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Hello group, I posted pictures from Saturday's SILVER TEA and other
happenings in the "Photo" section of the Yahoo Group. Click on "2006
Some of the things shown on Saturday include a live demo of Machine
Embroidery on Paper in the form of a greeting card, and the showing of
a quilt made of machine embroidered panels that Barb K. did using
Dakota Designs' flowers. (See a pic in the photo section.) Later we
had Tea served by Carole and fancy desserts. Finally, we saw a
Knitwear show of items done by Carole and Jason including a preview of
a hooded sweater that will be published this spring, as well as great
items done by local knitters as part of "show and tell."
Some quick news bites:
~Here is an embroidery website you may wish to look at, just in time
for Valentine's Day: (you may have to cut and paste this whole link)
~for our machine knitters, the book called CANINE HAUTE COUTURE of
several different sizes of knit dog sweaters WAS back in stock, and
we're sold out already. What is going on with this book? Is there some
kind of huge dog sweater trend that I'm not aware of? We will get more
~for Passap machine owners, we have a large stock of "BE YOUR OWN
PASSAP PARAMEDIC" for $34.95 +tax
~CREATIVE MACHINE EMBROIDERY magazine, QUILTING AND EMBROIDERY,
MACHINE KNITTERS MONTHLY and KNITWORDS all sent new issues last week.
All are available, ready to ship. I will write more about these later.
~We are ready to ship the box of OPERATION TOASTY TOES slippers that
were made by all of you, to the serviceman who wrote to us with a
request recently. We will keep you updated if we receive any return
~ Lastly, Fred has been doing very well after surgery although the
last few days he seems to be more tired and less energetic than
before.. so he can still use everyones prayers or good thoughts.
Thanks, and talk to you again soon!
Jason at RHF
Hope everyone had a wonderful day and received some nice messages from
friends or loved ones.
We had a good time at our "Winter Warm-Up" Knit In last Saturday. We
had a small group but it was perfect to make sure everyone got a lot
out of the day. Everybody seemed excited to attend our three-day
summer knitting camp.
Our Summer Sewing & Embroidery Camp is also sounding great. Barb is
working on some great projects that will be unveiled later... but here
is a hint: you will learn how to do "stained glass" with any regular
sewing machine! A great change for this camp is that everyone will pay
one flat registration fee, so even if you choose to bring your own
projects to work on as part of the group you will still receive all of
the instructions, designs and kit materials! So everybody wins, and
you are guaranteed to go home with new ideas and patterns even if you
choose to work on your own items.
In other news: At our website, I've altered the "links" page by
request. It is now easier to read and locate links quickly. There is a
wide variety of links for knitting and embroidery, and other fiber
arts such as yarn dyeing, felting, and spinning; and even links for
pages to get design ideas from other knitters and embroiderers. Our
link page is INTERACTIVE! Please add any links that are appropriate
for our craft(s).
Carole is busy working on a new knitting book written specifically for
Mid-Gauge knitting machines. This is very exciting, because there are
very few books written for these machines! The new book will be ready
in time for the PURLS OF JOY SEMINAR (knitting and embroidery seminar
in Minneapolis, Minnesota) in April. The book will be in the same
format as our very popular book for bulky knitting, THE BULKY BOOK.
Don't forget that we sell Ashford spinning wheels and products.
Ashford spinning wheels can be used for more than just spinning...
Carole uses her "Traveller" model spinning wheel by Ashford to ply
several thin yarns together for knitting. Make your own unique blends
quickly and evenly, and tell everyone they are your own exclusive
creation! The Ashford Traveller spinning wheel is shown in the new
picture on the front page of this Yahoo group. Price for an unfinished
double-treadle Traveller wheel is $395+s/h, or $465+s/h for lacquered
If you live near or are travelling to our store, you can try your hand
on our Ashford wheels free of charge. On the third Tuesday of every
month we have a free class for beginner-through-advanced spinners and
hand knitters. We call it "Fiber Friends," because everyone is always
friendly and having a great time. You might hear the laughter from
outside as you enter! Fiber Friends meets Tuesday, Feb. 21 from 6-9pm
and every third Tuesday thereafter.
There is a rumor that Jan will be doing a session on Wagon Wheel Rag
Rugs again at a future Fiber Friends gathering, and also at September
Seminar 2006. We will keep everyone posted.
If you are into knitting, crochet or felting, don't forget that we
have a complete stock of LAMB's PRIDE skein wool. Our regular every-
day price is $7.99 per skein, a discount from the suggested price of
$12 or up. The colors are fantastic and we stock both weights: worsted
size and bulky size. (Bulky is the thickest). This stuff is S-O-F-T.
Many felting patterns ask for it, too.
EMBROIDERY MACHINE owners: If you missed Jerome Jensen's class on
Embroidery on Paper, check out some of the pictures showing the gold
butterfly on a greeting card. All sorts of greeting cards are
available here, in packets with envelopes ready for your fantastic
embroidery designs. Each packet has the website listed that shows the
templates you can use to make designing your embroidered cards. Prices
for card packs range from $7 and up.
UPDATE ON FRED: Carole's husband Fred is doing better after surgery.
He is starting to spend more time at the store, although some days are
still a little rocky. Thanks for your good wishes!
Happy knitting and sewing.
Hello group. Here is the Rocking Horse News knitting-sewing-spinning-
yarn news for March!
Carole has been asked to demonstrate machine embroidery at a Sewing
Camp for young people. This is sponsored by a 4-H program near St.
Cloud, Minnesota. Each year they have a Sewing Camp for urban and
rural youth, and Carole was asked to demonstrate our Brother
Pacesetter machines this year. She will be out of the store to do this
on Saturday, March 11th but the store will be open with Jason here.
Attention knitters: Tamm yarns are on sale for the next few weeks. I
will send more details in a later message, or contact us for details.
Seminar News: Carole, Jason and Jerome from Rocking Horse Farm are all
teaching at the PURLS OF JOY seminar, April 28-29. We have been
working on demonstrations and will start posting our class lists in
this Yahoo Group's "files" section shortly. This is a Seminar for
knitting and embroidery that you won't want to miss. All registrants
can enter the BABY BLANKET CONTEST. We hope to see some great examples
of knitting and embroidery in this event.
Several of the instructors at this year's Purls of Joy seminar are
teaching sessions using the charting and designing program
DESIGNAKNIT. Are you familiar with this? Look at our website for
information about how it is used to design motifs, insert names to
personalize fairisle knitting, chart custom sweater sizes, convert
scanned photographs into knittable patterns for hand knitting or
Brother-Studio-Singer-Silver Reed-Passap and KnitKing machines, and SO
We sell the program!
DAK7 DesignaKnit version 7 for Windows (Professional Version), $499.00
Silverlink4 for Interactive Knitting (Windows XP compatible), $399.00
Curl Cord (connects machine carriage to Silverlink cable), $57.00
Cables for Brother, KnitKing and Passap machines are also in stock at
our store, ready to ship... contact me for details.
(If you live away from our shop, you can email us your latest news or
project questions and we will share them at club)
EMBROIDERY CLUB: Sat. March 4, 10am.
MACHINE KNITTING CLUB: Sat. March 4, 1:30pm
SPINNING WHEEL/HAND KNITTING GUILD: Tues. March 21, 6pm.
All of these classes are free, beginner thru advanced skill levels are
Update on Fred: Fred is doing very well, thanks to everyone who
Jason at RHF
Hello friend, an email I received today inspired me to write about
fiber content and characteristics for knitters and embroiderers.
