (11 wpi) ?
Gauge

22 stitches and 40 rows = 4 inches
in garter stitch
Needle size

US 4 – 3.5 mm
Yardage

1200 – 2050 yards (1097 – 1875 m)
Sizes available

Finished bust measurements (inches): XS (32 ½), S (34 ¾), M1 (37 ¼), M2 (40 ½), L1 (43 ¾), L2 (46 ½), XL(49 ½), XXL(52 ¾)
This pattern is available for $6.80 USD  buy it now

If you purchase 4 or more patterns from my Ravelry Shop at the same time (add them all to your cart before you check out), you automatically receive a 20% discount.
_________

Yarn Requirements: (yds / m)

XS: 1200 / 1110
S: 1275 / 1180
M!: 1375 / 1270
M2: 1500 / 1390
L1: 1600 / 1480
L2: 1800 / 1660
XL: 1920 / 1770
XXL: 2050 / 1890

Payment Info

$80 non-refundable, make-up classes $10

While the Registration is ‘Free’, the cost of the class needs to be paid in full by the class start date.
It’s important to me that my customers have choices in payment options. To offer you the most options I will have you pay in one of three ways:
cash, check, or Paypal accepted by clicking here;

send payment using Goods and Services to firebrunetteknits@gmail.com

Paypal accepts major credit cards, payment through bank account, and using existing Paypal balance.
You do not have to have a Paypal account to pay, there is a guest checkout feature.

Minimum number of 3 students required for class to take place. If less than 3 are registered 24 hours prior to event your class fee will be fully refunded to you either by cash, Paypal, or if you wish, class credit to be put towards another class or private lessons at Firebrunette Knits.

Grab some friends & get knittin’!!

Source: Line Dance Cardigan Tickets, Sat, Sep 24, 2016 at 10:00 AM | Eventbrite