Well what a week it’s been – learning and discovering so many things, teaching and giving and actually being productive for a change… although of course the path is never quite bump free
First up was teaching the new Crochet Shaping course, exactly 1 year to the day since I taught the Crochet Beginners class with Purlescence. We had a lovely crowd of intelligent, inquisitive people along for the ride, who are the best type to have on a class as they help point out the bits I’ve forgotten to say or taken for granted. I adore having a class full of people who ask questions! The new tech worked pretty well – a couple of tweaks and I think we’ve got it sorted, and I’m beavering away now putting the finishing touches to the Tunisian Basics course which runs in June.
I think the nicest complement I got from the day (and I’m paraphrasing as this is a week on, if you’re reading this and you remember exactly what you said please let me know and I’ll correct what follows) was:
It wasn’t like a workshop at all – it was like popping round to a friends for a bit of crochet and a natter and learning stuff by accident.
Learning can come in many forms, so of it literal and involving conscious effort to learn on your own behalf. I’ve had two instances of this in the last 7 days. First up I signed up for some knitting courses on Craftsy. I’ve done several of their courses before and found them useful and informative. The two I signed up for this week were Franklin Habit’s Heirloom Lace Edgings – if you are a knitter and want to know more about lace edgings and different ways of attaching them to your work (and why snowflakes should always be knit in yellow yarn) then this is an indispensable course. I also signed up for Lace Shawl Design, which I’m not enjoying quite as much but again is packed full of information. It’s aimed at knitters but I can see applying some of the info to crochet designs.
Another type of learning is that from which you learn something from even though you are doing something else at the time – for example, don’t photograph the missing bits of your stash for Ravelry, put it all away and then upload the photos. You won’t remember what the brand is and how much of it you’ve got by that point, I guarantee it! My other ‘non-learning-learning’ session this week was teaching the Shaping class. Any teaching involves just as much learning for the teacher as the students (or it should) and of course by 3am Sunday morning I had not so much ‘rewritten’ the course as ‘reordered’ it – for when it runs again in the future to give a more cohesive and logically structured course.
I also got two new stitch dictionaries in the shape of Robyn Chachula’s Visual Encyclopaedia and Edie Eckman’s “Around the Corner, Crochet Borders”. I love my reference books and I’m finding them indispensable in preparing for the texture and colour course in September. Robyn’s book is very well put together – I’ll do a review soon I promise, but I’m already using one of the stitch patterns.
I’ve started a new baby blanket, which may result in a new free pattern. I’m loving this reversible stitch, and the Vinni’s (as always) works beautiful for baby stuff.
I’ve made lots of progress this week on loads of different things. I’ve also finally cast on the first sleeve for the Jan Sweater. Having been knitting this sweater since August 2011 I’m really looking forward to finishing it, and while I still have two sleeves and the seaming to do I’m already fantasizing about the next project I will take up once I finish this..
I’m also on the last 3 rows of Honeymeade – although these rows are over 450stitches long so may take me a little while.. I have finally had to admit (temporary) defeat in the face of Frechen. My head is just not in right space to focus on this at the moment, so I’m calling a halt instead of getting more and more frustrated with it. I’m going to back away from it slowly for a couple of weeks and pick it up again next month.
In the course in the photographing of the stash I may have taken a couple of snapshots of the yarn I got from Purlescence to make the samples for the Texture and Colours course in September (gee, aren’t I organised?) This is Rooster Almerino DK.
and it’s lovely. A blend of 50% baby alpaca and 50% merino it’s squishy and soft and the palette of colours are strong without being overpowering – sort of deep subdued pastels if that makes sense. The colours are saturated without being overly bright giving a lovely rich luxurious feel to the palette. I’m just whittering now, their gorgeous. That’ll do. Of course I didn’t just buy yarn (who could?) but I was very restrained. I bought a lovely clasp for my Anais jacket..
and I also picked up one of Tulips new interchangeable Tunisian hooks, along with cable and (for some inexplicable reason) a pack of FOUR cable stops. Why they don’t sell them in packs of two I don’t know – I know we’ll all lose one down the back of the sofa, but trying to remember where I put the other three will never work!
Last weekend I popped up to the familial home to visit, well, my family. My mother decided that this year. instead of buying me (her eldest daughter) an easter egg. she would go unconventional (if you’ve met my mother you’ll know this is a habit of a lifetime). Along with a fabulous Vogue branded umbrella in navy blue and silver, and several ‘subtle’ reminders that it’s a Vogue umbrella (the furl strap to fasten the umbrella, the handle and the mechanism button are all branded suitably) I got a a book. Not just any book of course, but a copy of:
Not only does the title make it sound like owning a shawl is some form of terminal illness, but the introduction boasts of a whole career option I hadn’t thought of previously. Apparently during the 1980’s nearly every Canadian department store had it’s own Qualified Scarf Consultant. I want to know what’s involved in becoming a Qualified Scarf Consultant. I so want that on my C.V.!
The whole thing is wonderfully 80’s and slightly dated, though to be fair a lot of the ideas are just as usable and applicable today. I flipped the book open at random to give you a taste of the illustrations…
At the start of the post I mentioned a ‘bump’. Well I must have caught my ringshawl on something and snagged it.
The beauty of crochet is that if a thread breaks then each stitch is independent and the whole thing doesn’t just unravel on the spot (phew!) and I do (luckily) have the 2grm scrap of yarn remaining from the original project in order to darn it up and make it good as new. (Hence me going through my stash in the first place to realise that I hadn’t photographed it all for my Ravelry stash pages)