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Knit City 2017

Love, love, love!

I spent a bit of my weekend at the PNE Forum, walking in what felt like a meadow of yarn and fabric. Each year brings bigger and better things for Knit Social, and Knit City 2017 was as awesome as I expected!

Part of what really gets me excited about Knit City is seeing everyone’s projects shown off. Every person at Knit City was wearing a piece that they had made, from shawls to vests to sweaters to full on dresses. It’s an amazing collection of talent and time and devotion.

I loved how normal it is for everyone to just set up their shit and go to town. There were tons of people just sitting down, eating hotdogs while they knitted. That level of mastery is something I would like to achieve one day. People who didn’t know each other were openly talking about their projects and giving each other advice.

Another one of my favourite discoveries is sashiko stitching, from A Threaded Needle. It pretty much addresses my penchant for small, obsessive and repetitive movement. I was beside a gaggle of ladies who were all melting down from how cool the technique was.

One of the many patterns that caught my eye was this one called Hamilton by Josée Paquin. Of course, I bought the book.

And Heidi Kirrmaier, the other 50% of this book? She’s a fucking engineer. All these amazing women with these backgrounds that totally break impressions of old women with teapots and aprons always make me so happy and proud.

And another stop I made was at the Pip & Pin booth, where I really got into this super nice short shirt called Mount Pleasant. I tried to purchase their lookbook, but apparently it wasn’t for sale. I was forwarded to their Ravelry page, which had more amazing stuff.

Highlights also included me running into my high school Math teacher, Mrs. Robertson. Glad to report that she had retired ten years ago, and is happily weaving and collecting looms as part of the Greater Vancouver Weavers’ and Spinners’ Guild.

Lastly, here is the obligatory (but partial) photo of my haul. It was difficult to hold back, friends. And yes, I have more than one of each of those skeins.

On my way out, I said goodbye to Amanda at the Knit Social booth.

Amanda: “You’re leaving already?”

Me: “I don’t want to, but…”

I touched my bag lightly, which was already barfing yarn and merch.

Me: “I must leave.

Weaving Classes at Sanjo Silk Studios

It started as a post on Instagram, as one of the Knitting Ladies from Knit Social, Amanda, had been busting out beautiful scarves like nobody’s business.

Yarning for more… options

Part of my interest was from previous dealings with knitting some seriously variegated yarns. I really disliked the look of it when the colours got all tangled and stitched together. The colours pooled in odd ways, and it really drove me nuts. I know a lot of people like the way they look, but it just wasn’t for me. Here’s an image of a sweater I made, which was really fun to knit, but I only wore once. I really hated the pooling!

I had been looking for classes, and did initially sign up for one at Baaad Anna’s, however, that was later cancelled because we didn’t have enough people signed up! I was looking forward to it for so long! Did I flip out? Maybe a little bit. I’m pretty dramatic about this stuff, guys.

A few days later, like a misty dream on an enchanted seascape with the clouds parting at the sound of three cherubs singing a sustained note, in the form of a Facebook post, Amanda sent me a link to Sanjo Silk’s Weaving Classes.

Get Me A Seat in This Class, Woman!

The classes ran from 7pm to 9pm each Wednesday for one month. They were held at their studio in Granville Island, which was awesome because it gave me the opportunity to hop on the little False Creek ferries in the evening.

Apart from learning a new craft, I was excited at the prospect of me getting out of the house. It became something to which I looked forward after work, and was a welcome break from simply turning off my monitor and firing up Netflix.

It was a small class, just four of us around a table in the middle of the studio. Once in a while, some tourists would walk by and point, making me feel a little bit like I was in a fishbowl. (But then again, it might also be attributed to the fact that Sanjo Silk has some fucking amazing shit.)

We were introduced to the Ashford Knitter’s Loom, and I totally fell in love. It was a foldable little guy that came with its own bag. A loom in a bag. What the…? Heck, yes!

We had some weird experiments with beautiful yarns, which I matched with some from my stash.

😍

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Totally Worth It

Jo was a wonderful instructor, and my classmates and I had so much fun with our looms. We learned the basics of weaving, of course, but also had the chance to play around with decorative elements by skipping lines and looping yarns around one another. I took to the task completely, and I knew from the get-go that I was going to love weaving.

There was an intro to the technicals, of course, but it was pretty much up to our own imaginations to see what trouble we could get into.

We all ended up purchasing our own Ashford looms after the last class. I got a 16″ rigid heddle loom with a 12.5 reed. The awesome thing was that while I didn’t enjoy knitting lighter/fingering weight yarn, weaving this weight was so enjoyable! It’s so different when it comes to weaving.

The drape is so nice, and I didn’t feel like I was working with dental floss all around my fingers. Perfect!

I’ve been weaving like a mad motherfucker for months now! Here’s the same yarn from the Grace sweater that I ripped up and turned into scarves!

Look at that texture! Look at all these exclamation points! I’ve worked myself up into a tizzy!

And here is an image of Tina wearing a sample square I made with some leftover yarn, looking like something right out of Dr. Zhivago because cat.

 

The Perks of Making Your Own Clothing

One of my favourite things ever about knitting is that I can re-do a lot of my old projects. Because I know how it’s constructed, I’m able to adjust. “Frogging” is a term for when you unravel a garment, I think because the yarn makes a funny “rrrrrrbbbbbb” sound when you yank on it.

Some people may hate the idea of frogging a project, but I’m kind of okay with it. For example, this bad boy was a cardigan I made a few years back:

Amiga

It was one of the first sweaters I had tried with a seed stitch, along with a few other modifications. It was a great sweater to learn on.

I had also splurged a little on the yarn and bought my first handful of SweetGeorgia Yarn’s Superwash Worsted. I still recall walking into the yarn store for the first time and feeling so excited to purchase “legit yarn.”

But every time I wore it, part of the neck and shoulders didn’t sit right. Perhaps I had modified it too much, or I had missed a few structural elements, but it kept sliding off my shoulders.

I researched all the ways I could possibly fix this; including reinforcing the back neck with single crochet stitches, as well as lining the edges with thicker hemming. I even thought about just knitting the cardigan shut and turning it into a pullover.

In the end, I realized that I was beginning to hate wearing this sweater as much as I had enjoyed making it.

And the very cool thing I realized is that I could just start over.

I didn’t have to give it away to some poor sod who would have to deal with the shitty construction. I didn’t have to feel bad and stuff it in the back of my closet. Best of all, I didn’t need to throw it away.

Another thing to note is the quality of this yarn. Because of my little splurge, the yarn itself held strong over the years, even after a few trips to the washing machine. It didn’t break apart when I frogged it, and neither did the colours really change.

It was like I went yarn shopping inside my closet and found a new addition to my stash.

Awesome, right?!