Monday, April 14, 2008

Hobnobbing with Famous Knitters

It was a busy weekend for knitting in the Twin Cities. It started on Thursday with the Yarn Harlot. The Yarnery sponsored Stephanie’s visit and I went with my friends Betty and April to see her. The weather was, let’s say, challenging. Everything from rain, sleet to snow fell on us and we did have to walk a ways to get to the auditorium on the St. Thomas campus. We got a little wet. But knitters are a hardy bunch. And the Yarnery and Stephanie entertained very well. It was like a giant knitting night with prizes and entertainment. I saw some amazing examples of the art of knitting being worn. But I was a bad blogger and forgot my camera at home! This is a picture of us holding each other's socks that Betty took and kindly sent to me. You can see videos of the “Yarnery Family Singers” on Shelly Kang’s website. They were the warm up act and they were so funny. I did wait in line (we were given numbers as we came in and it made it so orderly and fair) for Stephanie to sign my book – and one for my daughter. Why is it that I always feel so dorkish when I go to a book signing. I’m just basically shy and don’t know what to say. Oh, well, Stephanie was gracious.

Saturday was the Yarnover event that the Minnesota Knitter’s Guild puts on every year. Vendors and classes from famous teachers and Franklin was even there this year to take pictures for his 1000 knitters project.

I took 2 classes. My first one was Enviable Invisible Seams, taught by Ann McCauley. She’s written a book called The Pleasures of Knitting: Timeless Feminine Sweaters and she has another book coming out in the fall. She had many of the models from her two books there for us to see. She is a wonderful, patient, teacher and I learned a lot about finishing knitting. I’ve always felt I had to do seamless sweaters because I’ve been afraid that seaming a sweater would make it look lousy. I think that now I’ll be able to have the confidence to make a sweater or anything else that has seams and know that I can put it together right.

While I was on break from this class I popped into the room next door where Franklin was photographing knitters and I asked if there was a spot left for me to add my name so I could have my picture taken. They worked me in right away after the next knitter and right before Miss T. Franklin was very easy to talk to and I didn’t feel like a dork at all! It was kind of disconcerting to be chatting to a big black camera lens though. We did have a slight disagreement about whether his niece Abigail or my granddaughter Abigail is the cutest though. I think we parted friends, even though neither of us was willing to give an inch. Perhaps there is room for two cutest Abigails in the world.

My afternoon class was Celtic Cables taught by Melissa Leapman. Another excellent teacher. Melissa wrote among other things the book Cables Untangled. She ran the class with a firm hand and we worked hard. But in the end I learned a lot about how cable charts work, how to read and execute a complex celtic cable and even a little about designing my own if I so choose. We learned an amazing 1 to 7 increase and a 7 to 1 decrease. Because cables pull in the knitting when put in the middle of a piece you need to increase right before the cable and decrease right after. When I did it Melissa’s way they were nearly invisible – the cable was the star of the show and there weren’t any holes or puckering. Way cool! Melissa happily signed my book at the end of the class. I’m anxiously awaiting her new book that’s coming out in October. She had some items from the new book along too. Wow, is all I’m going to say.

I only bought two things at the vendor area. I had already decided to buy another of Jennie the Potter’s mugs and I took care of that right away when I got there. Jenny kindly held it for me until I had time to run it out to the car.
Oh, and Compadre - I only bought one mug - this is three sides of the same mug!

And as I was going by, I got snagged by the display of Tulip sweaters at the Coldwater Collaborative booth. They had kits in the Dream in Color yarn and so I’m going to be making Abigail another Tulip cardigan in the 12-18 month size. Oddly, my pattern came in only one size so I had to buy the pattern too! Well, at least I know that it’s a stupendous pattern and that I’ll be definitely making it again. By the way, Coldwater Collaborative has kits that include the pattern for larger sizes too. And I think that she said even adult sizes! Might have to consider this some more…. I love making that sweater – so fun.

By the way, I'm having to moderate the comments because I got a nasty one from a "Logan" that invited me to "fix" my computer by clicking on a link. I'd already been warned about this by my friend April and so I deleted it immediately. I'll be screening comments so if your comment doesn't show up right away it's because I haven't gotten to it yet. I love your comments but that "Logan" is not welcome!


Miss T said...

Great post. That cable technique sounds brilliant!

Anonymous said...

Hey stranger! I didn't even get to GO to Yarnover but I still managed to spend money there. Dream in Color (I really like the Smooshy line) is becoming one of my favorite sock yarns, so my girlfriend picked me up some. And she also got the sweater kit that you did. Melissa Leapman is one of our favorite instructors (though I don't get to go to conventions near as often as my girlfriend does) - my friend took the same cable class out in CA at Stitches West this year and passed on the same technique to me about the increasing and decreasing; it's a life-saver if you want your piece to truly look nice. Looks like I'm going to live vicariously through BOTH of you!