Denise's NeedleWorks
Location: Ames, Iowa, United States

I am wife to Jeff, homeschool mom to 8, a knit and crochet teacher and totally addicted to knitting, crocheting and other fiber arts. After knitting, crocheting and sewing my own clothing from the age of 10 on, I studied textiles & clothing in college. That lead me to 25 years of custom dressmaking and alterations work, while sewing, knitting and crocheting for my growing children. I have worked in the yarn industry for the past 3 years and have been designing my own knitting patterns. Visit my web site at Find me as DeniseInIowa on

Saturday, September 30, 2006

October/November Classes, Part 2

The Rose Tree Fiber Shop
2814 West Street
Ames, IA 50014

I’m proud to announce our newest teacher, Barbara Plakans. Barbara is a veteran knitter with expertise in traditional Latvian designs and stranded color work. She will be teaching a multi-colored mitten class starting Saturday, October 28.

Its hard to believe, but Christmas is less than 3 months away, and the time to be knitting presents is now! Denise will offer 2 Christmas stocking classes to get us in the holiday mood, as well as the Pellerine poncho, another great design by the immortal Elizabeth Zimmerman. The Wallaby class starts next week and is filling up fast. Diane’s skein-dyeing workshop will give you the opportunity to dye your own chenille yarn and make it into a one of-a-kind gift. Last but not least, felted bags make great gifts any time of year. Samples of all projects are on display at the store!

Wonderful Wallaby Sweater
Thursdays, Oct. 5, 12, 26 & Nov. 9 (4 classes over 6 weeks) 6:30-8:30 p.m.
Instructors: Diane Corson and Mary Isely

Cost: $40, (Additional supply costs will very depending on size of sweater inquire at the shop regarding necessary supplies.)

Skills needed: Cast on, knit, purl, bind off. You should feel comfortable working in stockinette.

Knit this easy, bottom-up “hoodie” with a marsupial pouch in sizes to fit everybody from babies to linebackers. In this class you will learn how to work in the round on circular and double-pointed needles, and how to construct sleeves, the hood and the pouch. Skills taught will include increasing, decreasing, picking up and grafting together stitches. You will need to purchase the “Wonderful Wallaby” pattern book. This pattern covers a worsted weight pullover with sizes ranging from infant to an adult XXL, so your yarn costs will vary. Several circular needles and double-pointed needles are required—please inquire at the shop for specifics!

Christmas Stockings

In October and November we will be offering 2 Christmas Stocking classes! The first class (2 sessions) will be an introduction to Fair Isle where you will start the cuff and leg portion of a stocking and learn how to incorporate colorful designs. Note: You will not complete the foot in the Fair Isle class, so you may wish to take the Basic class as well. The second class (3 sessions) will make a complete basic stocking.

These stockings will be knit in the round. Much of the work can be done on a 16-inch circular needle but the toe will need to be done with double-pointed needles or 2 circulars. We will be using bulky yarn and large needles, so the knitting will go fast. Stop in at the shop to see the sample stockings!

Supplies needed: A 16-inch circular needle in size 11, size 11 double-pointed needles, and at least 2 colors of (about 5-6 ounces) of Lamb's Pride Bulky yarn.

Necessary skills: For either of these classes, you should feel comfortable with cast-on, knit, purl, basic decreases and casting off. You will need a good understanding of knitting.

Fair Isle Christmas Stocking
Wednesdays, October 11 & 18; 6:30-8:30 pm
Instructor: Denise Balvanz

Class Fee: $20 for this class only, $40 to take this class with the Basic Christmas Stocking class (SAVE $10!!) Cost of supplies will vary, Denise's basic pattern will be provided.

Description, supplies, skills needed: See paragraph above.

Basic Christmas Stocking
Wednesdays, October 25, November 1 & 8; 6:30-8:30 pm
Instructor: Denise Balvanz

Class Fee: $30 for this class only, $40 to take this class with the Fair Isle Christmas Stocking class (SAVE $10!!) Cost of supplies will vary, Denise's basic pattern will be provided

Description, supplies, skills needed: See paragraph above.

