First taught at Sock Summit ’09.
This course teaches at least six heels and leaves participants armed with a set of worksheets that will allow them to substitute virutally any heel into any sock they ever knit from that point forward—guaranteeing a perfect fit. This class can be tailored as needed—fewer heels, shorter class, toe-up only, top-down only, or all six heels in six hours.Course Length: 6 hours (can be taught in shorter segments)
Materials Needed: There is homework that needs to be done before the class—little cuffs and some cuff-heel-flaps to prepare for the different turns and gussets. Details will be provided.
Paävätär sock plaited cast-on
The Finnish socks Ordover designed on the cover of Knitting Socks from Around the World use a special plaited cast-on. This class is only 1-1/2 hours but can be extended to three hours by adding another cast-on from the book (the Channel Island Cast-on from the Gansey Socks or a provisional cast on like the Ides of March). Students will practice the cast-on while constructing a wristie and leave class with the pattern for the Bohus-inspired wrist warmer. Course Length: 1.5 hours (can be expanded to 3 hours)Materials Needed: DPNs or two circs or long circ for magic loop, three colors of yarn to match the needles. Sample wristie knit using US6-7 and three colors of light-worsted yarn.
The Finnish scarf Ordover designed for Knitting Scarves from Around the World is double knit. Depending on your needs, the double knitting class can run from 1-1/2 to 3 hours. Students will leave class with a soap bag scrubbie or a bookmark (or both!).
Course Length: 1.5 hours (can be expanded to 3 hours)
Materials Needed: straight needles or circs for knitting flat; DK or light worsted for bookmark; hemp or linen, for soap bag scrubbie.
A three-hour class dedicated to learning the
construction of the Defarge Stole from What Would Madame Defarge Knit? This class will leave participants with a lacy bookmark and a new way to construct directionally-dependent,
rectangular shawls without grafting.Course Length: 3 hours Materials Needed: 24-40 in circ for knitting flat; lace, fingering or DK needed for bookmark.
Ergonomic knitting: 1-1/2 hours
Fixing mistakes in knitting: 1-1/2–3 hours (3 hours if there is a practicum where students bring their “design elements” they wish to fix.) Specific cast-ons or techniques: by request.
Knit Companion—slow and easy: three 2–hour classes spread over several weeks.
Knit Companion—over time: two 3–hour classes with a two week break between.
Knit Companion—fast and strong: full day. Get your beauty sleep beforehand.
Knit Companion—tips and tricks and Knit Companion—”walk in” help are also available.
Pricing for Knit Companion classes is slightly different. Please use the contact form below before booking.
To book Ordover for a class, a speaking engagement, or a book signing, please use one of the “book now” buttons or this contact form if you have questions.
Heather Ordover won awards for teaching HS English in NYC and for Honors Writing at the University of Arizona. She’s written curriculum, articles, and is now editrix and designer for her own book series, What Would Madame Defarge Knit? Creations Inspired by Classic Characters and the proud parent of her new YA novel Grounded—The Seven, book 1. Her designs have also appeared in the Knitting ___ from Around the World series.
She credited her success as a teacher at her LYS in Tucson, Arizona, to her modus operandi while teaching high school—”always teach to the joke.”
When teaching knitting I strive for a comfortable, friendly environment where everyone is at ease. The worst thing I can imagine in a knitting class is having an instructor say, ‘You’re doing that wrong! Do it my way!’ — In knitting, as in life, there are many paths to the same goal.
I’ve been knitting up some carzy for my kids which I hope to be able to share with you soon (I have to wait for approval) but in the meantime, I collected a few nifty cast-ons I wish I’d had to start Jane’s Ubiquitous Shawl with! I think it would have helped. Disappearing Cast-on-from-Middle
Actually, I drink more tea these days, but a tea cozy is a totally different thing.
This puppy fits a cup from that place that’s named after a character from Moby Dick but has an odd-looking green mermaid as it’s logo (ahem, which lets those of you who hate the place overlook that I’m using their cups as units of measure).
This little pattern is part of my plaited cast-on class, but there is enough information in here for you to teach yourself.
