Yesterday I traveled up to Yarnover in the Twin Cities with a few of my knitting pals.
Three cheers for carpooling: Let me start off by saying how wonderful it is to have people with whom I can carpool to such events. We had lovely company to chat with, there and back again (although we were considerably more awake on the way home). So much better than dragging myself out of bed for a 2-hour coffee-fueled trek up the Twin Cities by myself.
Providing entertainment for the locals: I can see why Yarnover keeps returning to Hopkins High School for this event year after year. It’s a modern high school with lots of conveniences, including plentiful bathrooms, large classrooms, and even a snack counter. I was very glad of that snack counter, where I bought breakfast as soon as we arrived. Due to the time of year, we share the high school with hordes of students who are there for weekend basketball practice. It’s no problem, though. The students, when they pass by, gawp at the unaccustomed crowds of middle-aged women populating the halls of their school and show tolerant interest in the rainbow of sheepy goods for sale at the vendor stalls. They know we’re only a temporary infestation and are content to be amused by us.
Fiber acquisition accomplished: My shopping mission for Yarnover this year was to build up my stash of hand-dyed fiber for spinning. I read an inspiring article in a recent issue of Spin Off magazine that talked about combining complementary braids of fiber in all sorts of different ways to produce gorgeous color effects. I want to do some experimenting, but need to make sure I have options in my stash first. Last time I looked I realized that I’d spun through most of my colorful braids and now had mostly neutrals and natural colors. I more than remedied that problem at the Yarnover marketplace.
Keys to the kingdom: I took two half-day classes from Amy Herzog: Knit to Flatter and Mindful Mods. We talked in detail about body types and the kinds of details in a knitted garment that can help to make a body look more proportional. I tend to be a bit bottom heavy and learned more about the types of necklines and design features that can emphasize my shoulders to create more balance. Broader necklines and more detailing around the neckline (such as colorwork yokes) would work very well for me. We also learned a great deal about how to take a commercial pattern and alter it to fit your own body’s measurements. How to pick the right base size and how to make simple adjustments. I, for example, often need to a slightly shorter underarm-to-waist section than most patterns use. My arms tend to be a little shorter too. I now know how to add bust darts to a garment (although I’ll probably never need them for myself. Both classes were extremely useful and I highly recommend them if you’re interested in taking your sweater knitting to the next level. A fellow classmate said she felt as if Amy had given her “the keys to the kingdom.” I quite agree.