This weekend knitters from central PA and beyond enjoyed another fantastic Knitters’ Day Out. I registered for both morning and afternoon classes on Saturday, so it was a full day.In the morning, I took Laura Nelkin’s Beaded Waves Cuff class. I knew this would be a quick and satisfying project, based on the Butin Collar class I took with her in 2012. Here are some sample cuffs that Laura brought to class: We were supposed to get one of her project kits in advance, but I made my own because I had enough supplies in stash. I chose a bit of yarn left over from making these socks, two colors of size 6 beads that I had in my little bead supply, and some clasps I had on hand from a previous project. I only had to buy the pattern and the special Super Floss (which I found at Rite Aid). Laura uses an ingenious technique for loading beads onto yarn with the floss (watch her video if you’re interested). You could use a very tiny crochet hook (1 mm or smaller) or a Fleegle Beader instead. I tried placing a few beads with Laura’s crochet hook, and it did not work for me. My fingering weight yarn was too big and fluffy for that tiny little hook. The floss worked best! My box had 50 strands so I should be set for life at this point.
Here’s a picture of my cuff with the first wave completed (there are 3 waves total):And here is my completed cuff! Well, it hasn’t been blocked and I need to sew the clasps on after that, but it’s nearly done:
That was a lot of fun, and I’ll probably make a few more of these as Christmas gifts. I may have to invest more heavily in pink and purple to meet the expectations of my nieces, though…
After class, I sat down to an excellent buffet lunch at a table full of knitters I know and knitters who are new to me. It’s always fun to chat about the morning’s classes. And the dessert spread is very exciting. I spent some time in the market, as well. I had a short list of things I was looking for, and I found two of them: 2.75mm dpns, and highlighter tape (my roll is hiding from me). I also bought some felted wool insoles, thinking these might extend the life of S1’s felted wool slippers. The insoles are from the Gurdy Run Woolen Mill in Halifax, PA. I’ve bought fiber from them in the past, but I resisted this year. My stash is VERY healthy and I want to finish up some large projects before restocking much.
The 2.75 mm dpns are related to a sock knitting lesson I’ll be giving later this week. I’ll tell you more about that later…
Also in the exhibit hall, I met Dianna, one of the owners of The Knitting Boutique in Baltimore. I’ve never been to this shop (it’s only 4 years old), but I’ve been listening to their new podcast: Saturday Morning Breakfast Club. I really like their emphasis on locally sourced yarns. They have quite a few of their own yarn lines which are milled to their specifications. They work with Sweitzers Fiber Mill in Seven Valleys, PA – does that sound familiar? It should, because that’s where I got 24 oz of mystery fiber at MDSW last May!
Dianna and I were having such a nice chat that she whipped out a microphone and interviewed me for the podcast. Our Gettysburg area knitters will need to arrange a field trip outing that includes both the mill and the shop – that would be a blast!
After lunch, I went to a class on Mitered Squares. This is what I made: I chose this class because I’ve been ruminating about starting a long-term blanket project involving my leftover sock yarn and mitered squares. I thought this class would kick start the project. I learned a few useful pieces of information that will help me:
- My squares will be garter stitch, not stockinette. The decreases are weird on stockinette and I don’t like the way they look.
- My mitered squares will not contain adjacent decreases like the ones above. That leaves too much of a hole.
- I will not be joining squares as I go along. I want to be able to lay out squares and decide on final placement before attaching. Plus, the project will be more portable this way.
I’ve been searching Ravelry for inspiration, and so far this project most aligns with my vision. You can read more about it in this blog post. I need to decide what color I’d like my border/windowpane to be and acquire a few skeins of that sock yarn before beginning (I had my eye out for this at KDO, but didn’t find it).
And since we’re on the topic of leftover sock yarn, take a look at these:
Remember the socks I made from the Gale’s Art Sock Blank? I had two pieces of blank left, so I thought I’d skein and soak them in preparation for use in this blanket. I though that I could get the yarn back to smooth and straight again. BUT NO. I soaked these twice – once in tepid water and once in very hot tap water (which is what I do to set the twist in handspun yarn), and there is still some waviness. This is definitely not ramen-type kinkiness, which is what the yarn looks like when you unravel the blank… but apparently blank yarn never loses its wave. Interesting. For this reason, I think that gradient yarns like these are dyed in blank form, then skeined, washed, and caked for sale.
That’s enough for today, knitters. Oh, and naturally I found my highlighter tape last night. Oh well, now I have orange AND yellow!