"I hate waiting."

As you might guess, I'm a bit impatient. I had hoped that picking up a pair of knitting needles would help me learn about the virtue of patience... but it seems I just want my projects to go along as quickly as possible.

Sunday, June 11, 2006

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*


Blogger Wanda said...

You're right, it was a great class and I kind of wished I took the Sunday class too, but there was no way that would have worked out. Too much other stuff happening. I've already gone to her website and there are a few patterns I want to order and perhaps some yarn.
The baby kimono is super cute. And I didn't even realize that you were doing the child's placket sweater too! You're knitting tons of stuff for Preggo's baby. She's so lucky!
I was looking at Madli last night and thinking what would I use and what yarn. That maybe an Estes purchase! Blackwater Abbey laceweight, I bet that is strong stuff! :-)

6/12/06, 9:11 AM  
Blogger Carrie K said...

Cute buttons! And baby clothes.

So which Nancy Bush book didn't you have already?

The nupp? A better flatter bobble stitch? Care to share the secret?

Oh, it all sounds like so much fun! Lucky you.

6/12/06, 9:46 AM  
Blogger Chris said...

Wow, sounds like an amazing class! I can see where taking her sock class, too, would have been total brain overload.

No surprise, but I LOVE those black cat buttons. :)

Cute cute cute baby stuff!

6/12/06, 9:49 AM  
Anonymous Jennifer said...

What great sounding class! Beautiful sample pieces too, thanks for sharing. :)
The baby sweaters are very cute too.

6/12/06, 10:05 AM  
Blogger Kristen said...

Oh I am so jealous!! I love the FO's and can't wait to see the new shawl when completed.

Happy Knitting!!

6/12/06, 10:12 AM  
Anonymous Rebekah said...

Looks like a wonderful time, I love Nancy Bush's patterns. They seem difficult, but she writes them so well they are good to follow.

Great Bolero!

6/12/06, 10:31 AM  
Anonymous Jeni said...

Busy girl! I love that shawl you started, it is exactly what I was looking for! Are there nupps in it, I can't wait to see your progress. then maybe cast on myself. Really can we have just one of us knitting the same thing at the same time.

6/12/06, 12:14 PM  
Blogger Catherine Kerth said...

wow! what a fun class. nupp huh? sounds intersting, what cute baby clothes!

6/12/06, 3:33 PM  
Anonymous Kristin said...

Estonian lace knitting seems beautifully fascinating. I've only heard mention of it once, but it's definitely something I would be interested in. It would also be really interesting to hear about the history. It sounds like it was a fun class! :)

6/12/06, 4:14 PM  
Anonymous Cordelia said...

You are the luckiest. Look at all that extremelyl cool stuff! And learning how to do nupps correctly is excellent. The baby sweater is adorable, and I'll close by commending you on your *excellent* taste in beverages. In-the-can is the most important part, I think.

6/12/06, 8:08 PM  
Blogger Terby said...

Wow, I'm jealous. I think Nancy Bush is a fabulous designer. I have 2 of her books, and I'm defintely on the lookout for the others.

6/12/06, 10:31 PM  

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