Thursday, May 1, 2014

Knitting in the Mountains


This past weekend for the first time I attended Unwind, a knitting retreat in Blowing Rock, NC. What a wonderful experience! I took 3 classes, won and bought lots of yarn, met great teachers and other knitters, ate some tasty food, went shopping at many little stores, and just generally had a terrifically good time.

One of the classes was on Lithuanian Beaded Wrist Warmers taught by Donna Druchunas. I've already finished the one I started in class and have cast on the second of the pair. These are fun to knit so I know I'll be doing more. I think they'll be a good way to work through some of my bead stash.

I took Liberating the Labyrinth with Jolie Elder. I've done mitered square knitting in the past, but Jolie's class takes the technique and goes into a realm where decreased and increased squares connect into sweaters that emerge after origami-like folding. I'm still trying to wrap my brain around her techniques. One of her projects that I may attempt is a knitted seems, to me, more doable than a sweater.

The third class I took was Charles Gandy's Embellished Knitting. I've done a bit of the techniques that he had us practice (adding beads, bobbles), but the class inspired me to explore more of these additions to plain knitting. I bought his book The Embellished Sock: Knitted Art for the Foot to get more ideas. I'm adamantly not a sock knitter, but everything from the ankle up in his book will serve as inspiration for my own projects, probably for knitted hats.

I hate when I take a class and then don't follow through, don't finish the class project, or never use the lessons learned. So this time I'm going to challenge myself to make at least one thing based on each class I took and record the results on the blog. With one finished wristlet, I'm almost one-third the way to the goal I've set for myself.

* The photo of the duck was taken through the window in my room at Meadowbrook Inn in Blowing Rock where the Unwind retreat was held.

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