Tuesday, August 25, 2009

A Long Post for a Fantastic Class

I can't believe what a weekend it was! Knitting teacher and musician Lucille Reilly came in Thursday, driving all the way from the Denver area. I awaited her arrival at the home of my friend Barbara (one of several Barbaras, actually, who are my friends). Barbara has a nice guest room with a queen-size bed, and she had agreed to let Lucille stay with her, which gave Barb some extra live-in help on her scarf if she needed it. She was the star pupil, though, so didn't need it, although she had a house guest she could talk about knitting with. The next day, Friday morning, we met at my house for the class.

Above are (from left) Georgette, Linda and Barbara, working away on their Moebius scarves. The CO is tricky, but if you're doing the basic scarf, it's a coast from the CO until you get to the I-cord BO. Lucille made us swatch before we came to class. She explained how important drape is for a Moebius scarf, and how gauge relates to drape.
In the middle of the table you can see one of the centerpieces from the wake held by the Colorado-area participants in Sock Wars III after they had all met their doom. It's a sock at half-mast! Lucille sent it to me, along with a tiny sock she knit with short 0000 needles for the winner of the obituary contest, which turned out to be yours truly. So I sometimes wear the sock on a chain around my neck. Sometime I'll have to post the obit, so you can have a chuckle. Here Lucille helps Kay, another participant in the class:

We had so much fun! While we were working on the "mindless" stuff, Lucille brought out some of her collection. She has a large number of felted bowls, including several versions of the Trifold Bowl three of us were going to learn to make Sunday afternoon. Here she tries on a Moebius hat. Too bad I just got a photo of the ladies laughing. The hat was great, and it was beaded. I need to get her to send me a photo of it. That's Norma, with her back to us.

This was my favorite bowl. You can see more of her stuff here.

Lucille has a pair of socks (Jaws) coming out in the book Think Outside The Sox. On her website you can see Jaws and her Fibonacci Trees socks, which she also entered, but are not in the book. I want to make both pairs. Maybe she'll publish the Trees socks somewhere! Anyway, on Sunday, the three of us who were taking the bowl class posed with our finished scarves. This is Linda, I'm in the middle, and then Georgette. They're both tall; I'm not as short as I look.

One of Lucille's great talents is for coming up with little tricks that help ordinary people accomplish more challenging aspects of a project. We used Cat Bordhi's wonderful books, A Treasury of Magical Knitting or A Second Treasury of Magical Knitting for the patterns and instructions, depending on whether we were taking just the scarf or both classes, but Lucille had her own handouts to complement them, with her own pictures and explanations. (She told us she didn't believe in copying other's work for handouts, so everything was her own.) She's an excellent teacher, too, possessing both natural teaching ability and actual academic teacher training. That's probably why, of all the knitting, quilting and spinning classes, this was the best!
Lucille was here for five nights. We had the all-day class on Friday (sack lunches and a couple of pots of coffee!), and Friday night we went to the TGIF of the Park City Mountain Sports Club, of which several of us are members. The party was at the Swaner Nature Preserve building, which overlooks the Preserve, so there was a good view. It was a potluck, and we had some good food. Saturday the weather was nice (wonderful stroke of luck, as we've had a lot of rain, and more was predicted), so we went for a hike on the trail to Summit Peak, which is just above our house. My wonderful DH, our dogs, and Lucille and I enjoyed the view and the shade along the trail, which was nice, as it was rather warm for these parts. We went to lunch at the No Worries Cafe at the base of Summit Park, and then DH went home to be with the dogs. Lucille and I went on to Linda's to see her new baby alpaca. Here's a photo of the baby with her mother and some of the other females in the herd:

Linda brought out some cut-up carrots for Lucille to give to the "ladies." Lucky Linda, to have fiber on the hoof...actually, they don't have hooves, but you know what I mean. Four of the ladies are PG, so Linda's herd will be growing even more.

After the 'pacas were done with the carrots, we went inside to sit and knit, and Lucille helped Linda with her spinning. Linda has had difficulty getting the singles as thin as she likes. Lucille has a similar wheel and years more experience, so she was a big help. She had lots of tricks for that, too! I learned a lot from watching her.
Saturday night, we went to Georgette's birthday party at the home of a friend of Georgette's who lives in my neighborhood. We had some great food and got some knitting done. I was done with my scarf except for the graft at the end of the BO, so I took my Stonington Shawl. I discovered a hole in it. I don't know how that happened, but I decided the best approach was to frog back to below the hole, so I did. Lucille had CO for a Moebius sweater. Yes, you read that right: a Moebius sweater. This woman knows no limits!
Sunday, Lucille went to church with me (turns out we're both Episcopalian). When we got back to my place, she tuned my autoharp for me and took the chord bars off and rearranged the chords for me, so I can play it. This was a new autoharp when I bought it years ago, but the chords were placed strangely, so I couldn't play it at all. Lucille is a professional musician. She performs and teaches hammered dulcimer, autoharp and guitar, and her music is amazing. I guess that's why she's so creative. We had our bowl class in the afternoon. I had a boo-boo. I was so busy making sure I didn't have a couple of extra sts that I ended up with twice the st count! I didn't discover it until we were putting the st markers every 27 sts so we would know where the folds were to be. I was supposed to have six, and I had 12! I had to frog the whole thing. That explained why the others were so fast. (They're throwers, so I should have been ahead.) I re-CO'd and barreled through the first row. I don't think I'll ever forget how to do the CO, after having done it three times! Here's what it looks like now, after doing the PU sts, etc. I'm ready to start the dec sts approaching the bottom of the bowl.

Sunday evening we had a potluck party with some of the members of our knitting group who were unable to take the classes. It was a lot of fun. Lucille and I got some more knitting done, too, he-he!
Monday, we left home with my friend and knitting/spinning buddy, Lynda, to visit some of the LYSs in SLC. We went to Unraveled Sheep first. Lucille really hit it off with the owner of the shop, Verla, who seems to have the same kind of mind as Lucille. Verla showed us some socks she was working on. They were really interesting. She was using two yarns at a time, and I couldn't understand how she changed from one to the other, but every time she came to a new needle (using dpns), she would change color. Another pair of socks had an occasional sl st. We bought some stuff and then went to Three Wishes, which is where my wheel came from. The owner there was also very interested in Lucille. We bought some more stuff, then went to the Thai restaurant for lunch. Our last yarn stop was The Black Sheep. I bought a pattern there. I think Lucille may be able to teach a class for the first two shops when she comes back to town, maybe in the spring. These two shops often cooperate on classes.
Linda has offered us her condo, which is rented out during the ski season, but otherwise sits vacant. We're planning on perhaps having a sock retreat. Lucille will come and teach us "toe-up socks that fit." We're going to use Stroll Sport, because it will go faster, and people can finish a sock in a weekend. I'm hoping I can get her to give me an autoharp lesson while she's here, and maybe some tips on my spinning. And maybe I'll teach Lucille to quilt. --P

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