17 april 2013

Knit retreat in Humlekil

This week end was long, eventful and so very inspiring. I finished work early on
Thursday and met up with Asa, who had all of the back of her car stuffed with
lovely yarn from her shop (I did some little shopping there later on…). Together we
managed to find our way home to Annuska – who lives in the middle of nowhere
– thank you Google maps. There awaited good food, lovely cakes, new friends and
interesting workshops for four days…Not to mention really nice goodie bags and a little surprise on the pillow...

Thursday evening was spent getting to know each other. There were just 10 of us,
if counting Slavi's husband who didn’t knit but was good company anyway. And
of course there was Alfie – 5 months old dachshund – who just charmed everyone.
It was even hard to scold him for stealing our wool, yarn, slippers or anything else
woollen he could lay his paws on…

Friday we were up bright and early for breakfast and then straight on to the first
workshop – Bulgarian knitting. A different knitting technique which involved
putting the yarn around your neck and where the purls were a piece of cake and
the knits… hmm… well… a bit of a challenge actually… The Bulgarian knitting is
thought to have originated from Turkey and was spread by the Ottoman Empire as far away as to Portugal where it evolved a bit further and is now known as Portuguese knitting (the knits are easier in Portugal…)

After lunch it was time to roll up our sleeves and try our hands at dyeing with Jaeba
Cold Water Dye. Being used to acid dyes with water, heat and all it felt very strange
to just pour dye onto dry yarn… I felt I had very little control over the process, but
that is the way with all new things. But it was fun – so much fun that we hardly had
time for dinner and two of us sneaked up again after dinner to do some more… Then
we had to wait for the dye to set, always the hardest part…


In the evening there were spontaneous spinning class as well...

And some got massage...

Saturday we woke up to snow... I did my best to ignore it rinsing the dyed yarn and hanging it out todry instead, giving it a pat and a squeeze every time we walked by for the rest of the day…

We had only one workshop planned for Saturday but it was so much fun it lasted most of the day anyway. Twined knitting are not for those of little patience or maybe it’s just the thing to teach someone patience. Yes it’s slow, sometimes a bit tricky, but it turns out so beautiful that it’s hard to put the needles down I find… The fabric gets lovely and thick and is perfect for anything which encounters a lot of wear and tear – socks, mittens, Iphone covers and it would be perfect for bags if you have the stamina to get through such an undertaking…

Hard as it was to tear ourselves away from the needles, we did take a small break
to go into Arvika for some yarn shopping. They had nice yarn shops although the
nicest one (I think) was closing down (giving us a whole of 30% discount) I was quite
modest though in my shopping and didn’t over do it… I know you don’t believe it,
but honestly I only got two jarbo, two Opal sock, one striped Kidsilk haze stipe, two Rowan Lima and one skein of heavy tussah silk. I also got a lovely shawl pin made locally. 

Then I at least went back to the Twined knitting having set myself a goal of doing
both textured pattern, coloured pattern and a braid before I quit for the night – and I
did and I’m so happy with the result.

Saturday evening we had a yarn lottery where I managed to snatch a bunch of
Malabrigo silky merino in bright red and cerise – WOW what a stunning yarn. I
already have a project in mind…

Sunday was mostly spent in slight confusion of how to fit all the things in to my suit
case – the yarn and knitting projects seemed to have multiplied over night…For a
while I turned a blind eye to that problem and went to work on my newly dyed yarn.
So much more fun! They looked nice enough when rinsed and dried, but since I know
they don’t knit up in the same orderly way, I wanted to re-skein them. I love the
difference that makes to the yarn, just look at it…

The workshop of the day was magic loop, but since I’ve tried and struggled with this
technique a good few times now I skipped that class. It’s not that I can’t do it and I do
see the use of it and will use it if necessary but I just don’t like it. I went to see how
much more yarn I could fit into the suitcase instead…

Looks like I managed quite well, don’t you think? This is what came with me home that I didn't bring with me...

I must say I got really inspired in a lot of ways over the weekend so now I need some
time of from work to knit and spin – not long, a few months would suffice…

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