Saturday the hubby and I went to Coventry for the UK Ravelry Day. On the way there, we stopped in Leighton Buzzard and picked-up a lady whom I had met on a UK Ravelry Day forum offering and looking for rides. Her name is Tini and we honestly could not have had a better car guest for the trip. Tini was visiting friends in Leighton Buzzard from her home in Germany and it just “happened” to coincide with the Ravelry Day. I had been sort of worried prior to meeting her that she would be, oh, I don’t know, someone you felt uncomfortable in a car with for a few hours. It quickly became obvious that she would have felt right at home and would have even given David a run for his money at a Hookers night! Bilingually! All the way there we chatted easily and enjoyed the scenery of the M1.
When we got there an hour early (the hubby drove really fast [naughty hubby!]) and found a place to get a hot drink and a place to sit down. It was raining, which sort of portended the type of day that it was going to become. The whole event started at 10am and my first class started at 10:30 so I didn’t have much time to peruse the stalls that were set-up with all sorts of independent shops and hand dyers selling thousands of kinds of yarn before I had to run off and find where my class was being held.
My introduction to lace knitting was pretty low stress. The lady that taught it, Kate Tetlow, was pretty low key and didn’t get at all flustered by the various speeds of learning, or knitting that the group exhibited. There were a few in the class who were super fast and a few who weren’t (I was included in that last category) but she kept all of us busy and never got irritated at all. It was in this lace knitting class that I learned that the way that I was knitting was, well, not exactly wrong but, well, wrong. I was twisting every stitch, which I think it part of the reason that the sample of lace that I made in the class was so tight that folks were joking about how I could start knitting miniature lace for dollhouses. Even though my lace sample didn’t turn-out exactly as it should have I still accomplished my main goal for the class which was to learn how to read a lace chart.
After I got out of class at 1:30pm the hubby kindly had fish and chips awaiting me for some needed lunch. Then Tini and I went upstairs to listen to Meg Swansen speak about her mother, Elizabeth Zimmerman. It was interesting as Meg read some passages from her mother’s journal about at camping trip that she and Meg’s father had taken in the Canadian wilderness with their cat. She also had a great Q & A session where she answered questions about both her mother’s works as well as her own. Meg now runs Schoolhouse Press an independent publisher of knitting books and supplies so she had lots of great insight into the trends of fiberarts as well as great new designers on their way. Her stories were fun and some of the questions that she got were just great.
It was sitting next to Tini prior to the talk by Meg where I learned how to knit continentally without twisting my stitches. After the first row it made it soooooo much easier to do. The sock that I had been working on was making me nervous by how tight it seemed, now it is knitting up totally normal. If I can, I will take a picture of the sock so that you can see the difference in the stitches.
After the talk I had some time to run around and look at all the different vendors wares. There was a surprising amount of alpaca fiber there including two very sorry looking young alpacas who had been recently shorn and had to stand out in the rain for the bulk of the day. I’m sure that they were fine, but they just looked, well, wet. I got several nice things including an entire set of the Knit pro (Knit Picks in the US) interchangeable needles as well as lots of yummy yarn and batts to spin.
While in Coventry Tech Support found a stall in the market selling all American “foodstuffs”. I put foodstuffs in parenthesis as it was full of Nerds, Twinkies, Beef Jerky, Lucky Charms and (oh blessed neon yellow manna from heaven) Mountain Dew. However, everything in it was outrageously expensive. A 12-pack of cans of MD cost 14 pounds! That’s like $22.50. So obviously we didn’t get anything but we now know that it is there if we ever become really desperate.
He found these goodies waiting for us in a shop there as well:
On Sunday we had some friends out from the city. We had good food and good drinks and it was a really relaxing afternoon. That is, until the time came to take them to the train station. The hubby was driving them to the Tring train station when the car suddenly would no move any more. The engine didn’t stop, just the car. We have breakdown coverage through, oddly enough, our bank so Hubby had me call them for a tow. Luckily, they were close enough to the station by that time that it wasn’t all that big of a deal for our friends to get there. So now our lovely shaggin wagon has it’s fate up in the air. It is at a mechanics shop in the next town over. We are pretty sure that the transmission went on it. It is just a matter of if they can fix it for less than the ceiling that we placed on it or if the shaggin wagon is going to be recycled.