oh, it’s good to be home

haha, if this doesn’t look like trouble, i dunno what does . . .

wait—i take that back . . .

this really looks like trouble.
hmm, two guys just standing around in a couple of slöfocks, asking to model for the blog??

sorry, that doesn’t sound right, does it? maybe i’m overly suspicious . . .

and with that . . . badda bing, badda boom.

waddaya know, they’re clowning around in the very next frame.
but how can we not love ‘em?

once it got started, last weekend went by in a flash with three solid days of teaching and the travel between. we arrived in frederick, MD on thursday evening and had a wonderful sweater fitness class out at the shalimar yarns farm on friday.

it was a gorgeous spring day, warm and sunny, not yet hot and hazy—a really fine one. our class was full and everyone came ready to work and enjoy the company. i even got to visit with our friend anne marie, who we miss terribly each week in spinning class. i should have taken lots of photos, but i got so wrapped up in teaching the class that i forgot. i didn’t even visit the donkey can you believe it?

we did however, get a very nice photo shoot squeezed in at the end of the day—lara wore her sticks and stones cardigan test knit and david brought his pullover.

david is even kind of smiling here, wow; lara must have worked a magic spell on him.
actually, we have lots of nice, smiley photos from that day—you’ll be amazed.

our time in frederick was too short, for sure, but i’m almost certain i’ll be going back in september to teach at least one more workshop (probably the finishing series—stay posted).

afterward, we all grabbed a nice seafood dinner to relax and then david and i headed out to alexandria where i would teach at fibre space yarn shop for the next two days.

in their pretty upstairs teaching space we first had an all-day shawl project class, where participants cast on for and got fairly far along on the ice fantasia faroese shawl. lots of knitting time is built into the workshop, interspersed with instructional segments and skill practice.

the purpose of the class is to give students the time and skills to begin a project that is a bit complex for them—one that they may not find the time or quietude to begin at home. for instance, the trickiest part of this shawl is the setup and shoulder shaping; one needs a block of quiet time to sort out all the components and put them together, then get the rhythm set.

this class is a chance to do that without the distractions one can run into at home. plus, it’s a relaxing environment where you can work in the company of fellow knitters—what more could you want? the class can be extended into a shop KAL to keep participants motivated, too.

it was an excellent class day; i’m so glad i had a chance to do this one.

that morning i left david in charge of figuring out a date night for that evening. i though it would be fun to get out into old town alexandria to eat and do something fun—we are city people who don’t live in the city any more, so i like to take advantage of chances like this one.

unfortunately, fate would intervene—after the short walk back to the hotel and a little nap, i woke up to see that the trees were bent sideways in the wind and the sky was ominously dark—a big storm was descending. no night out for us.

instead, we ordered in some yummy chinese from shanghai peking—seriously grateful that they delivered in such a bad storm—and watched a fun movie provided via david’s awesome tech skills.

it turned out to be just what i was hoping our date night would be.

the next day i taught a sock design class that equaled the one on saturday, but i did something wrong when i took pictures and they all turned out really dark (ack, it’s far too easy to move camera settings without realizing it . . .). or possibly, it was the weather—dark and rainy ALL day long. and being in our sweet bird’s nest of a classroom, i also forgot to document the shop downstairs so you could get an inside look. bad blogger . . .

trust me, it’s super cute and very complete with everything a knitter could desire, including comfortable knitting space. danielle, the owner, already invited me to come back, so i promise i’ll make it a priority to do the place justice on my next visit.

when 5 o’clock rolled around, david picked me up and we immediately set out for home. it’s a long drive to start at that hour, but we wanted to wake up in our own bed on monday morning, ready to work (hence the urgency to have date night when we had the chance!). since i go away again on friday to teach at yarnover in minneapolis, i have lots on this week’s to-do list.

david graciously did the driving and while it was still light, i worked on finishing up basketweave sock #2. i had a chance to add some inches during our sock design class and i was on a roll. it’s just beautiful in zen yarn garden squooshy, isn’t it?

and ta-da—it’s now complete. i was quite concerned that i would run out of yarn—back at the heel i was already worrying about it.

but i managed to finish with what i had. well, yeah, i do have to weave in that yarn end.
don’t laugh—i left it like that for a reason

yes, it was very close indeed.
thankfully, i made the executive decision to leave out one row of plain stockinette before starting the toe shaping and apparently, that saved the day. if i hadn’t, the last four or five shaping rnds would not have been possible.

since i’ve been home, i’ve been focusing on myriad secret projects—i have about half a dozen on the needles right now. a couple of them will be done soon and i’ll be able to work on more public items—i can’t wait.

i haven’t worked on my holda sweater since returning, but with another trip right around the corner, and this being just about the only item i can knit in public, it’s going to have a whole weekend in the sun.

i’m about halfway to the armhole bindoff on this second front piece. while i had the camera upstairs yesterday, i put the first front on the dress form to snap a few photos and see if the fit is to my liking.

it IS—very much so.
of course, it will look much sleeker and more elegant once the fabric is blocked but i can see already that it has the fit i was hoping for—comfy, but not so voluminous it makes one look like a tank. and it has a nice verticality to draw the eye up.

it would be nice to work on this today and forget about the pile of stuff on my desk that needs attention. but friday, this is what i’m curling up with on the plane . . .

and speaking of being back to work, i bet you all wnat to know who won the giveaway copy of carol feller’s book, scrumptious knits??

that would be frances e; congratulations frances!

there is much more to talk about, but i’m going to stop now—i’m preparing a garden post for friday that you can read while i travel. so many things are waking up and we are renovating again out there—wait til you see.

there’s nothing that says welcome home like a package from a friend—today we were the lucky recipient’s of a box of baked goods, sent to us by candyO (erica’s mom). she’s so sweet, i can’t stand it!

