I did a lot to push myself as a knitter over this summer. Finding balance between my different little lives. I knew the house and work would push me mentally, so I wanted a challenge I could throw myself into.
I made it a resolution for 2012 to take a spinning class. I signed up to take 'Spinning for Knitting' at Stitches Midwest this year. The teacher was Merike and she'd been teaching knitting since I was an infant. She knows her stuff, and really made me feel confident. I was one of 3 in a class of about 12 that had spun before. I was confident on my spindle and just gotten my electric spinning wheel and was feeling good about that. I wasn't too sure about proper techniques to ply and I wanted to play around with different fibers. This class helped a lot on both those fronts. Next I'd like to try spinning woolen (vs worsted? I get the two confused because the terms hold little meaning to me yet). I left with a bunch of samples of fibers to try, and some wonderfully balanced 2 ply.
What did I learn from this class? I learned that a lot of things I've heard on spinning podcasts were not true. You cannot balance your yarn with 'blocking' and that water re-energizes your yarn. It also made me realize how picky I'm going to be about my own handspun.
I took a couple classes from guest teachers at Fuzzy Wuzzy this summer.
I had a class on the History of Lace Knitting with Franklin Habbit. He is such a wonderful, patient teacher. Talking about knitting and lace for 3 hours just seemed so short. I think I could sit and listen to this all day. It was great information and fun to learn a few new tricks for making polished lace projects. Thanks!
I had a class from Marly Bird on Entrelac Crochet. The class was fast paced and really challenging. Learned the 3 basic blocks and how to put them all together to make different types of entrelac patterns. I ended up settling on the easiest set for a project.
I left class and started a baby blanket for a co-worker. That was the original plan, rather than stripes I wanted to do something fun. The coworker had me show her how to knit so she could start a blanket herself. She had learned to knit a long time ago and had put her needles down. I don't know that she's gotten very far, but at least she'll have one right away :)