Thursday, April 28, 2011

Yoo-Hoo! It's Time for the Annual WAREHOUSE SALE!



Friday April 29, 10 am - 6 pm
Saturday April 30, 9 am - 5 pm
Rain or shine!

35% - 80% off of retail prices!!!

Featuring these classics & much more:
Mission Falls
Elsebeth Lavold
Queensland Collection
Claudia Handpaint
Fibre Company
St. Denis
Lots of good basic yarns!
Tons of books and patterns!

Remember to go green with HCW and BYOB (Bring Your Own Bags)!

Address: 11313 Yucca Drive, Austin, TX 78759 (corner of Yucca and DK Ranch Road)
Click here for directions from HCW and see below for map.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Lots of Great Classes Coming Right Up!

Coming up at Hill Country Weavers!

April 30
all levels welcome: Absolute Beginner to Perfectly Seasoned!
Fee: 40.00
Continental knitting AKA German style or pic knitting is a popular, fast, fun and very efficient way to knit!
Deb will teach you the continental way to knit, purl, and yarn over while creating a colorful market bag or these fun and fast washcloth/dishcloths.
Learn how to knit and purl by carrying the yarn in your left hand. Continental knitting is often used in color (fair isle knitting) and can help alleviate strain by using both hands to knit.
Patterns ranging in difficulty have been selected and revised to allow the new continental knitter to practice and hone their new skill. Students will receive copies of all patterns.
WASHCLOTH MATERIALS: Student will need 90-125 yards (per cloth) of any cotton or cotton blend yarn with a gauge from 4.5 - 5.5 stitches per inch. Needle size per yarn label.
200 yards of a solid or variegated cotton
2 skeins in 2 different colors of Cotton Classic that compliment/contrast variegated yarn
US # 9 needles, 16" length (some like to switch to 24" as the bag gets larger)
4 Split ring stitch markers
Bring some wool or acrylic scrap yarn for practice and your knitting gear.

May 1/8
2 class series
Are you ready to learn this exciting way to knit a sock? Knitting socks with two circular needles is fast and fun! However, beware: it can become addictive! Join Fran and learn how to knit customize socks to fit all your family and friends.
Prerequisites: Basic knitting skills including long tail cast on method.
Materials: 2 24" circular needles and sport weight sock yarn
Fee: $60
Please purchase your materials before class.
IMPORTANT REMINDER: please have your yarn "knit-ready" (already wound into a ball) so that you do not miss class instruction time.


Knit 101

May 2, 9, 16, 23(a 4 class series)
6:30 - 8:30 pm
Fee: $67 plus materials

Knit 101 is a comprehensive beginner level class designed to teach you the basics you need to get started!
Knit 101 headband
Skills Taught:
  • Cast on
  • Knit stitch
  • Purl stitch
  • Knit 2 together
  • Bind off
  • Weave in ends
  • Working flat
  • Working in the round
  • Garter Stitch
  • Stockinette Stitch
  • Basic pattern reading
  • Fixing common problems
  • “Right Side” & “Wrong Side”

Learn how to use:
  • straight needles
  • circular needles
  • double pointed needles
  • stitch markers

Knit 101 WashclothClass Projects:

1. Either a headband or a washcloth
2. Your choice of 3 hat patterns
3. A scarf (to be finished after class)
Plus you’ll receive 7 knitting patterns to knit again & again!

PREREQUISITE: No previous experience required.

IMPORTANT: Come early to select yarn for the first class. Class size is limited! Call 512-707-7396 today to reserve your spot.


May 1
FEE: 60.00
INSTRUCTOR: Kennedy Berry
LEVEL: Absolute Beginner
DESCRIPTION: Have you ever wanted to dye your own yarn or fiber?
This class will teach you everything you need to know about dyeing wool and other animal fibers!
We will use professional washfast acid dyes to turn undyed yarn or wool into colorful handpainted skeins and fiber.
This class will cover everything from safe handling of dyes to color mixing and planning for your dye job to produce different color effects when knit or spun.
MATERIALS: 2-4 100 -150 gram hanks of undyed yarn or 4oz bundles of undyed fiber.
All yarn and fiber should be 100% protein fibers - wool, alpaca, silk, or other animal fibers.
We will NOT be able to dye cotton, bamboo or other plant fibers during this class.
All yarn and fiber should be white or "undyed" - shades of cream/ecru are fine. All yarn should be in skeins, not balls.
Rubber gloves
Water-tight "tupperware"-style container to take wet/damp fiber home.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

NORO Love-- Like Easter Eggs

Last month I was invited to go on the air for KUT's fund drive. I love being on the radio and, in my enthusiasm that night, I offered a bonus premium to the first couple of callers to donate X amount. I said I'd knit hats for these folks. Well, the calls came in and shortly after that I set myself to fulfilling my commitment. One of the donors asked if I would please switch out the hat for a scarf in pinks and grays, and I agreed. When I asked the other winner what color she preferred, she named pretty much every color in the rainbow.

