Monday, September 17, 2007

Current mood: Very relaxed

Ahhhhh! Can you hear my big, deep breath of relaxation? That's what happens when you spend a weekend at a knitting retreat -- even when it's practically in your own backyard.

The weekend was wonderful. Myrna Stahman is a great teacher and creates absolutely gorgeous lace shawls! I learned a lot and enjoyed the entire experience immensely

Here's Myrna signing her book. I still don't have a copy, but I'm definitely going to get one. Myrna believes in treating her knitting with respect. To that end, there is no "right side" and "wrong side," but there is a "public side" and a "private side." It sounds much more refined that way, don't you think? Oh, and rather than "blocking" her finished pieces, she "dresses" them. We even got to see how she does that with wires since she finished a lovely shawl using yarn from Buffalo Gold that's 75% bamboo and 25% bison. Lovely stuff.

BTW, if you're looking for a set of dressing/blocking wires, I highly recommend the kit available from Handworks NW. Not only do they come in a tube for storage and include 42 wires in fine, medium, and heavy weights as well as stainless steel t-pins, but a portion of every sale (the set costs $39 + shipping) is donated to the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation. NAYY and all those disclaimers. I just think this is a great set at a good price with links to a good cause. :)

But I digress. . . back to the retreat!

We experimented with different kinds of yarns to see how they worked up in a lace pattern and learned that lace knitting is definitely not limited to laceweight yarns. We experimented with several different methods of casting on for circular knitting, creating swatches from at least two different methods.

Then we started in on a circular lace pattern in cotton for practice. I managed to finish mine and I love how the pattern worked up. I never would have guessed that the chart we were given would work into this pattern. The chart showed only 1/8th of the pattern. I'm used to charts and actually prefer them, but having never done a circular project, I didn't have a point of reference for the odd-shaped chart we were presented with. It was lovely watching it develop.

I was a bad blogger and spent more time knitting than I did taking pictures! Let me just say that the variations in size and texture of the different cloths that people made was wonderful. Different weight cotton, different sized needles, and different levels of tension in the knitting combined to make a great variety of FOs.

And there was lots of other knitting going on, too. When we weren't in class, we were sitting together and knitting on individual projects. I made significant progress on the Clapotis shawl, but still have a ways to go. There were sweaters and shawls and scarves and lots of socks in progress. Oh, and Gillian finished this wonderful sweater (shown here before weaving in ends and "dressing" it), which was a great accomplishment since she has had it in her UFO pile for about a year and a half. It's lovely!

The hard part is that the weekend is over, but I'm very far from being sick of knitting and I need to put it aside and work! Oh well, OFFF is coming up this Saturday, so I'll have another chance to let the knitting mojo take over for a bit!


Lexy Girl said...

That just looks like too much fun! Thx for the virtual hug :)

Meghan said...

Hi, I can't get my page to update your site but I read your feeder updates and I love the gloves you just finished!
Also I started spinning this year and am having so much fun. If you ever want to get together and spin let me know!