Monday, March 31, 2008

Knitting Fun

I participated in Knit-a-gogo's Lace Retreat at the O Street Mansion Sunday and was it awesome.
First - the goodies. (Apologies, the camera is currently in a safe place - so, use your imagination). We got bags with the yarn - Neighborhood Fiber Company's Watershed yarn - a seacell/merino blend that is amazing. I chose the custom event color.
Stitch marker - a stitch marker from Storm Moon Knits.
Project Bag - a gorgeous reversible project bag - from Stuck in Illinois.
Needles - bamboo DPNS and 24" circulars.
Pattern - Parthenope

We gathered at the O Street mansion, which is, interestingly a mere block from my vet (or ist my cat's vet). It doesn't look like a fabulous place for brunch or dinner or tea or to stay from the outside, but it clearly is. I have been to some great brunches, but there were three rooms of food. It was great in that the separation meant there weren't crazy lines in any one section and that your brain didn't totally short out. Although I must confess I walked into the dessert room (room, two giant tables full of sugary stuff) and walked out with nothing but a promise that I would be back. (I was, I just neeeded more preparation.)
After gorging, most of us wandered the rooms a bit - the mansion is five adjacent townhouses and has secret passageways and other such interesting stuff. It is quite a trip. I loved the faux wood jacuzzi and now know what my bathroom will look like when I win the lottery.
Then the knitting. The pattern creates a huge square, which in the pattern picture has been folded over for a triangular wrap. While knitting has changed my view on triangular wraps, I still don't see a need for a lot of them in my wardrobe, so I like this idea of a big square. You start in the center with eight stitches and work out. I used two circulars (having brough extras in anticipation) in part because I am not a fan of the DPN (I know they have their uses) and also because I was worried about laddering, but as Knit-a-gogo herself (aka Danielle) pointed out, in this pattern the ladders would actually fall in such a way as to appear part of the pattern.
The pattern requires a lot of concentration through the first repeat, but then as you get through to a point where you are adding in repeats (it suggests going up to 19 per side) it does start to flow. The pattern is almost entirely a chart, although it probably would be a good first chart for someone. Danielle had drawn a square around the repeat for us, to make the isolation a lot easier, especially since the chart only gets you through two and expects you to work the rest out, so the square helped immensely.
Karida (of Neighborhood Fiber Company) was also there, and she assisted Danielle with knitting tips as well as a blocking demonstration. It was a great day - food and knitting. Yum.