The emailer is a hand knitter and noticed on the Brown Sheep Yarn
website that we handle the yarn, and wanted to know if we had a
certain color of Lamb's Pride Superwash Wool. I had to respond that
we did not have her particular color in Superwash, but did have it
in Lamb's Pride Bulky and Lamb's Pride Worsted. I added that we do
not have a large stock of the Superwash version because MANY of our
customers are doing felting projects and Superwash will not felt.
So what's the difference? Any yarn or fiber labeled superwash has
been treated so it will not felt, shrink, or bias. It does NOT mean
it is waterproof or has water "shedding" characteristics above and
beyond the normal water "shedding" that wool does naturally.
Therefore if you are buying a new garment that you wish to hold up
over a long period of time with regular wear, you would be wise to
look for a superwash label.
The downside is that some people are of the opinion that Superwash
yarns are not as soft and natural to the touch as normal untreated
wool. This may of course depend on the brand and the type of
Superwash treatment. But it remains that any garment or fiber
labeled Superwash is no longer an organic fiber. And that is a
downside because current trends show organic fibers being extremely
popular. In fact, organic ANYTHING is extremely popular right now:
organically grown meats, produce, dairy, eggs, cotton, flax, and the
list continues. Organically grown vegetables would be raised without
any chemicals whatsoever, no fertilizers or weed killers...
therefore organic wool can not be Superwash.
Knowing the characteristics of the fibers you use is critical for
machine embroidery as well. Just today I dealt with a pet peeve of
mine: a shirt I recently bought at an outlet store has an
embroidered logo patch on the sleeve, approximately 5" high by 4"
wide. After ONE light washing in cool water and air drying, the
patch is curled and distorted making the almost-new shirt appear old
Why did this happen? Because of the thread content used for the
embroidery. Check your threads to see what the content is. Is it
cotton thread? If so, expect shrinkage when the item gets near
water. We only sell threads at our shop that will not give you poor
Be careful with the materials you use. You are investing time and
your reputation in your items, as well as the reputation of EVERY
OTHER knitter or embroiderer... so invest in QUALITY materials
instead of the cheapest close-out at the "superstore."
You don't want your hand-made item to look used and worn after one
light washing, do you?
Of course not! Be proud of your work and use quality materials.
If you check the "files" section of this yahoo group, you will
notice a lot of new things to browse. I have uploaded the
registration forms and list of classes Carole and Jason will be
teaching at the PURLS OF JOY Seminar in Minneapolis, Minnesota in
the file called Purls of Joy.
I have added folders for Sewing & Embroidery Camp and Knitting Camp
2006 in the "files" section as well. The registration forms are
available. They are being uploaded now.
Carole is teaching at the SPRING FLING in Peru, Indiana April 21-22,
2006. If you would like information about that knitting seminar, let
Tamm Diamante dress yarn, on sale for a limited time.
Cotton for dishcloths or Summer Tops, still $6.50/pound despite
rising shipping costs from the mills on the east coast of the US.
McMorran Yarn Balance: we have sold these to satisfied customers for
a few years. The device accurately measures the yardage of any yarn
using a weighted balance. Simple and easy instructions included.
Electric Cone Winder: the one and only winder that winds onto
paper/cardboard cones, $249 +s/h (there is a pic of this in
the "photos" section)
Fiber Friends meets at Rocking Horse Farm Tuesday, March 21 6-9pm.
Bring your knitting/crochet project or spinning wheel.
Don't forget that Embroidery Club meets every first Saturday (next:
Sat. April 1, 2006) at 10am
Machine Knitting club meets every first Saturday (next: Sat. April
1, 2006) at 1:30pm.
These three clubs are free and always welcoming new guests.
Demonstrations are offered and "show and tell" is always a big treat.
LOOKING FOR A KNITTING or other CLUB NEAR YOU??????????????????????
A lot of new resources are popping up on the net to help people
locate machine knitting clubs or other guilds all over the US and
other places. Check our website's "links" page or write me for
details on these sites.
Happy knitting and sewing!
Hello friend. I've finally managed to upload the printable
regsitration forms and info about KNITTING CAMP 2006 and SEWING AND
EMBROIDERY CAMP 2006. They can be found in the "files" section of the
Some of you sometimes have trouble accessing group features. Always
make sure you are signed into "yahoo" in order to see the photos and
files. If you have joined this group only to receive the
announcements, you may not have completed this part of the
registration. You will need a "yahoo" ID (nickname) and a password.
Setting this up is free and easy.
Other items I've just added to the "files" section include workshop
information and the subscription form to the ROCKING HORSE NEWS.
Remember that the email announcements are a supplement to the print
newsletter, the Rocking Horse News is not available online.
We have over 300 members! What a nice milestone. We hope you enjoy
hearing about our knitting, sewing, embroidery and fiber adventures.
Don't forget to share YOUR adventures, too! There is a folder in the
"photo" section that is for posting pictures of your latest project.
There are several pics in it already!
If you are a machine knitter, you may know it can be difficult in some
areas to find a group to belong to. Someone in Florida has started a
great resource for finding machine knitting clubs all over the US and
Canada. It can be found here:
Browse any of our other suggested links here:
Today was the first day of Spring. Keep spring gifting in mind...
weddings, confirmations, graduations... we have plenty of creative
ideas for you, such as embroidery design collections with spring
flowers or holiday motifs, or knitting patterns of wedding afghans and
graduation afghans. The possibilities are endless!
Happy knitting and sewing.
On the home page of this Yahoo Group is a new picture from the book
"YOUR MID-GAUGE FAVORITES." This new pattern book by Carole is a
follow up to the successful pattern book published last year for bulky
knitting machines. This new book features patterns for all Mid-Gauge
knitting machines and a section about translating the patterns from 6.
5mm to 7mm (if necessary) to accomodate any mid-gauge machine EVER
The new picrture is showing three different types of cuffs to use on
knit slippers or booties, utilizing tuck, rib, or cord trim
techniques. Enjoying these new slippers are the newest addition to
Rocking Horse Farm, some kittens :) We have six new kittens that are a
few weeks old.
---if you are a kitten fanatic, or just need to see something cute
during a hectic day, go to the "files" section of this Yahoo Group/
Blog and watch some 15-second video clips of our new kittens in
action. You will need Realplayer or a comparable viewer to see them.
Realplayer can be downloaded here free: http://www.real.com/player
Back to our Fiber News... the new book will be available for purchase
when Carole teaches at Charlene Shafer's "SPRING FLING" knitting
seminar in Peru, Indiana next week. Afterwards, it will also be
available for purchase at the Purls of Joy Knitting and Embroidery
Seminar in the Twin Cities of Minnesota.
Following these seminars, we will be able to process orders for "YOUR
MID-GAUGE FAVORITES." The cost is $20 +s/h for the spiral bound book
containing many patterns, illustrations and hints. Remember that you
can combine shipping costs if you order several books at one time. A
As always, we accept paypal payments to rhfarm@... or use
our convenient order form on our webpage. Click on "Place an order" to
use the easy form. We've been using this form for several years
without any problems or security issues.
More pictures of items from the new book, including Hooded Sweatshirts
and a fantastic ROUND (!) BABY BLANKET will be posted at our website:
Hello everyone, we have a busy week but wanted to take a moment to
send a note.
Our newest Pattern Book for knitters "YOUR MID-GAUGE FAVORITES" is now
DONE and ready for shipment. However, we will not be processing any
orders until after this weekend due to our Seminar activities. Carole
and Fred are headed off to Indiana to teach at Charlene Shafer's
SPRING FLING and Jason is off to Kansas City, Missouri where he is
demonstrating at the Mid America Knitting Extravaganza sponsored by
KnitCraft (the company that brings you Silver Reed machines, Millor
yarns, and DesignaKnit and Fittingly Sew software). This means that
our walk-in store in St. Cloud, Minnesota is open by appointment only
this week on Thurs/Fri/Sat.
