Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Stitches South

Dena came to visit me last week - she arrived late Tuesday evening.  The plan was for the two of us to attend various knitting and crochet classes.  The classes are offered mostly by teachers who have written and published books, so it's fun to meet them.  

The first class we were both in together Thursday afternoon was Fiendishly Difficult Stitches offered by Merike Saarniit.  We were taught about five different, mostly Estonian, stitch patterns.  I had taken the class before, but Dena hadn't and there wasn't anything else that I was really excited about so I joined her.

This is what we made - it's not really anything but a sample of the stitches but they are fun stitches to knit.

And the teacher is really great - Merike has a terrific sense of humor and her classes are always fun!

Then on Friday we split up - we couldn't both take all of the classes we wanted to because there were a lot of them.  So Dena took some of the classes we both wanted to take and I took others.  I took Twisted Traveling Stitches from Anna Zilboorg and another class that wasn't worth mentioning.  Dena took Cowl Sampler from Merike which was an all day class where she learned a bunch more Estonian Stitches.

These are my twisted traveling stitches.  Anna embroiders the knitting between the stitches and it's just gorgeous.

On Saturday, Dena took Anna's Embroidering your Knitting class (to learn how to embroider my twisted traveling stitches) in the morning and Lily Chin's Tips, Tricks and Techniques class in the afternoon.  I took Merike's all day Lace Knitting Estonian Style and learned the history of Estonian Lace and some of the patterns.  

Anna uses strips of the twisted traveling stitches that have been embroidered and embellished to make the most beautiful sweaters and vests.  I am going to start working on one as soon as I finish what's in my knitting bag.

One of the great things about Merike's class is that you actually walk out with a pattern that you can make something out of more often than not.  This will become a scarf - except that I think I want to start over on a larger needle so that it's lacier.  

On Sunday we were both back together - first in Anna's Color without Theory class where we learned great ways to combine multiple colors into something that we liked.  That sounds so easy, but it's always been something that I've been insecure about.  

After we learned a few ways to tell how the colors were going to look together, we learned some stitch patterns that let us use those colors together.



Of course each night we went home and played with what we had learned:

Also we had lots of homework, like making all these granny squares, circles and hexagons for our Join as You Go crochet class with Edie Eckman Sunday afternoon.

Yes, I really did crochet a lot of that and I really did join some of it too.  I can crochet a little, just don't like to.

And of course there was the market!  Oh the Market!!  What an explosion of fun stuff and good stash enhancement was to be found there!

We visited with Lindsey and Lisa of Erin Lane Bags.  (You should check them out at - their mini's, socks and smalls make terrific tatting bags!)  That's their pet Hank doing photo ops with his admirers!

And yes, I bought yarn . . . lovely yarn.  I know I have lots already, but I really NEEDED it!


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