All the waiting for it to be Yarnover finally turned into it actually being Yarnover yesterday. We got there in plenty of time to thoroughly examine the Yarn Market. I was fairly restrained this year, only bringing home a “yarn buddy” and a single skein of yarn. I’m not sure how much use the yarn buddy will get, but I’ve been curious about them for a while now, and since I wasn’t blowing all my accumulated savings on yarn this year, I figured, well, why not? I don’t know as I’d want to haul it anywhere, but for knitting (or crocheting) at home, it should work just fine. The yarn is a luscious silk/merino blend, fingering weight, and a different shade of pink than most in my stash. Not that you can see the pink streaks in this photo—the yarn is cream and super-pale pink—but really, they’re there. And buying a brand called The Grinning Gargoyle is fun in its own right.
Classes? Oh yeah, I went to classes, didn’t I? My morning class was “Starter Plug and Play Shawls” with Amy Singer. It was a good class with excellent handouts. I don’t think I’ll use the yarn I brought for the class for a shawl, but the technique made sense, and I can use it for a yarn that looks more interesting when turned into lace. The yarn I brought, a solid off-white fingering weight, spent the class murmuring quietly that a lace shawl was all very well and good, but it thought it should be something crocheted with textured stitches, or perhaps something with cables. It was distracting trying to hear the teacher over the yarn. I can probably find an immediate use for the shawl border she taught us. It feels like almost every shawl or shawlette I’ve done has a border of two or three garter stitches, and that’s a perfectly decent edging, but I’m bored with it. She has a simple alternative that ends up looking like applied I-cord, without being tedious to work like applied I-cord is. Yay!
My afternoon class was Carson Demers’ second class on knitting ergonomics: “Swatchbuckling.” I’d taken the first class at Yarnover last year. It was theory; this was practice. I don’t know how far I’ll be able to take his advice to look up as much as possible and not at your knitting. Yes, I can knit simple stuff without looking at what I’m doing, but I like seeing the stitches form and seeing how the color changes in the yarn work out in the actual project. (Hmph.) On the bright side, I seem to hold the needles and move the yarn mostly all right, although my purling technique could do with some tweaking. I wasn’t thrilled to see the “horror” video again. He has short videos of different people knitting, some in healthy ways, some not so much. One is of someone knitting who has strained their left hand so much while knitting that a tendon in the forefinger has ruptured, causing a bulge at the knuckle and preventing them from ever straightening that finger again. Yeegh. Oh yeah, I’m feeling motivated to modify my purling! Not that it was all gloom and doom. At one point, he had us get up and try walking while knitting. Walking while knitting while not actually looking at our knitting, that is. So there we are, out in the hallway going around in a slow circle, when a classmate commented that we looked like monks in prayer. Maybe I should try this while listening to Gregorian chants.
By the way, Carson Demers does not recommend this practice when climbing stairs. Just so you know.