Monday, August 13, 2007

Stitches 2007

Unlike last year's three day extravaganza this year's Stitches experience was a flying one. We reduced the plan from two days to one (for which, you may recall, we extracted our pound of flesh in the form of Interweave's Midwest Fiber and Folk Fair). Our one day became a half day when Clare had to go and be all responsible and adult and show up for work. On the one hand, it meant she missed her class. On the other, she got her full Market Time. My afternoon was the complement to hers.

I don't know what I expect of Knitting Icons. Perhaps that they must live in an atmosphere entirely too rarefied for the likes of me. I don't know why I think this. When I, for the first and possibly last time in my life, did the fan thing, I was surprised at Stephanie Pearl-McPhee's warmth and accessibility. Despite this experience, this class with Susanna Hansson left me with much the same feeling of pleased surprise. My skill set was perfectly adequate to the project. I could probably have done it from the pattern alone. But then I would have missed Susanna.

The class was "Off the Cuff". It's the one time I absolutely regret the lack of camera. Click the link to Susanna's website to get an idea of what it was like. (Also, there's a great action shot of Susanna herself at the Yarn Harlot). Straightforward and down-to-earth, she was a font of patience and humor, adapting to our knitting eccentricities and non-standard-nesses, customizing the method where necessary, repeating the various tips and techniques as often as asked, using the words that are music to every comparatively new knitter, "There's absolutely nothing wrong with the way you knit."

The blue is the work I did in class. Regia Silk in color 53 with amber colored size 6 Japanese glass beads. It came out looking like embellished blue jeans; a look I have never been into. The cream is what happened after I came home. Jaeger Matchmaker Merino 4 ply in Cream with the same beads.

Class ended at 4:30. The Market closed at 6. I had an hour and a half to cover what I could have spent days in. An hour and a half to find something I couldn't get locally, although my LYS's were out in force. An hour and a half to find something unique and beautiful. To my frustration, I kept running into things that weren't. I was about to give up and go for bargains. I'm so glad I didn't.

This is the Madame Butterfly colorway in a super-wash/nylon/Donegal tweed sock-weight that I want to make into a sweater of some sort. It's from a brand-new, two-man fiber business: Bjorn is the artist, Rex is sales. Together they make magic. In fact, they make magic so well, I bought some more.

This is the same yarn in Rigoletto. Possibly my least favorite opera - yes the music is sublime, but there's not a single redeeming feature in any of the characters or the plot - yet Bjorn turned it into this.

Five hours instead of three days, and here I am, gobsmacked again.

Post scriptum: I have a confession to make. Despite the clearly posted prohibition of cameras, I fully intended to sneak mine in. In fact I did. I just forgot to take the batteries off the charger. No batteries, no pictures. Sorry. It would appear I am honest in spite of myself. I admit that denying knitters the use of their camera seems harsh to me, but to give XRX their due, they put together a couple of slide-shows you can see here that will give you a reasonably good view of the proceedings.


AmyArtisan said...

Wow - how did I miss those yarns during my excursion to the marketplace - they are beautiful! Glad to hear that your class was enjoyable as well - maybe I'll take a class next year.

Bobbi said...

I wonder why no cameras.

that is some lovely yarn you've go there.

diane h said...

Clearly I hadn't read your blog before we got in the car today. I don't know why it doesn't show up sometimes 12 hrs later. Honest, I checked yesterday! Lovely new yarn -