Pelerine (Elizabeth Zimmerman's Poncho)
Tuesdays, October 17, November 7 & 14; 6:30-8:30 p.m.
Instructor: Denise Balvanz

Class fee: $30 Additional costs: pattern + yarn and needles (see italics, below)

Necessary skills: Cast on, knit, purl and bind off.

This is an elbow length poncho which is done in stockinette on circular needles. There are 4 increase points and you will be learning EZ's double Make 1 increases. It is done in worsted weight yarn and the possibilities are endless. Try a variegated yarn or use up your scraps on this one if you wish.
You will need a copy of the pattern, about 600 yards of worsted weight yarn of your choice and a size 9-10 circular needle that is at least 24" long, though longer is more comfortable because of the number of stitches at the bottom of the poncho.

Felted Tote Bag
Wednesdays, October 18, 25 & November 1 6:30-8:30 p.m.
Instructor: Diane Corson

Cost: $30, (Anticipate an additional $30-$35 for class supplies.)

Skills needed: Cast on, knit, purl and bind off.

Back by popular demand, this class is for felted bag newbies and veterans alike. You may choose to make Diane’s basic pattern or purchase one of the great patterns available at the store—do check out the patterns by Two Old Bags and Fiber Trends! Diane will teach you how to pick up stitches, knit on a circular needle, circular needle bind-off and the I-cord. The class will also cover the basics of design, color, yarn selection, bag construction, felting and putting the bag together. If using Diane’s pattern, you will need to purchase 2 skeins of Brown Sheep Lamb’s Pride Bulky yarn in contrasting colors, Size 11 circular needle, 24’ or 26” length; Size 11 double-pointed needles, any length, and a yarn needle.

Skein Dyeing Workshop
Thursday, November 2; 6:30-9:00 p.m.
Instructor: Diane Corson

Class fee: $15 + $10 materials.

Learn the magic technique of microwave dyeing. In this one-evening class you’ll dye a skein of rayon chenille yarn, which you can use to create a unique hat, scarf or other accessory for yourself or to give as a gift. Tips and techniques for working with other fibers will be discussed, and pattern suggestions for your projects will be included.

Beginning Knitting
Mondays, November 6, 13, 27 6:30-8:30 p.m.
Instructor: Jennifer Horejsi

Cost: $30 (Anticipate an extra $15 for supplies)

Learn all the basics to confidently tackle any project. Techniques covered include casting on, the knit stitch, purl stitch, binding off, increasing and decreasing stitches. You will also learn about fibers, and how to read patterns. This class emphasizes the learning process instead of a finished project. Lots of diagrams and instructions are provided to guide the new knitter as well as a bibliography of best books, magazines and online resources for knitters. You will need one ball of worsted-weight yarn and size 8 needles, available for purchase at the start of class.

Down East Mittens
Saturdays, Nov. 11, 18 & December 2 10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
Instructor: Barbara Plakans

Cost: $30 (Additional costs will vary, see supply list below in italics)

Skills needed: Casting on and off, knit stitch, purl stitch and basic increasing and decreasing. Some experience knitting on double-pointed needles will be helpful.

Make a pair of colorful mittens just in time for Winter! While making a pair of Fox-and-Geese Mittens (adapted from Robin Hansen’s Favorite Mittens), and pick up a fistful of useful techniques such as casting on by the Maine (twined) method, knitting 2-color double stranding—using both left and right hands; hiding floats and twists on the inside as you go; making left- and right-hand thumb gores; and decreasing in pattern. You will have many options in individualizing your mittens through cuff style, lining, enlarging pattern so it can be felted, or making a Latvian braid to connect child’s mittens through the sleeves. You will need 3 colors of worsted weight yarn, such as Brown Sheep Lamb’s Pride or Nature Spun, a set of both size 2 and 4 double-pointed needles, yarn needle, tape measure. Barbara will supply handouts with directions, and tips from various expert mitten-makers. Although not necessary for the class, Robin Hansen’s book Favorite Mittens will be available for purchase at the shop as well.


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