Thursday, September 27, 2007

I Went, I Saw, I Almost Conquered

Today was the first day of three days of classes at the TKGA convention. It was an afternoon class, so I didn't anticipate any problems in getting there. Wrong. Hubster overslept and didn't get me up, so I had to haul ass to get ready. We barely got there in time, since I had to register, get my goody bags (more about that in a minute), and find my classroom. The Oakland Convention Center is huge; fortunately; there were signs everywhere pointing to the various rooms. Unfortunately, I misunderstood. I thought that the number on my name tag (yes, I have one of THOSE) was the room number. It was the class number. So I wound up in a crochet class and had to hotfoot it down the hall to the other side of the building to find my classroom. Fortunately, I was right on time, but I had to sit in the back of the class.

Nancie Wiseman was the teacher. What a delightful, giving teacher and person! The class was difficult for me - in part, I think, because I've been knitting English throw for so many years that doing something totally different made me feel like an idiot (it was a lesson in humility - now I know how my students must feel). This class was on Continental knitting, and while I could do the knit stitch with no problem, the purl almost drove me (and several of my classmates) to the bar. At one point, I had just about had it. In typical Goddess fashion, I yelled, "HOLY SHIT!". I think I forgot where I was. The entire class burst into laughter (since that's what they were all thinking), and Nancie came up to me and said, "I think the purl stitch deserves a holy shit." She was endeared to me forever at that point. She's an excellent teacher, and I'm looking forward to today's class on Fine Finishing (even though it's an all-day class and I need to get to bed so I have two hours' worth of sleep). ARGH.

The goody bags given out were... uh... huge. I got two - one because I registered early, and the other because I registered. The Lion Brand bag is enormous - I can just about climb into it - and it had three skeins of yarn, a pair of Lion Brand straights (14" long and size 9), and a bunch of patterns in it. The other bag, from Red Heart, had probably seven skeins of yarn and a bunch of patterns. Even though it's mostly acrylic yarn and I'll never use it or the patterns, it was nice to get something other than what the ball game people passed out.

Nancie understood that I have to smoke periodically (I explained what was wrong with me, and that my doctor told me that I had to keep smoking because my body can't take the stress of quitting), so she let me go whenever I needed it. Tomorrow there's a two-hour break for lunch, so I'll have plenty of time to smoke, work on my Monkeys, and have some lunch. The ladies in the class were all really nice, and I actually got to talk with some of them. Then, while waiting in line for the market to open (they had a special preview for members), a lady ran up to me and yelled, "You're the Goddess!" Turns out she was on Ravelry. I tell you, I can't go anywhere without someone recognizing me. We talked while we waited in line, and then we hit the market and went our separate ways.

Ah. The market. I didn't expect it to be huge, and it wasn't, but what they had made me swoon. Here's a picture of the yarny goodness I bought. I apologize for the quality of the picture, but I think you can pick up what I'm laying down.

You know me and indie dyers. The yarn is from The Knitters Studio in "Prism" and "Orange Spice" (SW Merino), Argosy in "Swamp Thing" (silk/cashmere blend - I almost creamed my jeans when I felt it), Red Fish (pure silk - it's the wine skein, slightly variegated with 450 yards - I can get an entire pair of socks out of it, and the pattern for the socks shown were from "Folk Socks" by Nancy Bush - gorgeous), and Royale Hare in "Armstrong Woods Redwood (Merino - 620 yards). They handed out big bags from SWTC that said "Soysilk Bamboo Corn", etc., on them. I didn't care what they said - I cared about stuffing the bag full of stuff.

This second picture has books and a pattern for man socks. The titles are YNotKnit (continental knitting - so I don't forget), The Knitter's Book of Finishing Techniques (for class tomorrow), and Folk Socks (so I could get the pattern for the silk socks). There are also two sets of Addi Natura bamboo circulars (I never can find them, and while I don't often knit with bamboo, it's nice to have), and a miniature crochet hook of bamboo to pick up dropped stitches when doing socks (I NEVER do that - ahem). There were spinning wheels, swifts, carders, fiber, yarn, patterns, books... you name it, they had it. I was coveting a Nancy's Notions ball winder - I've seen it in magazines, but had never seen one in person. Wow! It's smooth as silk and enormous. It was also $200, and since I had gone apeshit with the other stuff, I didn't dare buy it. Maybe after vacation. The Village Spinner (I think that's their name) from Solvang was there, as was Carolina Homespun (talk about a lot of stuff!), so I finally got to see both those places. It was a blast, and I spent almost all the time allotted for shoppers nosing around. I didn't buy my usual two skeins with the silk and an extra for the silk/cashmere because the yardage was about what I normally use. I can't wait to use both of them. Hubster liked the crochet hook the best (he would) because it's a cool gadget. If there was one thing to complain about, it was the lack of gadgets for knitting and/or crocheting. I guess there's not a lot new under the sun. I was hoping to find the needle keepers for DPN's with work on the needles, but there weren't any. No matter. I got enough good stuff. If you were a felter, there was a ton of stuff, but I'm not. I almost bought a kit for entrelac socks, but then I saw the price ($88). I don't think so. Koigu had a booth, too, but they didn't bring a lot of their yarn. They had all the new types, but not huge quantities of the KPPPM, which is what I need for the swing coat I'm slowly accumulating skeins for. Oh well - I had too much fun.

We also ate dinner in the hotel restaurant. It's a lovely restaurant, with views of downtown Oakland. There are a lot of very old buildings with amazing architecture, so it was nice to look at while we ate. The food was delicious, the service divine, and I barely managed to stay awake. I'm worried about that tomorrow.

So that was my day. We came home, I worked on the swatches for class tomorrow, fell asleep right after I began, and woke up at 3:30 a.m. I got them finished and am now working on this before I go to bed. Oh... I also have to repack my knitting bag. Turns out that the one I took today just isn't large enough. Good thing I bought a suitcase of a bag to stuff things in. The thing that bums me out is that I have a gorgeous large bag that was a prototype of Martha's (she never did make any more of them) which I dearly love, but it must be packed somewhere because I can't find it. Oh well - it's just a class, not a show off your bag event (well, maybe it is).

So tomorrow I'll be sewing seams in all manner of configurations with a variety of needles. If I go blind doing this, you'll understand. After all, the stitches aren't huge, and a lot of what I'll be learning tomorrow is foreign territory.

And I'll make sure to bring an extra pack of smokes.


SwissKnits! said...

Can't wait to hear about the rest of the event!

Your haul looks great!!

Megann said...

It sounds like you are having a fun time. I wish I could have gone. I look forward to hearing more about it!