In Wales, Day 5

Yesterday Amy Singer, one half of the P3 organizing crew, gave us a nice long class in designing lace knitting. There are about 14 students, all of us at different levels of mastery and knittingness. We were given lovely gifts–canvas shoulder bags with all kinds of handpicked knitting swag and beautiful, beautiful yarn. My three skeins included a semisolid red Falkland Merino/Nylon fingering weight blend from Alisha Goes Around, a skein of Indigo Dragonfly‘s merino sock in a sweet grey blend called Have Fun Storming The Castle (!), and a soft mossy green alpaca from Anzula. I am content. We spent the afternoon and all of this morning working on blending designs for possible shawls, and then swearing under our breath and frogging until our yarns had halos from the rough usage. Then there would be cries of triumph as someone would throw down a sample. Me? By the end of the day yesterday I had frogged my sample six times and hated my chosen patterns, and today I began anew with fresh spirit and was making progress. Just about then, lunch arrived, and after lunch, the vendors! Oh, the vendors. Two Welsh yarn dyers with lovely, lovely blends… I bought from Fyberspates, and I’d made a deal with myself only to buy projects’ worth of yarn now (not single balls, because they are lovely and not useful for anything). So, I purchased enough 4-ply Sportweight Superwash Scrumptious (a blend of silk and superwash merino) in Slate, for a sweater, and enough Faery Wings (isn’t that a wonderful name for a yarn?), a silk/mohair/nylon blend, which has no listed color but has shades of gold, red, pink, teal, and copper in it, for a shawl or maybe a Liesl. I wandered around for a while, holding them gently in my arms.

This afternoon, Brenda Dayne, the other half of our lovely leadership duo, gave a class on creating top-down raglan sweaters. It was a really helpful class and I’m hoping to put the ideas to work tonight, and begin a raglan sweater using the lace techniques Amy taught and the Scrumptious yarn (if I brought the appropriate needles). (Okay, note: That did not happen–perhaps tomorrow?)

As we knit and asked questions, the Welsh countryside outside turned dramatically from a beautiful sunny morning, pale blue sky, brilliant emerald green grass, dotted with dark-brown and copper trees and the creamy yellow of sheep in the distance, to have a leaden sky and then rain. The wind, blowing in through the propped door, smelled incredible, like a clear night. It would blow through and cool my hands, hot from holding the needles so long and so tightly. At one point we went outside for a photo, and my jeans ended up soaked from the wet grass. I was so happy.

Oh, I hear knitters gathering in the hall for TV watching and, most likely, more knitting. I have to find some mindless knitting now. Maybe a top-down raglan sweater with lace detailing? How hard could it be? Brenda makes it look so easy…