Wednesday, 11 August 2010

Knit Camp Day Three (Wednesday)

It's almost 10pm and I am really tired, but I wanted to make a quick update before I forget everything.  I'm sorry there are no pictures but I've got no way of uploading pictures until I get home.  I will have to do a bumper post with pics in it then.

After meeting more nice knitters at breakfast, I headed off for my first class of the week, "Dyeing Sock Blanks" with Debbie Tomkies.  Debbie was brilliant, really nice, incredibly well prepared (she even provided gloves and disposable aprons, even though the class list said to bring gloves) and I really enjoyed the class.  We first practiced dyeing with Procion dyes on a small skein of wool (enough for a cowl, Debbie said) to get a feel for how the dyes spread.  Then we dyed our sock blank of double stranded yarn - enough for a pair of socks.  I went with Monet pastels in diagonal lines, which should (I think) give me broken colour.  It is going to be so great to wear socks I dyed myself.  I haven't even seen the finished result yet as it was still cooling when I left.  She is going to dry the results overnight and we can pick our work up tomorrow. 

There was one discordant note, which was that a needlefelting teacher (with one student) had to share the quite large room with us four students and Debbie, apparently because there is a shortage of rooms with sinks - which you need for both classes.  This had obviously put the other teacher's nose out of joint, and there was a lot of huffing and flouncing before she calmed down.  Her one student looked a bit embarrassed, but our Debbie remained completely calm and professional.  Both classes were quiet so there was no interference or problem about having them in the same room.  The other teacher was actually offered a different room before the classes started, but said that she "wasn't going to move now that she was all set up". We all felt a bit uncomfortable about her behaviour at first, but as I said, the classes proceeded quietly and she didn't make any further fuss once she started teaching.

Then I had time to get changed out of my old clothes before having lunch, then back across the beautiful loch to get on the bus for the outing to the New Lanark Mill.  The programme said the buses would leave at 1:30 but by the time they had taken everyone's name, and someone had been allowed to run back inside for god knows what, we didn't leave until about 2 pm.  When we got to the New Lanark Mill after quite a long drive, complicated by roadworks and diversions, the very nice guides were looking a bit stressed because they had expected us an hour and a half earlier.  And everything was due to close down for the day at 5 pm (in about an hour and a half I think, not sure what time we got there).  They also expressed surprise that we hadn't left earlier even than our original 1:30 time, to get from Stirling to the mill on time. They did their best to give our group of 78, split into three parties, a whistlestop tour.  I left the guide after a while because it became obvious we were only going to have time for the main mill building, and I went to look at the Millworker's cottages, Mill owner's house, the village shop and the old schoolhouse, but I had to rush to quickly see everything.  We had time in the gift shop to look over the yarn on sale (in bags of 10, really good value at £19.50 for DK and I bought a gorgeous yarn in colour 'Iris' which is blended blues and purples).  They also had aran and chunky weight.  Apparently they buy the wool in from the Falklands already dyed, then they blend it, card it and spin it on site.  You can buy it on their website as well.  Then we went up to the cafeteria for a hot buffet dinner at 5pm, and they drew a prize draw for free yarn (not me unfortunately) and then it was back on the bus a bit after 6pm.  I was the first one back to the bus, and in chatting to the drivers I learned that they had been told by their company that we would leave the University at 1pm, and leave the Mill at 5 pm.  So obviously a lot of miscommunication going on.  It made our visit quite rushed - I hope the event tomorrow isn't similarly delayed as we will end up missing our boat ride on Loch Katrine.

The trip back went faster, and everyone was kniting away and chatting  happily on the bus.  I am knitting my Sanquhar glove, thanks to my absolute star of a husband who managed to find the chart I forgot to bring with me for the fingers - he photographed the chart, and emailed it to me.  Thank you!!!!!!

We asked our coach driver to drop us right at the student union as we were late for the Stitch and Bitch with Debbie Stoller, but Debbie had graciously waited to arrive until the coaches turned up.  She came in quietly and started mingling and sitting chatting with various groups.  She was fresh off the plane from Holland, where she had been visiting family while she waited for the visa thing to be sorted out.  She came over to our group and politely posed for several pictures.  Everyone I talked to had had a great day, with great classes.  And more than one person said that although they had ended up in classes they hadn't originally planned to be in, it had worked out really well and they had a really great time.  There was lots of show and tell going on as people shared what they had learned in their classes.  I wish I had registered for the Nancy Bush class on Estonian lace as I could really use some help with my nupps, and the people who took that class had some great samples.

Anyway, I am now going to stroll back across the gorgeous loch to my room, and have a nice cup of tea in my U. of Stirling mug.


mollita said...

Just wanted to say "thank you" for taking the time to post such lovely reports of the Knit Camp. I so wanted to go, but couldn't, so you are providing some vicarious joy. Looking forward to the pictures.

Daisy said...

Ooh the dyeing sock yarn class sounds fab. Would love to see the yarn (for real as well as a pic!). And the mill sounds interesting, I've admired the yarn on their website.

Twelfthknit said...

I had a class with Debbie at Alston Hall at the end of June/beginning of July. She was great.

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