Knitters

It’s been a knitterly few days. I’m lucky to live in Minneapolis. Not only do we have scads of wonderful LYS’s but we get Yarnover, the Knitter’s Guild Spring knitting extravaganza along with an amazing line up of knitters to bring and share their skills. The list was long but in the last few days I was able to hear both Cat Bordhi and Franklin Habit speak and take classes with Meg Swanson and Cookie A.

Yarnover started with a sweet and funny keynote by Cat Bordhi. She spoke eloquently about knitting and what is was that made it so magical.

After Cat’s speech it was time to take my first class of the day:  two color knitting, taught by Meg Swanson and Amy Detjen. I wasn’t sure quite what to expect. Sixty knitters in one room? But I was amazed by the information she shared. Not only did I leave with a mile long list of knitting tips, but the stories she shared about her mother were priceless. The artistry and talent were amazing, and the sweaters she brought…..gorgeous, absolutely gorgeous. I feel like I want to spend the entire year knitting nothing but Schoolhouse Patterns. Maybe time to do that intensive EZ study I’ve always wanted to do?

And the best part? I can finally knit with one color in each hand as well as easily trap my stitches. Time for some Armenian knitting, perhaps?

Meg Swanson's 2 color hat

After lunch I had a class with Cookie A on resizing stitch patterns. Unfortunately, half the class thought they were going to learn how to resize actual patterns, not stitch patterns. Poor Cookie! However, she did her best to teach everyone what they wanted to know and I did gain the skills I wanted. The best part was that the class broke up a little early (I think they all wanted to hit the yarn market before it closed) so I had the chance to sit down with Cookie one on one and take a look at how she would resize a complicated pattern from one of her socks. Not only did I learn how to resize but I also learned about the design process, stitch patterns and charting. Talking through it with Cookie was very helpful.

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Cookie’s sock and pattern; my attempt at making it bigger. I was waaaaay off track. The trick is to start with the biggest lines in the pattern, not the smallest.

Knowing that Shepherd’s Harvest was coming up in a few weeks, I restrained myself and bought only one thing I’ve always wanted, the Wild Apple Bohus hat kit from Fairy Hare Yarns*. It was quite a splurge ($50 for a hat? really, $50 for a hat? the Skeptic kept saying…) but I did have birthday money I had been saving for the occasion. So yes. $50 for a rare hat kit; totally worth it.

I had two days to soak in all this knitterly goodness before the grand finale of this long weekend, Franklin Habit.

Franklin was the guest speaker at the Knitter’s Guild and he was fantastic. His presentation was all about historical knitting. Now, I knew he had his column on Knitty but had no idea that he’d been doing so much research into how knitting went from something passed on from one person to another to something written down in instruction form. He was funny and extremely knowledgeable about the subject, and made that old and forgotten history major in me perk right up. Considering that written patterns began with absolutely no standardization whatsoever, it’s quite amazing today that somehow we’ve managed to come up with a cohesive language for knitting at all.

Not only did Franklin share the history, but he brought samples of the historical patterns he’s worked up and I had the chance to take a look. He made an excellent point about going back to these historical patterns. We’ve lost some useful things over the years. The baby hood? Padded around the edges for extra warmth and protection. And the nightcap? Why did we stop using nightcaps? I live in an old house and I freeze at night. And the orange? Well, you know how we knitters all like knitting fruit just because we can. That’s always been around.

Franklin was kind enough to let me snag a few photos……

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Wow, that’s some wild, escaping hair I’ve got going on there…..can you all tell I barely managed to escape the 3 boy tornado to get out of the house for this event? At least you can’t see the muddy hand print I discovered on my pants during the talk….

You can find the patterns for all of these items on Knitty in his column, Stitches in Time.

Now, it’s 11:43. A wise woman would realize she has to be up in six hours and go to bed. The unwise would head over to Ravelry to dig around in the Historical Knitting group. Or maybe go knit an orange.

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7 Comments

Filed under hats, stuff to love

7 responses to “Knitters

  1. Well, dang, I am totally out of the knitterly loop – I had no idea who the instructors were at Yarnover, or that Franklin was going to be at guild. Lucky you!!!

  2. Wow! Sounds like an awesome experience!

  3. Glad to see you had lots of knitterly fun.

  4. Guinifer

    Wow. I’m kinda jealous.

    I love your Armenian knitting – gorgeous!

  5. Sounds like amazingly good fun!

  6. Oh, I am sad I missed Franklin. The opera was merely so-so. Lots of writhing.

    Anyway, I used to work at a lot of historic house sites and I so wished I knew more about historical knitting – especially the lace.

    Meg Swanson’s classes make me wish I was brave enough for knitting camp. Maybe next year?

  7. Janice

    Love your blog, I just found this posting with Franklin Habit and his column. He taught at Midwest Fiber and Folk Art Fair that just took place July 2010. I was unable to go. I will keep an eye on your blog! I love Amy and Meg just the same.

    Janice in Southeatern WI

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