Ann Budd’s class
Mystery scarf competition
Show and tell
Last weekend the Knitters’ Guild NSW hosted KnitCamp 2015 at Stanwell Tops, just over an hour away from Sydney. There were all things knitterly from Friday evening until Sunday afternoon.
On Friday evening there was a techniques turntables event. I came away feeling more knowledgeable about German short rows, kitchener stitch and grafting. Afterwards the prizewinner for the Mystery Scarf competition was announced: a relatively new knitter made a fabulous double-knit scarf in memory of and depicting her cat!
Ann Budd held classes on fixing mistakes and we did scary things like dropping down several rows of stitches in order to reknit cables so they twisted the other way, dropping end-of-row stitches and she even cut a hole in her knitting to demonstrate fixing that too! I feel quite confident I could fix an incorrectly leaning cable without having to frog several inches of work, despite my sample here not being quite perfect.
But Ann didn’t just teach classes, she spent the whole weekend with us, hanging out with her knitting and putting up with all the fans and the adoration. And this, despite being quite poorly and losing her voice. She was wearing lovely knitted garments herself. Several of us admired a skirt she wore and she kindly lifted up her top to show us the waistband and the darts shaping the hips.
The Knitters’ Guild NSW has some new merchandise and we received lovely goody bags with Guild merchandise, yarn, tools and retailers’ information inside.
There were various workshops that we had signed up for when we registered. As well as Ann’s class I took part in a Fair-Isle/stranded knitting class. The teacher, Merrin, brought along some fantastic jumpers she’d made. As you can see from these samples, I still need more practice!
The Christmassy-looking sample was knitted flat. Purling was hard so I was glad to be able to work in the round for the blue and grey piece. I started by holding both yarns in my left hand (I’m a continental knitter). When I got part-way through the snowflakes I switched to grey in left hand and blue in right and I think this makes the knitting more even.
We were very fortunate with the weather. People got up early to go walking and later, sat around knitting and crocheting outdoors if they didn’t have a class. I managed a bit of knitting outdoors in the sunshine at lunchtime. It was lovely early spring weather, just right for all the beautiful knitwear on show. Seen a cardigan you fancy on Ravelry? Someone was probably wearing it.
When they’re not knitting, Guild members are partial to enhancing their stash. On Saturday there was a retailers’ market. I was keen to see some Australian yarn up close and of course, once you’ve started petting and stroking, there’s no way you can just walk away. My purchases were quite modest – a skein of baby alpaca and mulberry silk (lace weight) from The House of Wool
and Ozifarmer’s Market Silky Merino Lace.
However, I then succumbed to the yarn that one of our local Guild branch members had used to make a beautiful Nurmilintu and so this also came home with me. It’s Debbie Bliss Fine Donegal. Several of us bought it for the same scarf. The hardest part was deciding on a colour; they were all fabulous. One knitter even cast hers on while we were there.
That isn’t the end of the yarn acquisition – I was also one of the lucky draw recipients and won this Ella Rae Lace Merino which is actually fingering/4-ply yarn.
I was very happy to be sharing a room with some of the Inner City Guild branch, friends from Thursday night knitting. I really feel more like a part of things here, which is good since I’ve now been in Sydney for 10 months.
The whole weekend actually was very relaxing. On Saturday there were even two masseurs who went around giving everybody a neck and shoulder massage. It was wonderful. People knitted and crocheted everywhere and all the time – while listening to presentations (on using digital tools and Ravelry, and from a local publisher) and during show and tell, as well as when the winner of the Mystery Shawl competition was announced. In fact from early morning until the small hours of the following morning it was knit, knit, knit!