Start at the top – Starmore’s class was terrific.
I had got the impression from the internet, long ago, that she was bad-tempered and suspicious of the world. None of that was in evidence. The class was perfectly planned, prepared, presented. Alice Starmore doesn’t tell her pupils to stop talking (a problem of Annie M.’s) – we are all busy with our swatches, listening and looking and talking, occasionally, to her.
I even finished my swatch the next day. I wouldn’t do that for just any teacher. I wonder if I have photographed it upside down.
The lesson ended smartly 15 minutes before it was scheduled to. I was briefly miffed, but then realised that what she was doing was allowing time for us to talk to her one-to-one. As several people wanted to do. The next session followed very shortly – if she had gone on to the scheduled end, she would have had to shoo us unceremoniously out of the door. I took a picture of her during that period – this is the best of a not-very-good bunch.
I would have liked to ask her my question, but it was completely irrelevant to the topic of the day and probably unanswerable anyway, even by her. It is this: I extravagantly admire her Stillwater pattern. I tried to knit it, and gave up after several inches because the usual rhythm of Fair Isle patterns is completely absent -- I couldn’t get my head around the 18-stitch repeats. Is there a technique?
Getting it out to scan it just now has rekindled my enthusiasm. Maybe I should try the pattern on a hat.
I then had a nice (but slightly lonely) time wandering around the market. I bought Lily Chin’s cable book, which seemed appropriate to the theme of the day and which looks very thorough. And some yarn – well, I almost had to:
I had already decided that I would proceed next (sock-wise) to Matt’s socks, and that I would need to buy yarn. I had only 100 grams of the yarn I intended for the purpose, and that’s not enough for a full-sized gent. So instead of seeking out another ball – wrong dye-lot – of the yarn I already had, I bought 200 grams of a different yarn – expensive socks – and have made a good start, as you see, on the actual thing.
(Alas, I can't seem to make Tickerfactory work any more. Does anyone know an alternative?)
(Hellie came round on the Saturday evening. I told her what I was up to, and explained about the Curse of Knitting for the Boy Friend and how I had taken expert advice and was completely reassured. She thought it was all rather funny, and that Matt will like the socks.)
The yarn is Artist’s Palette “Smoothie Sock”. My one is very like the top illustration, except browner rather than greener. It’s a good deal darker than it appears in my own snapshot. Wonderfully soft. I had sort of hoped that Posh might be there, but she wasn’t.
I’ve finished Helen’s KF socks, except for ten minutes of actual finishing, which I had better put in this evening. Kaffe’s stripes and Oliver shaping and Knit Pic needles bring us as close as we’re likely to get to the self-knitting sock.