I have been very remiss, and haven’t put up any pix of the workshop week here… My only excuse is Knit Camp. And that is a big excuse!! However, the boxes are now away and I have a moment to breathe…
When Val and I got back from Papay, Simone came and joined us for the first half of the week. She knew she wanted to play with the drum carder, but that (of course!) meant dyeing first! So on the Saturday evening we raided the loft for fleece, and found some North Ron in light greys and some white Texel. By the end of the evening (it was just that side of midnight!) we had ‘trays’ of dyed fleece all over the kitchen where the under-floor heating (yes, it is still on at this time of year) would have most effect.
The next day we adjourned upstairs to the wheels. Simone was carding and spinning some other fleece, while Val tried out a whole range of fibres new to her. Some she liked, and some she didn’t! She was able to take samples back with her so that she knew what to order when she went home.
As the day went on, more of the dyed fleece was dry enough to card, and Simone had a field day making different types of batts.
On the Monday Simone was spinning her batts…..
…..while Val was working on her lace knitting. She finished her alpaca mini shawl (which, as the yarn was 4 ply/fingering weight was not so mini) and started a Faeroese one, this time in thin yarn. That one was mini!
Once Simone had left us, Val finished her shawls and discovered dressing! She also took the opportunity to explore my book shelf to see if there were any books her Guild back in Canberra might like. As we all know, it is great to be able to actually leaf through a book – buying on line isn’t ideal unless you know what is inside.
After her ‘day off’ visiting Stromness in the rain, Val and I started on Fair Isle. Val has knitted Fair Isle before, but only followed patterns so was wanting to learn about the art or science of choosing colour and pattern. After a few paper exercises, we emptied boxes of yarn on the kitchen table and started to look at colour. After playing for quite a while, Val chose her first colours and began to swatch for colour and pattern.
Between times, she had also started on a final lace project – a cobweb outside-in mini shawl, including mitred corners to the lace. Over the next few days she did the ‘easy’ bits in her hotel room, and then the trickier bits here. When she left it was not finished, but all the new techniques had been covered, and she was going to finish it in Shetland.
After two good weeks, it was (as always!) a wrench saying goodbye. Val went on up to Shetland to be met by Kathy, and they were able to get over to Fair Isle as planned. And I tidied away one lot of J&S yarn and got out another – my teaching materials for Knit Camp….