Sunday, January 24, 2010

North Carolina Part Deux- Part Deux

Every time I do workshops, my respect and admiration for teachers who do it every day, goes up exponentially (and they don't generally spend their days laughing, and being fed by their students). Yesterday was a wonderful day (filled with great people, lots of laughter, and far too much good food), but I was so tired last night that I barely had the energy to check my e-mail before collapsing.

This morning, before I get ready for breakfast and head to the airport for a very long day's travel (if all goes on time, I still won't get back to Aberdeen until 11:16pm, and then there's a 43 mile drive home from there), I'll catch y'all up.

Barbara, whose wonderful husband Ed arranged this get together in her honor, picked me up at the hotel and we went to her house, where we were met by four of her best friends, Jackie, Sherry, Telle, and Melissa. Unfortunately Susan couldn't attend the festivities.

We started the day with food and laughter (you may note a theme running through the day's activities), and then we got down to business.

In the morning, we dyed yarn, using the Graduated Color Band method that is detailed in my book, Yarns to Dye For. It involves winding yarn in hard, tight balls, immersing it in a dye pot, and then stripping it out in lengths, changing the dye colors at intervals so that the yarn changes colors gradually throughout the skein (Noro-like). It's a fun but wet process, and since I was up to my elbows in  water for several hours, I didn't get any pics of that stage.

Usually when I teach this class, I streamline things by having students choose between 2 distinct colorways, but since this was a much less formal workshop, and with only 5 ladies, we all chose whatever colors we liked. I loved seeing the color combos they selected, and everyone's yarn turned out absolutely beautifully. We were all able to dye 2 full 100gr skeins (also different from the usual structured class, where each person only dyes one skein).

See? I told you the yarn was gorgeous!
After dyeing yarn, we ate (well, we ate during the dyeing too, but don't tell anyone) a deli-catered lunch of great sandwiches, and some of the best cookies in the world (and since I don't eat cookies very often these days, they tasted especially good).

After lunch, we got the dye things put away and the floor mopped (it's a wet process, take my word for it), we spent a couple of hours needlefelting sheep.

We made small sheepies, and then segued into needlefelting whatever we felt like making. Telle, on the left, is decorating one of Barbara's purses. Barbara (upper right) is adding yarn curlicues to another. Jackie, who declared that her sheep was really a Buffalo Bunny (Bunalo? Buffuny?), decided to watch for awhile, though I thought her creation was pure genius.

After that, we just knitted and played with other techniques: knitting back backwards (the only way I knit heels, btw), adding beads to knitting with wire instead of stringing them on in advance (I need to do a tutorial here on that tecnhnique- it works very well), and trouble shooting other knitting projects. Oh, and we laughed. A lot. And ate (okay... a lot) (well, at least I did).

L-R: Telle, Melissa, Sherry, Barbara, Jackie (whose Buffalunny totally adorable).

And after the knitting, we had some wine (this is MY kind of workshop), and then we all went out to eat at Cafe Pasta (I also highly recommend taking the workshop teacher to a wonderful restaurant...), where I had Almond Potato Salmon (ooohhhhhh.... soooooo very good.....), and after that I sort of collapsed.

This weekend has been such an adventure- Barbara's husband arranged it as a gift for Barbara, but it sure feels like it was a gift for me. I got to travel, and meet 4 wonderful women (I already met Barbara, who is also wonderful, at SAFF), I got to laugh for an entire day, and eat.... and eat... and eat... and stay at a great hotel...

What a day! What a trip! Thank you Ed and Barbara!

No comments: