The Stitchin' Den, Estes Park, CO

by Joanna
This weekend I drove up through the canyon to Estes Park, CO, to visit The Stitchin' Den, a great yarn and needlework shop located right at the entrance to Rocky Mountain National Park. The shop now has a coffee bar, so it is even better than ever!

I brought along my teaching suitcase, packed with colorwork samples, patterns, and handouts, and met up with my knitting students.

What a lovely group of knitters, who were all brand-new to knitting colorwork! It was so much fun to introduce them to a new world of knitting in color. They all picked lovely shades of Serendipity Tweed to work with, and all mastered the technique by the end of the class. Hurray!
(love "You Can Do This" slogan over the teaching table!)

It is always fun to meet knitters...

and readers...

and writers!
We will just have to do it again with our next book.
Thanks, Susan, for hosting such a lovely afternoon of knitting in the mountains!


General Jinjur's Jumper

by Joanna
Have you heard of General Jinjur's Army of Revolt? She is the leader of an all girl militia armed with knitting needles! This literary heroine makes her debut in L. Frank Baum's The Land of Oz and has quite captivated me!

My first article and pattern for Piecework magazine are both inspired by General Jinjur, and can be found in the September/October issue, which is their second annual Needlework in Literature issue. I am very pleased to be a part of it.

Here you see General Jinjur, as interpreted by illustrator John R. Neill. Aren't you curious about what she is up to? I won't spoil it for you!

General Jinjur's Jumper is inspired by an old Weldon's Practical Needlework pattern, and is a seamless dress knit from the hem up, in this beautiful shade of Lion and Lamb from Lorna's Laces:

Lion and Lamb in Grapevine

Garter Basket Stitch on skirt of dress

 I would love to hear what you think of my first print magazine article and pattern!


Another idea?

I found this hand drawn notecard recently... don't you think a story with a cute chipmunk would be a good idea? Someday, perhaps...

Wild Purls in Billings, Montana

When we arrived at Wild Purls, we were kindly greeted by Silver Medalists! Julia's husband and daughter had just won a badminton medal in the Big Sky State Games, which is kind of like the Montana Olympics. We were certainly off to an auspicious start!

We had a great time meeting readers and knitters of all ages. From near and far...

This Montana knitter made a lovely Freddie's Blanket which was on display in the shop.

I love her green and yellow version of the pattern!

This Wyoming knitter was so eager to learn, to visit and to chat. She loves to knit for babies and children, and has started collecting lovely handknit items in a cedar chest for....
well, we'll have to wait and see!
This knitter had travelled the farthest... all the way from New York! She had a lot of time to explore the beautiful yarn shop- very inspiring!

I mean, how could this stunning wall of yarn *not* be inspiring?

And this: an electric ball winder? Every shop should have one of these, I found it quite captivating!

After the book signing, we had a truly wonderful group of students in for a class. It was so fun to watch everyone's progress, to see all of the unique color combinations come to life as each knitter learned to create a knitting project in several colors.
A lovely day for all, all around!