Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Nordic Knitting conference

Well-- its beyond a week since I went to the Nordic Knitting conference in Seattle and I don't have photos. So apologies up front for that. I had a wonderful time. The teachers were excellent and the people were very nice and the sweaters everyone was wearing were gorgeous.

The first day, I took a class from Carol Rhoades that covered the knitting of Marta Stina, who lived in Sweden over a hundred years ago. She worked large pieces (coverlets) in two-color work as well as sweaters. The technique she used is what we worked on in class, and involves twisting the yarn every stitch to create a really tight fabric. The good news is there are no floats. The bad news is that trying to keep the tension that is required going is harder on my hands. Beautiful pieces though.

I also took a class in color from Vivian Hoxbro which was a very different approach than the one I took at TKGA with Laura Bryant. Both were good exercises in thinking about color. In Vivian's class we also worked in stripes for our swatches, but the effect was not to blend so much. More graphic, less painterly. The last swatch of the day was done for whomever was sitting next to us. You were supposed to make a swatch that you thought that person would like. Then we exchanged them and that was really fun.

The final class I took was also Vivian's, this time in white. The topic was the Night Shirt from Falster. They knit the knit shirts in white and then dyed them. The patterning here reminded me of some of the ganseys. Mostly knit/purl patterning. Lots of stars (keeps away the evil-doers). Some twisted stitches (a la Bavarian Twisted stitch).

All in all a great time. The food was good, the coffee was plentiful (THANKS to the Nordic Heritage Museum Volunteers!!!!) I'm looking forward to the next conference, which I hope takes place in 2009.

Monday, October 1, 2007

TKGA/CGOA Knit and Crochet Conference - part 2

Saturday I took the Stash workshop with Laura Bryant (of Prism Yarn).
Its always fun to take classes from Laura (especially for me as an old art major) because she has such a great eye for color and has a wealth of experience both teaching and creating her own art work. Took me back to my college days with references to Joseph Albers "Interaction of Color"...

After organizing the stash yarn that people brought and what Laura provided, we worked several swatches using different techniques of combining colors. The first photo shows using a finer yarn as a base and knitting it with varying other yarns.

The second swatch used striping and half-linen stitch to create different effects. Everything was an experiment! Now, I mjust need to take my stash out and re-align by color weight. Who knows what I can come up with then? Very inspiring.

Not only does she hand dye yarns, but she weaves and produces other art works (a show coming in May!). I have several books of hers that she co-wrote with Barry Klein ( of Trendsetter yarns) and they are always a pleasure to read.

Saturday night was the Chic St Fashion show and banquet along with the pinning of the master knitters-- more on that in another post (with photos).

Sunday I took an Introduction to Tunisian crochet with Jennifer Hansen of Stitch Diva Studios. Going to be another fun way to eat up stash, and the color theory from Laura's class combines well with the 3-color Tunisian crochet that Jennifer got us to by the end of class.

I decided on Sunday morning to go ahead and take a final class in the afternoon-- I had enough energy and the plane wasn't leaving until 8:30ish... So I signed up for a class with JCBriar. It was a "disaster recovery" class, which are always useful. JC describes herself as a technique junky (or something similar) and I know I'd heard good things... I enjoyed the class, learned a few things and got good re-inforcement on some of the things I've already been doing. It did help that I was in the middle of tinking on the Mystery Stole. I've successfully tinked and am back to knitting on that!

TKGA Fashion Show and Master Knitters

Thanks to Judith for taking the photos for me! I really appreciate it. One of the things I like about going to these type of conferences is that the people you meet are always friendly and willing to help out.

I was working backstage during the fashion show, so did not make it out on stage when the rest of the group got "pinned", but did receive the pin at the end of the evening.

I think that this photo is with the Master Knitters getting pinned. (I was backstage). So sorry, I don't know the names of the other new master knitters. More people are making it through the program, which is a good thing!

And here I am modelling the Stormy Sky sweater (pattern available at the Fiber Rhythm web site:

Here I am with Margaret Fisher, who was doing the honors. Handshake and pin hand-off for the cameras. (People told me I should model the bag with the sweater, so I did, even though I didn't officially enter the bag into the fashion show, I figure if Laura Bryant said it was ok, it was ok, since she and Nancy were emcee-ing).
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