Yarnover, the one-day knit/crochet/yarn/fiber extravaganza sponsored every year by the Minnesota Knitters Guild, was Saturday, a week or two later than usual this year. This meant that, A, no one had to worry about bad roads due to a blizzard, and 2, it was (almost) too warm to wear wool. Whereas other years I have been able to post photos of gorgeous sweaters, this year… not so much. Lots of shawls and vests and scarves on display but not so many sweaters. Bad blogger that I am, I have photos of exactly none of those.
I do have some photos, though.
This year's swag:
A bottle of soak in my choice of scented or unscented and the awesome-est travel tumbler ever made.
I won a multi-media-style door prize:
From the left: one skein Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sport (100% superwash merino) in Perle Point; one small bottle soak, unscented; one small bottle soak hand cream; and one bottle nail polish. Not shown: the fingerless glove pattern. Yes, I can make a pair of fingerless gloves from the yarn and have nails to match!. Whoever thought of packaging these items together deserves the 2013 Thinking Out Of The Box prize.
I took a morning and an afternoon class. Morning was Slick Set-in Sleeves, taught by JC Briar. I had not heard of her before, but she turned out to be an excellent teacher. Homework was to knit the first 5" of a child's sweater back (from the top down, of course). then pick up stitches at the cast-on edge and knit the first 5" of the right front. Instructions were provided in the class description. I totally forgot that there was homework to do, just happened to check on Thursday night after work. A quick dash to Needlework Unlimited for three skeins of Ella Rae worsted* in two different colors, a #7 and a #5 circ, some clip-on markers, a new Chibi, and I was set. I knit busily that night and the next day and was fully prepared for class.
Knitting a set-in sleeve from the top down turned out to be surprisingly easy, probably because JC was such a good teacher. Pick up stitches around the sleeve opening — the number of stitches being the number that will be in the widest part of the sleeve, disregarding the underarm stitches — then use short rows to knit the sleeve cap. I won't go into the nitty-gritty details of the process — take her class if you ever have a chance.
Oh, and I met someone who reads this blog! Hi, Shirley!
Afternoon class was Groovy Garter Stitch, a good choice for afternoon because, really, how tough is garter stitch? No mind-boggling problems nor counting in this one. The instructor, Ragga Eiriksdottir, is from Iceland and had taught an Icelandic sweater class in the morning.
In the garter stitch class we learned how to do short rows in garter stitch, how to make a garment flare, how to do the loopy edge often seen on Shetland shawls, how to do an I-cord edging and an I-cord bind-off, and probably some other things I don't remember off the top of my head. The funny thing was she was so loosey-goosey about it all. There were no hand-outs; she might tell us, "Cast on some stitches, oh, about ten, and work a few rows." A few minutes later she might say, "Okay, now slip the last 3 stitches of every right side row with yarn in front for a while." A few minutes later someone in the class would say, "Oh, we're doing an i-cord edge!" That's how the whole class was — we didn't know the goal of what we were doing with our needles and yarn, just the steps to get there. Still fun, just a different way to learn.
As is the case in all yarn extravaganzas. there was a market. I was able to stick to my yarn fast, but I was looking for a shawl pin and that required that I check out every vendor's display. No luck on the the shawl pin… and eventually I fell down on the yarn fast.
Mink yarn. It is as soft as angora but not as hairy. I have no idea what I will do with this, but I had to have it. My father was a mink rancher, and I spent the first 18 years of my life surrounded by those nasty, stinky, vicious little mustelids. This yarn is my heritage. How could I not buy it?
This year I also attended the instructor dinner on Friday night. Food was excellent, company was even better. I sat with several of my knit buddies from Knit Night Orphans. Mind-boggling was the moment when I realized, I am sitting in the same room with knitting rock stars! Stephanie Purl-McPhee, Franklin Hablit, Annie Modesitt, Nancy Bush, Stephen Be, Drew Emborsky (who let me go ahead of him in the line at the bar, what a sweetie! We will forgive him his obssession with crochet), Melissa Leapman, Sivia Harding, Stephen West…
* It was painful to have to buy this yarn, since I am on, not a yarn diet, but a yarn fast. I resolved earlier this year to knit entirely from stash, no exceptions, until all my yarn will fit into the existing Rubbermaid bins. But I was in Minneapolis and my stash was in Wisconsin. No choice had I.