Saturday, March 19, 2016

Well, the EYF is over, at least as far as I am concerned, and so is Six Nations rugby. Scotland lost to Ireland. England and France are battling it out in Paris as I write. Allez les bleus! But I don’t think it’ll happen.

Everything went extraordinarily smoothly this morning, and I got to Woolly Wormhead’s class with time to spare. I regret not having another hour in the market – to look at the stands that didn’t exactly have yarn in them, like Shetland Wool Week; to finish cruising past everything, however briefly; and to explore Kate Davies’ own stand. I never actually got to do that.

But it was safer not.

Woolly’s class was fun. She had a glorious armload of her hats to show us, and tried to introduce us to the mental concept of knitting hats sideways. We knit a circle of short-row wedges, and learned a good provisional cast-on and how to graft in garter stitch. The doing of it is easy: the trick is to have the two rows being grafted at different stages so that grafting can produce an artificial row of garter stitch which bridges the gap between the two.

The only way to carry things forward will be to knit some of Woolly’s patterns.

And one of you recognised me and introduced herself! Not because I was wearing some particularly striking knitting, as many were, but for my Bernie Sanders sweat shirt. It was a very happy moment.


Kristie, no: how did you find Whistlebare? I don’t think I had ever heard of them. My yarn isn’t sock, but DK, to knit Carol Feller’s capelet from IK. And I also bought a pack not of gradient colours but of co-ordinated colours in the same weight, the idea being to combine them somehow with the base colour, probably nothing more complicated than stripes. They look wonderful together, and that’s where I spent the most money. 

Feller talked to us about the problems of using a set of gradient yarns like that, as stripes in something in which the stitch count keeps increasing. You must decide in advance (obviously -- but it's got to be thought about) whether you want the stripes all the same width, or will you allow them to narrow as the stitch count increases.

The yarn is 80% their own mohair and 20% their own Wensleydale and gloriously lustrous. I saw it early in my exploration and at the end, beginning to totter with weariness and confusion, I had a real fear that I couldn’t find my way back to their stand. But I did. 


  1. Carol, San Diego10:12 PM

    How fun to experience the festival through your blog; happy you got to the Wooly class! If possible, please tell us more? I love that you wore Bernie's shirt. I'd have recongized you, too :)

  2. So glad to hear you managed to get to your class today! Woolly Wormhead would have been my top choice - I'm rather envious of that.

  3. I am so glad you got to go today and had a good time.

  4. Hope Bernie can keep going. He's on a roll. And I wish I had a supporters' sweatshirt. My Pi T-shirt arrived 2 days late. Not that I'm that keen on math but I just thought it was a neat item

  5. Anonymous1:19 AM

    Everything sounds so wonderful, so glad you got to go!

  6. I'm glad you made it to the Woolly Wormhead's class. Her hats are so fun and inventive that I was pretty sure her class would be great. I first heard about Whistlebare Yarns on a podcast, but I can't remember which one. I liked the idea of it being a small, family run farm. The yarn on their website looks lovely, but you can never tell for sure unless you can pick it up and hold it in your hands. I feel safe to order some now, knowing it got your seal of approval!

  7. This sort of knitting stimulation keeps you going, doesn't it? Sorry about Scotland. Now a couple of days to put your feet up. (As if.)

  8. =Tamar1:48 PM

    I'm happy that you got to go to Wooly Wormhead's class. I think I'd need an entire class just on garter stitch grafting.

  9. Anonymous4:19 PM

    Yes, glad you didn't have to miss a class after all - well organized on your part. Grafting garter - Ann Budd taught us at a Toronto Knitters' Frolic one year. Haven't had occasion to do it, but glad to have done it and have her notes.
    - Beth in Ontario

  10. I love reading such a happy post. Glad you were able to go, and impressed with your discipline in yarn purchases!
    I have now added this to my list of places to go....

  11. Really enjoyed reading about your adventures at the ETF. What a busy week you are having!

  12. It was lovely to meet you at the Woolly Wormhead class yesterday. I went straight off to the marketplace and bought yarn for lots of sideways hats!