Friday, September 10, 2010

Back in Oz

Well UK Knit Camp 2010 and my holiday in Scotland are over and I'm back to the real world. The trip went pretty much as planned (see my prev post for a rough itinerary) except I didn't go to Skye with Jules and her dad, I went back to Glasgow and Edinburgh instead.

If you're on Ravelry then you can read all about how UK Knit Camp went down on the forum. I'll just say that organisation wise it was a bit of a disaster. Actually I don't recommend you read the forum, it gets a bit nasty and I don't know about you but reading those kind of posts makes me feel all anxious and upset, even if it's nothing to do with me. So anyway, despite said disaster, Jules and I had a fabulous time! We made the deliberate decision to ignore all the bad shit and just focus on having fun with the teachers and other students we met and happily that was easy to do, everyone was fabulous! Everyone was friendly and approachable and we just geeked out on knitting for five days :)

My classes were:
  • Toe-up socks for travellers by Lucy Neatby: Lucy was great! She knows lots of good tricks, her class was really well organised and she had videos of all the techniques she wanted to show us so we didn't all have to look over her shoulder for demonstrations. She sells her videos on her website, worth a look if you're interested in learning new techniques.
  • Knitting Nature lecture and practical class by Norah Gaughan: Very interesting! Norah talked about her inspiration for her book Knitting Nature and how her patterns developed and then we had a practice at a couple of hexagon patterns from her book. She was a great speaker and very friendly.
  • Plan Your Own Aran by Jared Flood: Great! Learnt how to do cables without a cable needle. I hadn't seen the method that Jared uses anywhere else and it was quite easy to do. Also did crochet reinforced steeks, again quite easy once you know how. And he gave us lots of hints on estimating your gauge to begin with so that you can decide what cables you can incorporate into your design before you knit your test swatch. Jules and I left inspired to plan our own arans :)
  • Estonian Colour by Nancy Bush: Actually I can't remember the proper name of this class, I swapped into it at the last minute. It was a technique for incorporating colourwork into knitting, it looks like it's been embroidered on after the knitting's been done but it's actually incorporated at the same time.
  • Girasole Project Class by Jared Flood: The yarn for this class was supposed to be supplied, which I (and Jared) thought meant that enough yarn for the entire project would be supplied, but that wasn't the case, we just got one ball of yarn. So it was kinda a waste of time starting the Girasole blanket since we would just have to rip it out again. None the less we learnt some other useful bits and pieces. This would've been a great class for a beginner lace knitter/chart reader but as I'd already done a bit I didn't get a lot out of it.
  • Speed Knitting by Miriam Tegels: Miriam is the Worlds Fastest Knitter and has the Guinness world record to prove it (see her videos on youtube). She showed us her method which looks very simple and ergonomic when she does it, however I just couldn't get it to work for me :(
I might write down all the tips I learnt in another post. I think they'd be helpful for others and it'll help me remember too :)

In between classes we'd all congregate in whatever area had enough chairs and sit, knit and chat. Funnily enough it turned out that most participants weren't from the UK! I met people from: France, Germany, Denmark, Portugal, USA, Canada, The Netherlands, and there were probably other countries too.

I've got some pictures on Flickr if you'd like a look, some of them have descriptions but not all :)

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