Thursday, February 23, 2006

We Came, We Saw, We Knit

Yes, we had two days with the amazing and very knowledgeable Joan Schrouder. While we knit, Joan regaled us with knitting information. People had to stop and pick up their pencils and write things down, and then knit on. I missed a lot of the finer details, but no matter: Joan shares enough to satisfy any level of knitter.

Joan, of whom I have only one, not very flattering photo (sorry Joan, come back! I'll take more):


has been a committed knitter for over 30 years. She attended Elizabeth Zimmermann's Knitting Camps, when Elizabeth was still there (and since). She has designed patterns for knitting magazines, taught all over the country for guilds and conferences, does test knitting for friend's books, and generally knits up a storm.

She had a case of samples and swatches, and Could Remember Tiny Details about the knitting they represent. Joan, alas, has no website. She teaches at most Stitches conferences though, so she is easy to find.

The first day we knit miniature shetland shawl shapes, to learn the effect of different joins, pick ups and increases. Ginger Luters made good use of the time and her sampler shows some of the variations possible:

ginger sample

There are various methods to make the points on the edging, join the edging to the borders, and other niceties lost on me, your intrepid reporter. But they make a difference in the appearance and handle of the cloth: some joins leave more pronounced ridges, some seem more subtle and more supple, and some are almost invisible.

Sue's sample looks like a doll house blanket, and just might be claimed as such by one of her grandchildren:

sue sample

Dee's sample (next to Sue's) won the award for the Very Fastest Knitter Alive:

dee sue

until we found out she knit it over twenty years ago, following EZ's directions.

My sample? Well, let's just say I'm not the fastest knitter in the bunch:

my sample

The second day we did a sampler of Ethnic Textured Stitches. We started with several cast ons, including some for two and three strands. Some were decorative and some were flexible. We learned three ways to do twined knitting, three ways to strangle a bobble, then traveling stitches:

my sample2

I wish I had gotten a photo of other people's samplers, because, as we know, I'm the Not So Fast knitter, and they got further along into the traveling stitch patterns, which were very intriguing.

I did get to use my now-favorite *scoopy pointed* el-cheapo Bates plastic needles, reinvigorating my desire for more like them. Thanks to comments from Regan Patrice and Juno, I ordered a few sizes of the Bryspun circulars from my LYS, to see if these are similar.

I will look for the Inox too, thanks to those of you, including Lisa, who suggested them. I had a set of the Denise Interchangeables long ago, and did not like the joins. Have they changed them?

And for those Addi fans: I like them too, own them and use them, for plain knitting and color work, which is most of what I do. But lace seems to want those scoopy points, which are more adept at doing the ssk's and sk2t's. And, isn't it incumbent upon us all to support those manufacturers and vendors and Have Them All??

Claudia? Not to worry, I won't give up my day job for knitting. It's a phase. Just a phase. But thank you for sending on the knotted fishies, reminding me of my true purpose. They will have a good safe harbor in the yurt (Mongolian fish, perhaps?).


Blogger Charleen said...

It's always good to branch out a bit. I'm really envious of all the classes your guild hosts. Of course, I still wouldn't be able to get to them. Damn day job!

8:31 PM  
Blogger Birdsong said...

Now, I really AM envious, suffering through the last, politicized, days of my old job and wishing I could have attended. I will have to find something more flexible to do to earn money :) I am glad to see you are having fun knitting; I think it's the greatest, but will be spending a bit of time with my quilt guild this weekend, just to keep my hand in.

10:33 PM  
Blogger LauraJ said...

ooooooh THREE ways to do twined knitting...? yum.

5:25 AM  
Blogger judy said...

I do like the Bryspun circs. for exactly the reason you liked your scoopy ones. I did have on e band snap on me. It was replaced for free.

5:29 AM  
Blogger Cynthia said...

I've been knitting lace for years with nameless needles from estate sales but as they break or get lost I just can't seem to find the right replacements. My Inox & Addis seem too blunt just as you describe. I've had the Crystal Palace bamboo recommended to me -- we'll see.

7:25 AM  
Blogger Jay said...

Do you plan to take time out to breathe? Really... I thought I was rampant!

1:21 PM  
Blogger Jay said...

Wow, that sounds like a great day, and looks like everyone had a lot of fun... don't give yourself a hard time: you are doing great! I love the colour you are working with.

1:29 PM  
Blogger claudia said...

I really like that idea...Mongolian fishies, swimming happily in the yurt.

9:24 AM  

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