A Good Yarn

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Knit Intensive Week

Wow, last week was the most knitting focused week I've ever had, except when I've gone on knitting related trips.

Thursday night I was lucky enough to see the Yarn Harlot speak at St. Thomas. It was a dreadful day - snowing and cold and dreary. In April I've had enough winter and I hate to see snow. If it was just me, I probably would have skipped it altogether. But I was going with friends and we were driving together, so I decided to be a good Minnesotan again and venture forth. I'm so glad I did. I'm so behind in my blog reading that I haven't read the Harlot's blog in months, but she's still in fine form. Hilarious thoughts about how the rest of the world views us knitters and how much we benefit from this crazy knitting-obsessed lifestyle. After the talk a few of us went over to the Chatterbox Pub for more knitting and music bingo - so much fun.

Even though we were all super tired from our evening the night before, we ventured forth again on Friday for Stitch, Bitch 'N Die, Joseph Scrimshaw's latest production at Bryant Lake Bowl. I've mentioned on this blog numerous times how much I love Joseph, so it's probably not hard to predict what I thought of the show. It's a comedic murder mystery in which all of the suspects are the members of a knitting group. Seeing two of my worlds collide like that was fantastic and I thought the play was hilarious - and somewhat insightful of knitting groups, believe it or not. It's playing this weekend and next weekend again, so as always, I suggest you check it out.

As if all of that knitting fun wasn't enough, Saturday was the annual Minnesota Knitter's Guild Yarnover. I had a conflict on that day last year and skipped it and I forgot how much fun it is. It's just great to see a bunch of your knitting friends all in one place. And of course there's the market. I managed to kind of restrain myself. Sort of.

I took two classes. The morning class was Twined Knitting with Beth Brown-Reinsel. I really didn't know much about what this technique was, but I wanted to take a class with Beth Brown-Reinsel, so I signed up. I'm so glad I did - I love it! Twined knitting is a Swedish technique where you knit from both ends of a ball of yarn, alternating which end you knit with each stitch. It creates a fabric that is very thick and cushy and warm and you can make lovely textured patterns. One layer of stitches can sort of sit on top of the other layer of yarn, making it look very three-dimensional. I think it's lovely and I loved the technique. We started a sampler wrister in the class:

I finished up the wrister at home and I'll definitely be making the other one and trying this technique again in the future.

The afternoon class I took was a Beaded Knitting Bracelet class with Lucy Neatby. I've done a lot of beaded knitting before, but again, I just wanted to take a class with Lucy Neatby and of course I love beaded knitting, so there you go. I can't say I learned a ton of new things, but I really enjoyed the class. And I did learn how to get beads from a hank onto your knitting cotton in a quick and easy way. I was just stuck on the concept when I had read about it before, but having her show me how to do it did the trick. We started the bracelet in class, but I haven't finished it yet:

And to cap the whole week off, I finally finished Jessica's hoodie (just in time for the warm, sunny weather we're having now):

Project Name: Olivia's Sweatshirt
Designer: Julie Carles and Jordana Jacobs
Pattern Source: The Yarn Girls' Guide to Knits for All Seasons
Yarn: Crystal Palace Merino Frappe
Yarn Source: Needlework Unlimited
Date Started: 12/21/07
Date Completed: 4/13/08

Comments: This should have been a quick and easy knit, but it ended up taking me a long time. I think I just didn't have enough knitting time to work on it regularly. I had no problems with the pattern though - easy to read and understand and no errors that I found. I loved the yarn - it's a brushed merino, so it sort of feels like fleece. As I mentioned before, I ended up having to buy one more skein of yarn to finish the pocket bands, so if you make this sweater, buy an extra skein of yarn just in case or use a different yarn for the pocket linings as Cathy suggested. If I had thought of that before I sewed the linings in, that would have been a fantastic solution.

Jessica agreed to model it when I had just pinned the zipper in:

and the hood view:

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