I headed down to the shop hoping to find something in pink and gray that was of-one-skein. I don't really mind adding in yarn from additional skeins, but there's definitely something to be said for just using one big ball of yarn. I wandered from room to room searching for just the right yarn (okay, really this was just an excuse to go into my Happy Yarn Trance) and couldn't find anything that really sang out to me for this particular project (though of course I found many, many options that sang out for other projects). I told Suzanne what I was looking for and in no time produced the perfect selection-- a wonderful Noro Nobori in pinks and grays with some brown and white mixed in. Nobori is a nice blend of 42% cotton, 31% nylon, 14% wool and 13% silk. It has such a cool feel to it and I was so pleased with the results that I think I'm going to have to get some more of this and make myself a shawl.

As for the hat-- hey, since I was already in the Noro section and since Noro ties with Manos de Uruguay as my all-time favorite yarn, I thought why not? I grabbed a couple of balls of super colorful wool blend for the hat I also committed to making. This knitted up so well that every stitch was like oo-la-la. I mean I LOVE NORO!! Once I got the basic hat done, I felt like it needed a little more something. So, being a fan of silly, I added on the pom-pom and earflaps, which I finished off with i-cords and tassels. I'm going to say this is a one-of-a-kind hat. I sent it to the recipient the other day and she wrote to thank me for getting it to her just in time for summer, assuring me that it matches her bathing suit perfectly. I, personally, think it looks a bit like an Easter Egg, which is a nice happy timing coincidence.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Upcoming Classes and Save the Date!

Hey Y'all,
There are some great classes coming up this weekend-- see below. And remember to SAVE THE DATE!!! April 29/30 is when we'll host the annual Spring Garage Sale! Times and location to be announced!

April 23
Level: Beginner
Instructor: Elizabeth Green Musselman
Prerequisites: Students must know how to cast on, knit stitch, and how to bind off.
DESCRIPTION:Have you always wanted to try a fair isle project and weren't sure how to begin? Stranded knitting (which includes fair isle) means working with two colors in each row. This class will teach you the keys to success with stranded knitting, including how to read color charts, how to keep your stitches even, and how to work with two yarns at once.
MATERIALS: 2 colors of a worsted-weight wool yarn: at least 150 yds of main color + at least 50 yds of contrasting color
size 7 needles (16" circular + dpns)
blunt-tipped tapestry needle


April 23
Level: Absolute beginner
Instructor: Mary MacCauley
We will start with pansies making happy and colorful blooms to pin on a lapel, purse or scarf.
If time permits we can also create a bell shaped bloom with a stem and leaves.
Your green thumb will get some exercise in this beginner level class.
MATERIALS: merino fleece, or a similiar fine fleece and Felting needles, a couple of old towels.
Comfortable clothes.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

This One's for the Weavers!


April 19
Fee: 65
Level: Intermediate, somewhat independent
Prerequisites: Students should be able to finish the top of the basket on their own--most likely will not finish in class.
Instructor: Jill Robinson
Beginning with a uniquely filled base, we will twill, twine and reverse twine our way to a
beautiful tote completed with two braided leather handles.
Student must be able to finish the top of the basket on their own. Basket will be woven in color shown.


Spaces are limited. Call today to register! 512-707-7396

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Upcoming Classes!


LACE 101
April 9
This class is designed with the new knitter in mind, who would like to experience lace knitting. Learn the basic lace stitches as well as simple chart reading and symbols. This class includes 5 lace patterns that can be incorporated into a lace edged bag or a beautiful scarf.
Prerequites: Basic knitting skills (knitting, purling, casting on and off with ease), as well as some experience with simple pattern reading.
Materials: 1sk Katia "Linen" (137 yds at 51/2 sts per 1") for lace bag, 3 sks for scarf.
#5 needle for bag, #8 needle for scarf, stitch markers and gauge check or tape measure.

April 11
6:30 - 8:30
Fee: 20.00

No Prerequisites
Don't have time for the full meal deal?
Sign up for an EXPRESS CLASS!

April 13
Fee: 20.00
Need a quick crochet fix?
Need to learn a new stitch, new technique, or have a new pattern to ponder? Crochet express is the answer.
No Prerequisites
Beginners: 1 skein of Cascade 128 and a size J hook
Non-beginners: whatever project you need help with.


