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Sunday, August 13, 2006

Tales from Knitting Camp

I am exhausted. Three plus days of non-stop knitting activities have whupped my butt. Stitches Midwest came to town (well, Rosemont, actually) and I went in for (almost) the whole enchilada. After work I drove out to the lovely Donald E. Stephens Convention Center for the student-only market session Thursday evening. (I passed on the Opening Day sessions with Jane Sowerby on Victorian Lace and the Student Mixer.)

This is the carpet in the meeting rooms at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center. Mmm, pastel-y. Look at this for three days, why don'tcha.

The Donald E. Stephens Convention Center has a Hummel Museum in it. I've never seen it open. I don't know if Donald himself collected all of those Hummels or if someone willed them to the Convention Center. There are a lot of them and I find it disconcerting.

I hit the Socks that Rock pretty hard. I also got a few glass buttons from a lovely glass artist, Sheila Ernst. I had purchased some of her buttons from Toni of The Fold at Maryland so it was really nice to meet and chat with her in person. I headed home for a good night's sleep before driving back out to my home-away-from-home at the Doubletree Friday morning. There was more shopping (!!!) and an afternoon class on knitting circles using short rows with Candice Eisner Strick. This was my least favorite class of the five I took. It was a technique I could have learned pretty easily on my own, and the three hour class was much too long for the subject matter. (On a side note, Candice makes amazing knitting kits with incredible color gradations. I'd been lusting after one of her pieces since last year, so one managed to find its way into one of my shopping bags.) Friday night was the Fashion Show. Oh, my. I met some delightful women who took me under their collective wing for the evening. Gotta say, there was a lot up there on the runway that did very little for me, and then there were a few pieces that were quite lovely. (Do read Franklin's review of the 2005 fashion show. He was dead-on about a number of things...)

Saturday morning was a zippers and other closures class by Margaret Fisher. I went in with fairly low expectations. I haven't made any cardigans and I hadn't really considered setting in a zipper. I have no idea why I signed up for the class. I was so very surprised. It was incredibly informative, and Margaret was a fabulous teacher. And, it was so much more fun than I ever would have guessed. Lunch time, more shopping. (There isn't a lot of eating at this thing; the classes start at 8am--way before I can eat in the morning--and the food at the convention center is basically the same stuff they have at movies theaters sans popcorn and Junior Mints.) Afternoon class was Creativity with Sally Melville. I TOTALLY have a knitting crush on Sally Melville. Maybe it was the swingy skirt with the knee socks. Perhaps it was the Canadian accent. More than likely it was the really fantastic class that was part design, part philosophy, and part human behavior. She was just great. So charming. So smart. And I left all of her books at home so I couldn't get them signed--dang. Saturday night was the Student Banquet. The same lovely ladies (with a few new ones swapped in) took me in again. This fashion show was a mixed bag in every way you can imagine. There was one woman whose two pieces made everything else (including the pieces created by professional designers from the night before) pale in comparison. It was worth sitting through the long-winded commentary from the host just to see her gorgeous creations.

Sunday morning I had another class with Sally Melville, Learn to Love Intarsia. I may never learn to love intarsia, but I did learn that the few times I've played around with it I was getting it mostly right. And, Sally makes you feel like everything will just be fine, no matter what. Next, a trip back to the market. I was so not going to buy anything else, but Brooks Farm finally got me, as did Interlacements. Behold, the haul...minus the two Habu scarf kits being shipped to me. Yipes. I have voluntarily forgone any anniversary or Christmas presents because of this...

Then, the finale: Trims with Lily "5 points" Chin. (If you've taken classes with her, you probably know what I mean.) I was really intimidated because the homework for this class was not clearly written and I felt like I had no idea what I was doing. (Turns out I did know what I was doing--whew.) The class started out a little slowly and it took a little while to get Lily's teaching style and delivery. Once it got going, the class was great. She really won me over. (And, she was wearing a really cute dress that she designed/made that will be in the Spring or Summer Knitter's next year. I just may have to make it.) The class was really about various stitch patterns for the hems of sweaters. She delved into the reasons certain stitch patterns behave the way they do and it was really quite a good class.

I hauled my 400 lb. knitting bag back to the car and drove home. It was so much fun to be somewhere where everyone speaks the same language and shares your interest. I can't wait for my next knitting event...


Lynette said...

wow!!! you captured the entire event for me. i wish i could have made it. maybe next year. i love your haul. it all looks like great stuff!

Stephanie said...

I seriously can't get over that carpet.