Meet Ragga of Knitting Iceland

Posted by Kristine Vejar on February 16, 2012 0 Comments


Ragnheiður (Ragga) Eiríksdóttir is coming all the way from Iceland to spend an evening at Verb on Thursday March 1st. Come join us in welcoming Ragga and learn more about the beautiful traditions of Icelandic Knitting. 

 

See details and sign up at Icelandic Lopi Knitting


As a way of introduction Sarah asked Ragga a few questions - a mini interview. Here's what was said:


Sarah: When did you learn to knit and what was your first project?

Ragga: I learned to knit and crochet from my mom when I was 9 and soon after I had my first knitting lessons in school. In Iceland kids still learn how to knit in school, we're so lucky. The first item I remember knitting was a funny little Santa worked in the round, even with some shaping and change of colors. Later at school my textiles teacher forced me, and the rest of the class, to knit gloves, not fingerless... but with five fingers on each one, on tiny needles with horrible, fine, acrylic blend wool that split like crazy. She almost succeeded in killing my interest for the fiber arts for good. Luckily I did recover and I found my fiber enthusiasm again after some years of sewing.

Sarah: The Lopi sweater designs you have published are really beautiful. The yoke patterns are so elegant, I wonder do you prefer to recreate traditional patterns from found garments, or do you enjoy creating original patterns too?   

Ragga: Thank you! I have done both, and old Icelandic patterns and garments are really inspiring for me. We have such a treasure in the old patterns and ornaments. I think because the Lopi sweater tradition is really young, only dating back to the middle of last century, it's very much alive and people work with all kinds of motifs in the yoke patterns. Somehow everything is allowed and that's very charming to me.

Sarah: You have published books and dvd's, started your own company Knitting Iceland, and offer knitting tours to Iceland. We can only imagine what is coming up next. Can you tell us (or is it a secret)? Any new patterns coming out soon?

Ragga: I constantly work on new things to keep myself motivated and excited. And Knitting Iceland is a great platform for different fiber related projects. Every tour that I organize is different from the one before so I get a lot out of the whole process around my tours and get to cooperate with my fabulous knitting rock stars that come on as guest tutors. I have a couple of books in the making, one of them devoted to the Lopi sweater and I do have quite a few patterns coming out in the next months. My teaching gigs are also taking off, February is my second USA teaching trip this year and I have at least three more. I really, really, really enjoy teaching, it's so much fun to meet knitters who are eager to learn about Icelandic knitting, and I'm constantly developing my classes. Oh and one really exciting thing - I'm in the last steps of launching an Icelandic fiber club for knitters and spinners where people can subscribe to get wonderful Icelandic wool shipped straight from the knittyest island in the North!

Sarah: Last but not least, what is on your knitting needles now?

Ragga: I just cast off a very green mohair sweater I'm designing for the new e-mag Clotheshorse and I have another piece for them on the needles, this one made from unspun Lopi. Also I'm finishing the yoke of a new Lopi design, Idunn, a sweater I have been working on for quite some time. It has a very beautiful yoke pattern in one color, very simple but elegant, and some interesting shaping is included in the design. I'll wear it at Stitches West!

 


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The Felt Cervix Project

Posted by Kristine Vejar on February 09, 2012 2 Comments

By Guest Blogger Sonya Philip

 

 

My name is Sonya Philip, I'm a fiber artist, and my work mainly centers around knitting and felting. I came up with the idea of making a cervix in 2009, after an abnormal pap smear. During my furtive research in between appointments I was struck by how cute a cervix was - like a glazed pink doughnut. My first attempt was with wet felting and proved time consuming to make. I had wanted to create a large pile and knew I couldn't do it on my own. After settling upon the idea of knitting and and fulling, I wrote up a pattern, and the concept of The Felt Cervix Project developed as a collaborative art installation.

The project aims to highlight the importance of sexual and reproductive familiarity, education and empowerment.
So often when women's health is talked about, it's in a classroom or doctor's office or inside government buildings. And even then it's talked about in a largely obtuse manner. 

On Sunday, February 12th, I will be in the store to help with the pattern and it's my hope, that through gathering together to knit, we can bring about the intimacy and intention of shared knowledge through shared stories. 

Also at Verb on Sunday: Steffy Sue on the Ukebox! Love songs upon request! 

 

Visit Steffysue.com to find out more about her.

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Successful Students!

Posted by Kristine Vejar on January 30, 2012 1 Comment

This weekend, the shop was buzzing with students and creativity. 


Here are Karen's students, or shall I say knitters! Yep, they just finished our three week I Can Knit Anything: Intro to Knitting class. They completed a knit hat. If you've ever wanted to learn to knit, or know someone who does, this class will turn you into a knitter, making warm, lovely goodness.

 

       

Kristine took Cal Patch's Patternmaking Simplified Class. She learned how to draft sewing patterns for a skirt and two dresses. Now she can't wait to buy fabric, um, I mean get sewing! 

We would love to have you join us - and to learn new skills. Click here to read about our upcoming classes.

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TTYT: Knitting with Alpaca Fiber

Posted by Kristine Vejar on January 20, 2012 0 Comments

 

HI Everyone! 

Last night was our first meeting of TTYT (Third Thursday Yarn Testers). The focus of or work was on alpaca fiber.


 

Class members received 4 samples (from top to bottom): Shibui 100% Alpaca, Fibre Co. Terra, Isager Alpaca 1, A Verb for Keeping Warm Floating. Off the bat, everyone started to knit their samples into swatches. We discussed the animal, its various natural shades, how it is sheared, characteristics of the alpaca fiber, how it is milled, how it knits, and about the companies who make these yarns. We explored the various yarns at Verb that include alpaca fiber - everything from 100% alpaca to 20% alpaca - and how the addition of other materials, such as wool, and silk affect the knitted fabric. We talked about gauge, and how knitting up a needle size of down a needle size would affect the fabric. We looked at a wide range of knit samples and discussed their properties.

While everyone is free to do what they like with their samples. A great way to use them, is to make a 4x4" swatch book as a reference guide to learning about fabric, texture, drape, and to use when embarking on a larger project. We are in the process of creating professional knitters! ;) 

 Plus, the Testers received a coupon for 15% off all yarns included in the sampling.

As this is an ongoing class, we discussed future topics - which will include sheep breeds (that in itself could be 2-3 classes), cellulose (another 2-3 classes), superwash yarns, variegated yarns, focusing on specific companies we carry at Verb, and more!

 I hope you will decide to join us for February's TTYT!  Topic to be announced soon! Whatever it is, I guarantee it will be informative and fun!

-- Kristine

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New Dream In Color Everlasting!

Posted by Kristine Vejar on January 16, 2012 2 Comments

We just received a new shipment of Dream In Color Everlasting!

Stats: 12-ply DK yarn, 100% superwash Australian merino wool, spun and hand dyed in the United States.  

 

 

Here's why we stock this yarn: 12-ply, durability, pattern definition, glazed colors, USA. To elaborate, the many plies give this yarn lots of durability and a very low tendency to pill. It shows patterns and stitches nicely. The colors run from deep, light-consuming purples to brilliant, inspiring reds to inviting, oceany blues. Last but not least, it is spun and dyed in the United States, meaning you are supporting fairer wages and working conditions, as well as reducing transportation costs. 

If you have browsed the shop recently, you may have seen a sample of the Garter Yoke Baby Cardi that was knit up in Dream In Color Everlasting. We offer a class starting in March that teaches you the basics of sweater construction in a pint-sized version, and this yarn would be perfect for it.

 Come take a look!

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