Like The Queen
Whatever happens to strike my fancy, but surely some sort of fiber content.


So, you really liked her! And you actually got a lot out of the class! I'm up to my chin in envy.

By Blogger Larry, at 9:55 AM  

Yes. I liked her very much. She was really clever and really generous, and just funny enough without trying to be a clown.

My head is at least 4 inches bigger around there's so much new stuff in it.

By Blogger Bess, at 10:40 AM  

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Monday, June 07, 2004  

Man, the Internet is so slow today I have to waaaaait for any screen to pop up. May as well work on this post between screens. How fortunate I am a completely distractible, fractured ENFP.

My head is completely a-buzz with ideas after the Lily Chin class. What an amazing knitting artist. She had been teaching for 2 days already when it was my turn, but even though it became evident she was getting tired by 5 o’clock, she never really flagged. So first and foremost - if you ever get a chance to take a class from her - do so. She is worth every penny you will spend. She’s very professional, makes a point of learning your name, always acknowledges your contributions to the discussion and can pour out information for 6 hours without running dry. And the samples she pulls out of her boxes - you will have a hard time not breaking that 10th commandment. I had major sweater lust all afternoon.

So - the class was in mutli-directional knitting. I didn’t get any homework pages till quite late and the week didn’t allow for as much knitting as I’d have liked. The swatches were 9 little sweaters for Barbie.

(rats. my hands are starting to hurt even though I haven’t used a computer in 2 days. this report may be shorter than I would have liked)

From the git-go I was inspired with knitting possibilities, even as I worked on the homework, which, by the by, I didn’t complete. Most of the students hadn’t completed them all and it didn’t exactly matter. The swatches consisted of some side to side garter stitch that could be used as ribbing, some bias strips that I’ve been wanting to experiment with, a little wrist-to-wrist sweater, a bottom up and over the shoulder tank top, a top down flat sweater construction and a top-down saddle shoulder sweater. With that one I really stumbled because it was so tiny it was fiddly beyond enjoyment. I commented on that and Ms. Chin agreed, but pointed out that saddle shoulder sweaters were always fiddly and sewing in those saddles is very difficult to do neatly. And the full sized sample of that technique was drop dead gorgeous - an Aran design that I coveted on sight. There were 3 more bitty sweaters I didn’t get to. One of them was the top down raglan which is a particular sweater architecture I’ve always wanted to learn, and it was the one I never really got a handle on. I don’t look that good in raglans - I never buy them at all - till lo - the ballet neckline raglan sweaters that suddenly flooded the market this spring actually look great on me, so now I’m interested. How about a sideways knit cable collar with a top-down raglan sweater with fitted waist? There was an interesting bias garter shaping which I would have passed by if I’d only read about it, but which, since I saw samples of it - I know now I will probably knit up soon. There was also a sweater constructed of rectangles that was anything but blockish - or it could be blockish if you wanted that.

So - there - I feel as if I’ve got a handle on what were the basics of knitting architecture that were covered, now I can give you the scoop.

A was taking the class on reversible cables which was on Saturday a.m. so I met her at the studio at 1. When I got there the class was still going on and I was surprised at the deep voice of Ms. Chin. You know your prejudices are showing when you expect all tiny oriental women to have high pitched voices. Eh. well. She was all in Purple, except for the crimson shoes. The class looked like it had maybe 12 - 16 folk - just the right size, actually.

The only real frustration with this class - and it was minor, in hindsight, was the disorganized way the homework/handouts were distributed. I was not the only person who got them late, and in fact, I wasn’t the only person who didn’t get them till I asked for them. Nor was I the only one who only got some of the handouts ahead of time. We all did get them eventually and it really didn’t interfere with my learning, so I shan’t grouse that much. I already knew that the shop owner’s strengths lie elsewhere, anyway.

