Two Chix Crafting

September 5, 2007

Stitches Midwest

Filed under: knitting — by tricotchick @ 8:04 am

It’s been awhile since either of us has posted. Sorry about that, it’s been a busy month or two.  I had the distinct pleasure of having Catwoman come north and east to stay with us and attend Stitches Midwest in mid-August. We figured it had been about 10 years since we’d seen each other, penpals since we were little girls. But as always, it’s as if we just pick up from where we last left off. She’s a dear friend, beautiful, with a great sense of fun and lively intelligence, as well as a great sense of humor. I am grateful for her friendship and delighted to call her my friend.

That being said, we had a wonderful time. We both took classes on the Friday morning of Stitches, and managed to look around the Marketplace in the afternoon. We were both good (she better than I) and mostly looked. I ended up with a book and a pattern, and considered myself full of willpower as I had escaped buying any yarn. Not for long! Could there be a more tempting place?

We didn’t return on Saturday as we had some other activities planned, which I must say I enjoyed just as much. But we did come back to Stitches on Sunday for all day classes. My class on Friday, I’m sorry to say, was a disappointment. It was the Aran Knitting class. We spent much too much time on “learning” to cable, which of course you need to know to do Aran knitting. There were 3 exercises for a 3 hour class, the last one being what everyone had shown up for — to make a small Aran sweater — doll size. I think they should make cabling a prerequisite for the class so that you get an opportunity to do more of the sweater, more of the actual Aran knitting. We did the ribbing of the sweater for homework, and in class I only got 3 or 4 rows of the sweater knit. I was most disappointed.

But my Sunday class was great. I had taken a class with the teacher before, Susanna Hansson. She’s wonderful. Very organized, everything paced well, and amazing examples and a little bit of history. Not too much, but enough so you get an appreciation of what you’re doing. The class I took was called “Bohus Stickning.” Stickning is Swedish for knitting, and Bohus is the county in Sweden where this type of knitting was developed. It was great fun, and I learned a lot. We worked on wristlets, or cuffs, which was good because I don’t think my hands could take a whole sweater of this, beautiful though they are. Here are some of the sweaters Susanna showed us.

Bohus sweaters

Considering we were using size 0 (zero) needles, I’d say a sweater is quite ambitious. Susanna told me I probably should use 00 (double zero) needles, but I had enough difficulty with sore hands by the end of the day using the zeroes. Here is the start of the wristlet:

Start of Wristlet

The changing of color was interesting too. In the slideshow Susanna showed us, there were various ways of keeping your yarn from twisting around each other. Susanna recommended that you always move one color over (above) the other and never stray from which one is where. One of the women in the slideshow used an egg carton to keep the little balls of yarn separate. I finally got up and got some of the water cups Stitches had beside the water jugs and used those to keep the balls of yarn in. It worked pretty well. The balls of yarn were only an inch or two in diameter. 

All in all a very interesting and informative class.

We walked around at lunch time and my willpower melted. I had bought a “Getting Started with Socks” book on Friday, and a pattern for an entrelac shawl in pastel colors. Simply gorgeous. If my grandmother was still alive I would make one of these for her. Now, I don’t know how to do entrelac knitting, and I have never made socks either, but apparently I have an interest in these types of knitting! On Sunday, I bought Cat Bordhi’s new sock book, which looks excellent, and some sock blockers. I bought some sock yarn (4 skeins, 2 each of 2 patterns), some beautiful yarn from Brooks Farms, and a little Trendsetter Aura in purple to make something for my niece. Willpower definitely nowhere to be found!!!!

And I was going to be so good! I guess the trick is not to come back!!!! At any rate, I think we both enjoyed the show and learning about new things. Spending time together was also wonderful. I met some really nice people. Knitters are so friendly and happy to help with a tip here and there. I really enjoyed the camaraderie. However you spell it.

Up next: More on the Tulip sweater!

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