This past weekend I was able to attend a sock knitting workshop with one my knitting heroes, Lucy Neatby (and my friend from Ravelry, Sam (aka zyrene).
As you can see, Lucy is a very colourful lady. (She also had on one pink and one blue Doc Martin, and a pair of tiny mis-matched socks as her earrings.) This energy and creativity is definitely evident in all her patterns, and in tips and tricks she taught us.
We made two swatches over the course of the day. The first (see below), used a Channel Islands cast on (the lovely nubby bit at the top), and then we tried her fabulous garter stitch heel (which I will be making use of very soon, I think). Next up was a neat method for increasing while knitting in rib, along with some ideas as to where and why we might want to do that. And then she showed us her modified conventional bind-off.
My swatch isn’t particularly neat, mostly because I was using needles a little too large for my yarn so I could really see what the stitches were doing. Lucy talks a lot about making sure your stitches are happy, and with everything so large, I could really see what she was talking about.
In swatch #2 we did a crochet cast on right on the needle (none of that crochet a chain and then try to pick up stitches nonsense), a Turkish heel (which really needs to have the corners fixed, but that is part of its nature), and made a start on her toe-chimney technique for grafting. We received a very extensive handout, so I will be able to practice all the techniques and add them to my repertoire.
I also picked up a copy of her new book [amazon_link id=”097828982X” target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]Cool Knitters Finish in Style[/amazon_link] and her older book [amazon_link id=”0973394005″ target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]Cool Socks, Warm Feet[/amazon_link]. I wanted to get her sock knitting DVDs too, but my budget only stretched so far. (I was pleased to discover that she offers a subscription service for her DVDs. I’m trying very hard to talk the husband into letting me sign up to get all the ones I want.)
She also talked about what she calls “Navajo knitting” (an extension of a spinning technique called Navajo plying that allows you to turn one strand of fibre/yarn into three), and many, many other things. I came away tired, happy, and very inspired. I can’t wait to knit my next pair of socks.
Totally unrelated, but still making me very happy: I have a new theme for my blog, made for my by my husband. If you read my blog through a reader, please take a few moments to stop by and take a look.