Thursday, April 29, 2010

Stitches South!!

Have I told you how much I love that Stitches now comes to Atlanta? Probably more times than you care to think about. I really do love that something that cool comes right here. I'm not sure I'd ever get to go if I had to travel and stay in a hotel. Yeah, I know, I went to that one camp, but it's just not the same these days.

Anyway, I signed up for six classes and enjoyed everyone of them. I learned some really cool stitch patterns and lots of other cool stuff. First class I took was Elongated Stitch Enchantment with Merike Saarniit. She's supposed to be coming out with a book soon (the book is definitely coming out, the question is how soon?) and we all need to get copies of it. It's going to be ubercool. Anyway, elongated stitches are stitches where you wrap the yarn around the needle more than one time and then do something with the longer stitch that produces. Most of the time, you carry it up your knitting and knit it a few rows up - sometimes in the same place you knit it and sometimes a few stitches to the left or right. Occasionally, you twist that stitch either alone or with other stitches. Sometimes, you wrap that long stitch around other stitches to create a pattern or texture. These crazy things can be done with one or two or more colors of yarn - the blue and purple thing is the sampler we made in that class.

Then I took Nupps: Bobble and Buds also from Merike. Nupp is pronounced like soup. Merike (prounounced like America) goes nuts if you pronounce it like pups. Anyway, the yellow/green is the sampler we did in that class. The green bobbles are called berries because there is no more than one stitch between them - normally there would be another row right above those but I ran out of time. I really like the wrapped stitches because they make such a terrific texture.

Betsy Hershberg taught the Bead Knitting Sampler class. It was all about how to get beads in your knitting and get them to stay where you want them and fit together the way you want them. That seems like such an easy thing to do, but I know that I wasn't happy when I knit the fish purse because the beads didn't want to do what I wanted them to do. Anyway, in the sampler, each row is a different technique for placing beads and several rows have two or more variations of the technique. Now I need to find a beaded project . . . but not another fish bag.

I know you are looking at this pink thing and thinking "That's just plain knitting and she took a class to do that - what is she, crazy?" And yes, you are right, it is just plain stockinette with a few rows of seed stitch, two rows of ribbing and a few yarn overs with k2togs. However, this is very special knitting. Normally, I knit from the left needle to the right needle with the stockinette side facing me. This swatch was knit entirely from the right needle to the left. I knit and purled everystitch on this backwards . . .

And the last class I took was called 3-2-1: Three 2 color patterns, One color at a time taught again by Merike Saarniit. If you look at the wrister (it's actually too small for anyone here's wrist but that's because I knit it on small needles) it looks like I've knit two colors on the same row in several places but I haven't. This is knit using estonian pattent and elongated stitches. I'm going to go back and make two full sized wristers using the same yarns because I think they are pretty.
Next year, we should all go to stitches or Sock Summit or SOAR or somewhere together.

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