the beginning of a beautiful (obsessive) relationship
Saturday, a bunch of us (Michelle, Wanda, and Joanne... plus a few famous knitters) took the Estonian Lace class, taught by none other than Nancy Bush.
What I hadn't realized is what a Nancy Bush junkie I am already! She has published four books, and I had three of them already (now I own all four). One of my favorite FOs, Ene, ALSO designed by Nancy Bush.
She started the class by telling us the history of knitting in Estonia, which was completely fascinating. She also explained that she calls the English method of knitting the "old way" because they've been knitting that way in Estonia since the 1300s. The funniest part? The youngest generation of knitters in Estonia prefer the continental method, b/c they consider it the Western method, therefore the 'cooler' way to knit.
After a dazzling display of different traditional patterns (I need the pattern to the Queen Sylvia shawl NOW NOW NOW...), she showed us how to Nupp... and that it would behoove us to knit LOOSELY. After making 5 sts where only one used to be, we would have to purl all 5 of those sts in the next row. Er... some of us (cough cough wink wink) needed to practice that part a few times so that the sts were loose enough.
We knit up some samplers, which included lots of YOs, nupp stitches (a flatter and much more flattering version of a bobble), and decreases. We worked on the center of our samplers before lunch. During our lunch break, Michelle, Wanda, and I met up with Stacey, her mom, Jeni, and Nachaele for lunch at Tres Jolie, a cute tea and sandwich cafe on Main St in Littleton. The four of them took a beginning crochet class that morning at String.
After lunch, Nancy showed us how to pick up stitches (AUGH!) for the border. In Estonia, the traditional way to do the borders (which is the only part of the entire shawl that they call 'lace' by the way), is to cast on a bazillion and one sts, knit the border and cast off. Repeat. Sew these two lace panels around the border of your center, and voila! As astute as Nancy is, she realizes that most knitters aren't into suffering needlessly, and has adapted the method so that we can pick up around the edge of the center and knit the border.
She had some stuff for sale, all of which was handknit by Estonian women. If you look at the picture I took of her, the prices of the beautiful stuff was on the board in back of her. Here are some of the mittens, mitts (with pop tops), and socks.
Michelle's got my lace sampler, so we'll see how hers and mine differ after she finds time to block em. She used baby Ull (with US 3s), and I used Rowan 4 ply soft (US 4).
I had such a great time, I was severely regretting not taking her sock class today (Sunday), but I was grateful to sleep in today. Plus, I'm pretty sure my brain might've exploded.
However, I am now truly in love obsessed can't think of anything else I want to knit, with lace. I've been scouring my patterns to see what I want to knit next. In keeping with my Nancy Bush obsession, I cast on for the Madli Shawl tonight.
I'm using Black Water Abbey's lace weight yarn. Not the softest stuff I've ever knit with, but I'll give it a good soak in some hair conditioner later. It's much MUCH sturdier feeling than the Helen's Lace I used for Ene.
Playing catch up, please read Michelle's latest post to see what I was up to on Wednesday.
I also have a few FOs to report
Pattern: baby Bolero from One Skein
Needles: Addi turbos, US 8 and US 9
Started and finished: 6/8-6/9
Yarn: Classic worsted Long print
It's a sample knitted up for Colorful Yarns. By the by, they just got in OODLES AND OODLES of Mission Falls 1824 Wool. In EVERY. SINGLE. COLOR. I'm pretty sure they're giving a discount if you buy an entire bag.
Pattern: Child's Placket Sweater from Last Minute Knitted Gifts
Needles: Addi US7
Started and finished: late May 06 - June 8 06
Yarn: Classic worsted long print
For: Preggo's bun
*5 more days til Estes*