I know. That seems silly, but I thought you’d like to learn even if I can’t be right there to teach you—plus there’s another pattern we use in the class, too.
It’s great practice for British and Continental knitting.
It works well with wickedly varied handspun (I used some of my earliest in one of my test-runs).
It’s quick and easy.
And the nice thing about the plaited cast-on is that even if you mess up, it’ll look really cool (ask me how I know).
Well, I’m not releasing a new podcast—though I’m prepping Jane Eyre RIGHT NOW—so instead I’m releassing a new pattern!
My husband recently sent me links to the three videos I’ve loaded below. He said “for the boys” in his email but, seriously, how could I not attack these? I did a quick “knitted flexagon” web search and found that no one had yet made a pattern for this (though you can find oh-so-cool pillows and kaleidocycles video and pattern) so I made my own!
October 21st is the birthday of the instigator behind the craze (Martin Gardner) so knit up a passel (while listening to Flatland) and spread the word of his genius (and the genius of a number of other quite-bright kids).
These can be knit with any yarn, at any gauge, with any needles (that fit your yarn). As long as you have a neutral and three other colors, you’re golden. Photo-instructions for sewing and folding and provided.
In 2009, I taught at the first Sock Summit. In my class I covered how to knit the heels listed below in any gauge, yarn weight, or needle size. Students left with sample heels, worksheets for future use, and a clear understanding of which heel fit them best. Below are links to eBooks which teach you each heel.
I’m now teaching the same class (with more heels!) online (see links in left sidebar).
Chances are youâ€™ve knit at least one of the heels in these books in some pattern somewhere. When you click on a heel link below you will be taken to a page that includes a photo of the heel and some description. That way you can purchase only the heel instructions that are unfamiliar to you, giving you the chance to find your perfect heel! If you are so inclined, there is also a book that compiles all of the heels together in one book—coming soon!
Each eBook has detailed instructions from heel flap to the end of the gusset. There is also a â€œspeed sheetâ€ at the end of each eBook which is a worksheet you can print out, thus giving you all you need to substitute your perfect heel into any sock you knit.
As with all of my other eBooks, links are live to take you to tutorials or helpful sites. If you have any questions or problems, donâ€™t hesitate to contact me.
Dutch Heel eBook
This generic heel generally fits any foot.
German Heel eBook
The extra garter stitch edge to the heel flap helps eliminate saggy gussets and provides a snug fit.
French Heel eBook
This rounded heel is perfect for those who are sensitive to tags, snags and lumps.
Welsh Heel eBook
This is a very hard-wearing heel that leads the knitter on quite the adventure along the way.
My son needs surgery.
Not planned surgery but that kind of kick-in-the-gut surprise surgery that is halfway between, sure okay and It’s An Emergency.
The Long of It If you’ve followed my blog or podcast since 2005-2006, then you know that my younger son was born with Microtia—a not-as-rare-as-you’d-think condition that gave him a very small ear and no ear canal on the right side, but a working middle and inner ear.
Here’s the cute lil ear he was born with
Here you can see the difference in size between his right (Microtic) ear and his left.
Back in 2008 we had Medpor surgery and I blogged about it here (and will blog updates there on this adventure, too). With Medpor, a surgical plastic form is placed and covered with a skin graft and then it magically (really, it looks like magic) molds itself to the form ¡et voilÃ¡! Insta-ear. It’s amazing. Later we had a canal added and, yes, he can hear now on that side.
This is the miracle ear before his canal surgery.
However. At some point that plastic frame started to poke out of the back of his ear. We only caught it at the beginning of this month and I let the surgeon know last week. He let me know we had to get into surgery asap or—and this is the scary part—if the plastic has been exposed for too long they will have to Remove It And Start Over.
We’re happy to see our surgeon again (he’s fabulous) but it’s the difference between a 2-1/2 hr surgery and an 8-1/2+ hr surgery. Plus if we start over it means more skin grafts, another 115 stitches, and recovery right as school is starting. I know you parents know how much your heart aches when your child is in a new-school situation (which he is, knows no one at the new school) and that it’s even worse when something about your child is “different.” We’re hoping the bandages from his surgery will be off and his swelling will be down so it won’t be too bad.
