Friday, 13 August 2010

Knit Camp Day Four - Thursday

For anyone who doesn't give a hoot about knit camp, I apologise that this is a boring blog week.  I have met several other knitters here who also quilt, but mentioning dollshouses draws the usual blank look.  I was too tired to post last night after the coach trip, so I am actually blogging this on a beautiful sunny Friday morning before breakfast.  Looking forward to my class with Jared Flood this morning, and then SHOPPING!!!!!

Yesterday started with excitement because I picked up my finished and dried dyed yarn from Debbie Tomkies.  I am really thrilled with how they turned out, and I am looking forward to knitting my socks as soon as possible.  The mini-skeins look great too, so I will have to find a little project that I can use them for.

Then it was off to my morning class, 'Vintage Knits', originally to be taught by Franklin Habit.  About a month ago it was announced that Joan Michael McGowan (White Lies Designs) would be taking this over.  The class was very full as there were also people attending who had originally been booked on an all-day class with someone else (Susan Crawford I think).  I was disappointed in this class as although Joan was very pleasant, she really didn't cover very much.  She spent about 45 minutes giving a quick canter through knitted fashions since the 19thC, and a brief overview of how she would convert one 40s pattern for modern knitting.  Then she gave us a pattern for a simple garter stitch lace edging, and that was it.  She picked up her own knitting and settled back for a chat.  Not what I was expecting from a three hour class.  And in order to knit the lace edging, you first had to cast on 70 stitches and knit 4.5 inches of 2x2 ribbing in a T-shape, to make a mini-doll shrug.  Then you knit the edging, picking up an edge stitch on the shrug as you knit.  Due to people's knitting speeds, some people spent the entire morning knitting 2x2 ribbing, which is probably not what they expected either.  I managed four repeats of the lace, but I was fairly bored.  Some class members tried to prompt Joan to teach by asking questions about how to date patterns or how to understand vintage knitting terms but she gave rather woolly short answers.

However, after lunch I had a very enjoyable class with Jon Dunn of Easyknits, who was trying to teach the seven of us how to spin using a drop spindle.  I've never done any spinning before, and I don't think I am going to have a new career in this.  He gave us some lovely Blue Faced Leicester roving, soft and downy, and showed us how to split it up and pre-draft it ready for spinning.  Then we practiced the 'park and draft' which is basically learner-spinning where you spin the spindle to get some twist in the thread, park it between your knees while you deal with feeding in more fibre, then repeat.  We tried to graduate to continual spinning standing up, while feeding in more fibre, but I really couldn't get the hang of that.  I managed to produce about 8 metres of thick lumpy single, and 8 metres of thin/thick slubby yarn.  But then he showed us how to do an Andean plying bracelet, then ply our two ends into a yarn.  Like magic, my lumpy shoestrings blended together into a twisted yarn which if you squint really hard, you can fantasize might be sold by Colinette.  I will definitely try to knit something (small) out of it.  He also gave us a lovely top of dyed roving, so maybe I am going to have to try again.  I don't own a spindle, but Jon showed how you can even spin with a chopstick stuck into a potato.  I can just imagine my husband's face if he saw me doing that...

There is definitely an air now here of getting down to business.  Pretty much everyone I have chatted to has now had classes, and there seems to be more people around and more day-campers showing up. I wore my knit camp vest again yesterday but still haven't seen anyone else wearing one.  Which is making me look like a real show-off   :)

Then it was back to the room to get changed, and off on the coach trip to the Trossachs for our boat ride on Loch Katrine.  We had one full coach, which left on time, and a nice driver who gave us a commentary on the lovely drive through the sunny meadows and mountains, including pointing out a real highland cow with big curving horns.  At the loch, we split into two groups.  My group went on the 45 minute boat ride first, out on the gorgeous little loch, which stretches for miles between the hills. There is a little necklace of lochs stretching towards Loch Lomond, and apparently Sir Walter Scott wrote a poem about Loch Katrine and its beautiful views. I was a bit worried about my tendency to seasickness, but the loch was completely calm.  Very very pretty, and when I went down to get a cup of tea, someone else was having a Bailey's which I thought was genius, so I had one too.  Then the groups swapped over, and my group headed up to the cafe for a BBQ meal and more drinks and cakes.  About now the midges descended in droves and we managed to export our own little drove because they flew into the bus while the door was open as people got on.  So the first 20 minutes of the bus ride back involved lots of slapping and waving and huddling into jackets and scarves.  Fortunately they didn't seem to bite me at all, even though I hadn't put on my Avon Skin So Soft (because it smells like dead old ladies) - maybe they don't like my sunscreen.  One of the husbands on the bus had been bitten all over and looked like he had measles.

It's another gorgeous sunny day here and the marketplace will be opening this morning, so I will head over there after a quick lunch.  I'm hoping to also see the fashion show, then it is off to the ceilidh!

1 comment:

Daisy said...

Looking forward to hearing about the marketplace! I've got a spindle if you'd like to borrow it to have another go?

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