Hi there! I was quiet for most of this week because I had to prepare for STITCHES West 2019. I kept forgetting to do my homework. By Monday, I realized it was too late to order needles on Prime so Tuesday I took a ride to Los Altos to Uncommon Threads to buy three, circular needles. The staff there was very nice and their store is a small, but cute one of open space with a selective variety of yarn. I drooled over their Rowan Tweed collection!
I purposely got up early at 6am to slowly prep for the day, meaning 10oz of water, dry shampoo to the hair, make up, texturing dry shampoo, flat iron, and then outfit. The husband took this day off to take over drop off and pick up of the teenager. I decided to wear my Big Woods Flax sweater, handknit in Barrett Wool Co. I wanted to be comfortable since I was in class all day so I added boyfriend jeans and KEDS that had memory foam insoles.
I left my house around 7:30am and arrived around 8:15am; thank you Google Maps for saving me from traffic! My husband said I was going to get there really early. However, I don’t know about you, but I get anxious when I don’t know the way and am a stickler for being on time. I also like to arrive early so I can park, walk across the bridge to the convention center, hit the ladies, maybe grab a snack and beverage, find my seat in the assigned ballroom, and then just breathe.
Twice the Fun, Half the Work
This is Patty Lyons of my first, three-hour class. (I learned later on she is well-known in the knitting world.) I liked her; she is funny and practical. Patty is all about, “Living in the now. When I’m demo-ing, needles down.” Also she kept reminding us to not panick when we mess up, but to take a deep breath, to touch our knitting, and to look at it.
I learned Magic Loop back in 2008 but only used this technique twice to knit sleeves on my very first cardigan. Then I switched to just using DPN’s for small circumferences.
I’m really glad I took Twice the Fun, Half the Work because my rusty memory of Magic Loop was tuned up into Technicolor and I learned how to knit with two circulars! I think I may favor the latter technique but I vow to practice both. I can’t show you what I knitted in class because I frogged it all in order to remind myself how to cast on in both methods. I promise I will practice.
2-Color Knitting Portuguese Style
See this fabulous woman? This is Andrea Wong. I went from being a “picker” (Continental style) to a Portuguese knitter two years ago when I took her class at STITCHES West 2017. After that class I practiced daily and within two to three months my brain was retrained as well as my hands.
I’ve emailed her in the past, sending her pictures and a short video of me knitting at the swim school. So when Andrea saw me in class this week she knew my face.
In class I learned how to use this style of knitting to knit colorwork which involves knitting with more than one color. She did give a refresher on how to knit the Portuguese way and then moved onto how to use two, knitting pins. This meant I had to tension with my left hand as well as my right but not like a picker.
I spent most of class slowly working on a small, colorwork hat that I plan to restart maybe in different colors and in a slightly smaller circumference. I want to try knitting the colorwork inside out so I don’t have to worry about tight floats.
Thursday was such a good day. I was jazzed at learning new techniques all day. Traffic was bad as it took me twice the normal time to get home but it didn’t bother me. I was pooped though (already had over 11K-12K steps by the time I got home) and had to go to bed early.
That’s it for day one of STITCHES West 2019. I highly recommend both of these teachers. If you take a class of Patty’s, make sure you do your homework and check that you understand what skills are involved beforehand. Andrea is sweet and super helpful.
I’m behind again on blog reading; I’ll try to read here and there this week. I feel this conference has replenished my knitting mojo which I felt was lacking last year. I’m off to cast on folks! Thank you for droppin in and hangin out. TTYS.