Wednesday, May 04, 2005


That’s how I felt at the workshop I attended Saturday by Boston Area Spinners and Dyer, BASD.
The workshop was conducted by Kathryn Alexander, on how to use energized singles in your knitting. It was fantastic! I loved it!

I was probably the least experienced spinner in the group, and was really worried that the workshop would be way above my head. But she was so nice and encouraging; she explained everything and helped everybody. She even asked to try my wheel, because she had never seen one like it (an Emma exclusive, you know) and said lots of nice things about it.

Kathryn is as wild and entertaining as her knitting and spinning, very interesting and enthusiastic. I loved all the thought and research and experimentation she has put in her spinning and knitting, and how she shared it all. I loved the idea of making a ‘surface’ with knitting, by using the energy trapped in the unbalanced singles. And while the principles are simple, they need a thoughtful spinner/knitter to be used effectively. They also need a spinner that can spin much more evenly than me at the moment, but now I feel energized to practice more and achieve an acceptable degree of evenness.

So here are the samples we did:
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On top is the sample she made us spin to see if we could spin evenly enough to make a balanced single (mine was not quite there yet, but a larger whorl helped a lot); then we had to spin one single S and one Z and combine them in various patterns, to make different surfaces. Here being a beginner spinner helped, because I had no trouble reversing direction of spinning, since I have no ingrained habits as to how I spin. And being a fairly experienced knitter also helped, because I could easily understand what direction to wrap the singles to use their energy in the right way.

Can you believe these surfaces are all just stocking stitch? And the grey/white one is a 4*4 rib?
I particularly like the herring-bone one; would it not make a great border for a hat or cuff for a mitten or sock?

So, I was sorry to have missed all the excitement at the Harlot and post-Harlot parties, but my Saturday was great!

Oh, and Kathryn has a wonderful sense of humor!

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"You know, Margaret, a lot of people who can knit don't."

This was on the packages with the sample fiber and handbook.


Blogger mf said...

Sounds like a wonderful workshop!

11:07 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

That sounds like tons of fun, I can't wait to see those up close!


7:21 AM  
Anonymous Emma said...

Now that's a good way to spend a day ! Her work,seen in Spin Off,has always fascinated me.
I knew I was sending the wheel to a good home.


5:41 PM  
Blogger Tracy said...

It's like a breath of fresh air isn't it? Time to play and all that.

7:20 AM  

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