Current project: purple cardigan for a 1 year old, about 1/3 of the way done.
I moved to the mountains of northern Georgia this summer, and have been busy settling into my new job and adjusting to life in the South. One of my greatest discoveries has been a fabulous yarn store in Franklin, North Carolina called Silver Threads and Golden Needles. They have an abundant variety of yarns and tools, as well as helpful and friendly staff. What a gem when many places I need to go for necessities are over an hour and a half away. I recently picked up yarn for all my Christmas presents in one spot!!
The owners of this yarn store recently hosted a knitting retreat in the mountains north of Franklin, and it was a wonderful way to spend my first weekend off from my new job. I met fabulous fellow knitters, enjoyed great food and company, and learned several new skills and patterns.
The location was beautiful, just a few turns and then several miles off the main highway. I was under an hour from home, but felt as though I was in a different world. We stayed in 3-story "cabins," and even with the rural location we were definitely NOT roughing it. Each cabin had 4 bedrooms, two bathrooms, a full kitchen, and many places both indoor and out to relax and craft. They also had hot tubs, though I never got around to making use of one. Talk about relaxing!
The group spent most of the daytime in a clubhouse down the road, where we ate meals, took classes, and discussed the various projects we had brought with us. Being the overachiever I am, I signed up for both of the classes that were offered.
The first class was for a knitted scarf with "bobble" fringe. I was glad to have some instruction on the directions, and those of us who took the class were "bobbling fiends" the rest of the weekend! I learned a few new skills that weekend, both provisional cast-on (so you can keep those starting stitches "live" to work later), and cable cast-on, a better way to add stitches on as you are working , the base of each bobble. My provisional cast on did not work well when I needed to make them live again, so I think I need more practice with that, but the cable cast on is now my new way to add stitches to any piece. The body of the scarf made use of "short rows," which I learned through a tutorial the pattern mentioned, click here to see that. After blocking, the scarf is complete and so cute!
The second class was about making a felted scarf. I have never felted before, and this was not the traditional knitted felting, but rather working with wool fibers by hand. I did not take pictures of every step of the process, but essentially you create layers of wool fiber on art felt paper, needle felt them together, spray the work with cold water until soaked, roll it up, and agitate it in a drying machine. Afterwards boiling water dissolves the paper, and the fibers have felted into a new piece. the important thing is that the inner layers are perpendicular to each other so they can "grab" each other- my first piece is by no means perfect, but I'm looking forward to trying it again!
The last project we worked on was making clay pins for the different scarves, a straignt pin for the knitted scarf and a round clasp for the felted one. We hand-worked the clay, and cooked it in the kitchen oven for 25 minutes. The picture on the right is of the two I made, based ont he awesome examples provided by our instructor Sue.
Many thanks to Virginia, Amy, and Kristen for such a wonderful weekend! I can't wait until the next one!
I hope your crafting has brought you equal joy and satisfaction.