oh, there is nothing like new england in the fall and this past weekend, i was lucky enough to be an instructor at the first WEBS fall retreat, which took place in the heart of the berkshire mountains.
not at the store (though we did get to spend some quality time there!), but on the beautiful UMASS amherst campus, in their teaching hotel and conference center, surrounded on all sides by views of new england.
and very fun people.
even though this was my third weekend away this month and i barely got out of ohio with my pants on straight, i was thrilled to be there with one hundred enthusiastic knitters, the ever-attentive WEBS staff, and my fellow instructors (who know how to make any event fun).
with just three days at home between waterloo and amherst and long to-do list to accomplish in that time, it was with a huge sigh of relief that i sank into my seat on the plane and pulled out my current knitting project.
i started this little eyelet cardigan in our chebris lace yarn (now available in this delicious frappé shade) while still in canada and knit most of the first sleeve during my plane rides home. but i had not touched it since and was eager to get back to work on it.
by the time i got to amherst, i was nearly all the way through the sleeve cap. what i love, love, love about this project is how quickly it is knitting up, compared to my previous two garment knits—much smaller in size and without cabling to complicate things, a very relaxing and mindless knit (just what i needed).
heh, or so i thought; apparently i was so exhausted that i forgot how to count to seven and had to rip back to the start of the sleeve cap. then i did it again while we knitted at the dinner table that evening. oy, vey!
third time was the charm, however and i finally got that piece off the needles.
of course, there were all sorts of distractions playing havoc with my focus, haha, like the trip to WEBS on saturday night instead of knitting. and these two honey badgers with their tricks . . .
or these guys . . . it was such a fun group that no one even minded the line stretching to the back of the store all evening. of course there was serious stuff going on too, like classes . . . an i was such a focused teacher that i forgot to take enough photos of them.
on saturday morning, we knit mini double happiness shawls and everyone did really well.
then in the afternoon, we blocked them, along with blocking several other types of projects, like socks, cowls, and sweater pieces.
my little DH was knit ahead of time in chebris lace as a test knit for my pattern; once off the blocking wires it is as light and airy as can be (which is why i’m knitting a lace cardi in the same yarn).
many of the students in the blocking class left early, exhausted by a whole day of intense classes and late night knitting on friday. but i stayed behind with tina to stretch and block her triangle shawl, which was knit from handspun alpaca yarn that her daughter brought back to her from ecuador. i’m not sure what pattern she used, but the shawl is exquisite—some of the fluffiest alpaca i’ve ever seen, with the charming texture of spindle spun yarn. she couldn’t be happier; the shawl blocked out much bigger than she expected.
on sunday morning i had a last breakfast together with the other instructors and then spent some quiet hours knitting in the lobby with kate atherly while we waited for our shuttle to the airport. we were each designing something and quite happy to knit side by side without too much chat. just lovely!
i used the time to cast on (three different times, oh well) for one of the cardigan fronts and once i was settled with the right stitch count, it was off to the races. i had that front piece done by the time i landed in ohio that evening. have i mentioned that i love this cardigan?? so quick, so light, so pretty . . . or it will be, once it’s blocked.
admittedly right now, the pieces look like so much crumpled paper, but trust me, they will come to life with silky-soft goodness and glow, once they’ve had a hot bath, a spanking, and some serious pinning and steaming.
i know you can’t feel this, but the fabric is a lit-tle too pettable; i have to be careful not to wear it out.
as you can see in the photos above, i’ve now got a third piece to join the first two completed ones—on monday i was so brain dead from the previous couple of weeks that i gave myself permission to knit for most of the day, only breaking for one short meeting at the office and then for a nap later on. and still i got another full piece completed before dinner; now there are TWO fronts.
and a respectable stack of little sweater pieces.
this morning i cast on for the back piece and got through the hem lace sections before forcing myself to put it away (i did have knit night tonight, so i was able to bring it back out and add a couple of inches during that time). just look at the gleam on that yarn, wow. mohair is so pretty anyway, but such soft and well cared for mohair?? priceless!
and because it’s knit in laceweight yarn, it all smooches down to a little package that fits into a slim project bag which i can take anywhere. what’s not to love?
one of the things that has made my time at home so busy in between trips is our local yarn discovery tour. we’re open for extended hours during the yarn crawl and the shop has been very busy. it all ends this saturday though—if you live anywhere in the vicinity, please stop by and visit. there is a free pattern to participants and door prizes too.
we’ve picked up a few new faces at our open knit knit night on wednesdays through this event, which we are happy about; always great to have a full house on knit night, right?
after i wrote my blog on wednesday, i did indeed steam block the rest of my dock and cabin sweater pieces. i ws a little anxious about how that yoke would fit together, so i decided should just block it and see.
now it’s looking much more like the right shape, phew. i’m sure it will be fine.
second sleeve also got steamed to match the first and everything is ready to be joined up with the fronts as soon as those neck and button bands are complete.