Workshop Weekend

Over the weekend I had the pleasure to take two knitting workshops–Yarn Voyage with Anne Hanson and Traveling Stitches with Cookie A–with YarnKettle.

The started out with caffeine, Chai Latte to be exact. Never underestimate the need for caffeine even if you are going to something related to knitting, because 3 hours of something you love is still something you need to stay awake for.

We got to the class early after a very horrible attempt at finding a place for lunch. Fortunately we survived, but that wasn’t for lack of trying.

Yarn Voyage was absolutely fascinating and illustrated how much I still have to learn about yarn. Anne Hanson gave us an overview of different yarns and their basic properties–elasticity, memory, strength, ply, etc–and how that affects your project. All of us have picked out a pattern and spent hours knitting with a dreamy yarn only to bury the finished product deep in a drawer because we picked the wrong yarn.

Waiting for Yarn Voyage to begin.

Anne taught us the properties of yarn so we can make more informed decisions on which yarn to use for which project. For example, sock yarn may not be the best choice for a lace shawl because it will (usually) want to spring back. It’s better used for a sock or, depending on the yarn, a sweater.

There was a lot of information and I’m still spinning a bit from this one. I need to crack open my copy of Knitter’s Book of Yarn to expand on what I learned. True, it’s a different author, but I think the second reference will help more of it stick. That said, I went home that night and looked at the yarn I was using and understood how the ply and fiber content affected what I was making. Really, really excellent class. I even have a handout from it that I fully plan to keep in my knitting binder.

Unfortunately, I was trying to pay attention to the class so much that I have no pictures. But since the photos are with my phone and the camera is less than stellar, it’s not the end of the world.

Sunday, was our Traveling Stitches class with Cookie A. Now, I had no idea who Anne and Cookie were so I was surprised that I actually knew Cookie from her patterns.  When I read the description for this class, I thought it was more about shaping your knitting (e.g. adding short rows to get x or how to decrease to get y), but this was more about moving your stitches around in the pattern to get angles and funky patterns.

Secret photo of Cookie A

Even though it wasn’t the class I expected, I really, really liked it. It was all information that I can apply to building my own patterns and it explained why certain things in knitting work, like Odessa. Since Cookie is a sock knitter, everything was in relation to socks. I would have liked to have seen her expand the information to something like a hat that not only has traveling stitches but has to decrease the stitches while traveling at the top of the hat. That said, I think with what she taught us I can figure it out.

YarnKettle with her favorite Cookie sock.

Definitely a good weekend and I hope they do another one next year.

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