We were both starving, so we went off to Applebees to try out the weight watcher’s lunches - only to find that what I remembered was an Applebees was really a Ruby Tuesday. These two restaurants have always been interchangeable in my mind, but they have now chosen two paths that will make it very easy to distinguish them. While Applebee’s has WW friendly meals, RT has LowCarb stuff - which means nothing to me, except that the dressings on the sandwiches will be heavy with fats. Alas. I always liked RT better. Eh. Neither are much of an option for me unless I’m visiting a city and one can find either restaurant in any good size metropolitan area.

Visiting with A made me aware of what fun it is to be the age I am now - because she is exactly the age my son is and yet, there’s none of that feeling of being with a different generation. We’re all just grownups and we’re all just having fun trying something new. I hope I can keep that energy to the end.

We caught up on news, checked out GotYarn, where, though I am awash in fiber at home, I did pick up the summer Knitters (not too bad, really) a button and a single ball of red Aurora8. It is the one color I don’t have and it’s sorely missing in a multi-colored hat I’m knitting. There were some really friendly clerks at the shop and one of them had her 4 year old daughter, sleek in satin pajamas and proud of it. There was a reception planned for LC at the shop from 5:30 to 7, but I knew my folks were really looking forward to our company at dinner and A was ready to go along with pretty much anything.

One of the special things about A is that she is a DogPerson. An animal person, actually. You say you like dogs too? Yes. I do too. We all like our pets. But within the broad category of animal lover, there are those who are attune to animals in a special way and A is one of them. This means that she will be able to tolerate the BigDogs at my folks. These dogs are Present in every way. Sight, scent, and ... in your lap - even the great Dane.

That night A showed me how to do reversible cables - which is, like most of the best knitting tricks I’ve learned, a real No Duh technique. We pulled out our other show-n-tell things and made plans for latter get-togethers this summer. She was such a perfect guest - she turns out to be a lark! In my family, we’re all such dawn prowlers that sleeping to 7 is probably cause to see a doctor. But by 9 we were in cars, heading down the highway, A for home and me for my class.

As I have said, the class was a complete success. I am so full of design ideas I’m afraid I’ll forget more than I’ll remember. I have a notebook full of sketches, some design math, and 15 pages of handouts (which I re-read before I went to bed last night - I really do feel greedy about not forgetting things) Ms. Chin had us take bust, back of neck to wrist, and preferred overall length measurements and when we did sketches, we did them all with our own numbers plugged in. Then she had a little lecture on the use of both standard graph paper and knitters graph paper. Her design process is very visual. She comes up with shapes and then knits enough stitches to fill in the shapes. She said that as a girl, working at garment factories, she actually did custom knitting that way, plugging in enough stitches to fill up a paper pattern shape. I’ve always thought that would be an easy way to knit but have never tried it - who knows what I will come up with now.

Then she began discussing each of the garment shapes we’d swatched - offering ideas for using these shapes to advantage, covering strengths and weaknesses of each of them. The samples she pulled out were enough to make you drool. I truly coveted my neighbor’s goods throughout the day. There were hooded jackets and enormous shawl collars and fabulous lace borders. There were sweaters knit in every possible direction, stitches picked up here or there and taken there or here, to give you something stylish, lovely, fitted, fancy; pretty much anything you might like. She had a couple of the sample sweaters that I’d seen in Knitters and one of them I plan to go back to for inspiration on a challenge garment I’m making this summer.

The hours were packed with pure solid knitting creativity. I had told BD that the class ended at 2 so I could be expected home sometime around 5. Ha! the class lasted till 5 and I wanted to stop by to see dear friends. Thank goodness too, since it ment I could call home and tell the answering machine, who had begun to get worried, that I would be quite late.

Of course, East or West, home is best, and I was mighty glad to get back. I’m also glad I only took the one class, though I ache to learn more from LC and will take other classes from her when I get the chance. But truth is - I don’t know if my brain has the ability to retain any more info than I got yesterday. I feel like I could knit for 3 years on what she gave us.

Hey! Suddenly, I’m really glad I have all that stash!

posted by Bess | 8:23 AM