04 October 2013

What I Learned at TKGA, Day 3

On Friday I took an all-day class with one of the sweetest, kindest knitting teachers you'll ever meet, Beth Brown-Reinsel. I had taken classes with Beth several years ago when she came to teach for Atlanta Knitting Guild. This time I decided to learn twined knitting. This is a Swedish technique that dates back to at least 1680. How do we know this? Because a twined knit glove was found under a slag heap. I do not know which is more astonishing -- that a glove survived 300 years under a slag heap, or that the Swedes keep such good records of their garbage! Books on the subject by both Anne-Maj Ling and Laura Farson have been on my shelf for some time. I figured taking the class would get me to spend a little time actually doing the technique rather than just reading about it. And Beth is the sort of teacher who has worked out subtle details in how she teaches. For example, her handout is stapled together except for the stitch chart, which is separate because you will need to knit from it during class. While twined knitting is not a fast way to knit, it is interesting and satisfying. Beth also showed us some inspiring photographs of work that Anne-Maj Ling has made. The two-color method is especially striking, as it produces pinstripes. If you shape the knitting with increases or decreases, then the pinstripe patterns move around in delightful ways.

I should also mention that Beth has a Kickstarter campaign running until Tuesday 22 October. I did not realize, but she has already produced one knitting video and the Kickstarter funding is for post-production on a second video. I haven’t seen either, but based on the quality of her classes and her essential book Knitting Ganseys, I have no doubt the videos will be first-rate.

Friday evening was the TKGA Fun Night. Patty Lyons gave a hilarious multimedia presentation on gauge. Patty did more than just talk about the importance of gauge and how to use it. She showed sad examples of gauge gone wrong. Mostly these were sweaters that were far too big to fit their intended recipients. The saddest example was probably a beautiful Fair Isle sweater. It was clearly a labor of both love and great knitting skill, but it just didn't fit. Heartbreaking! Most of the examples were less sad, and it was a case of all of us laughing in recognition. Maybe we’ve recognized the work of the gremlins early enough to have ripped out the project before getting to the end, but we’ve all been there with a project that went off on its own adventure without properly consulting its knitter first. And so many of us have just kept knitting along, disbelieving that our knitting could betray us.

1 comment:

Patty said...

It was so nice to meet you. I'm glad you had fun in my silly gauge slide show

Patty - http://pattylyons.com/