I knit. And I cook, write, take pictures. All for one low price.

Monday, July 21, 2008

a re/treat

This past weekend, I got to take 3 workshops at Margaret Klein Wilson's house, with Beth Brown Reinsel as the teacher.

Margaret owns Mostly Merino, and authored the Green Mountain Spinnery Knitting book.

Beth is most famous for her book Knitting Ganseys. She is working on a book about Scandinavian Knitting, and I for one can't wait for it to be finished!

On Saturday, there were two workshops. One on Swedish Cast Ons, and one on the Norwegian Purl.

I must tell you that I did not take a lot of pictures, as I wasn't taking the classes "for the blog"...I was fully engaged in the class, learned a lot, and thoroughly enjoyed the company of the knitters present.

Here, Beth is showing a 100 year old jacket from Sweden. The sleeves were knitted and fulled, and then attached to a sewn jacket with embellished placket and cuffs. It was stunning.

Even the lining was amazing.

Here are some examples of Beth's Twined Knitting. We learned a bit of twined knitting during the Swedish Cast Ons class. The mittens and socks made with this technique are extremely warm and durable because they are knitted with two alternating strands throughout. Two-color and tone-on-tone patterns are possible. Beth's website has the patterns available, which are like mini courses on the techniques and worth every penny.

In this picture, Beth is showing her sweater from the book The Natural Knitter, by the late Barbara Albright. This sweater is a tour de force of knitting techniques, as it includes twined knitting, stranded knitting, and intarsia in the round...

With these two samples, Beth is demonstrating the importance of color dominance in stranded knitting. In the (sleeveless) sample on the right, black was the dominant color. The sample knitter didn't like the result and decided to reverse the dominance. On the little sweater on the left, the pattern is much better visible. They are both knitted from the same chart!

During the Norwegian Purl class, we learned how to strand and weave our 2 color knitting with both yarns held in the left hand while knitting and purling! Whew.

Yes I had a headache at the end of the day, but it was a testament to how much we learned.

Sunday was reserved for a 6 hour Latvian Mitten class. These mittens incorporate 2 color cast on, braids, lace scallops, knitted in fringe, and colorwork.

Beth had a whole collection of authentic mittens with her, but my brain was foggy (or something) and I plumb forgot to take pictures of them....

This is how far I got before I getting picked up after lunch and a visit to the sheep pasture.

I must tell you about Kip. He is Margaret's Border Collie and the sweetest dog...he always made sure we were staying together.

Here's Margaret, bringing carrot peels as a treat for the sheep and her guard llama.

She has 17 sheep, among them merino, cormo, and bluefaced leicester. Truly a handsome flock! Oh and the yarn that comes from them...

Make sure you go see Margaret at the NYS sheep and wool fest in October this year.

I know I will.


Anna P said...

All knitting things near and dear to my heart! I am glad for the vicarious thrill.

Knittingchick said...

My brain hurts just hearing about what you learned!

AlisonH said...

Very cool.