Sunday, 4 November 2007

I went on a knitting course

Yesterday (Saturday) I went up to London for a one-day workshop on Fair Isle & Continental Knitting, at the Loop shop in Islington. I had a bit of trouble finding the shop, as their artistic website map is fairly removed from reality, but I managed to get there a few minutes before the course started. The teaching room is the basement of their small shop, a rather crowded and cold room which is also their stock room. There is one long table with two (uncomfortable) benches on either side, and a stool at each end. Thank god I got there in time to bag a bench seat, I would never have survived sitting on a stool. So they can accommodate 7 students and one teacher.

Our tutor for the day was Linda Marveng, a lovely Norwegian lady who gave us a big pack of written material so that we didn't have to take notes during the day. There was free tea/coffee/biscuits but lunch was not provided - the talk at lunch- break amongst participants was that other courses (John Lewis, Rowan) provide lunch and more comfortable facilities, and probably represent better value for money overall.

We were each given two balls of Rowan Pure Wool DK and a set of Addi Turbo circular needles which were ours to keep. I am a fairly recent knitter so I didn't expect to do very well, but the first part of the course was on how to use the long-tail cast-on and how to knit continental style, both of which I already knew, so I was suddenly showing other people how to do things! Then we moved on to reading Fair Isle charts and how to hold the two yarn colours. I was able to try three different methods (both strands over left index finger, using a finger ring yarn guide, and one strand knit continental/ one strand knit English style in RH) and settled on holding a strand with each hand. Only I am knitting the RH strand continental method as well, not throwing it as the English knitters were all doing. I got on fairly well, I just had to be careful not to pull the RH yarn tighter than the LH yarn. I knit through one repeat of my pattern which is wide enough to turn into an ear-warmer band I think. Linda also showed us the Magic Loop method, knitting a steek then cutting it for a traditional jumper arm hole, and the three-needle bind-off.

I enjoyed the day a lot, Linda was lovely and everyone else on the course was nice as well, and we had some interesting conversations while we knit away. By the end of several hours on the almost-unpadded bench, my bum and back were killing me, so I was glad when we finished a little early and I was able to shoot off home for the Fireworks.

Tomorrow night (5th November) is Bonfire night, or Guy Fawkes night, so there were a lot of fireworks displays last night (Saturday). We went to one at the local primary school, and it was quite fun and a fairly good display about 15 minutes long. Dh & ds had a burger from the BBQ and then we had some sweets.

I am still plugging away on the binding for the Paducah entry, I've just turned the second corner so I am more than halfway now. I will be so glad when this is done. I am still trying to come up with an official quilt name for the entry form- dh suggested that my frequent label of 'that stupid quilt' would suffice but I'm not sure the Paducah jury would get it...


Karen Dianne Lee said...

You're hilarious. "fairly removed from reality." I never fully recovered after that.

swooze said...

DH's are so helpful....NOT! Let's see that quilt again....maybe we can come up with something.

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