Sunday, 1 May 2011

Minneapolis Yarnover 2011

Yesterday I got a chance to go to my first Yarnover event. I'd been considering gong for several years but the inertia of the end of the school year had always kicked in and made it difficult for me to seriously contemplate the 90 mile ride into the Big Cities. But my beloved teacher from the Craft Cruise, Lily Chin, was going to be there and suggested we do lunch, so I mustered up my energy, made the trip and even participated in a few classes. If you don't know Lily, she is probably the best knitting and crochet teacher out there. She is energetic and enthusiastic and you will learn so much form any class that you take with her. (Sign up if you have the opportunity!!)

We had a very pleasant lunch, chatted about the good old days, caught up a little on our sisters and their activities, chatted about upcoming craft cruises and everything fiber and cutting edge.

The Yarnover was a lovely event with lots of local Minnesota vendors and excitement. In many ways I liked the shopping better than at some of the bigger events because there were so many independent producers. There were lots of beautiful, one of a kind crafted items (stitch-markers, needles and home spun wools, for example) and it was pure delight to walk through the highschool commons area (where everything was set up) and inhale the colors, ideas and excitement. This woman was particularly welcoming.

Of course there were many celebrity knitters and designers teaching at the event and it was fun to walk around and see what and who was there. This attendee turned out to be quite popular.

I couldn't resist snapping a few images of the market and the wonderful people that one sees as they browse the booths.

I really wish I had had more time to shop, but the classes and the market conflicted with only a little time in between to look at the wide variety of merchandise.

If you are a knitter and have never come to Yarnover, then I highly recommend it. Of course if you like to shop, it could be detrimental to your "Pocket book" (A word they don't really use here in Minnesota. I wonder why.)

My classes were fun. (Short digression here). My sister and I try to arrange to go to Stitches Midwest whenever we can (as you may know if you read this blog regularly) and this year we arranged to take our classes together, but as we signed up the first class we agreed to do The Beaded Knitting Sampler with Betsy Hershberg, it turned out that the class was already full. So, when I saw Betsy was teaching at the Yarnover, I decided to sit in on her class there. I had visited her website before and decided that I was much more interested in the beaded knitting than the knitted beads, but I was curious about her techniques and regretted not getting into the class at Stitches Midwest, so I signed up anyway and am glad I did. Betsy is a delightful person and a good teacher, who explains her process well and is kind to the students that are struggling. She is somehow able to rein in the precocious and encourage those that tend to trail behind. I think we had all finished the two beads that were our goal for the end of the class. Here is Betsy in action.

She was wearing a lovely knit jacket with a drapey front. I don't know if she planned it to match her hair so nicely or not, but isn't she well "put together"?

The woman across from me in class turned out to be from St Cloud (and I would meet several people from out my direction throughout the day.)

The woman on the left was just delightful. We had a delicious chat about dogs and snowshoeing. (And look at her felted bag!)

Betsy's jewelry turned out (in my opinion) to be much more beautiful in real life than in the pictures I had seen on blogs. For this reason I am a little bit hesitant to show more images, because the fascinating qualities of the pieces just don't come through. (Also my auto focus was out of comission again - so sorry for the blurry images). Nonetheless, I do want to show some of the kinds of things that this creative woman makes.(She claims to be an active artist as opposed to a creative one, saying her sister calls her "concrete linear sequential" in her "creative" process. (Are you listening SLS? I think this may be the way you create too!!) )

The red and black necklace below uses a base of large mahogany beads.

Betsy was wearing these. I very much like the wavy line of smaller beads on the larger bead on the left.

This gorgeous piece used resin beads interspersed with some of Betsy's knitted beads. As you can see there are lots of possibilities with this technique.

My afternoon class was on reversible twined knitting with Laura Farson. Laura is such a gentle and kind person and another excellent teacher. To me this technique was really new. (I had done a little bit of playing with twined knitting after reading about it's rediscovery in one of my knitting magazines.)

She wasn't thrilled with me taking a picture of her with her glasses on, but doesn't she look adorable there - very teacherly. (And she is an excellent teacher. Not only did we learn reversible twined knitting, but she reviewed German twisted cast on and Elizabeth Zimerman's sewn cast off with us, for use with our scarf project. )

Here are some of our class member busily at work.

Laura has modified standard twined knitting in several ways including changing it form circular to back and forth (hence the possibility of reversibility.) Below are some of the stitch patterns that result from playing with the direction of the twining.

This was our class project - a reversible scarf in worsted weight yarn of two contrasting colors.

Below are some modified versions of the basic pattern.

And here is what I did! (I think I finally found a purpose for the free ORANGE yarn I got with my last order from DBNY !!) The front turns out like this with a slightly zigzagged pattern.

The back has a more exaggerated zigzag or herringbone effect.

If you are good at finding waldo, you willalso see my mistake where I started twisting the other direction!

Below you can see the beads from Betsy's class on top of my swatch from Laura's class.

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