Heather Knits

Where Heather waffles on about knitting and anything else which crosses her mind.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Workshops with Lucy Neatby

On Thursday night, Friday and Saturday last week I attended 3 fabulous workshops with Lucy Neatby . She also ran a class during the day on Thursday on grafting too but unfortunately I couldn't go to that one.

Thursday and Friday's workshops were at Taj Crafts in Buckinghamshire. I had a lovely time in their shop and managed to do a bit of damage to the credit card though not too much. They are really easy to find too if anyone is thinking of visiting, they are very close to the junction between the M4 and the M25. Saturday's workshop was at Reading Museum, organised by the Reading branch of the Knitting and Crochet Guild .

Thursday's class was on equilateral triangles, she had some great garments to show us including a waistcoat (vest for all of you on the other side of the pond) in Noro, and a couple of hats. It was great fun having a go ourselves, each triangle is knitted onto the previous one and then the remaining seams are done with mattress stitch. Mine came out as a very small hat, just the right size for a grapefruit! I stayed up far too late on Thursday night getting it finished, a fascinating technique and very addictive. I think I will have a go at a hat for me using triangles with the left over yarn from my circular cardigan.

I love the symmetry with this pattern. The triangles tile so beautifully and really lend themselves to being made into so many different shapes.
Interesting piece of trivia for you: 3 of the 5 Platonic solids (or regular polyhedra) are made from triangles. The Platonic solids are the only solids for which each of their faces are the same, and for each face, each side and angle is the same. For example, the cube is one because each face is a square of exactly the same size, and each square face has 4 sides which are the same length, and 4 angles which are all 90 degrees.

Moving swiftly on to Friday, this was toe up socks with Bosnian toe and Turkish heel.

Don't you just love this cast off! I really want to try it with three colours too. It is done with a crochet hook. You cast off a couple of stitches with the first colour, then crochet a chain of about 4 stitches, then pick up the other colour and do the same. Then pick up the first colour again and repeat but making sure than the two chains are twisted. You can vary the effect by the number of stitches you cast off in each go, and by how long the crochet chains between cast offs are.
This is the Bosnian toe, a garter stitch square which you then pick up stitches all around to knit up the foot.
And the Turkish heel. This is an after thought heel, made by knitting in some waste yarn where you want the heel to be, then going back and knitting over it with your main yarn and continuing up the sock. When the rest of the sock is finished you come back and put the stitches from the waste yarn back on your needles and knit your heel, grafting the end together.
At the end of Friday's workshop we had just enough time to learn tubular cast on (in green), and tubular cast off (bind off)(in red). They are beautifully neat and almost invisible in rib. I will definitely be using these again. It was really useful to see how the cast on works with a 2x2 rib as well as a 1x1.

I bought both of Lucy's Knitting Essential's DVDs and her sock book while I was there but I haven't had a chance to look at them properly yet.

Saturday was off to Reading for a workshop with a much bigger group. The morning workshop was on knitting with colour and mixing colour in different ways. I seem to have failed to photograph my swatch from that. We covered holding two or three yarns together and varying the colours one at a time, also fairisle and intarsia and combining the two.

In the afternoon Lucy gave a talk on her knitting, over coming problems and planning your knitting to allow more flexibility, and we practiced some grafting.

All three workshops were fantastic. Lucy is a great teacher, very clear and patient and her handouts seem very comprehensive (I am going to re-read them as soon as I get time). We also seemed to cover an amazing amount of really useful and interesting stuff, I definitely feel that I got my money's worth and will be signing up for more classes if and when she is back in the area again (not sure that the budget will run to a trip to Canada!).


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