It ain’t over yet …. !
Poppy unpacking her toys as fast as I try to pack them. I have rather tortured memories of packing to go on holiday with three toddlers and this was a momentary throwback upon which I would have been happy to pass.
Eventually I managed to pack everything (well not quite, I forgot our coffee cups and my water bottle …) and once again there appeared to be some fishing in the offing.
And we were finally ready for the off.
A casual observer would think that we were preparing for a fishing trip. A more experienced knitter would understand that this was the luggage required for a knitting festival. One dog and plenty of fishing paraphernalia is all that is required to occupy and distract the non-knitter.
Shetland Wool Week was a wonderful experience, not just the yarn, not just the classes, not just camaraderie, but the island, the people, the scenery, the air, the light, the craic. I didn’t expect to be able to follow that up with a long weekend in Inverness at Loch Ness KnitFest. But never underestimate a Scottish fisherman with the opportunity to head home for a weekend and bother a few fish at the same time!
Poppy is a seasoned rail traveller, a quick hop to Newcastle on the Transpennine Express, and then a more leisurely ride up to Inverness.
Initially Poppy was happy to help with the yarn holding for the Susan Crawford Twageos Tam.
But after a while all that adoration from the LNER crew was a bit overwhelming and she was happy to nod off.
Up bright eyed and bushy tailed and who should I meet at the door but Anne Stevens Frost. Known to many as the podcaster I thought I knew how, although known to Stuart as the knitting wife of his new Shetland fishing buddy.
Note the knitwear!
First up class wise was Brioche with John Glen aka The Beardy Cheil.
This was the last chance saloon for me as far as Brioche was concerned. If John couldn’t make me and brioche see eye to eye then I was prepared to walk on by. And forego the chance of ever creating a thing of beauty such as this.
Or even this.
Reader, forget the croissants, it’s brioche all the way now. Very similar to Fisherman’s Rib (the method is slightly different although the result is pretty much the same) brioche is a wonderful soft squishy rib. Increasing and decreasing is not subtle but, particularly when using two different coloured yarns, produces beautiful zig zags, waves and tree like designs.
The afternoon was all about the tippy toes.
I suffer from second sock syndrome. I have yet to resort to chopping off the legs of family and friends, but I do struggle with starting the second sock. The joy of finishing sock one is immediately dampened by the need to start sock two. So signing up for Deborah Gray’s Two Socks at a Time workshop was a no brainer. Well the signing up was…
The set up was a tad fiddly…
But once we got going it was all smiles. The advantage of toe up socks is that you can try them on as you go along, both socks will be the same size (assuming you want them to be), there is no risk of playing yarn chicken (will I have enough to make it to the toe?) and you can really play around with the toe design, creating an asymetric toe that is in line with the shape of the foot, or perhaps a separate big toe for socks to wear with flip flops if that rocks your boat.
This method is also good for any pair of circular knitted items. Sleeves, mittens, gloves. I imagine somewhere there is a hardy soul with giant circular needles who has tried to knit two jumpers at the same time, but that won’t be me!
It may be a while before I am knocking out a pair like this.
But practice makes perfect, and now I am going to leave you and get on with a spot of practice!
Love Gillie x