Workshop fun

I was lucky enough to get to spend a day with Beth Brown-Reinsel on Sunday. The author of Knitting Gansey's, that Beth Brown-Reinsel.

I took 2 workshops, neither of which were techniques I was dying to learn, but I signed up anyway because, it's Beth Brown-Reinsel. How can you not?

The first class was Twined Knitting. Basically this means you knit with both ends of a ball of yarn, and twist them a half twist between (nearly) every stitch. It creates a nice dense fabric. There's more about it in a good Knitty article here.

I have no pictures because I completely forgot my camera. Eric graciously agreed to take a couple pictures from his phone and send them to me.

I have to say I really enjoyed the twined knitting once I got the hang of it. I found it very difficult at first, because it's done by holding the yarn in your right hand, and I am primarily a continental knitter. I can do both hands for colorwork, but I almost *never* purl right handed.

Once I got over the hump though, I was pretty fascinated. It was good for me to learn something I find difficult to do.
I finished my wrister. It's a little big, but not as much as I thought it would be. They don't look all that much different from traditional knitting, but it's much thicker.

In the afternoon workshop we learned several cast on techniques, a number of which were new to me. I really think some of these will become something I do often. I really liked what she called Cast-on 2, which is a twined knitting cast on. It's not super fast or easy, but it's cool.

The swatch on the left is stranded knitting, all done in ways that aren't my dominant way. Most of it is done with 2 strands in my left hand. Some is both strands in the right hand. Neither way is as comfortable to me yet as 1 in each hand, but it was an interesting experiment anyway.

Here's a phone picture of Beth doing stranded knitting.

Beth also talked about yarn dominance. Basically, it matters where you hold your strands of yarn. 1 strand makes slightly bigger stitches and 1 strand makes slightly smaller ones. I was already familiar with this, but these sweaters are a striking example. In the partially finished sweater on the left, the black is clearly dominant. In the one on the right, the red is dominant.

Oh, and Beth said my Stag Bag was beautiful, which was a HUGE compliment.
So it was a good day