photo by Andi: from left, Susan, Heather, me talking to someone…
The Pittsburgh Knitting Festival was lots of fun. Lily Chin and I did workshops and signed books; Susan, Heather and our stunt knitter Andi came along to work my booth. A good time was had by all, particularly at dinner last night! Lily’s yarn company gave me some of her new Manhattan bamboo mix yarn, which I can’t wait to swatch. I have plans for you, my pretty little yarn…
During the fest, I taught alt-fiber, thrift store knitting, and my patchwork felted jacket class. alt-fiber discusses soy silk, bamboo, and other unusual plant-based knitting yarns. Thrift store knitting is exactly what it sounds like…we brainstorm how to use thrifty finds (or items from the back of your closet!) combined with everything from yarn to embroidery floss, vintage buttons and beads. I also demonstrate tearing apart sweaters to reuse their yarn, and hauled out all my knitting toys. The handcranked i-cord maker was quite the hit. You can make more i-cord in 5 minutes with that thing than you can knit in an hour!
I was especially impressed by the sweaters my patchwork jacket students brought in for class: a beautiful pseudo Indian print intarsia sweater and a set of felted white cabled sweaters dyed bottle green in particular. (She had also dyed the yarn for her knit sleeves the same color — it was tough for me not to beg to take them home! I think I know what color I need to make my next one…)
It’s amazing to watch how each knitting student not only processes information differently, but how they can really imprint their own stamp on what you’re showing them how to do. It’s another reason I really love doing workshops.
Sadly, I missed meeting Natasha of Luxe Fibre, but she brought me a sample of her gorgeous yarn (Thanks again, Natasha)! I know how labor-intensive that supercoiled yarn is…yum.
Update: here’s an article from Pittsburgh Live about the festival.