The Spring Issue of the ROCKING HORSE NEWS Knitting & Fiber Arts
publication has been mailed to all subscribers. Several pages direct
you to look at more photographs on our website. I intend to have them
posted both here AND at our regular website so they are easy to
locate. I have been trying to upload a short video of the technique
used to make the "MAKING WAVES" garment on page 4, but yahoo doesn't
like my file or thinks it is too large. I am still working on this
matter. Maybe they don't want it posted because the title sounds
scandalous. In the video you see Carole's hand knitting, that's hardly
Here is a hint for people to ponder: if static electricity is a
problem in your knitting or sewing room, is anyone familiar with the
"magic" cloth that Copier Service People use to wipe off copy
machines? When static is causing paper jams, I only need to touch the
cloth to the machine and it dissipates. Anyone know of a reason why we
can't keep some of this near our fiber arts equipment? I wouldn't know
where to purchase it, the Copier Service person was nice enough to
leave one here.
Keep knitting or sewing (or both) and we will be back in touch soon.
Hello everyone, we have all returned from last weekend's seminars and
are now prepared for the next round. Carole and Fred enjoyed meeting
everyone at Charlene Shafer's Spring Fling in Indiana. Carole received
many fine comments about her G-Carriage accessory class, and her book
Socks for All Seasons was so well liked she completely sold out. If
you purchased the book and are waiting for your copy, be assured they
have all been mailed as of today.
Jason represented Rocking Horse Farm at the Mid-America Knitting
Extravaganza in Kansas City last weekend. The MAKING WAVES vest from
the current "Rocking Horse News" issue was a hit. Check the picture on
the front page of the Yahoo Group to see Carole wearing the finished
Now on to the important update: Please take a moment to check your
copy of the Spring 2006 Issue of the ROCKING HORSE NEWS Machine
Knitting and Fiber Art publication. It has come to our attention that
some copies of this issue were distributed with faded printing or
Please turn to page 4 and look at the Instruction labeled SIDE FRONT.
It should read:
"Starting on the left side of the machine, E-Wrap cast-on needles
L35, L34 + L31 and L30."
Some of the pages appear to have a dash ( - ) instead of a plus sign.
Please correct this in your issue if it is a problem. The needle set-
up is clearly listed at the beginning of the pattern as "2 needles in
work and 2 needles out of work," so this minor clarification shouldn't
be a big deal.
The same thing happens farther down, in the instruction labeled "First
Wave." It should read:
"Continue in this manner until the last set of needles: R30, R31 +
R34 and R35."
Lastly, the entire bottom two lines of printing may be faded on some
of page 4. It should read:
"There will be 12 wave sections to the underarm. Each wave section
contains one complete "wave" from left to right on the machine, and
one complete "wave" from right to left on the machine."
I (Jason) take this problem very seriously. If you are a subscriber
and ever notice that the issue you receive is faulty or unreadable in
some way, please let me know and I will replace it immediately. We
take extra efforts to proofread and check every page when we assemble
the publication, and I want to know if you are ever unsatisfied.
On a lighter note, thank you to everyone who have commented on the new
look of the publication. You have noticed that there are more pictures
and illustrations than ever before, and that we keep trying to make
the print large enough to read without raising the price. We are still
charging the same subscription rate we have used since 1995. This is
not a profit-maker, folks.... it is simply our effort to keep people
On Thursday April 27th we are off teach at the Purls of Joy Seminar in
Moundsview, Minnesota. Carole, Fred and Jason are representing Rocking
Horse Farm in the knitting, felting and fiber arts fields, and Jerome
and Barb are teaching machine embroidery and sewing. Hope to see many
of you there!
Hello, Carole says she had a wonderful time at your Seminar. She looks
forward to seeing all of you again sometime.
If you took Carole's class on Tuck Stitch Knitting and purchased the
book "VERSATILITY TUCK," please let me know if you didn't receive the
color insert page. In the rush to get classes underway, it is possible
your book may not have the insert with color pictures and yarn hints
for the Cotton Tuck Top and red circle scarf. If you did not receive
this, please send a SASE to our address and I will personally send you
the page immediately.
The same applies for anyone who received a faded copy of "Making
Waves" on page 4 in the Spring 2006 Rocking Horse News.
ALSO: Someone at the Seminar in Indiana purchased a two-year
subscription to the Rocking Horse News but didn't write a name and
address on it! Please send me an email or note if you purchased a
subscription in Indiana last weekend and I will double-check the
records. I wondered if perhaps it was turned in with a check that had
the name/address, but I can't quite get it straightened out.
So if you ever fail to receive an issue in the mail but you are sure
you had kept your subscription up to date, always let us know!
Happy Knitting and Sewing
hello group, has everyone been busy this spring? The weather at
Rocking Horse Farm has been unseasonably warm for much of this spring.
It's been a great opportunity to do some spring cleaning and start out
with some fresh new projects and ideas.
I haven't sent out hints or announcements from this list for a few
weeks, so we have some catching up to do with our "blog." Later today
I will be sending several messages pertaining to specific crafts so
you can pick and choose what you wish to read. You may wish to read
only the items pertaining to machine embroidery, or knitting for
example. I thought it might be easier than one huge long-winded
A quick summary of announcements:
-A reminder to Rocking Horse News subscribers to check their copy of
the Spring 2006 issue, to make sure the pattern on page 4 is readable
... if not, please send a SASE and I will send a new copy.
-Sewing and Embroidery Camp is in July, space is limited. Sign up
-Knitting Camp is also in July this year, instead of June. This year
there are several new concepts for machine knitting camp.
-Our cooperating hotel for any Rocking Horse Farm events is still the
same rate as last year, if you ask for the Rocking Horse Farm rate.
This *may* even work if you are traveling a long distance only to shop
at our store, depending on hotel occupancy. Our "official" hotel is
the Fairfield Inn by Mariott, 320-654-1881. Yes, during the summer we
have many instances where people travel here specifically for shopping
at our store. It is quite flattering to think that people include us
in their travel plans but especially to know we are a destination!
-pictures of a Stained Glass sewing project with machine embroidered
motif will be uploaded shortly
-more pictures from our new knitting instruction book "YOUR MID-GAUGE
FAVORITES: Hand-knit look on 6.5mm and 7mm knitting machines" will be
-we now have a wool carder for sale at our store, come to "Fiber
Friends" on the 3rd Tuesday of each month for a demonstration, or stop
in any time
More news to come later today. Happy knitting and sewing!
Hello group, my last message said "stay tuned for more news!" and I'm
finally getting a chance to continue.
We are still accepting registrations for KNITTING CAMP (July 13-15)
and SEWING & EMBROIDERY CAMP (July 20-22). Registration forms are
available in the "files" section, as well as color pics of the sewing
camp projects. Check it out!
Tamm Cristal, very nice dress yarn - $16.00/pound
Tamm Kitty, baby weight "brushed acrylic" knits very soft - $11.75/
Bramwell Sable Crepe, designer yarn - $20.00/pound
This yarn sale continues through the end of June.
We have Floriani threads at a special RHF price of $3.50 (regular $4.
99). If you come to Embroidery Club or Camp, you can take advantage of
an even better special price.
SPINNING & KNITTING: contact us with your needs for Ashford spinning
wheels, bobbins, drivebands, carders.... We also have a new shipment
of fleece in various colors for spinning or NEEDLE FELTING.
June Classes: Embroidery Club meets Saturday, June 3, 10am.
Machine Knitting Club meets Saturday, June 3, 1:30pm.
Fiber Friends spinning/knitting/crochet meets Tuesday, June 20, 6pm.
