Wednesday, April 10, 2013

There and Back Again

It’s been a busy and scattered month. I enjoyed much of my dog-sitting sabbatical, but it was difficult to keep up with computer work, such as this blog! Since I last wrote, I’ve not only finished the dog-sitting, but I’ve travelled twice for fiber teaching.

In March, I went to Kalmazoo, Michigan for the Michigan Fiber Arts Symposium. I thoroughly enjoyed my workshops. And I got in a bit of fiber shopping with the vendors: some yummy roving of an interesting mohair and llama blend, some Wensleydale yarn, and Merino yarn, and Mohair locks. All good! The Radisson in downtown K’zoo was a very nice hotel. Carol Wagner (of Hidden Valley Farm & Woolen Mill) and I shared a few meals in the hotel’s pub, where, by the way, they were celebrating Bell’s brewery. I got a free Two Hearted Ale button. And I did stop at MacKenzie’s Bakery for a couple of delicious donuts.

Just last weekend, I took another road trip, this time to Neenah, Wisconsin. Barb Cattani, proprietor of the lovely yarn shop, Yarns by Design, hosts a wonderful event, Midwest Masters. I’d taught at it a few years back and I was delighted to be asked to teach again this year.

To get to Neenah, I drove over the Mackinaw Bridge  and through the Upper Peninsula, where I was greeted by a classic lake effect winter squall. Fortunately, it was a small – albeit powerful – storm. The rest of the 8-hour drive was quite peaceful.

I taught classes on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. I was thrilled to teach two slip stitch classes:  Exploring Basic Slip Stitches and Extended and Manipulated Slip Stitches. To prepare for these workshops, I did a lot of revising of my handouts, mostly adding stitch patterns. In the process, I inadvertently mistyped one of the stitch patterns. I told the workshop participants that I would put the correct instructions on my blog. So here it is.

First, a scan of my swatch:

Butterfly Stitch (from Barbara G. Walker’s, A Treasury of Knitting Patterns)

Multiples of 10 stitches plus 9

Rows 1, 3, 5, 7, 9 (RS): K2, * sl5 wyif, K5; rep from *, end sl5, K2.
Rows 2, 4, 6, 10: P across.
Row 10: P4, * on the next st (which is at the center of the slipped group) insert right-hand needle down through the 5 loose strands, bring needle up and transfer the 5 strands to left-hand needle, purl the 5 strands and the next st together as one st; P9; rep from *, end last repeat P4.
Row 11, 13, 15, 17, 19: K7, * sl5 wyif, K5; rep from *, end sl5, K7.
Row 12, 14, 15, 18: P across.
Row 20: P9, *insert needle down through 5 loose strands, bring them up and purl them together with next st as before; P9; rep from *.

Oh, I did make some yarn purchases at Barb’s shop. I bought several skeins (i.e., a purposely unspecified number) of an interesting sock yarn that is made from cotton, bamboo, and silk, Hikoo CoBaSi. I do hope it’ll turn into some very comfortable summer socks.

I also bought a skein of a charming silk yarn: Silkindian Maharaja Silk Yarn. I might weave with it.

And I got 3 big skeins of Celestial Blue Faced DK, a Lucy Neatby yarn in “Easter Bonnet” colorway. I’m in desperate need of spring colors.

One other thing about this trip: On Saturday night, there was a banquet and fashion show. One of the event participants showed a dress that she’d knitted. I was completely wowed by it! I must get the pattern. It’s a Skacel pattern, “Zauberwolle B Swing Dress” . I will have one by the end of the year. I will. I will.

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