May 23, 2007


More shots from the workshop on Fair Isle knitting, taught by Janine:

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Linda K and Kathleen, hard at work on their swatches.

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Are these the two most happy knitters you've ever seen, or what? Left to right: Shiori and Marian.

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Shiori based her exploration-in-color swatch on the coloring of a Burnese dog. Suzanne's dog, Diva, was a reluctant model.

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Shiori's swatch shows how successfully black and brown can be used together, and I think you get a better sense of that in this photo. This swatch was probably my favorite, of all of the swatches that got knitted this weekend.

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Seems like Suzanne was always in the kitchen, cooking us up one wonderful thing after another (sometimes with Kathleen's help). Thanks for the hospitality, Suzanne! The first day I ate waaay too much, I felt as full as at Thanksgiving; the other two days I made myself be more moderate.

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When I developed this full-bore mania for knitting, circa 1998, Betsy was one of the first knitters I met. She moved away from Seattle a few years ago, so it was fun to see her in the workshop and have the chance to catch up on what she's been doing lately. Here she shows her homework swatch and two exploration-in-color swatches.

Here's my own exploration-in-color swatch in progress. The bottom two peeries on the brown background show you what I meant when I said I was determined to follow charts that first day we were set loose to "play" with color. Janine's feedback on this was, "Your colors feel autumnal, but when I look at the photo, it doesn't look autumnal to me."

I was very surprised by that feedback, at the time. I wasn't thinking in terms of the emotional response of the colors. But that feedback was actually very valuable.When it was time to swatch the next day in the workshop, you can see that I focused more on what I think of as "happy summer" colors. Don't you agree that the upper portion of the swatch more closely captures the color and feel of my madrona tree photo? I also switched to Janine's method of speed swatching. Since you're just trying out two colors together, just knit these diagonal stripes and free yourself from chart chasing -- it goes ten times faster. I consider this swatch still in progress -- there are still other colors to work into the mix.

Posted by Karen at May 23, 2007 12:10 PM

great photos!

Posted by: vanessa at May 23, 2007 06:46 PM

What a memorable weekend! Thank you for capturing so many highlights: artful and patient instruction, superb food, Suzanne's flawless management, the comraderie, Shiori's amazing swatch....

My Special Moment: When you told our Fearless Feral Knitter: "There are some parts of this swatch I really like"....AHAH!

I got it! Swatching Is A Process! Suddenly I saw swatching as a circular motion, like a whirlpool, focusing in on what works, discarding what doesn't work, moving in and in until you find what you have in your mind's eye. Your comment illuminated the whole process for me.

(Maybe this can explain why I've spent nearly 20 hours swatching since Sunday. And it's only Wednesday. But hey, I'm happy!)

The only question I have is how long we have to wait before we can do it all again....sigh. I can only wait.

Posted by: Gail at May 23, 2007 10:21 PM

Wow, thanks for posting that stripey-swatch photo. I was reading the entry from the day before and trying to figure out what you meant. I have a mess of J&S, J and other similar yarns and never have found a good way to swatch. This is so simple and by looking at the photo, very effective!

I am so envious of your knitty opportunities, down here we have classes on really basic things, like felted purses and scarfs or socks. :(

Posted by: nod at July 4, 2007 07:01 PM