**Carole and Fred will be out of the store from June 6 through June 17
on a much deserved vacation. The store will be open regular hours
EXCEPT for Tues-Thurs June 13-15, OPEN BY APPOINTMENT ONLY. Please
call ahead if unsure.**
Remember that our advertised phone number 320-252-2996 is forwarded to
other phones (including Carole's residence) after hours, so you can
call anytime with your yarn emergencies. Please try to avoid calling
at 3am, however. Thanks!
Happy knitting & sewing!
Hello group, I've received some inquiries about the cotton yarns we
have available for sale. Since the stock changes so rapidly, I thought
it was time to update the list for everyone.
Our cotton stock changes weekly because of the volume we deal with. We
don't have any mill ends, even though we are able to sell our cottons
for $6.50/pound. This is because we get our cottons from Yarn Jockeys
on the East Coast who deal directly with the manufacturers, they are
never leftovers or "end of the run" remnants. Some of the
manufacturers we carry are Pharr, Oakdale, Conshohocken, and National.
Here is a current list of our $6.50/pound cottons, for cotton tops,
afghans, natural fiber baby blankets, and kitchen items (potholders,
table runners, dishcloths, etc.)
8/3 cotton: royal, olive, coal marl (dark gray/olive/light gray),
pink, dark forest
8/2 cotton: country blue, 3 shades of green, peach
16/2 cotton: off-white, navy
20/2 cotton: red, ruby, jade, black, dark brown, navy, olive, straw,
On a standard gauge knitting machine, we suggest using Tension 8 with
the following combinations:
8/3, 1 strand
16/2, 3 strands
20/2, 4 strands
Hand knitters and crocheters are using our cottons in all weights and
combinations for doilies, garments, and more.
We stock all colors of Tamm Perle 100% Mercerized Cotton, $9.90/per
cone (190 gram cones). This is what we would consider a "designer
cotton" because it looks and acts like a dress yarn. Because it is
mercerized it will not bias or shrink when laundered properly.
Mercerized cottons are not to be used for dishcloths, however, because
they are not absorbent.
We also have a nice stock of 8/4 Cotton Tale at $21.60/pound. The
color list is found here:
Click on the place where it says "click here to view the color
selections in this window"
Our charitable knitting project "Operation Toasty Toes" has received a
nice thank you letter from the parents of a soldier serving in Iraq.
They thank us for sending slippers to the soldiers serving in the
I've made a special new folder in the "files" section of this yahoo
group where you can read the letter and download a set of official
tags in case you would like to donate some handknit or machine knit
You can also see this most recent letter on the Toasty Toes page of
our website, here:
Once again we are pleased to tell people about the annual "Knitting
Camp" we work very hard to prepare. This year's camp has new features
for those who want something different from the past several years.
No doubt you have read about or attended other Knitting Camps, it
seems that since we started this concept they have sprung up all over
... knitting instructors, shops, and clubs all seem to be sponsoring
their own camps suddenly. Here is what makes our Rocking Horse Farm
Knitting Camp different:
~many options for knitters of all levels, from beginners to advanced
~special sale offerings of yarn, patterns and accessories that can be
purchased on the spot. We are ordering a special shipment of yarn ONLY
FOR CAMP participants.
~optional classes that you can sit in on at no extra charge, PLUS the
option to bring your own projects and knit on them while joining in
the fellowship and fun
~several years of experience hosting camps and Knit-Ins with fantastic
~an organized "OPENING CEREMONY" that is brief but important to allow
all participants to meet each other and realize the importance of
being in a new place away from the stress of the outside world
~expert assistance and maintenance on the spot by several individuals,
if you need or want it
~a special price arrangement with a decent hotel so you don't need to
worry about packing a lot of luggage
OUR PLAN FOR CAMP in 2006:
By request, the optional classes for camp this year will be a SWEATER:
START TO FINISH using the pattern from Uniquely Yours Crewneck
Sweaters, or Carole's Bulky or Mid-Gauge Crewneck Sweater with Square
Underarm Shaping, or a combination of the two.
Each person who wishes to will do a custom sizing measurement of
themselves under the tutelage of Mrs. Skip Grettum, and Jason will
work with anyone who wishes to use the custom charting elements of the
DesignaKnit or Design-a-Pattern software programs.
Skip will also do a session on charting. Those who wish to do this
should bring a charting attachment with their knitting machine, and/or
a sweater wheel.
Another difference with our Camp is the availability to purchase any
yarns, new patterns, or other needed supplies on the spot. And don't
forget the special sale items available to Camp participants only!~
Thursday, July 13:
9am or 10am, set-up, coffee, rolls, shopping, pattern packet
11am, pattern session or knit on your own
noon, lunch is provided
1pm, Opening Ceremony
1:30pm, sweater class or knit on your own
6-7 or 8pm, break for dinner on your own
8pm-? knit on your own or sit at campfire, weather permitting
Friday, July 14:
9am or 10am, coffee, rolls, getting started for the day. work til noon
noon, lunch is provided
1pm-6pm, sweater class or knit on your own
6pm, break for dinner on your own (the group usually goes out
8pm-? knit on your own or sit at campfire, weather permitting
Saturday, July 15:
9am or 10am, coffee, rolls, getting started for the day. work til noon
noon, lunch is provided
1pm, Closing Ceremony
1:15pm-6:00pm, continue to work as desired or head home
6:00pm, camp ends
NEW COST BREAKDOWN THIS YEAR!
In the past we have only offered one way to register for Knitting
Camp, the same fee applied even for partial attendance. This year we
have a new option:
Registration fee for camp is $25 for one day, or $49 for the entire
Regsitration includes: continental breakfast, lunch and snacks,
campfire with marshmallows, Pattern packet, special daily coupon sale-
each day participants will get another coupon sheet, and more.
Our partner hotel is the Fairfield Inn by Marriott, call direct and ask for the
special ROCKING HORSE FARM rate: 320-654-1881. We have reserved a block of rooms
especially for our Camp guests.
Please contact us with any questions~
Hi group, Carole is demonstrating spinning wheels and knitting machine
at the 150th Sesquicentennial event in Saint Augusta, Minnesota this
weekend. She was asked to show an Antique Round Sock knitting machine
and decided to set up a display to include other antique or vintage
fiber arts equipment. She has an early flat-bed metal knitting
machine from the 1950's, two Ashford spinning wheels, wool carders, needle
felters, and other fun things.
As part of the display she was asked to have some information about
some of the items, so I made a poster about the history of Round Sock
and modern (flat bed/200 needle) knitting machines. While doing so I
ran across a post in a different group that mentioned Library of
Congress picture archives online. There are two pictures that show Red
Cross nurses using round sock machines during World War II.
This led me to think that some of you readers might be interested in
pictures of antique or vintage items! So I made a new folder in the
"photos" section where anybody can put up a pic of an antique,
vintage, or older machine. This could be fun! Remember that being
"old" is a relative term and sometimes things can be "vintage" even if
they are only a few years old... computers for example... but post a
pic of something you have that might be of interest to others.
Look for the Red Cross nurse pictures and more in the "photos" section, in the
album called HISTORICAL PICS.
I need to give credit to the person from the other group that
originally found the two Red Cross pictures, her name is Mary in
Happy knitting and sewing!
We are having a "hot" time at Rocking Horse Farm this summer. We have
"hot" new ideas for Knitting Camp (July 13-15) and Sewing/Embroidery
Camp (July 20-22)... We have some "hot" deals on equipment for sale
that will be anounced later this month... and we are working on
articles for the Summer Issue of the ROCKING HORSE NEWS about how to
keep cool during a "hot" summer.
