I have to confess that it did feel a bit weird to be quilting again - I have been doing the total immersion knitting thing over the summer and I almost felt like I had forgotten how to quilt. Almost.
Yesterday I took the day off work and went to the I-Knit Weekender knitting event. This is the fourth year it's run and I've been every year. I was surprised when I arrived about 15 minutes before it opened that there was very little queue. Even once the doors opened, there was only about 15 or so people to go in (other people had already gone in to their morning classes). In fact, it was so quiet that after trying to shop for about 10 minutes, I just felt so conspicuous in the empty aisles that I bought a cup of tea and sat down and knitted for half an hour until the place filled up a bit more. But it never got very busy, nothing like last year when I also went on Friday. There really seemed to be considerably fewer people, it was easy to find somewhere to sit down, easy to look at the stands as few of them were crowded with shoppers. There also didn't seem to be nearly as much going on. The I-Knit event previously has felt like a bit of a party, with plenty of events going on like knitting competition entries on view, the Shellac Sisters spinning old 40s vinyl, knitted seaside scenes on display, and of course last year's fabulous Friday night party with the rock choir. This year there was no party, and in fact the show was closed 30 minutes earlier than advertised (5:30pm instead of 6) because there were so few shoppers. I wonder if this was the result of the economy, or the effect of more knitting shows diluting the available knitting audience. We had Knit Nation in London just over a month ago, which probably targets the same pool of people, and of course some of us went to Knit Camp as well. Hopefully they have had a busier day today (Saturday).
There were two fashion shows: Erica Knight did a small trunk show with about 8 garments and accessories illustrating current fashion trends. I saw this one because it was at lunchtime. The other show, showcasing garments from the traders, was in the afternoon so I missed it because I was in my class. I took 'Intermediate Lace' with Anniken Allis. She was very nice and had some gorgeous shawls to show us. I had to do some hard knitting to complete the small square (four repeats of a garter lace chart with lace stitches on every row) in time to learn how to knit on a border. We added a simple zig-zag border, learning how to join it as we knitted it, and how to double or triple join to get around a corner of the shawl. She also talked about basic chart reading, blocking, suitable lace yarns and adding beads.