Sunday, October 11, 2009

Bad news, Good news!

The bad news is that my honey has been sick. We were supposed to go to a picnic yesterday for work that had been on the calendar for quite awhile. We'd RSVP'd long ago and unfortunately with him hacking and coughing and feeling crummy we had to decline. The good news is that my friend Loraine who was planning on being in Maryland for a week or so starting last Friday called me to ask if I wanted to go to a lace knitting class in Delaware with her yesterday. Since I couldn't go to the picnic, I told her I'd go and boy, am I glad that I did! Here's a picture of Loraine at the class.

The class was taught by Franklin Habit, who I've never heard of prior to Loraine's invitation, but I surely know of him now! He is a very gifted knitter, historian, and teacher, as well as having written a book of knitting themed cartoons called "It Itches". Loraine got me a copy of his book and he graciously signed it for me. Loraine knew that since the class was going to present the history of lace knitting (as well as knitted lace, they are not the same thing) and the knitting styles of Orenburg, Shetland, and Estonian lace, I'd be hooked and want to go. Being a history nut, I really enjoyed everything. He explained the differences in styles, construction, and development. He is a contributor to Knitty's online magazine about historical knitting, and has posted re-done patterns for Victorian and Pre-Victorian projects.

Prior to starting the history part of the class, Franklin got us all started with a simple rosebud motif (not shown here, I did the motif and then ripped it out so I could start the larger scarf pattern shown here), and did some question and answer on the various stitches and explained charting and reading charts. Then while he was talking we were able to work at our own pace on whatever we wanted. I began the scarf and got to about row 15 on it, but I haven't decided if I'm going to rip it out and start again now that I have the hang of doing the slipped edging. I will probably do the entire scarf project at some point, he had one that he'd made and it was esquisite, with an added knitted edging all along the sides and ends. Franklin had quite a few pieces of knitted lace he'd made to show and pass around, and it's gotten me enthusiastic again about doing this very interesting (and not very difficult) type of knitting. I've actually learned some of the lace stitches that he demonstrated in class through my Socks that Rock club socks. Many of them are lacy and without knowing what I was doing, I ended up expanding my knitting through them. I'd made a lace shawl and a lace scarf in the past, they weren't all that nicely done...but I think my knitting skills are better now so I am looking forward to trying again.

When we got home, I pulled out some of the lace patterns I had already at home and found one that was mentioned in the class from Queen Elizabeth I's knitted silk stockings and I think I may do that as a scarf for practice. It's from Mrs. Montague's pattern, she was the Queen's silk woman, and I can't wait to try the pattern, it looks pretty easy.

This is Franklin as he was signing his book for me. Add this great class to the time in the car on the way there and back to chat with Loraine, as visiting a great knit shop (though I didn't buy any yarn) made it a great day. :) Now to get knitting and finish a couple of projects and get them off the needles so I can get some lace going! :)

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