Last week I finished by promising to tell you about the spinning and baking I’ve been doing, as well as how the workshops went and all about next month’s knit-a-long!
Let’s start with the workshops. It was probably the longest amount of time I had (a) been on my feet and (b) spoken for, in over three and a half years. In other words, since I left the classroom!
Five hours of workshops went SO fast. Not just for me, but also for the lovely knitters who were there. In both the morning and afternoon sessions phrases such as “It’s not that time already, is it?!”, “I’ve never known two and a half hours go so quickly” and “Really? Only 10 minutes left? No!” could be heard. (Of course, because we were all so focused I completely missed the opportunity to take any photographs of their progress. Must do better next time!).
Lots was learnt, including the magic that is mattress stitch as part of the Finishing Techniques workshop. I love seeing the faces of knitters during this process. Most don’t believe they won’t be able to see the lime green yarn they are seaming their grey squares with, and when it proves to be true, it’s just a delight. Also we unpicked why different types of decrease are used and the importance of mirrored decreases to make your project look balanced.
The Introduction to Sock Knitting in the afternoon went even faster than I had anticipated, and everyone turned a heel successfully. I had an email yesterday from one of the attendees that made me so happy and I’m going to share part of it with you (with her permission):
“Thanks a million for all your guidance on Saturday. Just learning to knit on 4 needles was great, but to become a wool engineer apprentice and turn a heel was brilliant!”Yvonne
We didn’t manage to get the graft done at the toe, however, so I promised to record a video showing how this is done and I have now uploaded this to my social media platforms. I wanted to get this up as soon as I could for my workshop attendees, but now I also need to add closed captions to the video.
This is the third little techniques video I have recorded and put on Facebook etc and this morning it occurred to me that they should really be on my website too. So, the Knitting Tuition page now has a new section: Free Video Tutorials! I’ll get the captions done on the toe graft video before uploading that one, but there are two others you can have a look at already. It will give you a little flavour of my Craftucation courses as well (though none of the videos are duplicated from there).
Another addition to the website today is a section for next month’s Knit-A-Long! We are knitting Calon Cariad together, a lovely shawl whose name means ‘The Heart of Love’. We begin on February 11th with a Cast-On Party on Zoom at 7pm!! We’ll run the KAL over five weeks and there will be prizes 🎁. If you want to join in, the click ‘going’ on the KAL event and/or the KAL Cast-on Party event on my Facebook page, or just send me a message! All the details are here.
There are even kits available – I’m especially fond of the Erika Knight Wool Local which knits up beautifully in this pattern.
In other news, I have finished the scarf sample for Small Acts and that just needs blocking and photographing properly. I’m aiming to get the pattern out by the weekend. If you’re a subscriber look out for an extra (short) email with a discount code!
Spinning is fun at the moment and I have starting on my second batch of Colours of Cambria fibre (this colour way is ‘Coast’). I wanted to create fairly regular repeats of the colours but I am not confident at judging the quantity when dividing the fibre into sections, so I came up with another approach. I set a timer on my phone for 15 minutes. I spin one colour from the sequence during that time and when the timer goes off, I stop and break that colour, ready to start with the next one when I spin again. Not only is this hopefully going to give me some good stripes/blocks of colour in the yarn, it also encourages me to spin more on a daily basis, even when I am busy, as 15 minutes can usually be slotted in somewhere!
I made the sourdough bagels that I have been wanting to try for a while. They weren’t as hard as I had anticipated, but I do think I over-baked them a little. It was a good taste, and nicely chewy, but a little too crunchy/firm on the outside. Next time, check five minutes sooner!
We even managed to squeeze in a visit to the Little Orme where we saw the largest group of Seals I’ve ever seen there. They looked so happy and relaxed on the beach and were chatting away to each other quite a lot! It made us relax too, and even though there were quite a few people up there on Sunday (some even had telephoto lenses and tripods for their cameras, so the word about the seals must have got about), it was really peaceful. We sat on a bench and ate a little homemade picnic, all wrapped up against the wind and it was lovely. The perfect balance to the ‘business’ of the day before.
Take care, stay warm and do more of what makes you happy, K x