There was some homework to be done in preparation for the second day of Galena's workshop. We had to make some lace points to make our Barbie shawls. I haven't actually finished mine, but I will have to do it, because I know Agnes wants to wear it on her vacation.
It was a pretty good start, but I only have a little more than half of the sample knit, so far. We used Galena's corner technique to turn that first corner, then started on up the shawl. Exactly as I'm doing now, with the regular sized triangular shawl, except that I've done the real one better. I forgot to slip some important stitches on the sample, but I doubt that Agnes will notice..
Arlene asked if I think the cashmere and silk laceweight yarn will open up when blocked. I do think it will open up quite a lot, but it will never have that diaphanous look of the gossamer shawls, that isn't what it's supposed to be, though. It is a warmer shawl, and a bit denser. There is a big difference in the effect of this yarn and the effect of the Shetland that I normally use. Shetland is loftier, and gives a springier effect. This yarn is super soft, and will certainly block out fine, I think, but it just won't have that lofty, springy look. Nor will it have the look of the traditional Orenburg yarn.
We fiddled with our dolly shawls during the morning, and probably more importantly, we fiddled around in all of Galen's goodies:
Here she is, showing our group how to do the first corner. She gives excellent, detailed instructions, and then demonstrates. You can see that we are pondering over it.
Some of her yummy, hand-dyed yarns. She had an astonishing array of fiber types and fiber combinations. For instance, I bought some hand-dyed silk and yak. Yes, yak. I hadn't considered yak in the past for a knitting fiber, but when I felt it, it felt good enough to buy, so now I have enough yak for another triangular shawl.
Of course, she brought her gorgeous shawls, all knitted by the Orenburg knitters. I strongly believe that Galena's capitalistic tendencies have kept the traditional knitters in business and played a prominent part in preserving the tradition.
And one more...
You can see that the display tables were loaded with books, periodicals and pretty little things. There were some copies of "Wild Fiber" that I bought, and I'm really enjoying them. I haven't decided if I'm enjoying them enough to subscribe, but I do like them.
We had lunch, and I've heard that some people went back to Hill Country Weavers, but I managed to resist. After lunch, we focused on Russian grafting, which believe-it-or-not, I remembered from the first workshop. So, I more or less allowed my brain, which was completely fried by that time, to go on vacation, knit a little bit more on the Barbie shawl, and that was it for me. I had a wonderful time, and I'd take one of Galena's workshops anytime.
Two things stand out about this experience for me:
1. What great workshops Galena does, with all the personal attention one might need to actually master a particular skill and
2. What a great job Susan Rogers, one of the two knitting Susans did in planning and preparing for it. In fact, for a medium-sized craft guild in Central Texas, where knitting hasn't exactly been the All-American pastime for awhile, this Guild offers very high quality workshops for very little money. I've been impressed with them since moving to Austin.
My apologies to any workshop participant who may have told their family that they were going to the convent for a Palm Sunday retreat, and now I've gone and put their picture up on this blog.
Coming soon to a blog near you:
More than two full pattern repeats of the Orenburg triangular shawl finished and
Book reviews. Lots of new books and
You might find out where Agnes is going on her vacation.