Before I share this month's tips, hints and sale news, I would like
to get the "upcoming events" out of the way, so here goes:
Embroidery club meets here on Sat. July 1, 10am (free for anyone,
whether you purchased your machine here or not) ++includes special
Machine Knitting club meets here on Sat. July 1, 1:30pm (free for
anyone, whether you purchased your machine here or not) This month's
demonstration talk will be about Carole's travel experience visiting
a yarn shop in Europe, and Jason's travel experience visiting the
Amana Woolen Mills in Iowa. Come see the knit Mukluks made at the
Amana Woolen Mills.
Fiber Friends meets Tuesday, July 18 at 6pm.
Round Sock Machine Knitters meet Saturday, July 15, 10-6 (potluck)
Machine Knitting "Camp" is Thurs-Sat July 13-15
Sewing & Embroidery "Camp" is Thurs-Sat July 20-22
+++registration forms for camps are in the "files" section of the
Recently someone called us about yarn that had a mold smell. The
person purchased two cones of 100% cotton yarn, on cardboard cones.
The items were in a plastic shopping bag, left in a car over a
weekend. Something to keep in mind about hot weather and humidity is
that moisture can get trapped in plastic bags or wrapping, which can
effect any paper or fiber items the same way sun can fade things. The
problem is that it's easy to tell when sun damage is happening, but
not so easy to tell when moisture damage is happening.
My suggestion is to do a quick inventory and pay attention to the way
you store your craft items. This could mean yarns or threads wrapped
in plastic and/or on paper or cardboard centers; patterns or books
stacked in cardboard boxes on bare cement floors, or items crammed
together in storage without any space around them for circulation.
And I know there are some of you out there who have craft items
crammed in storage so the spouse doesn't find them.... haha.
NEWS FOR ANTIQUE ROUND SOCK MACHINE ENTHUSIASTS:
Donna Peters operates the website called Country Rain. She has an
excellent article about the pros and cons of buying equipment on ebay
or other online sites. I have been sending people to her page to read
this article very often lately. I believe her comments can apply to
anything purchased online, whether it is a knitting machine,
embroidery machine, or spinning wheel. Read her comments here:
Recently I've been talking with people about the history of fiber
arts. We have a small collection of pictures in our "photo" section
of historic items. Here is a great site with FREE PATTERNS of some
neat items, including a Lady's Fourteenth Century Style Knitted Hood
with Lirripipe, Fifteenth-Century Men's "Acorn" Caps, and Civil War
era items: Child's Muff, 1860, Ladies Victorian Mitts (1860s), Baby's
Victorian Boots (1860s), Knitted Winter Shawl 1864, Shell Counterpane
1860, and much more.
Find them here:
Happy knitting and sewing!
Inside this blog entry:
1. Have you seen the new BKreative sewing site?
2. excellent book for Double Jacquard knitting is available again
3. July yarn sale!
Has everyone seen Barb Kuklok's new webpages? Click here for a quick
peek: http://www.rhfusa.com/bkreative/index.asp And take a look at
all the great tips and techniques available on her "Finishing
Touches" cd for $17 +s/h.
There is still time to sign up for Sewing and Embroidery camp and
work with Barb in person: July 20-22.
For some reason, there is a big buzz about Double Jacquard fabric
lately. we had a feature about Double
Bed Jacquard in a 2004 issue of ROCKING HORSE NEWS (print edition)
and mentioned this book. The single remaining copy we had left
(other than our private copy that isn't for sale!) was snatched up
right away, and I've spent the last week looking around for a source
of more of these books.
Thanks to info from a reliable source, it seems that Mr. Ritthaler
wrote this single book in 1993 and dropped out of sight. Seems like
a "one hit wonder." It is a great book, and I've scrounged up
another half dozen or so more of them. I am expecting them to arrive
here from a former distributor in the southeastern US.
The book is divided into 5 sections:
1. Preliminaries (yarns, machine accessories, preparation for
knitting, getting comfortable with the color changer, special
instructions for electronic machines (i.e. KR switch), and special
instructions for punchcard machines.
2. The Fabrics (striper backing, bird's eye, tuck stitch jacquard,
basic blister jacquard, modified jacquard, and shaping instructions
for double bed jacquard)
3. Color Separation (Elongation method, combined color row method, 3
color double bed jacqaurd)
4. Knitted Projects (reversible afghan, blister jacquard scarf, self-
5. Cut and Sew (how to, neckline templates)
The book sells for $14.95 +s/h and our stock should be replenished
by early next week, until they run out. For those who request it, I
will include a copy of our 2004 Rocking Horse News article "All
About Double Jacquard" at no charge.
JULY YARN SALE:
Tamm Sport is on sale until July 31st. The sale price is
$14.30/pound cone for this excellent acrylic sport weight. Some
information from the manufacturer:
Approximately 1 pound cones, 1722 yards per pound
Suggested knitting tension: knitting tensions - 8 or 9 for
sweaters, 7 - 9 for garter carriage
Washing instructions: Machine wash gentle cycle (cool water and
mild soap) and dry (low heat).
Comments: The yarn is very comparable to Mary Lue's Symphony
and Bramwell's Roselan Double Knitting. This yarn is very soft,
similar to Tamm's Kitty yarn.
This yarn will be a great yarn for afghans and sweaters. Works great
on the garter carriage. The shades will provide you a lot of
flexibility and the softness will be pleasing to both young and old.
A total of seven pastel colors. There are shades of these colors:
blue, camel, grey, khaki, purple, rose, and taupe. There is also the
basic colors and some specialty colors
For afghans and baby blankets try 1 strand of Sport and 1 strand of
Cristal or Kitty at tension 10 - 10.2
And don't forget this:
"Attention Hand Knitters....
Our yarns are not just for machines.
Forget tying-in new ends of yarn.
Enjoy working with a larger cones!"
It's Saturday evening, and our Three-Day Knitting Camp has ended. We
also had a gathering of Antique Round Sock Knitting Machines here
today, a lot of activity on a day when the scales hover at the 100
degree Fahrenheit mark....
Subscribers to this knitting & fiber blog who live in the southern US
may be surprised to learn that there isn't snow on the ground in
Minnesota in July. haha, it's an old joke. But it's true that while
people tend to think Minnesota is "the tundra," we've had a dry week
of temps approaching the 100 mark. Lawns, gardens and fields are dry
and turning brown here.
Nevertheless, we had a great time knitting today. A Handful of
pictures are posted in a new file under the "photo" section.
And now we have time to prepare for our Sewing and Embroidery event
SUMMER TIPS: if you live in a humid area, keep a gauge near your
knitting and sewing room. Humidity will affect the way yarn or thread
comes off a spool, cone, or skein.... adjust your speed accordingly.
CLEAN-UP TIP: no matter what your craft, this is an easy way to keep
threads or fuzz from littering the floor. Tape a brown paper lunch
sack in a convenient place and use it as a waste disposal. It's easy
to fold it closed and "toss it" at the end of your work. No fuss, no
muss. And no threads clogging the vacuum cleaner brushes later.
COOL TIP: Keep cool on hot days by thinking of "Christmas in July."
Start planning what types of holiday knitting and sewing you want to
get done. If you start now, chances are you won't run out of time
later. It also gives you a chance to review your plans later and make
changes if you need to. How many times have you completed an item
only to think, "hmmm... this isn't really what I expected it to be."
If it's simply too hot to do any physical work, maybe hot days are a
good chance to sit back with a glass of lemonade and catch up on
reading the magazines or design books you've purchased lately. Once
your done reading, visit our shop. We can replenish your stash! New
magazines of all types are coming in several times a week, and we are
working on two new book projects to publish this fall!
Happy Knitting And Sewing
Today is DAY 1 of Sewing Camp, and as I type this it is 9pm and a
half dozen ladies are busily working on Stained Glass projects. I've
made a folder in the "photos" section with pics so you can see what
I'm talking about. The class is being taught by Barb K., and I
mentioned Barb's cd's and the link in my last message.
