Other Ways

This year, with my right leg still in recovery mode (yes, it’s getting better, very slowly), I passed on going to fiber and knitting expos this month, which means missing both Madrona Fiber Arts  (which is on my bucket list) and Stitches West (which has been an easy commute  for years – and now a little longer). That’s not really a bad thing, as last year I went to both Stitches West and Vogue Knitting Live, and have the yarn in the stash to prove it. In fact, I have plenty of wonderful yarn that I’m excited to knit. I may still go to Vogue Knitting Live in May, as it is a fairly easy drive, and I can see family and friends down there too.

But seeing beautiful yarn and accessories is only one of the attractions of these events – I love to learn new things at them too. Fortunately, my local knitting guild is all kinds of awesome, and they contracted with a knitting teacher, Vera Sanon, to come to our guild to teach various ways to knit Top-Down sweaters; the guild footed half of the bill on top, plus there was no conference overhead to pay for, so the class was about a third of the price it would be if it were at a big name conference.

And we learned a lot! I’ve knit a few top-down sweaters, mostly for babies and I think one for my mom, I haven’t been wild about the usual construction – called raglan – which is best for athletics builds with no boobs. I look better in set-in sleeves, as do lot’s of women, and we got to learn a bunch of ways to do them. I also loved her warning us about certain construction methods that have downsides too – so we don’t pick patterns that will lead us to tears. There should be no crying in knitting!

The other plus with Vera is that she also lives in a warm climate so most of her sweaters are out of fingering and DK weight yarns – knit looser for drape and to keep cool. Here are some of her beautiful sweaters:

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What a table of gorgeous knitting. And this is a back detail of a sweater that I am itching to start, called the Sara Lace Cardigan (rav link), which, if you do short sleeves, can be knit out of one skein of lace-weight yarn:

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I’ve got the perfect yarn from last year’s Vogue-knitting event to use:

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In the meantime, the fronts of the cardigan I’m knitting for my cousin are now done, and conveniently, I can apply what I’ve learned in my class to knitting the sleeves top-down. The fronts of the cardigan are the feature with a twig and leaf in relief. Even Izzie was impressed:

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Along the way, I am also knitting socks for Afghans for Afghans. It’s a great organization, and we are knitting baby hats and baby socks for a maternity hospital in Afghanistan. Join me, won’t you? Our group on Ravelry is the best, and we list a bunch of free patterns to use. Baby things like these are terrific for using up odd balls and leftover partial skeins of yarn!

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Mountain Top Experiences – in life and knitting

This past week I had the fortune of going to a continuing education event at Lake Tahoe, at a wonderful conference center called Zephyr Point. In summer it looks like this:

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but this past week, I got there right after a snowstorm:

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Yeah. For a gal living in the drought-stricken Central Valley of California, this was amazingly wonderful. At the mountain top, there awaited some lovely worship:

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All designed by a very talented woman named Marcia McFee:

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We even saw a wildcat (bobcat, we think), which is very unusual. It was a lovely time to gather with colleagues to work, and to play:

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Ironically, I missed preaching on the gospel’s mountain text today (story of the Transfiguration), having taken the entire week of preaching stuff off, but I got to experience the mountain instead. We all were transfixed when the snow came in:

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In yarnie things, I feel like I’ve knit myself through a mountain of lace yarn, to come out on the other side. Lunna Voe is done, and blocked, and she is pretty!

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There’s at least one family wedding this year, I think over a simple dress this could be stunning. What do you think?

And now we are onto the Season of Lent,

which begins by our remembering that we are from the dust, and to dust we shall return…

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