Saturday, January 17, 2009

And a Fibery Time Was Had By All

Last weekend was very much all-knitting, all the time. This weekend -- not so much. I've got a cold and I'm just at home mainlining Zicam.

Last Thursday, designer Jackie Erickson-Schweitzer was in Atlanta to speak to our guild. Then she taught classes Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. I can't believe my camera malfunctioned so I can't even prove she was here, but a careful review of my so-called funds would prove it. So on Saturday I was signed up to take her afternoon class (faroese shawls) and I had the yarn for that (sock yarn from the stash since we were just making a teddy bear size shawl). On Sunday I was scheduled to take her Faux Ikat class and I had the yarn for that too (Schaeffer Anne). But she got us all inspired about smoke rings the other night so Saturday morning I had to go to one of our local shops to look for yarn for that. Hmmm…just barely time to shop and then get to class.

Then the class went from 2 to 5. I had promised a friend I would go with her to a shop north of Atlanta for a PJ party. Okay, need to go home, change into PJs … but wait. I forgot I'd promised to go out for dinner after the class. Ooooookay. So I’ll go to dinner but probably won’t have time to change into PJs. (Can you see this day is getting out of hand already?)

Bottom line, the dinner was long, long, long. You don't rush service in a Greek restaurant where everything you do is punctuated by cries of Opa! And it was delicious, if a bit pricey. Probably a skein or two more than I'm used to spending for dinner--can you tell I have a problem with yarn? I'm starting to think of money in terms of skeins of yarn. And let's not even discuss the fact that all the knitters at the table were looking at the belly dancers and speculating on how the beads were attached.

By the time I got out of the restaurant it was raining (well, pouring) and I wasn’t quite sure where I was or how to get to the PJ shop. Finally found it—60 people in PJs hanging out knitting and eating. What a hoot! Anyway, my friend and I got ready to leave about 10:30 and suddenly the lights flickered. There was an accident right outside the shop that had taken down a power pole. Lots of emergency vehicles, no way to leave the shop.

By the time we left at 11 it was raining even harder, if possible, and Mr. Pug was calling my cellphone grouchily asking if I’d had an accident. Nope—unless you consider too much yarn an accident!

Anyway, then more knitting on Sunday. The idea of the Sunday class was to measure the dye repeat of your hand-dyed yarn and then calculate how many stitches you could knit from one return of the yarn (in this case, 48 inches) to make your yarn pool interesting and attractively. If you're interested in the concept, read Sandy Rosner's article in the latest Knitter's on making entrelac socks out of self-patterning yarn. Anyway, it worked fine in the class but when I cast on at home, somehow it's just doing whatever it wants. Luckily, I love the yarn and I don't really care but ... oh, poot! Anyway, I'm calling my piece Naux Ikat. (I swear I have a picture of that somewhere but I can't find it--damn that camera!)

More knitting on Wednesday evening, when the usual suspects gathered at the Barnes & Noble in Norcross. (Well, one unusual suspect--Cindi from my work joined us. Hopefully she'll make a habit of it.) Kay brought some really pretty green that might work with my Noro Silk Garden Lite vest (don't ask!), although it seems to be missing too. I have no idea what I did with that!

Finally, the North Georgia Knitting Guild met on Thursday night. Paula Vester from the Peachtree Handspinners Guild spoke very interestingly about needle felting, a subject that I have little or no interest in. She was great, showing off lots of small projects and giving folks a chance to play with samples. To give you an idea of how compelling she was, I was able to talk Cindi into buying a needle felting kit on Friday at Knitch. Thank God she bought it, otherwise God only knows what I'd be sticking my barbed needle into today.

Anyway, I've been nursing my cold with a small project for the lovely Ruby, my grandniece whom I may actually meet toward the end of the month. The pattern is Helena and it's from a couple of months ago. The yarn is Rowan Cash Soft from Only Ewe and Cotton Too and is really nice to knit.

The second picture shows the repeating lacey lower half of the sweater. That's about 1.5 repeats. Very easy to remember and just lacey and girly enough not to be too annoying. The sweater pattern is a top-down, seam-free item that reminds me of my "go-to" baby gift during the 70's and 80's. I can't remember whose pattern it was, but every single friend who had a baby during those years got one of those things. It's nice to re-visit the concept but in a color with a little more pizazz than all those boring baby colors we used in those days. (Yes, I know it's pastel green, but it's so much more! Really like a baby avocado color, not like that nasty insipid baby green of 30 years ago.)

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