The summer issue of the ROCKING HORSE NEWS Knitting Machine Pattern
Publication has been sent. If you didn't receive your copy, your
subscription needs to be renewed. Remember, it is a PRINT-ONLY
Color pictures of all patterns and hints from the Summer Issue are
available at our website, here:
Patterns in this issue include a Woven Tote Bag, updates of the
Making Waves crochet-look vest, article about the meaning behind
"Prayer Shawls," hand-knit shawl pattern, information about
participating in the charitable knitting & sewing project called
Sheila's Shawls, update for Carole's SIDEWAYS KNIT SWEATER pattern,
and a page of tips to read before beginning any sweater project.
We have advance copies of the "premiere" issue of the new and
improved KNITTING MACHINE NEWS & VIEWS. There are great patterns and
technique pages, seminar events and club listings for North America,
and more. The September/October 2006 issue is the first one issued by
the new owner/editor, Linda of Country Knitting in Maine. We can send
you this premiere issue for $5.99 +s/h.
We are offering some of our Creative Machine Embroidery magazines and
Quilting & Embroidery magazines to our Sewing Camp guests on a "buy 1
get 1 free" sale, and any leftovers will be offered to guests at
September Seminar. For readers who can't attend these events,
remember us when you are looking to complete your collection of back
issues of Creative Machine Embroidery, Machine Knitters Source,
INKnitters, Knitwords, News and Views, and Duet (for Passap
machines). Call or email with your needs.
Happy knitting and sewing!
Hello group, temperatures in our area are hovering around the 98-100
degrees (F) every day this week. Sewing and Embroidery camp concluded
last weekend with some happy ladies taking several finished (or
nearly finished) projects home. There are photos of the Stained Glass
sewing project and the Ribbon Rose Pillows in the "photos" section of
this group. It was so warm and humid during camp this year that we
didn't even roast marshmallows over the campfire as we've been able
to do in the past. Maybe next year!
On to machine knitting news: we have been busy working on a new
project that was requested by a cancer survivor who is thinking about
purchasing her first knitting machine. She has a specific project
idea she wants to make, so we've been doing sample designs to see
what she thinks. If things work out, we will share details about this
project and photos in the near future.
It's great to hear that someone is excited about a project idea that
is new. Many of us have knit or sewn items for charities in the past
(and we should all continue to support those charities in the future,
of course!) but sometimes its nice to hear about something different.
Maybe you have had a personal experience that includes a story to
tell, and want to include an emblem or support on some of your
projects like this new knitter wants to do.
Meanwhile, we are also working on making our September Seminar for
Fiber Artists the best it has ever been. I am adding the list of
demonstrators to our weblist as I write this. Yes, I am actually
We've had inquiries about teaching videos recently. We have videos
(VHS) and DVD's available on several topics, including machine
knitting, antique round sock machines, DL1000 linkers, POEM
embroidery system formerly available from Passap, and Jiffy steaming
The recently requested titles are:
-John Loeffelholz educational videos about Circular Sock Machines:
Video #1: Hemmed Top Sock, $19.95 +s/h; Video #2: Mittens on the
round sock machine, $19.95 +s/h (VHS format only)
-Knitting Machine instructional series by Donna Seitzer, now being
made available again! The series includes: PATTERN KNITTING
TECHNIQUES which shows how to do Skip Stitch, Tuck, fairisle,
knitting, thread lace, open lace, fine lace, and plating. Covers
weaving and garment shaping in pattern. This title is available for
a VCR or a DVD player. We also have the first video in the
Instructor's series, BEGINNER KNITTING TECHNIQUES, for VCR or DVD
format: "this tape is designed with the first-time machine knitter in
mind. Topics covered are: getting familiar with your machine and
general maintenance, selecting yarns, three different cast-on edges
and three different cast-off (or bind-off) edges, hems, using waste
yarn, increasing, decreasing, and partial knitting techniques." The
price is the same for any Donna Seitzer video no matter which format,
-And finally, one of our favorites: There is a "beginner video" for
knitting machines, in VHS format (45.95 +s/h) or DVD format (37.00 +s/
h). We have both in stock ready to ship all the time. We describe it
in our catalog this way: "Everything you need to know to get your
machine up and running, with tons of techniques for the basic
beginner to hints even the expert can learn from. This video has been
highly recommended by instructors and dealers around the world. There
is enough generic information for the video to be useful to owners of
every brand of machine. Everyone should watch this video!" This video
was produced by the Silver Machine Knitting Institute, one of the
largest producers of knitting machines in the world. Machines
manufactured by Silver were sold in the US with labels such as
Studio, Singer, White, and Knitmaster; and are still available as the
brand name Silver Reed. (It can also be noted that the Artisan
standard gauge is manufactured using these same Silver
specifications, to make it seem identical.) I've watched this video
and the person speaking talks about the machine in a manner in which
to explain the differences with other brands of machines, so it
wouldn't really matter which machine you were trying to learn about.
The video includes such things as explaining all the parts and
pieces, all the workings of the carriage including Tension settings
and all the dials, selecting an appropriate yarn, casting on the
machine, doing all different types of stitches, binding off,
finishing garments (seaming), and more. There are other videos on the
market but we consistently recommend this one and hear good comments.
The last bit of news I want to share is that we've recently been
lucky to find a small stock of the pattern books called "COLD WEATHER
FRIENDS." Isn't that a great title for July? Just looking at the book
cover will cool a person off. This is a good pattern book for hats-
scarves-mitts- etc, first published many years ago but revised and
reprinted by a friend of the author more recently. We have a number
of the reprinted version available, spiral bound, $8.00 +4.99 s/h for
priority mail (or $2.99 for regular mail).
FOR OUR LOCAL READERS:
Upcoming events at our store include Embroidery Club, Saturday August
5, 10am; Knit Club, Saturday August 5, 1:30pm, and the September
Seminar early-bird registration deadline on August 15th. Fiber
Friends will not be meeting in August.
Until next time, Happy knitting and sewing.
We often have people stop at Rocking Horse Farm who just want to
"look around" and often ask questions about the adjacent farmstead.
But recently we were surprised to learn of an article in the "Country
Living" section of a multi-state publication. An old friend who lives
a few hours away called to tell us they saw this, and shortly after a
few others brought it to our attention, too. We thought we would
share it with everyone, just for fun.
An abbreviated version is on the web (minus the picture) here:
Rocking Horse Farm is a special attraction
Tuesday, July 25, 2006
Rocking Horse Farm
Location: 25636 County Road 74, St. Cloud
Hours: Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Guided tours
are available by appointment.
Phone: (320) 252-2996 for more information.
Web site: home.earthlink.net/~rhfarm
ST. CLOUD, Minn. -- Not much farming takes place at Rocking Horse
Farm, but you can spin a yarn there.
The farm site, located in St. Cloud, is home to Carole's Country
Crafts where Carole Wurst sells all types and colors of yarn,
patterns, and knitting and embroidery machines. The knitting seminars
she hosts draw visitors to the farm who quickly discover the
uniqueness of Rocking Horse Farm -- its history.
Carole, her husband, Fred, and their son, Jason, have kept the
outbuildings intact and the farm's antique, oxen-pulled implements.
"The women will come to look at yarn and the machines and the men
want to look at the machinery," Carole said.
The farm was owned by siblings Alphonse and Mercedes or "Sadie"
Falke. Alphonse relied on oxen to farm. Sadie tended a garden and
made jams and jellies. The Wursts, the Falke's neighbors, remember
the stories and work ethic of the siblings. Jason keeps those stories
alive as he gives guided tours.
