Well, a couple of days ago I wrote the following but I am only now getting a chance to post. So here is what I wrote on Monday:
I am on a computer for the first time in three days! I am in at the University of Stirling, in Bridge of Allen, in the Central Belt of Scotland. And Knit Camp proper is about to begin!!
I travelled down on Friday and was met by Jo and Kate (and Zoe, Jo’s 5 year old) off the bus at Perth and was taken back to Ewan’s house where we all had a meal. (Doug is Jo’s husband and Ewan is Doug’s brother – and the two men have both taken a week off work to help ferry and carry and generally be invaluable behind the scenes.) Deb Robson was also there, and she and I shared a chalet the first night. I had been in email contact with er over the years, as she is writing a book about sheep breeds, and it was lovely to meet her face to face at last!!
My weekend job was to man a stall at the Scottish Wool Centre at Aberfoyle. The idea was for Jo and Kate to be there too, but on Saturday morning there was a phone call saying one of the tutors from the States had been stopped at the airport as she had no work permit. Further phone calls ascertained that the agency involved had received the paperwork but hadn’t sent out one bit. As it was the weekend nothing could be done except stop a couple of US folk from leaving home until today. Jo and Doug left Stirling at 04.30 this morning to drive down to Sheffield to be at the door of the relevant office at 9 am when it opened. Fortunately they had copies of all the relevant emails etc with them to prove that they had done their bit as required. Hopefully that will all be sorted this morning.
Meanwhile I spent Saturday and Sunday talking wool and knitting to visitors to the Centre. The stall was a mixture of my stuff, stuff from Jo’s shop, Yarn Gathering, and stuff advertising Knit Camp.
I found it very interesting watching the tourists – all types and nationalities. At one point my long-forgotten schoolboy French came in to play and clinched a sale! I had a calculator with me, so when a couple of ladies off a cruise boat found their credit card would not work in the ATM, I took all their USD and Euros in exchange for the J&S jumper weight they wanted for some colour work!!
To day is my recovery day! I am sorting some stuff out, getting organised, looking through my teaching notes. I can’t get into my class room until tomorrow morning, so can’t do the final preparation until then – I know the electronics and projector are in there (as we looked through the window yesterday!) but will have to hope the systems talk to each other. I have 23 in my class tomorrow which will be hard work, but if the worst comes to the worst I will have to do the Powerpoints in them in two halves on my laptop – which is why I have a large laptop anyway!!
And now it is Wednesday and I am having my first chance to breather… What fun it all is…
On Monday I ended up helping with registration – which meant I got a chance to meet all sorts of people. The main problem with having a full teaching load is that you don’t get a chance to socialise, so it was nice to be able to put some names to faces.
Yesterday was the first day of teaching, and I was doing introductory Fair Isle for 6 hours, three in the morning and a three in the afternoon. It was really nice to have a full day – it meant that by the time people left the class room even the slowest knitters had completed a couple of patterns on their 120 st hat/swatch. I had a variety of different slide shows on my computer and the technology in the classroom is great. However, the University only told us that we could use our laptops, they didn’t tell us we needed a specific cable to do so…. Fortunately I had brought a pen drive which I was able to load and stick in the system, but it meant I was not able to do any real time playing about with patterns as I had intended.
This morning I have taught lace design. A smaller class – only 16 not 23. I made them work really hard but they seemed to follow what we were doing. As space in my luggage is severely limited the samples are having to work hard too – many for this class and the triangles class on Friday, and my Orkney pi as a sample this morning, a sample for Jo tomorrow, and a table cloth for my stall last weekend and this!! The carpet in the class room made an excellent back ground as I laid things out for all to see!
This afternoon I have time to breathe again and to go and get more food. From tomorrow morning it is full tilt until I am in Shetland. I will try and keep a diary…