This past weekend, the Knit and Ski event took place, and I hope you took advantage of all the events! While the classes started on Thursday, Friday evening’s reception at Sew Steamboat during our regular Sit ‘n Stitch brought knitters from here and elsewhere together to meet the instructors: Lucy Neatby, Cat Bordhi, Galina Khmeleva, and Ann Budd.
While the reception happened upstairs, several of our local yarn producers were on hand downstairs! Rosemary Farrell of WZ-Felt, Lorrae of Rance’s Spinning Ewes and Sharon from Snow Diamond Alpacas were all around to discuss their products and processes. Galina also brought over a selection of her books, yarn, and Orenburg shawls to share and sell, and her husband George was on hand to answer questions and help out as well.
Over the weekend, my lucky butt sat in a classroom with Galina Khmeleva, one of the most respected lace knitting instructors in the country. As she taught us the practice and theory of Orenburg lace, she also entertained us with the history of Orenburg and the Orenburg lace tradition, and stories of her personal history here and in Russia. Galina’s no-nonsense yet humorous teaching style inspired me. I marveled at her ability to communicate her knowledge so effectively in her second language.
I know I always will learn something unexpected when I take a class, and that little bit of knowledge usually provides an abundant return on the investment of time and money. For this lace class, that realization came between my two days of class. (Yes, two days. Yes, I love lace. Yes, I am a huge knitting geek.)
On Saturday evening, I went home and worked on finishing my tiny Orenburg lace triangular shawl so I could apply the next part of the process on Sunday. As I knitted all evening, I realized that the Orenburg lace, completely worked in garter stitch, had penetrated my soul. Working just in the knit stitch combined with the astoundingly gauzy and intricate shawls produced results in the perfect way for me to ease my grief when I’ve experienced a loss. My mourning shawls are usually done in garter stitch as the soothing click of the needles and easy swirl of the yarn soothe my spirit and help me to build up those protections I need to get back into the non-mourning world.
Plus, it’s easier for me to knit through tears than to purl.
Thus, Orenburg lace utilizes the perfect techniques to integrate into my mourning shawls. As I get to the place where my grief eases, the garter stitch becomes a bit boring and I approach the lower edge of the shawl, I can start placing the traditional motifs and even create an amazing pointed edging to graft to the lower edge of the shawl. I can even plan ahead a bit and create the shawl in the traditional fashion with one side of the edging being knit first and then the other being integrated as I knit the shawl diagonally (for a triangular shawl) or straight across (for a rectangular or square shawl). Add to all of these wonderful advantages the gorgeous laceweight yarn in soft fibers such as merino, cashmere, alpaca, and silk and my experience transcends mere grief to creating the wings of an angel to cover my friend or myself.
So, I have to say, my experience with the Knit and Ski event this year has been exhilarating. My head is full of knowledge, my heart a bit lighter, and my spirit inspired to create a new shawl pattern.
A good weekend, all in all.
The Knitting Week in Steamboat
Sit ‘n Stitch – Friday, 4-6pm – Sew Steamboat: Mariana and Gayle create a fabulous atmosphere for conversing, learning and needlework of all sorts, so come on down and join us!
Yarn It! – Saturday, 10am-12n – Mountain Brew: Come on down to Mountain Brew for a yummy beverage and tasty treat while knitting and chatting! ***Quick note – I will not be here on Saturday as I will be in Long Beach, CA for the National Needlearts Association trade show.
Knitting at the College – Monday, 1-3pm – Bristol Hall 2nd Floor Lounge at CMC: Join these fun folks to knit and laugh and have a good ol’ time. I swear, I’m going to make it someday….
Crochet for Kids – Monday, 4-5pm – Sew Steamboat: Get hooked on crochet! Play with your friends while learning this amazing craft and creating cute projects. We’re going to have some fun! This is a 7 week class. Cost is $85 for the series. Call Sew Steamboat at 879-3222 for more information and to make a reservation for your favorite young friend.
SOCKS! First Time Socks – Tuesday, 5-7pm – Sew Steamboat: This class will teach you the basics of knitting socks including knitting in the round, short rows, picking up stitches to form the heel gusset and the Kitchener stitch to finish the toe. Great class for first time sock knitters. This class is three sessions held every other week over five weeks. Cost is $75. Call Sew Steamboat at 879-3222 for more information and to make a reservation.
Knitting Group – Tuesday 6pm – Yampa Public Library, 310 Main St., Yampa: All levels are welcome. Bring yarn and knitting needles. For more information call 970-638-4654.
I’ll be gone from Wednesday until Sunday this week off at the TNNA trade show in Long Beach, CA. Watch my Lesbian Housewyfe page on Facebook or follow me on Twitter (@lahousewyfe) for pictures and updates from the show. I think it’s going to be ton of fun!
If you missed Cat Bordhi’s Sweet Tomato Heel Sock class, you have a chance to learn the technique this February! I’ll be starting a series teaching this fun new way to make socks on Saturday, February 16th. Or, if you want to play with a new technique, the Metamorph class is starting on February 12th. We’ll be making this cool new faux moebius cowl and learning two-color brioche knitting and keyhole buttonholes.
Lots of fun stuff starting up in February!