Thank you for your kind comments.
The next question is, how to commemorate the day? During the lace session in the morning,
gave us a pattern of his own to work on while he talked. I made a mess of mine,
but Shandy finished hers and includes it in
her blog entry. My first thot was to buy some madelinetosh
Prairie from the selection upstairs and knit it as a scarf.
[The class, when one stops to think about it, started with how-to-knit-lace, covered the major European traditions – Shetland,
Orenburg, and Haapsalu –
and included some interesting tips on designing, with beautifully-executed
samples of his own work. Franklin
is an accomplished and many-faceted man.]
But then, over lunch, Shandy astonished and delighted me with the gift of a skein of Susan Heath yarn. A new name to me. I won’t try to photograph it – follow the link. (I think this page, of “autumnal, sun-kissed colours”, must include mine.)
The afternoon class was about knitting from old patterns – the sort of thing he does in his regular columns in Knitty. A book to come? We began, unexpectedly, when some actual Victorian knitting – done by
Franklin, of course – was
distributed to the class. We were set to deconstruct it. Where did it start?
How was it done? Where did it finish? (Ours looked simple, a little triangular garter stitch shawl in two colours. My partner got it – cast on the entire lower edge, add
the centre colour intarsia-wise. I was thinking about knitting strips and
picking up stitches.)
The class went on to talk about Victorian needles and yarn – the man is a serious and meticulous historian of knitting – before we were set to knit a mystery item from an antique set of instructions. I did better on that than I had with the lace in the morning.
So might the beautiful skein Shandy gave me become something from an old pattern? Something usable. A hat? I have one antique book myself, an 1843 edition of Mrs Gaugain. But there is lots of digitized material on-line –
us the major URLs. It had never really occurred to me before that I might
actually knit from such a source. But now I feel empowered.
I might also mention that I discovered, right at the beginning of the day, that I have been doing the long-tail cast on wrong all these years. More years than
has been alive. Well, not wrong. Nothing is wrong in knitting except splitting
a stitch. But not optimally. I make a slip knot and, thereafter, wrap the long
tail around my left thumb, stitch by stitch,
and knit it on to the needle.