Monday, July 20, 2009

Won't You Let Me Walk You Home From School

July 19, 2009-1

Ah, the double-edged sword of knitting conferences. On the one hand, it's a lot of fun, and there is a lot to learn. On the other hand, there's the homework. I was able to pick up an extra class and a couple of one-hour-wonders in the Sock Summit lottery, so my class lineup is now complete and there isn't a lot of opportunity to procrastinate. Here's what I'm in:
  • Thursday: EZ Moccasin Socks (homework above, left)
  • Friday: Respectfully Ignoring the rules (homework involves thinking rather than knitting--not really started)
  • Saturday: Sock Design (homework above, right)
  • Sunday: Turkish Stitches (homework is minimal) and The Perfect Rib (no homework)
The EZ Moccasin Socks class homework is finished, it was super fast to knit because I'm using Cascade 220 superwash. Let's hear it for the speed of worsted! I might try to knit the other cuff so that I'm ready to knit the bottoms of both socks. I have been known to lose momentum on class projects once class is over (though not always), so having both of the socks ready to go could help motivate me to finish them. Are you wondering about the purple item behind the sock? It's my new yarn bowl! I love it--my friend L____'s mother is a ceramics artist (potter? stoneware lady? ceramicist?) and made a few of these using L_____'s specifications. It easily holds the ball of Cascade 220, and has fully contained the yarn tangle that I had to pull out to find the end of the yarn. And it looks a lot classier than the miscellaneous fabric and ziploc bags I'm always hauling around. I was surprised by how much I loved the purple / black among the choices she brought to knit-night, purple's not usually one of my favorites.

Anyway, back to homework. The Sock Design class homework. I could swatch for it indefinitely, and this is really just a start. I'm swatching a pattern from a Japanese stitch dictionary (photocopy in the corner), and there are several others from the same book that I'd like to try out. I may also use something from the Bavarian Twisted Stitch books that a friend in Germany gave to me last year. In both cases, I'm not 100% sure that I'm reading the foreign language charts the right way, but I'm sure I'll come up with something! I'm really into twisted rib, as you can see, so I expect I'll incorporate that somehow.

I don't really mind the homework at all, because it should help me get more out of the classes (and believe me, I didn't always feel that way during business school). I've been in knitting classes before where it would have been better to have homework in advance in order to get to the "good stuff", rather than spending a ton of time winding yarn into balls or knitting set-up ribbing. In most of those cases, the teacher had specific, special yarn requirements so there wasn't an opportunity to, say, cast on and K (or rib) 15 rows beforehand, or even to swatch for gauge. The classes that I'm taking at Sock Summit are more technique oriented, which is why it's good that we're preparing ahead of time for specific techniques. I just hope that by the time E___ and I head to PDX, I've done my homework correctly, and enough of it.

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