Wet Felt Accessories
April 8, (Second Friday of every month)
We will explore the methods of wet and nuno felting and create lovely one of a kind masterpieces, from bags to hats,
scarves to booties and much more. This class meets the second Friday of each month from 10 am to 2 pm (that includes a short lunch break)
You will need wool fleece, which you can purchase at HCW.
Bring a few old towels and dress in comfortable clothes. Wet felting can be quite a workout.
INSTRUCTOR: Mary Macauley


April 9/10
10:00 - 2:00
Join Deb for a continuation of beginning spinning. This class is for those who have taken Spin 101 or the equivalent.
We will work on spinning a consistent yarn, intro to long draw spinning and spinning from the fold,
plying, color blending and fiber blends for simple yarn variations.
Level: advanced beginner
Prerequisite: Spinning 101 or equivalent
Fees: 65.00 (15.00 material fee)
Instructor: Deb Sayre

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Interview with Guest Teacher Anne Hanson

Monkey Bread Hat and Scarf
Monkey Bread Hat & Scarf by Anne Hanson/KnitSpot
Hey Y'all,

In a recent post I mentioned that Anne Hanson, owner and designer for KnitSpot, will be at HCW teaching in mid-April. Though Anne has a super-busy teach/travel/design schedule, she squeezed in some time to answer a few questions about her knitting life. Here's what she had to say:

HCW: You'll be teaching Fine Finishing and Advanced Lace classes, which suggests you're definitely a detail person. Not all of us knitters are. What is it that draws you to the detailed side of knitting?

AH: That's a good question, because I didn't start out that way as a youngster, haha! I think anyone that works with their hands and really enjoys it, will eventually develop an interest in how beautifully they can execute their work. Perfecting each detail one by one, adds up to an excellent result you can feel proud of. And too, paying close attention to detail is a way of knowing and appreciating your work more intimately.

Ice Fantasia
Ice Fantasia Shawl by Anne Hanson/KnitSpot

HCW: What do you like most about lace knitting?

AH: I like how interesting it is; there's something challenging or entertaining to do on nearly every row. And then watching the motifs come off the needles has a lot of wow factor too!

HCW: Your background in the garment district. How/why did you make the transition to what you do now?

AH: It was just a natural progression; I've been working with needles in my hands nearly all my life, since the age of four years. when I stopped working in the fashion business and took up computer graphics, I still needed to do something with needles and knitting pushed to the forefront for me, being of more interest from a design sense.

Coral Gables - Click Image to Close
Coral Gables Pattern by Anne Hanson/KnitSpot

HCW: You donate 10% of proceeds to non-profits doing good work in the world. WIll you tell me a little about that-- how it came to be and/or how it's working out

AH: I was raised to keep others in mind at all times and to share whatever I had, especially any good fortune that comes my way. I feel so lucky to be healthy, self-sufficient, able to work, and creative enough to make a niche for myself; I just want to do the right thing and share what I've been given

HCW: Who taught you to knit?

AH: My grandmother taught me to knit and my mom taught me to sew and embroider. My dad taught me to question things I wanted to know more about and then find the answers in the encyclopedia or wherever else I could find them (but not to stop asking). They all taught me to appreciate beautiful tools, materials, and fine work.

HCW: If/when you do find time to sit down and just knit for fun, do you have a particular thing you most like to knit or is it more about playing with different ideas?

AH: I don't really separate work knitting from fun knitting; I think all of it is fun! the work part is especially fun because it's challenging and I'm a junkie for that.

HCW: Do you have a general piece of advice when it comes to knitting?

AH: I always say: buy yarn that you love. Do NOT wait til you are a better knitter/more deserving to let yourself buy something nice. You don't have to blow the budget either; there are lots of nice yarns at every price point. You will pick it up to work at every opportunity just to feel it, take care to knit only the best stitches, forgive your mistakes more easily, and most of all, be more likely to finish.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Interview with Shelter Designer and HCW Homegirl Emily!

Hey Y'all,
This week, as part of the ongoing series of interviews with designers who created patterns for the Hill Country Weavers SHELTER book, I asked Emily K (pictured above) some questions. Emily, who works at the shop, has been knitting and crocheting for six years now. She designed the Tunisian crocheted Nappanee Cowl (pictured right). You can pick up the pattern at the shop or order online right here. Here's what Emily has to say:

SG: Why do you love knitting and crocheting?
EK: I love having a hobby that gives me something functional when I'm finished :)

SG: How did you come to be part of this project?
EK: Suzanne asked if I could help, especially if I could crochet something

SG: What inspired your design?
EK: I really wanted to make a cowl, and I had just learned Tunisian crochet. The next logical step: using Tunisian crochet to make a cowl!

SG: What obstacles did you encounter?
EK: I wasn't very happy with seaming the side; now that I've discovered Tunisian crochet in the round I may try re-working the pattern in the future to make it work in the round.

SG: How do you like SHELTER?
EK: It took me a while to find a crochet stitch that worked well in SHELTER. The colors and stitches are great in knit stitches, yet I found it hard to use and show off a nice crochet design.

SG: If you could design any project, and actually have time to knit it, what would it be?
EK: I'd love to make a giant blanket/throw!

SG: How long did it take you to crochet the prototype for your design?
EK: Only a few days, though it did take me about a week to decide on the edging and the name!

SG: What else would you like to tell me?
EK: Nappanee is a town in Indiana in the heart of Amish country. Something about the rustic style of the yarn and the simplicity and functionality of the cowl made me thing of Nappanee and the Amish Acres arts and crafts festival held there every year.