When Alphonse died in 1976, Fred farmed the land. Sadie left in 1989
and the Wursts purchased the farm.
They made a few renovations, including building a building for
Carole's business and Jason's postage stamp buying, selling and
The Wursts say the site maintenance is a labor of love. Some of the
renovations, namely new roofs for the outbuildings, have been costly.
They tried to find funding to help fund the barn renovation, but
received no help. The barn collapsed due to heavy show in 2000 and is
left to decompose naturally.
Many of the buildings on the farm were built with tamarack found in
the nearby Mississippi River Valley. Granite was used as foundation
stone for many of the buildings.
A log cabin that was home to the farm's Swiss homesteaders has been
maintained. A kerosene barrel in the cabin is testament to the
Falke's father who chose kerosene lamps over electricity.
"(Alphonse and Sadie) said their father told the rural electric
companies he didn't want the electricity," Jason said. "Their father
told the companies, 'Why should I pay $4 a month for electricity when
I can use kerosene for less?'"
After their father's death, the siblings had electricity installed,
They didn't do the same for running water. A series of rain gutters
around the house brought water to the cistern.
-- Carol Stender
If you know of a rural sight you'd like to have featured in Agri
News, drop us a line. You can send mail to Box 6118, Rochester, MN
Has everyone remembered to exhibit at their local fairs or festivals?
Many fairs now have specific categories for machine embroidery, or
machine quilting, or machine knitting. There are also places that now
have categories for handspun yarn, or hand-dyed yarn! Take advantage
It's always important to show off your fiber art or craft. Not simply
to feel good about showing something or competing for a ribbon, but
because exhibiting these items shows the rest of the world that YES,
THERE ARE PEOPLE WHO DO THIS! In the machine knitting industry it has
helped raise awareness of machine knitting, for example.
August YARN SALE: Tamm ESTILO is on sale until the end of August.
60% Acrylic/ 40% Nylon
Approximately 1 pound cones
3,670 yards per pound
Suggested knitting tension: 3-4.5
Washing instructions: Machine wash gentle cycle, (cool water and
mild soap) and dry (low heat).
Comments: Thin novelty yarn. Highly resistant, good wear and
washability. Suited for blouses,
baby clothes and dresses.
Sale price is $17.95/1 pound cone.
AUGUST CLASSES AND EVENTS:
August is not known for having many seminars or classes around the
country, but we still have our clubs at Rocking Horse Farm!
Machine Embroidery Club: Saturday, August 5, 10am
Machine Knitting Club: Saturday, August 5, 1:30pm. Double Jacquard
Hello friends, this is a friendly reminder that Rocking Horse Farm
will be doing business on an "appointment only" basis for the rest of
this week. Carole and Fred are away at the wedding of their
granddaughter. The store will be open by special arrangement only.
You can imagine that Carole will be presenting the bridal couple with
gifts made with her own loving hands. The bridal couple will receive
a Wedding Ring Afghan, knit with Tamm acrylic yarn (so it is easily
washable) using the design motifs from the pattern book "Heirloom
Afghans." The design includes wedding bells, interlocked rings, and
an area where Carole was able to include the couple's name and the
date of the wedding. (Jason writes: speaking as a man, I'm sure the
husband will appreciate the date shown, for future reference. There
will be no excuse for forgetting their anniversary date.) The afghan
is machine knit using the G Carriage, and finished by hand. The
afghan panels were assembled by hand using the "afghan latching
technique" that was illustrated in a past issue of the ROCKING HORSE
NEWS pattern newsletter.
For the bridal shower, Carole did machine embroidery on a number of
items that the couple will use in their kitchen and bath.
Anyway, after this weekend things will be back to business as usual.
I am currently preparing a mailing that will be sent soon to former
newsletter subscribers and other friends to remind them about the
SEPTEMBER SEMINAR, Sept. 28-30. I will write more about it as soon as
I have posted the class schedules. Some of our guest demonstrators
who will travel here to teach have yet to confirm their sessions.
The list of knitting machine demonstrators who have confirmed are:
Joyce Anderson, Shawn Dolan, Skip Grettum, Diane Juul (Passap), Linda
Molden, Pat Plett, Carole Wurst, and Jason Wurst; as well as Jerome
Jensen and Barb Kuklok (machine embroidery and sewing), Sharon
Rassier (round sock knitting machines and spinning wheels), and Jan
Ebner (wagon wheel rag rugs). We will also have a hand knitting
instructor as well as another machine knitting instructor.
There is a printable registration form in the "files" section of this
Happy knitting and sewing!
Hello, I'm looking for anyone who would like to share information
about Prayer Shawls. Have you knit one (or more!)? Have you done
embroidery on one, and if so, was it a motif or something more
Many of you may have noticed that we included some ideas in an
article about Prayer Shawls in the Summer issue of the Rocking Horse
News. I have recently been speaking with someone who participates in
the national organization "SHEILA'S SHAWLS" and she loves hearing
stories about people and the shawls they knit.
"Sheila's Shawls" is named after the late Sheila Wellstone, the wife
of a former US Congressperson who was killed in an accident. During
her lifetime, Sheila Wellstone was active assisting and supporting
organizations that worked on behalf of survivors of domestic abuse.
The concept of "Sheila's Shawls" seems to be that women who are close
to a survivor of domestic abuse is given a donated shawl that
represents peace, tranquility, and warmth. I am paraphrasing a bit,
perhaps it would be better to just read for yourself here:
I know of a few readers who have made prayer shawls and donated them
to other organizations or churches. One of our local club members has
created Prayer Shawls for a collection drive at her church.
I would be interested to hear from anyone else who has made Prayer
Shawls, or if you know of a collection point where people can donate
completed shawls. We accept shawls at our store in Saint Cloud,
Minnesota that are turned over either to Sheila's Shawls or to a
local charitable organization that takes all the items our customers
donate to our Mitten Tree drive every December.
If you would like to share your thoughts about Prayer Shawls write
or simply reply to this email message.
I would also like to prepare a small list of suggestions people may
have for suggested yarns, colors, sizes, or designs.
If you have a particular personalized Prayer Shawl design you
wouldn't mind sharing, I'm sure many readers out there would be
greatly appreciative! If you have a machine embroidered design that
you like to add to knit shawls, that would be especially interesting.
Hope to hear from several of you!
Several readers have sent in comments about Prayer Shawls.
Marion wrote to remind us that there are patterns available at the
Lion Brand Yarn website. You can find them here:
A knitter in Wisconsin tells us she uses her knitting machine and G
Carriage to make Prayer Shawls for her local ministry. But a knitter
in Minnesota has a different method: "Since I am not patient enough
to wait for the G-Carr, I have knit mine using Tuck pattern #258 from
Beverly from South Dakota shared this:
"I have been hand-knitting prayer shawls which our church gives
to their Confirmands, Baptisms and Ill Shut-Ins. I would love to
have a pattern to knit them on either a Bulky or 4.5 Knitting
Machine. It is truly a labor of love and helps pass the time. We
have a basket in the narthex of our church where people can donate
yarn for those who don't have a stash..." She added that it's a
marvelous way to spend an evening.
The last time I wrote I included a mention of Sheila's Shawls. I am
excited to make a special announcement! We will have the coordinator
of Sheila's Shawls at our store to kick off this year's September
Seminar! She will give a presentation on Thursday evening (September
28, 2006) at 7:15pm during the pre-seminar evening activties. We are
very excited about this!
Regarding Beverly's request for a knitting machine pattern, I've just
talked to Carole about this, and we've decided to create a new
knitting machine pattern Prayer Shawl pattern that will also be
suitable for Sheila's Shawls! We will make this pattern available in
our Seminar book.
Thanks to everyone who shared their ideas about Prayer Shawls.
