Sunday, 14 December 2008

I love Lucy!

A couple of weekends ago, along with a couple of dozen intrepid knitters I set out on the first Socktopus Knitting Retreat. As if two days of knitting in the idyllic setting of the Barsham Barns, near Walsingham in Norfolk wasn't enough, we were to be treated to two six hour intensive knitting workshops taught by Lucy Neatby herself! We knitters in the UK are only just getting used to the idea of meeting international knitting celebrities in the flesh so I have to admit to being quite nervous and not knowing what to expect.

I have to say, however, that from the moment I met Justine, Sally and Jen on the platform at St Pancras I had an absolute ball. The weather may have been so grim that we needed all the barn lights on all day to see what we were doing but to be in such a warm comfortable place with warm comfortable people doing what we all love best - what's not to like?

Lucy turned out to be warm and approachable with a veritable fund of tips and tricks and techniques to improve the knitting of everyone in the room. Having considered myself a reasonably competent knitter, I learned to my great satisfaction that it is even possible to learn something about the slip knot with which we start our projects. I'm so glad to be a lifelong knitter - I'm never going to run out of things to learn.

As is often the case when I'm overexcited and yapping too much I completely forget to get my camera out so I am afraid that all I have to show from this amazing weekend are these funny little objects....

Exhibit one proves that I have mastered and am in love with the tubular cast on, managed to get to grips with Quilting Stitch and am going to have to practice the braided crochet cast off before using it on a real life garment...

This enigmatic piece of knitting contains an example of my grafting which, even with the aid of a toe chimney looks like the before picture in an advertisement for orthodontics. I did, however, redeem myself with two very creditable deliberate holes.

This little chap is a very neat and tidy garter stitch short row toe, somewhat sullied by my much frogged and still jagged sewn bind off. I can see a pattern here - as soon as I get a sewing needle in my hand my fingers turn into sausages!

Here is an example of my garter stitch grafting which showed minor improvements.

And finally, this grand piece shows that my Channel Island Cast off is too loose, my garter stitch short row heel is pretty good and I have learned several new ways to cast off.

These scraps of knitting can in no way serve to express the great time I had with a group of people, some of whom are already friends and many more who were friends by the end of the weekend.
Huge congratulations to Alice for organising us so beautifully and with such a light but deft touch and to Lucy for her planet sized brain and ability to share her knowledge so gently.
I was completely exhausted when I got home but it was worth every stifled snore on the train to work the next day....

5 comments:

Suse-the-slow-knitta said...

it sounds like a wonderful time was had by all!

picperfic said...

My friend Heather showed me her bits of knitting from the Lucy weekend...It looks like some valuable techniques were learnt!

MLO said...

She is one of the best workshop teachers ever! I also highly recommend all of her DVDs.

Lin said...

It sounds like a fab time ... its great that there is always something to learn with knitting!

Sarah said...

Sounds like so much fun!