24 Responses to “oh, it’s good to be home”

  1. Savannagal says:

    What sock yarn did you use for your Basketweave #2 socks? Thanks.

  2. Lara says:

    Oh my gosh Anne, we had such a great time! Not only was the class fun it was a fantastic learning experience! It was great to see you and David. Andy is still talking about his modeling experience with Paul! Slofocking….

    I loved knitting sticks n stones, it’s a great pattern. This will be one I do again. I was really glad to have it with me on our trip home as it proved to be warm and comfortable during the surprise cold snap.

    The basket weave socks are really cool and Im going to knit a pair in the future.

  3. Tamara Lin says:

    When I saw that photo of David, my very first thought was “Boy does he look happy!” Seriously, it really was. I think after seeing David for years (?) now , and realizing how expressive he is (or isn’t), that really is a pretty joyous capture you’ve got there. :-)

    I’m so glad y’all had a nice trip. I greatly enjoy your pictures & stories, as always.

  4. Dianne says:

    I really enjoy taking time out to read your posts.
    I’m curious about the blue clip on the shoulder of holda in the last photo. It looks to me like a hair perming pin! or is it a new knitting gizmo we haven’t come across yet.

  5. Jody says:

    Great post Anne! And please tell your David that he has a lovely ‘almost’ smile and that we’d all love to see it more often. :-)

  6. mikatana says:

    Who got the 2 sock patterns?

  7. Kat Jorgensen says:

    Anne, sounds like you had a fabulous trip. I’ll have to make plans to visit FS the next time you’re there I’ve been once and I love it. Great knitting shop.

    And speaking of great, I *love* the Sticks and Stones sweater. Can’t wait to make this one. You’ve got another hit on your hands.

  8. Susan says:

    Ooohhh that cardian is shaping up beautifully!

    My Jordana Paige bag showed up today. Love it!

  9. Cathy says:

    Please, please, please teach another sweater fitting class in September in Frederick…..I was on the waiting list in case there were cancellations. Also would have driven to Alexandria had that specific class been taught!

  10. Karen Batchelor says:

    Anne – I’ve been reading your blog for only a few months now but have become a fan. I look forward to your “slice of life” posts that never fail to inspire me to knit more (am starting Hypoteneuse), garden more and enjoy life more:) Thanks for sharing all this – and David’s almost smile!!

  11. Paula says:

    Gorgeous knits & photos as always – looking forward to your lace class at Yarnover in MN this weekend! It will be sweater weather…

  12. erica says:

    lucky you! i love being a recipient of mom’s baked goods via fed ex. it’s such a joyous surprise!

  13. candy says:

    awwww! i’m honored to be included in your blog, thank you very much. i also am a new reader of your blog and have been thoroughly enjoying every post, what a wonderful writer you are anne, and of course and incredible designer and knitter!!!

  14. josiekitten says:

    Oh you can just see from the photos what fun you had! Welcome home!

  15. Ann says:

    Wow, you have been busy. I really hope to take one of your class one day!

  16. brandi says:

    You have been seriously busy. When your away for awhile coming home always seems so sweet.

  17. kyrie says:

    The class was great and it was so good to see you! Definitely looking forward to the finishing class in September!

  18. Chloe says:

    Please tell me you will be back in Frederick next year, Ann. Hopefully I will not have such a hectic spring as this one has been, and I will be able to take your sweater class – or any of your classes for that matter matter. You all looked like you were having so much fun! And the color of that basketweave sock is just scrumptious. And I’m not even a blue fan. P.S. I would talk about the hat models but I might get myself into trouble.

  19. Tina says:

    What a great post and just curious, do you come out to the southwest to teach? Would love to take your class :)

  20. Kat says:

    I am in love with that cardigan you are working on. I want to cast on this very moment!

  21. Marilyn says:

    I am eagerly awaiting publication of your Sitcks and Stones sweater pattern. I made your Rene cardigan this winter and love wearing it. I’ve been a knitter for over 50 years and your patterns are the best I’ve come across–bar none. You really get fit and design. Thanks for being out there for us fussy knitters and for all the time you devote to your wonderful blog. Not only have I become a fan but I have interoduced other serious knitters to your work and they love it, too.

  22. ChristineB says:

    Nice post with men having fun in knits!
    What pattern is the sweater in the first picture that the lady on the right side is wearing? The one with the pleats in front?

  23. Leah says:

    In the first pic (is that Debbie?) what is the name of her blue sweater? LOVE it!

  24. I am glad the class went well, I think some folks from my knitters group went. I very much wanted to come but was teaching a retreat the following day and I knew I would need the day to prepare! We will have to have you come & teach in Virginia sometime!