Sunday, July 1, 2012

Summer Review - A Visit with "The Yarn Harlot"

Sorry for the long delay.  I have been a wee bit ( tongue in cheek) distracted by my life.  Oh, where to start??  Let's just back up to the beginning of the summer.

Cheryl and I had the unexpected opportunity to take a class with the Yarn Harlot herself, Stephanie Pearl-McPhee.  It was a full day class at Knitting Today in Wolcottville, IN.  Rather than leave at an ungodly time of the morning, we decided to drive up the day before.  We made a couple of yarn shop visits along the way.  Seriously, you know you all think that way...."How many yarn shops are between home & where I am traveling to?" First up was Knit Stop in Indianapolis.  This is a very large yet lovely & inviting store in the Clearwater Shoppes area.  While we were there we ran into Kate Larson from our SWIFT group.  It turns out she teaches there.  It's a small world we knitters live in.

We next traveled to Fort Wayne where we discovered Knitting Off Broadway. We had a nice time visiting this quaint shop run by a mother & daughter team.  Then it was on to Kendallville for dinner and finding a hotel.  We spent the evening searching Ravelry for patterns to complement the yarns we bought during the day.  Then it was an early turn-in so as to be fresh the next morning, which was the whole point of this day before trip.  Stop that laughing!  Really, it had nothing to do with buying more yarn.

Such Concentration!
The class we took was titled, "Knitting for Speed and Efficiency".  Now there is absolutely nothing wrong with nice, slow, peaceful knitting.  I quite enjoy that at times.  However, to steal Cheryl's line...."It would be nice to finish something before I get bored & want to start 10 new things."  So perhaps a bit of speed is in order for me.  The morning session concentrated on the history of knitting, knitting as seen through art, various techniques through-out time,  So many things I had never really thought about.  A person as obsessed with knitting as I am should know much more about the subject than I do.

We broke for a lovely buffet lunch provided by Knitting Today owner, Lea-Ann McGregor then got busy in the afternoon learning different techniques to speed up your knitting whether you are a picker, thrower or lever knitter like Stephanie.  We had varying degrees of success.  Some knitters gained speed, others lost a bit while practicing new techniques and some were so completely over-whelmed they nearly forgot how to knit at all.  But after personal attention to each knitter from the talented instructor, everyone came away with so many tips and tricks that we can't help but be better knitters.

Stephanie recommends practicing a bit everyday to build your muscle memory.  This is good advice for any new technique whether knitting related or not.  I would suggest if you ever get a chance to take a class or attend a lecture with the Yarn Harlot that you not pass it up.  She is so very entertaining ( even when ill & hoarse from the dreaded plague). I can promise you a good time was had by all in attendance.  A special thank you goes out to Lea-Ann and her family for welcoming us to their delightful shop.

As a final every stop on this trip I shopped for the perfect pattern & yarn for a special wedding gift.
More on that next time.

Happy (insert your favorite fiber art addiction here)!!