Friday-Sunday was spent at Kripalu
at The Yoga of Knitting, as taught by Karen Allen. It was a fantastic workshop, and there were around 50 (!) knitters in attendance.
Thursday night, I came across the latest Vogue Knitting and noticed Karen is mentioned on the cover and there's a two page feature on her inside, so if you have the mag, go read that really quickly and gaze upon the lovely photos. All of the sweaters in the article were with her at the workshop, and they are absolutely amazing.
None of us really knew precisely what we would be working on during the workshop, but it turned out to be colorwork. Crazy, complicated colorwork. However, KA is a big fan of Kaffe Fassett's approach to color, and in breaking rules, so she taught us her way of doing color changes. I shall never look at intarsia or fair isle (or for that matter, joining a second ball of yarn in a solid color) the same way ever again. She basically taught us to tie knots (the horror!) when starting a new color, then weave the ends in as you go. Then you don't have 18 billion little ends to weave in at the end. It works pretty well (though I will say that with her preference for fingering weight yarns looks better than the worsted & DK I was using). She also taught us to steam iron(!) our knitting. I wasn't as keen on that as I felt some of my yarns lost their stitch definition like that, but it did make a difference in how the color looks.
KA herself is actually working on machines a lot at the moment, as she is trying to produce sweaters for sale at a halfway reasonable price, but the general ideas really made sense for either one. I kind of almost want to try machine knitting now after some of the conversations though, and I never ever thought I'd say that.
We were working on sampler scarves (though mine may be more of a sampler wall hanging) as a way to experiment with patterns and colors. And at the end of the workshop, we laid some of the pieces out as a quilt to show what we'd done:
Fantastic stuff, huh? We had a lot of really talented people there. And you'd be shocked at how many of the people described themselves as beginners--there's no way you'd be able to tell.
Here is my piece:
I started following a chart at the bottom, but didn't do my math right, and then needed to try to keep my tension and learn the technique and read the chart and it fell apart, so I started freeforming it. I said it looked like a "Cosby sweater." Then I actually got it down and did the chart, then I freeformed some geometric shapes, then I started charting out some more graphic type things, which is where the flower, leaves (no that's not a dinosaur) and half-finished sun come in (I ran out of yarn on the plane and it was in my checked bag). Ultimately, I'd like to do a sweater or bag or something with some of those bolder graphic shapes done in a random pattern, so I'm working toward that sort of thing.
I also think this is going to be a big help if I get around to Rowan's Carlotta. Incidentally, I may have solved the issue of substituting the yarn on that one, because we visited the LYS in Lenox, MA, Colorful Stitches
and they are having a fantastic sale until February 14, including 20% off Rowan. I got some 50% off Noro Shimano while we were there, but didn't have my list of Carlotta colors with me, so I didn't grab those. However, the sale is valid on their website too. And since Wolfe is officially closed now, having been bought out by another shop, I may take the plunge on these, especially since I have a new technique to use!
Also, on the plane, I worked on the first square of my sister's wedding gift (Amanda, if you're in here, don't click that link if you don't want to spoil the surprise!
I freaked people out in the airport with my chart reading and cable needle, and stitch markers and circular needle--I got more questions on this than any other project I've worked on in a public place, I think because of the sheer number of props I was using to keep my place.
Here's the photo.
More photos from my trip (including the fabulous Berkshire views!) are here if you are interested.
I'm hoping to have more workshop photos soon too from someone else who took more than I did.
Also, Karen said she'd be teaching this workshop again in November at Kripalu, and she is probably doing a five day workshop sometime in 2006! I am so there!