* * *
So why am I writing about this here on my knitting blog?
Because we need help.
Working from home and taking care of the kids has made it impossible to try to track down a “real” job (plus, finding jobs for teachers with 10+ yrs of experience is a tad tricky in this economy) and four people on one income in the third most expensive area of the country has been…ah… challenging. Nonetheless, from my home office I’ve been blessed to be able to write patterns, edit and design for the Defarge books, teach online classes (sign-up links are in the left sidebar), teach around the country, and offer extras to my Subscriber-Supporters over at my CraftLitpodcast. It’s been nice, but it’s not a living. And making “a living” would have made this surgery thing a lot less scary.
Friends in LA and the good people of CraftLit and Cooperative Press have helped us with gifts of housing and airfare, but I’ll still need to feed the kids, purchase Thing 2’s post-surgery meds, and get to and from the surgery while in LA (not to mention the further specter of going through a whole replacement surgery). So, to raise funds for the trip and any other “surprises” that get thrown our way, I thought I’d host a sale and more! (Thank you, Tara!) There are lots of ways to help that get you something nifty, too! For example, you could:
Buy a table (or forward the link to someone in the DC area who might need one).
Or, if you’re looking for a new way to promote your business to a literate, funny, extremely nice group of crafty people, perhaps you’d be interesting in sponsoring the podcast?
Or, if you prefer the straightforward approach, you can simply
to the cause.
And even if you don’t purchase any patterns or become a sponsor, I want to thank you for heading over here to see what’s going on. If you’re willing to Facebook or Tweet this page to anyone who might be interested in the above I would deeply appreciate it. All I can offer as a thank you is my free podcasts—and for non-knitters you’d probably prefer Just the Books, the sister show to CraftLit (all the lit with none of the craft), in case you might enjoy sticking a good book in your ear when your hands are busy doing something else. Gulliver’s Travels starts at episode 249 both on Just the Books and CraftLit and we’re almost at Part IV (the final part). If you start now, you may catch up before we’re home from the surgery!
And the next book is Jane Eyre.
Regardless the reason, here you are. You came and read, and for that I am truly grateful.
Right now I’m particularly grateful to the many pattern purchasers (hope you enjoy!) and also for the direct support of:
Dee & Mike
Laura-Lynn and Phil
The early responders made me weep with relief last week when the light at the end of the tunnel looked like an oncoming train.
You who have joined in this week have let me sleep at night. Truly. Thank you more than I can say.
Right before I left on vacation I had a FABULOUS phone call/CraftLit interview* with Sally Holt (she of the genius KnitCompanion ® app) and Lucy Neatby (she of knitting genius)—and then I had to shut up about it.
It almost killed me.
But now the secret is out and I can share this joyous news with you! I’m giddy with excitement and I’m here to tell you that after you take a look at the Lucy Neatby—Collection One app, you will be giddy, too.
This ground-breaking app for iPad, iPhone, and iPod Touch combines a collection of Lucyâ€™s patterns together with her wonderful Learn with Lucy video series. All packaged in the patent pending KnitCompanion ® platform to provide highly interactive knitting instructions. The techniques covered in the videos are linked directly to the steps of the pattern that need the techniques so you can knit with confidence because Lucy is by your side. All patterns are setup with easy-to-select options for sizes, motifs, and other options. We think of it as an electronic pattern book on steroids!
You could make a one-time donation (with the button above) or you may prefer to sign up as a Subscriber-Supporter (and receive all sorts of ongoing audio goodies from the folks who work on CraftLit). Either way—donate once or as a subscriber—you’ll be put into the drawing. If you win, but don’t have an Apple device, you can gift the app to a friend—then make them hand over said device on-demand!
And even if you don’t donate, please leave a comment here. Lucy and Sally will see it and I’m sure they’ll be excited to see what you think about their new and awesome app!
*The interview will go live on Episode 264, August 10, 2012.
For interested Book-Only lovers, I recommend subscribing to the Just-the-Books option. There you won’t be bothered by knitting and crochet pattern freebies, you will just get the marvelous audio bits.
