Sunday, October 26, 2008

There's no place like home

But it's nice to travel away a bit and enjoy the company of other knitter friends. That was my weekend: The annual Fall Guild retreat. It was my first but it definitely will not be my last. I've already warned my husband I will be returning next year! The weekend starts on Friday just after noon at the Lady of Peace retreat center, just 15 minutes from home. The schedule was a class on Friday, and then two classes on Saturday with lots of free knitting time and an abundance of inspiration everywhere you looked. I wanted to go around with a pencil and paper and ask: what pattern did you use? what yarn? This year's instructor was Janine Bajus, an absolute Fair Isle genius. She had brought some of her work to the Guild meeting on Thursday and I could only think when looking at it, was how would I ever do something like that? But she was a great hand holder and Friday started us out with technicques for Fair Isle knitting. Techniques like steeking, a jogless join, crocheted edge finishing, two handed knitting, which yarn to carry in which hand, types of yarn to use, stitches per inch, just to name a bit. Saturday's classes were on color theory. We started with creating a tone sample. Then we had an inspiration piece and picked 20-30 colors of yarn from that inspiration piece and using the 3 in 1 color tool. We then knit a speed swatch from the yarn trying to eliminate colors that didn't work. Below is my speed swatch. I naively went into color theory thinking that since I'd made quilts and really liked the color choices, this shouldn't be too hard. WRONG! As you can see from the sample many of the colors together are flat and unexciting. Others work well together. Very different than picking colors from a quilt. I sure learned alot and have even more respect for knit designers that use color. This is is my technique swatch. It was for technique only and was not expected to be "pretty". Good thing, since it's isn't. Cascade 220 and big needles do not work well for stranded colorwork. But it's great for technique practice.

I had a couple of goals before I headed off to knitter island. That was to finish MS4 and R's sweater. I did indeed finish MS4. R's sweater, a crochet project, was my knitting retreat project. Hmmm, knitting retreat and I'm crocheting. Through an entirely unscientific experiment, I have found most knitters have their hands in more than one textile art, be it quilting, crocheting, spinning, etc. They are usually readers as well. Back to the MS4 from that digression: I really like it. Well, most of it. I like the knitting. I am extremely disappointed in the grafting. I ripped it out 6 or so times, blocked it, but try as I might, it's visible. Visible enough my non knitting husband saw it. But I'm going to wear it and it will be a very long time, if ever, that I knit lace that requires grafting.

The view up through the middle section and then the full view. You can't really see the beads in either picture but they show up nicely when worn. You can click on the picture to make it bigger.

So what was happenin' at the home front? My crew of two finished making all the applesauce from the last of the apples off the tree, they emptied the flower pots and swept the deck in readiness for fall, watched some baseball, and made me feel a tiny bit guilty for leaving and staying only 15 minutes from home. But the step out of life was nice and needed and I'll be doing it year. Joan Schroader is teaching next year and it looks to be on finishing techniques in the neckline. I'm there!

One of the crew of two with another of her decorated cakes.

1 comment:

  1. What a neat experience. I took a fair isle class years ago and loved it and have knit some. Swatching really helps because as you saw, sometimes what you think will look great, gets lost. Joan is a great teacher. I have not had her in person but she was on the ample knitters list and was a wealth of information. Your daughter's cake is pretty! Thanks for visiting my blog! :o)