Happy knitting and sewing!
Because our September Seminar is a bit later in September than usual,
we have extended the "early-bird" registration discount to SEPTEMBER
15 instead of August 15th...
This means that you can still register for the entire Seminar at the
early rate of $89 !
Your registration fee includes Thursday evening's Potluck, shopping
and special presentation about Sheila's Shawls; Friday's classes,
banquet and Style Show, Saturday's classes, and so much more...
-special seminar-only store sales of yarn, thread and other items
-2 continental breakfast, 2 luncheon buffets, banquet and all day
coffee & snacks
-free Seminar book and Store Catalog for each registrant ($20 value)
-special new "limited edition" Afghan pattern for machine knitters
-free use of the Knitting Lounge where you can knit on our machines
or bring your own
-great food, good friends, fun and relaxing atmosphere
-small class sizes and hands-on opportunites
-a different special vendor each day
This may be our 15th year hosting this Seminar, but we continue to be
innovative and successful!
This year we are offering something that has never been done at a
typical seminar: we are providing a special place for those who like
to KNIT instead of attend lecture classes! We have a designated area
planned where some of our knitting machines will be set up (or you
can bring your own, but please label all parts with your name) where
you can go to knit at practically any time during the seminar! This
will be especially exciting for those who say they often learn many
things at Seminars but wish they had a chance to sit down and utilize
the new techniques right away!
But this doesn't mean that we are skimping on the demonstrators. We
have several nationally-known teachers offering great classes.
The Knitting Machine demonstrators are:
Pat Plett, pattern author, instructor and designer from Kansas
Joyce Anderson, experienced demonstrator and innovator
Deb Oswald, pattern author and well-traveled demonstrator
Skip Grettum, garment designer and teacher at all levels
Diane Juul, Passap knitting machine expert
Carole Wurst, demonstrator/designer
Shawn Dolan, authorized warranty repair technician
Jason Wurst, demonstrator designer
Jerome Jensen, Greenwing Supply
Barb Kuklok, BKreative Designs
Laurie Nash, of Nash Prairie Farm (spinning wheels, yarn plying, hand
knitting cast ons, hand knitting headband project, hand knitting
Jan Ebner, (Sat only) Wagon Wheel Rag Rugs
Sharon Rassier, (Sat only) antique round sock knitting machines,
spinning wheels, handknits, fiber & fleece expert
Pete Oswald, antique round sock knitting machine repair, history, and
Three R's Ranch: angora fleece vendor (Fri only)
REGISTRATION FORMS ARE AVAILABLE here:
Sign up for the entire Seminar at the early bird price of $89 until
September 15th! (Single day or partial attendance is also available,
but the discount only applies for the Seminar package.)
See you in September!
Hello again group, today is a big news day for us. We've learned that
one of our readers and a pattern contributor has passed away.
Catherine N. was a lifelong knitter, seamstress, quilter, and enjoyed
many other creative hobbies. She began machine knitting when the
machines were still somewhat new to the world, but learned how to get
the most out of the machine while continuing to use the skills and
knowledge of her handknitting talents.
Even though Catherine began machine knitting before Carole started
her business (in the 1970's) Catherine was around to support the
industry by attending knit club meetings and seminars, and
subscribing to knitting publications.
Our fondest memory and perhaps the biggest gift Catherine left for
everyone was her Stocking Hat pattern. When she was well in her 80's
she came to a Charity Knit-a-Thon at our store with her daughter
Beverly, also a machine knitter. Catherine had her own favorite
stocking hat pattern in her hand, and when she whipped them out
everyone else at the Knit-a-Thon praised the finished product. It was
a perfect knitting machine hat pattern, just the right size and
stitch tension. It was the type of pattern that allowed the knitter
to use their creativity with designs and colors while letting the
machine do the utility work... so when a person knits Catherine's Hat
it is a relaxing experience and one can truly enjoy the feel of the
yarn and the warmth of the moment. No stress with this project!
When the other knitters at the Knit-a-Thon asked Catherine about the
pattern she was using, they expected her to say "it's all in here"
while pointing to her head, the way a chef protects her secret
recipes. But instead, Catherine humbly unfolded her hand where a
tattered scrap of paper had the faded instructions for the hat.
To make a long story short, Catherine agreed that it would be nice to
have her hat pattern re-typed for easy reading, and she allowed it to
be shared with other knitters. She didn't request any credit for it,
because after all, "It's just a hat. Everybody has a hat pattern."
Just the same, when we published it in the ROCKING HORSE NEWS in
1999, we called it "CATHERINE'S HAT." Since then it has become a
favorite of many knitters who like the simplicity and relaxation of
the pattern, as well as the versatility it seems to have. You can use
many types of yarns and always seem to end up with a standard-size
I'm sure Catherine never expected her favorite hat recipe (I don't
remember if it was Catherine or a different knitter who always
referred to her patterns as recipes) to travel around the world, but
it certainly has. Because not only has it been printed, first in our
publication, and currently in our pattern collection "PRETTY AND
PRACTICAL" but we know that knitters use it. We've shown Catherine's
Hat at Seminars all around the United States, and we've received
stories and pictures about knitters using the pattern to make hats
for charities. If a person considers the charity knitting, it is safe
to bet there is someone in the world wearing Catherine's Hats right
This is a nice tribute for Catherine. It's not unique, because
Catherine certainly didn't invent the hat... and there are more
instances very similar to this, if you think about Prayer Shawls or
Preemie Cardigans or Operation Toasty Toes slippers... but it's fun
to think about the mark that Catherine left on the world even if she
never intended to. Lots of us leave a mark without realizing it.
Catherine's services will be later this week in her home town in
My goodness, time flies! It's time for our local event calendar, and
don't forget that if you are too far away to attend in person you may
always email a message that we can read at club.
Embroidery/Sewing club meets Sat. Sept. 2, 10am. Free. (yes, it's a
holiday weekend, but we are still meeting) PLEASE bring show and tell
or something you can demonstrate. If everybody shares, everybody
wins! And it's fun to share.
Knit Club is Sat. Sept. 2, 1:30pm. The same request applies, please
bring things to share.
#### We will be working on some September Seminar things inbetween
these meetings, in case anyone would like to stay and help. I'm not
sure if we will be assembling Seminar books, but we will have jobs
for people! ####
Fiber Friends (spinning/knitting guild) does not meet in September
because of the Seminar
Antique Round Sock Machine knitters will not be having their regular
gathering in October, instead you are invited to register for the
September Seminar on Saturday and be with Pete & Deb Oswald at the
Seminar. This should be a fun day for you, and included in your
registration fee will be morning coffee and rolls, lunch (no potluck
this time, please!) a Seminar book with some nifty Yarn and Fiber
facts, door prizes, and special Saturday-only vendors that normally
wouldn't be at one of our gatherings. These include fleece vendors!
So bring your spinning wheel too, if you wish!
SEPTEMBER SEMINAR REGISTRATION FORMS can be printed out from this
Yahoo Group link:
We have no other special classes or workshops scheduled until after
the September Seminar.
Carole will be teaching at Bonnie Triola's final Great Lakes Seminar
on September 15-16 (the store will remain open while she is away).
Bonnie is a knitting professional who has designed for or worked with
several famous name designers in New York and Beverly Hills. She has
published books and patterns for machine knitters and sold high
quality yarns for several years. Her Great Lakes Seminar is highly
regarded as one of the permier machine knitting seminars in the
world. This will be the second time Carole is a featured
demonstrator. Registration is actually closed for this seminar, but
information about the future of the Great Lakes Seminar can be found
Until next time, happy knitting and sewing!
Just address an email to Rocking_Horse_Farm_knitting_and_fiber_news@yahoogroups.com
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