Saturday, May 17, 2014

Interweave Knitting Lab: I Liked It!

There are ways to tell when you are in the right places. Some are more overt.

Others slightly more subtle.
I say, slightly.
It amuses me greatly to think of someone who just happened to be staying at the Radisson in Manchester, NH this week, facing these things. What the...? For me, of course, they were more welcoming.

There was also a serendipitous bag sighting, for New Hampshire, whose motto is Live Free or Die:
Nice, right?

Anyway! Let's get chronological. My class (2-in-1 socks, the War and Peace method, with Kate Atherley) was Friday afternoon, but I wanted to visit the marketplace in the morning, so I took off from home after rush hour and arrived at the hotel, no problems, just before 10. Parked, registered, used the ladies, and into the market. It was neither tiny nor enormous, about two dozen vendors, and while it was a little warm in there, they had made sure the lighting was really good, which is so important in a case like this.

And from the first booth I went in, I wanted almost everything I saw! My only plan going in was to look for new things, things I couldn't get everywhere. MadelineTosh? Lovely, but available elsewhere; like that. However, there were lots and lots of new-to-me things, and oh, was it overwhelming. In a really good way, of course!
I managed to go around looking, just looking for a bit before I found the first thing I couldn't put down. There was a booth with cashmere, mmm, yes, cashmere and, if that were not enough, they also had qiviut, nope, I'm not going there! But they had small skeins of the cashmere and samples of various little scarves that you could make with one skein. So soft, so light, so warm! Just utterly lovely. And there was one skein left of this perfect sky blue.
I just had to. They throw in a pattern with the purchase, so I picked the one I liked best, and looked onward. By 11:15, I had bought a few more skeins of various sock-weight yarns, and was feeling still a bit overwhelmed, overly warm, and hungry, so I decided an early lunch was called for. I ate in the tavern that is in the hotel, the one with the signs I photo'd (above), had a good sandwich, cooled down and chilled out both. At one point I looked up, and is it just me, or does this look like they decorated with yarn?
I mean, what else could it be?

After lunch, I stepped outside for a breath of fresh air. There's a small park area in front of the hotel, with benches, and a few statues.

I'm not sure I understand why the dogs have to have their ribs showing.
I looked at this woman and thought, she seems anxious.
Then I read the plaque, and saw that it was intentionally so.
So okay then.

I was also amused to see, in the plaza, this tree disagreeing with the bricks, and winning. See the root line?
Back inside, I got a candy bar from the gift shop, not having had room for proper dessert, and noticed a good cat shirt on sale there, which I managed not to buy.
Then back into the market, shopping around more, until it was getting to be time to get ready for the class. The teacher and a few other students were in the classroom when I got there, and I found a seat and started worrying about the needles I brought.

She has you bring "medium" weight yarn and bigger needles, in order to make sample size socks and get a good way through them in the three-hour class. The night before, when I was getting my things together, I could not find five DPNs in US size 7, so I brought a circular instead, but I was worrying that I was supposed to use the method I was most comfortable with and that's DPNs. Shortly before the class started, though, I had a light-bulb moment: marketplace. One of the booths sold needles. Duh! I hustled out and bought a set of the needles I wanted (from the slowest salesperson in the room, I swear, and fumble-fingered to boot), and was back in time to start properly. Whew!

This sock method, knitting two at time one inside the other, has fascinated me since I first heard of it, and I was sure I would never be able to do it, but when I heard of the class, I thought I really should try it. And if you share my interest, and have the opportunity, I do recommend the class! Also, she says to bring two contrasting colors of yarn, and I can't second that strongly enough. You need to be able to tell them apart very, very easily, it really helps. I'd grabbed leftover skeins of pink and white, and they did nicely.
(Incidentally, you can tell the lighting wasn't great in the classroom, right? It wasn't awful, but not ideal.)

Once we got going, we were advised to check frequently for problems (aka, the "one stinking stitch" that the Yarn Harlot once wrote about [she was sure that if she tried this method, she would go to separate them and find the two socks fused together]). You could see what was going on already!
Somehow, I messed up the little heel flap the first time, lost track of where I was, but it was easy when I did it right (ha), and got to that point before the end of the class. I worked on it some more last night.
See? Simple!

Seriously, though? I think I'm going to try it for real, just to see if I can. As she said, it isn't like this is the best or easiest way to make socks. But, you know, once, to see if I can? It's a hell of a knitter's party trick.

It's getting late. I'd better leave the rest of the yarn to be revealed tomorrow. I need some sleep!


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