Thursday, 21 December 2017

Design Your Own Lace

Wednesday 29th was interesting, as I found out that my contract wasn't going to be renewed.  It's fair to say that tears have been shed.  The model of the service is changing; the doctors want a nurse running the service, so they've put in a business case for a nurse to join the team "which will make your life easier", making me surplus to requirements and back on the job hunt.  I've been left feeling entirely un-wanted and questioning the integrity of those around me.

Sunday 3rd December was the perfect antithesis to all this.  I took a class called Design Your Own Lace, by Karie Westermann, followed by the book launch for her new book This Thing of Paper  I was held at Wild and Woolly in East London.  Typically, I was running late - but my state of anxiety was calmed by the smell of weed on my fellow bus passengers. 

Basic summary - the pattern of the lace is determined by the location of the decreases.  These will determine where the 'pull' of the fabric is, and what the final result will look like.  Also - the pattern you design, has to be interesting to knit. 

We started by writing out a lace pattern on squared paper, and then knitting it.  You may notice (I didn't), that I didn't write the pattern on alternate lines - meaning that either the pattern would have to be knit in garter stitch, or a combination of stockingette and reverse stockingette. 

On the plus side - I got a comment to the rest of the class about doing maths down the right side to make sure that the increases and decreases all matched up.  

We were shown three variations of the same pattern, all which had the decreases in different places, which lead to a slightly different look.  We were asked to try and work out which one was which.  Given I had got up early and hadn't had breakfast - this was a bit beyond me.  

Top to bottom:

Shetland Horseshoe
Faroese Horseshoe
Orenburg Horseshoe

During the lesson, Karie was showing us sample pieces for her book.  Once she'd got out the Rubrication shawl nothing else in life mattered.  It is completely lush, so tactile and beautifully red.  Seriously, I could have spent the rest of the day stroking and admiring it.  

There were pastries - proper Danish pastries.  

What remained after our tea break
The shop itself was so lovely and welcoming.  It felt like a proper knitters' shop - as opposed to a shop which sold yarn.  There were samples of things hung on the walls, and sample of things you can knit, should you want to.  Were it closer, it would easily be my LYS, it's just so cosy and welcoming.  I felt that I could easily throw my shoes off and curl up in the corner with a project - and nobody would blink.  

After the class was over, and we'd had lunch - I came back for the book launch, which involved Prosecco and chatting to other knitters.  Larissa - aka Travel Knitter was there, selling some of her yarns.  I bought the sock yarn in the colourway Adire - unique to Wild and Wooly

 - and a couple of skeins of  Tanami in the colourway Double Happiness to knit the Rubrication shawl. 

Larissa doesn't put dye lot numbers on her yarns, as they can look entirely different, depending where in the pot they're dyed.  However, she can tell just by looking, whether a pair of skeins will work together or not.  I was quite impressed.  

During the class, Karie told the rest of the students that I did a class with her last year, and gave her grief throughout.  I'm not sure I remember it quite that way!  Either way, I told Karie, when signing my book, she was more than welcome to make reference to me giving her grief if she wanted to.  Generously, she chose not to:

There were also some button badges at the counter, which I couldn't resist.  

Button badges for my coat - all of which have since been lost.  I blame the work Christmas party. 
When I first learned to write, I was told that speech marks should look like a 66 and 99 - so how amused was I with my (second) final total? 

For a purchase of a book about books and writing, it was just about perfect. 

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