Saturday, September 8, 2012

Report from Knitters’ Day Out 2012

Another year of KDO classes and fun has come and gone!IMG_1927Friday night, I took a beaded jewelry class with Laura Nelkin.  We learned the techniques needed to make the Butin CollarIMG_1883 I am completely smitten with many of her designs.  I finished the knitting on Butin Friday night but this still needs to be blocked, and then I’ll sew on the clasp.IMG_1928 I promise a shot of the necklace in a human neck soon.  Laura was both an excellent and delightful teacher and I would not hesitate to take a class from her in the future.  See, doesn’t she look nice?IMG_1885Yes, she is wearing a Butin!

Saturday morning I took a Fair Isle 101 class with Nancy Shroyer.  She had many stunning examples of colorwork to show us.  Here are a few:



Did you notice the top of that leafy hat above?  It has two leaves and an acorn for the tassels!IMG_1894 This Christmas hat is very festive:


The class project was a headband.  Here are a couple she had worked up already, in different weights of yarn:IMG_1889 I got about halfway through mine in class.  It doesn’t look so great all scunched up on the needles, but here it is:


And even the back side is looking fairly decent:IMG_1923 I think I’ll finish this and perhaps donate it to Caps for Kids next year.

In the afternoon, I took Candace Eisner Strick’s 10 Things Your Mother Never Told You class, which was a hoot, as usual.  if you have a chance to take a class with Candace, DO!  She is super effective and really funny, a true joy in the classroom (and you KNOW I have high standards).  [I took a class with her last year, too, and loved it.]  I won’t tell you all 10 things on the list, but there were a few gems that were new to me:

  • I learned how to pick up dropped stitches without a crochet hook.
  • I learned how to Kitchener stitch 50% faster than before.
  • I learned a stretchy, fun bindoff called “Twice Baked Potato Bind Off.”
  • I made an excellent one-row buttonhole.

The class swatch is Frankenstein-ish, but it helped us practice new techniques.  See? UGLY!IMG_1899 Here’s the beautiful buttonhole:


Finally, the marketplace.  There were many, many tempting things there, but somehow I managed to get out without doing tooooo much damage this year.  I got some ChiaoGoo needles for socks because I’ve been meaning to try them for a long time – 2 24” 2.0mm needles.  I also got a 16” 3.25mm circular to finish the fair isle headband:IMG_1902 I will review them after using them!

I also found some very attractive but inexpensive shawl pins, and picked up one for me and one for my mom (die is for scale):


And finally, I bought some yarn that called to me.  This is 3-ply worsted weight from Rusty Rocks Farm in Dover, PA (near York) – 60% alpaca, 20% merino, 20% honey silk.  I don’t know what honey silk is, but it sounds good, right?  It is a deep charcoal gray with bits of white in it, which makes the yarn have so much depth and dimension.  It is also insanely soft and squishy.  I don’t know what I’ll make yet, but probably some kind of comfy cowl.  I got 2 skeins just to be safe:IMG_1903


Maybe I’ll continue working on that headband tonight.  Or cruise Ravelry for cowl patterns.  Or start shopping for Japanese beads online.  Or buy more Laura Nelkin patterns.  Or…….

It was fun, y’all!


  1. So many great things in this post! The fair isle examples are beautiful, and you certainly make 10 Things Your Mother Never Told You sound intriguing. I would take it just for the faster Kitchener, since I have to talk myself through the steps and can't be interrupted whenever I Kitchener.

    I love ChiaoGoo needles but didn't love the bend. They also make ones they call Red Lace without the bend, just in case you find yourself thinking the same thing.

  2. I agree with Bonny -- the faster Kitchener sounds worth the price of admission to me! In fact, all of those techniques sound intriguing. I always feel like I'm floundering when it comes to button holes. And that gray yarn has me drooling...

  3. Bonny, the ChiaoGoo needles I got for socks have no bend. I haven't tried them yet. I used the US3 needle to finish up the fair isle headband last night, and it DOES have the bend. You're right - I don't love it!

    Here's the Kitchener secret: don't pull the yarn through after every step. Just every other step. So: slip the first stitch off the front needle as if the knit, then purl the next stitch, THEN pull the yarn through. Then slip the first stitch off the back needle as if to purl, knit the next stitch, THEN pull the yarn through. So simple, so brilliant!

  4. It was wonderful to have you in class too! So glad you've been bitten by the knitting with beads bug! What a silly photo of me with my nose all wrinkled up : )!