Word came from Jon last week that the class schedule for Stitches Midwest 2006 had gone up. Seems like only yesterday that I encountered the letters X-R-X for the first time.
Stitches events, in case you're not a knitter, are weekend knitting festivals put on by the company that produces Knitters magazine. The quality of the magazine is much maligned. The head of the firm is, to paraphrase a favorite childhood novel*, "much like marzipan, in that you've soon had enough of it." I went to my first Stitches last year, and loved the classes, the marketplace, and meeting other knitters. The rest of it, I could have skipped. And this year, will.
I was hoping ever so much that Nancy Bush would present her full-day Estonian lace shawl class, but no. She's offering a repeat of last year's half-day workshop (which I enjoyed immensely) and a class in socks, and something else that escapes me at present. All the classes I took last year are being offered and I highly recommend them: Estonian lace (Nancy Bush), Orenberg lace (Galina Khmeleva), and intarsia (Edie Eckman).
This year, the plum pudding of my Stitches feast will be a full-day gansey class with Beth Brown-Reinsel. I bought Beth's book, Knitting Ganseys, at Halcyon Yarns back in December and found it to be both boffo and socko–so much so that I want the benefit of her in-person instruction.
I also signed up for a half-day "Spinning for Knitting" class with Merike Saarniit. I am not acquainted with the dear lady, but is that a perfect name for a spinner, or what? I don't fancy schlepping my wheel to Rosemont on the subway, so I'm hoping they'll have a fleet of them there or something.
(Query: What does one call a group of spinning wheels? I can find no record of an accepted term, in the manner of "murder of crows" or "flock of sheep." Anybody got a suggestion?)
The online interface for XRX is pristine, state-of-the-art 1987 Web technology, so you get no immediate confirmation that your registration has gone through. I'm half expecting that after my comments last year about Her Serene Highness my registration might "accidentally" be "lost," so I'll be following up with a phone call.
The Sheep Pen
This here blog, and the shop it spawned, took off at rather a faster rate than I anticipated,** which threw my already precarious household organization into total disarray.
This weekend, I established a new workflow to keep track of things. And I managed to get five long-overdue items off the drawing board. There are still about a dozen more, but progress is progress and I am hopeful. (Thank goodness knitters are, in general, a patient clan.)
One of the drawings, which I have given the very unoriginal title "Knit Two Together," was purest pleasure. It's a design for the shop (currently on a mug) which, because it was inspired by the kindness of a reader in England, is dedicated to her. I'm also sending her the original sketch as a heartfelt thank-you.
Judith, this one's for you. Watch for the postman.
*The Doll's House, by Rumer Godden
** Anticipated rate: zero