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The New York Sheep and Wool Festival in Rhinebeck has it all: Sheep, yarn, workshops, Sheep, gourmet food, sweater-watching, leaf-peeping, Sheep, and now, ME!

I'll be teaching two workshops this fall: "Down the Slipper-y Slope", where I share my journey to slipper happiness, and "Kilt by Association", a madcap romp through the kilt hose.

Registration opens June 1st, so hurry! CLICK HERE to sign up.

Rhinebeck this year coincides with the launch of my new book:

It's available for pre-order now, where all fine knitting books are sold. Copies will be in stores on October 12. And you thought all this time I was only knitting sweaters! There are 20 delicious patterns to knit, in addition to everything you need to design your own mittens. I can't wait to share it with you.

Greetings from the Other Side

Alert Reader Amy from Seattle cleverly asked of the Chinese Garden wrap "What does it look like on the other side?", prompting me to spend a little time reflecting on the notion of "Right" vs. "Wrong" sides of things. Of course, we can always diplomatically change our vernacular to "Public" and "Non-Public" when we refer to insides and outsides. But as knitters, we're always referring to the planes of our work. Have you ever wondered how to make colorwork that's presentable to the world from both sides? It's easy. I do it all the time, and so can you.

Today I would like to challenge you, Gentle Readers, to think about the insides of things. I often hear that part of the fun of seeing my trunk shows is getting a good look at what's going on behind the scenes of the pieces. For those who haven't seen yet, here are a few:

Chinese Garden Outside

Stars and Stripes Outside

Regnbue Outside

Butterflies Outside

Chinese Garden Inside

Stars and Stripes Inside

Regnbue Inside

Butterflies Inside

One of the many charms of Stranded Colorwork knitting is that its insides can be just as lovely (more?) as its outsides! How can we achieve this? Those who have been to  my introduction to Stranded Colorwork class, 2 Strings=Not Scary already know: We can easily keep our floats beautiful and our tension perfect by applying two concepts (okay, they're really just Sexy Party Tricks, but who cares?).

Thing One: Strand Orientation. Don't twist the unused strands around one another. Ever. This is especially easy if you are knitting from one of my patterns because I design the motifs in such a way that you will never have to tack (twist) a float. Period. So just don't do it. Ta-Da! Instantly beautiful insides.

Thing Two: Float Tension. Mechanically introduce extra slack into the unused strand as you knit by stretching the stitches you are carrying across the back of. This extra float length will magically disappear during blocking, wearing, etc [insert Interpretive Dance here]. Yes, if you work on Stranded Colorwork with me, I will explain float tension via an interpretive dance; just one more service I provide.

That's it. There are only two things to know in order to make the back of your knitting as beautiful and interesting as the front. Mischief Managed. Come see me in class to get the full explaination/show on this. CLICK HERE for my upcoming session, or if you aren't in that neighborhood, contact me to schedule a class with your guild, event, or group of knitting pals!

Oh Knitting! You are so beautiful and full of surprises. Aren't we lucky to know the secrets?

Next Time: Who's up for a Knitalong? I've been asked for help with a pattern, and you know how hard it ISN'T to trick me into knitting something with you...

Anchors Aweigh!

Who's ready for an adventure? Pick Me! Next November 8-22, Sally Melville and I will be teaching classes and playing with the knitters aboard Holland America's MS Zaandam! And where, pray tell, might we sail? No less than South America, my friends!

That's right: We start in Buenos Aires, Argentina, sail around the southern tip of South America, and end up in Santiago, Chile.  CLICK HERE for the complete itinerary.

And all along the way, Sally and I will be teaching knitting; My classes will be Elegant Entrelac, Knitting Behind the Wheel, Mad Hatters, and Start to Finish.  Sally's offering Essential Skills, Two colors/Two Hands, Knit to Flatter and Fit, and Emergency Measures.

Won't you come with us? CLICK HERE to visit Craft Cruises for more details.