If you like to knit or crochet, consider subscribing to the CraftLit feed and you’ll get even MORE exclusive goodies for free and before everyone else gets ’em. (Current freebies include Cheddar, Wensleydale, and Holly Golightly!)
Important—please click the “RETURN” link to complete your subscription process and sign up for your extra fun bits!
Important—please click the “RETURN” link to complete your subscription process and sign up for your extra fun bits!
I made a video which gives you a little overview of the—not one, not two, but THREE class options I can now offer you in my Sock Heels-a-GoGo series!
The very helpful folks over at the KnitGrrl Ning site gave me some great ideas and Shannon agreed to let me try this. It gives you more choices in price and toe-up/top-down options—and I’m all jazzed about both of those things.
Here’s the video and below is a sign up for the full course. Or you can navigate via this link to get to the mini-courses.
I have a new pattern for you—one that induced my husband to start calling me a Yarngineer.
Life or Death socks
for Katniss Everdeen from the Hunger Games series.
In honor of the opening of the film, I wanted to design a pair of socks I thought would be worthy of Katniss—and able to stand up to the solid beating I imagine that young (hunted) hunter would give to her socks as she ran for her life.
* * *
Below please find specs I thought you might find useful along with a few tantalizing details. If you would like to purchase the pattern you can do it here through Mama O Knits too Much, or via my Ravelry shop where the pdf will be stored in your Library.
This sock is for the adventurous intermediate or expert knitter(or for a new knitter who hasn’t been told that socks, cables, and double knitting are hard, the therefore is able to do anything)
knit and purl stitches, YO, right and left leaning increases, decreases, cables
knitting in the round on two circular needles
reading lace and charts; use of stitch markers to delineate repeats
knitting both Continental and British (as commonly done in Fair Isle) is helpful if you wish to include the optional hidden pocket
knowledge of double-knitting is useful but not required. Tutorial included.
(S,M)L— for accurate fit, measure around ball of Foot (7in, 8in) 9in,
28 sts x 38 rows = 4 in/10cm on sole-stitch stockinette; same on stockinette arrowhead lace
— Two US 1 (2.25 mm) circs; cable needle or appropriate substitute tool; one set US 1 dpns for optional pocket
— stitch markers or paperclips (many)
Sole knit first—Instep knit-on after
The construction of these socks is unique. The entire sole is knit first and, thus, is completely replaceable. It is knit with fingering-weight yarn held double to create a toe-up, form-fitting arch which will give you a very firm, cushiony, comforting bed upon which to rest your weary feet.
Top-of-Foot—arrowheads and three-strand cables
The instep is decorated with lace, not out of vanity—the one thing Katniss doesn’t wrestle with—but for breathability. The instep and leg are knit after the sole, starting at the toe and working up the leg. The first and last stitch of each instep row are used to “seam” the instep to the sole stitches.
The leg pattern ends with an optional, secret, double knit-pocket. This pocket is effectively double knit flat while knitting in the round — detailed instructions are provided.
Adjustments to Sizing:
The lace pattern on the instep has a limited number of options when calculating other sizes. The sole, however, is more flexible. You will be best served to measure around the ball of your foot (where you flex when standing tip-toe) and compare your foot to the measurements given in the pattern. Sole numbers are provided for three sizes (S,M,L). The lace instep includes instructions for tailoring to your size.
The use of two circular needles while knitting this sock will facilitate trying on the sole as you go, particularly during the seaming process, which will give you the ability to achieve a more precise and comfortable fit.
As per the What Would Madame Defarge Knit? books, links in the PDF pattern are live, allowing you to find linked-to tutorials and to move easily within the electronic version of the pattern, jumping to charts from text instructions and back again, as needed, while knitting.
The charts are constructed to work easily in Knit Companion for the iPad (only one chart will need to be rotated).
MamaO is Heather Ordover, author, designer, mother and knitter... not necessarily in that order. You can get posts from this blog sent directly to your inbox by signing up below, Follow her on Twitter and Like her on Facebook if you're feeling friendly-like. Follow @MamaO