Friday, 13 September 2013

The Small Wool Gathering - The Deets!

The excitement is growing, Jenny and I have been feeding each other and our families with all the recipes we intend to present for the weekend.  Being on holiday together for a week should have helped but I have to confess we agreed that there is only so much Greek Salad, Hummus and Tdsadzik we thought we could serve you!  Then, together with Alli and Kathleen we are wine tasting (someone has to do it!!) and chatting about some lovely surprises.

We are up to other things as well Kathleen and I are deep in encouraging others to join in our KAL (Rachel and Sally joining in the fun) and Alli is organising yarn bombing at John Lewis!   I can't believe how much knitting activity a bunch of women can get up to.  If anyone else has news or a blog they would like us to link to on this page, please let me know

STOP PRESS - (well, things I forgot, how could I? !!) The deep fall edition of Knitty is out.   And it contains a pattern designed by Kathleen who also has a fab book out, Silver Screen knits.  Here is the link to Alli's blog about the yarnbombing at John Lewis and lastly a link to Valerie's new blog.

So - as promised  last time I blogged are are all the details of the classes Amy is going to give at The Gathering.

But firstly a huge welcome to Sally, Tricia and Chris who are going to join us as day guests. If you are still undecided we do have two more day guest places but need to knot as soon as possible for catering (and other secret!) purposes.

The timetable for the classes are as follows

Saturday am - AutopilotSocks
Saturday pm - Digital camera secrets for knitters
Sunday am - Spindling Silk

And this is what Amy writes about the courses - please read carefully - there is homework! :-)

Autopilot socks [non-wool friendly]

Learn Amy's super-easy toe-up sock recipe which she designed specifically to work with the characteristics of non-wool sock yarns. Bonus: it works well with woolly sock yarns too! It features an easy gusset, and a heel flap built with Amy's tweaked Japanese short- row technique, all 100% math free. Knit one, and you must might want this to be your sock recipe for life. The easily memorized pattern gives you lots of room to improvise, should you want to add texture, colorwork or lace to the foot and/or leg.

Supplies - please bring with you:

  • Yarn:- Your chosen sock yarn [non-wool or wool welcomed equally] 
  • Needles:- apropriately sized needles to match your sock yarn that will give the sock fabric that you like best; DPNs work beautifully with these techniques; if you prefer 2 circulars, there are a few places in the pattern where DPNs make the job easier, so please bring both.
  • Notions, etc:- at least 20 removable locking stitch markers, such as Clover's locking stitch markers, or safety pins
  • Note-taking materials [paper, writing implement of choice]

  • Homework:
  • - practice and be con"dently able to work Judy's Magic Cast-on
  • written instructions with illustrations:
  • video instructions, courtesy the lovely Cat Bordhi:

Digital Camera Secrets for Knitters

Because good photography is not just about the equipment you use, we'll spend some time talking about how to take a good picture of your knitwear! We'll talk about models, location, backgrounds, styling and more!

Whether your camera is in your phone, a cute little point-and-shoot or something with a few more features, taking better digital pictures is not rocket science. There are simple, concrete things you can do to make the photos you take better right now, without having to memorize your camera's manual. 
In this class, we'll demystify the three basics: ISO, aperture and shutter speed. We'll explore the science behind digital photography [just enough to enlighten; not so much as to put you to sleep]. We'll identify the key settings you want to use, and which simple settings can make a huge difference in your photography. We'll also discuss easy after-processing with iOS and Android apps (for smartphone pictures) and affordable alternatives to Photoshop for computer-based processing. These little details can make so much difference to your finished photos!
Note: almost all digital camera manuals can be downloaded from the manufacturer's website.

    Supplies - please bring with you:

    • your camera(s) and the manual, if you have it and a highlighter pen
    • something to accessory (shawl, scarf, hat) or garment, your choice!

    Experience level: 

    "I want to take better pictures without having to memorize my camera's manual."
    Some of the aspects of this class will focus on in-phone cameras like the iPhone 4 and up, the rest will apply to point-and-shoot and and advanced compact cameras. New DSLR users may find the content helpful, but this class is not meant for DSLR users.



    Spindling silk, a friendly introduction: learn to spin silk on a drop spindle

    It may sound intimidating, but it doesn't have to be. After this class, you will be able to spin silk yarn!
    Amy's allergy to wool means she jumped into spinning silk headfirst. Spinning Tussah on a spindle now ties with knitting as her favourite fibre-related pastime. Handspun silk is unlike anything you can buy, and an absolute dream to knit with!
    In this class, Amy will take you from cocoon to hanky to roving and get you spinning silk, guaranteed. Even if you've never touched a spindle, you will be successful in this class, turning silk hankies into beautiful, rustic yarn that you can knit with right away! We'll also learn the skills that will help you, with practice, become a confident spinner of Tussah and even slippery Bombay silk! We'll talk about the di fferent tools available for spinning, and explain the terms that spinners use so you'll know the difference between hankies, bells, caps, bricks, batts, top and roving...and which you might want to choose for your future spinning projects. 
      The class includes a kit assembled by Amy including a great starter spindle, and samples of all the fibres you'll work on in class and enough for you to continue to practice after class is over.

      all required supplies are provided in the kit 

      Homework: none.

      Experience level: "I want to learn to spin silk on a handspindle."No previous spindling experience is required. Spindlers who have had experience with wool and other animal fibres, but not silk, will also find this class beneficial. 

      Sounds like fun!


      Catherine & Co