Fingerless glove

looking for what's missing... I'm a knitting, spinning, mother of teenagers with a big dog, a small cat, minus the lovely rabbit Meliflua.

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Location: Virginia, United States

Right now I'm listening to "An Irish Country Village" by Patrick Taylor, reading "Lots of Candles, Plenty of Cake" by Anna Quindlen and knitting Wisconsin Wintersocks. And casting off the lace shawl I've been working on since I last posted.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

KDO

Since I haven't blogged in over a week, just pretend I've been in Peru & couldn't write. (I have some friends who actually WERE in Peru. In Peru you can eat alpaca (oh, no!) and guinea pig.) So all the news over the next few blogs will be old, but because I've been keeping it in the freezer, it shouldn't be too stale.

Last Saturday I went to Knitters' Day Out with my friend Claire. KDO is a one-day batch of classes held at Central Pennsylvania College. It's put together by volunteers and they do a job to rival any professional. They have a nice slate of classes & always schedule a few "Guest Teachers" (nationally known gurus); last year they had Lily Chin & Lucy Neatby. If you register early enough, you can expect to get into one class with a "guest" and one with a local teacher. Last year I didn't get into a guest class, although I had lunch across the table from Lucy Neatby and she was colorful and charming. I took a dyeing class and a class on illusion knitting, both from local teachers, both memorable and both excellent.

This year Janet Szabo, Joan Schrouder & Margaret Radcliffe were the stars and I had a hard time deciding what my number 1 choice would be. I settled on infinitely Interesting Cables with Janet Szabo and this is what I got:


Here it is closer and blurrier:


It may not look like much to you, but to be able to start knitting a cable in the middle instead of starting at the bottom is a really neat trick. When you first see one, you think, "Yeah, well, how hard can that be?" Then when you start to do it, you realize there's more to knitting sideways than you thought. Once you're done, you feel like saying, with a great deal of fanfare, "TaDa!" Practically magic. Janet was a warm, knowledgeable & enthusiastic teacher. She had a box full of great samples. Of course I bought her newest book on designing Aran sweaters and she was very gracious in signing it. Someday I plan to knit a red cabled cardigan like the Perfect Sweater (Woolrich 1989. It has become my Moby Dick, except it probably won't kill me.)

With all that said, the best part of the whole class was Janet's answer to my question, "How did you get started teaching?" She decided to write a book rather than sit around fretting, waiting two years to find out if some heavy duty medical stuff worked. Two years. Just about the right amount of time to write a book and self publish it after publisher told her it wasn't sexy enough. See? Knitting can save your life. I love stories of women thumbing their noses to adversity.

My morning class was Introduction to Bobbin Lace by Deb Bender. I took the class out of curiosity, knowing the chance wasn't likely to roll around very often. I am not inflamed with a drive to do bobbin lace night and day. I didn't even buy any of those cute little bobbins, and I don't generally pass up the opportunity to buy cute supplies. It was interesting. I always enjoy learning something new. The teacher had a passion for lace and shared it with us all. (Passionate teachers are my favorite kind.) And I doubt I'll ever pick up another bobbin.

Part of the fun of KDO is the drive up and back. Since neither of us is inclined to go up the night before, Claire and I set out in the 5:15 am pre-dawn darkness and chatter for about 160 miles. Since we haven't taken the same classes, at the end of the day we have plenty more to chatter about all the way home. We stopped at a diner for some supper and who should wander in but Melissa! (A guildmate who does incredible lace.) We'd have stayed all night knitting at the counter if we hadn't been so tired and if the little kid behind us hadn't been trying to cough up her wee heart [Note to parents: Shushing the toddler every 5 seconds for 15 minutes probably won't help. Next time, take her outside for some air. We'll all thank you.]

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