Wednesday, January 23, 2013

VKL: The Classroom Experience

As promised, today I wanted to share my thoughts on my classes from the weekend. I enjoyed my classes so much this year - much more so than in years past. I think the biggest difference for me this year was I really challenged myself and took classes outside of my normal realm of interest and knowledge. If I am going to pay a lot of money for this conference, I might as well get new things out of it.

Here is a breakdown of my classes:

1. Beyond Entrelac with Rosemary Drysdale
I took Entrelac with Rosemary at Vogue Knitting Live New York last year and I really enjoyed the class. I was really interested by how unique and different the yarn worked up from last year's class so I decided to take a second level course this year. In this year's class we learned how to work more intricate patterns into your Entrelac, like ribbing or cables.

This class was the perfect way to start my weekend. It was very very challenging trying to refresh my memory from last year and incorporate the new material. I will honestly say that I made MANY mistakes during this class BUT I learned so much! Rosemary and I were talking during the cocktail party after class about the material and she told me that she purposefully puts some challenging and deceptive pieces into the material and chart so that we have to learn from our mistakes. This was so wonderful for me personally. I feel that having learned from such accomplished knitters I have spent a lot of my knitting "career" just following a pattern or chart and when I need help, Mom fixes it. I need to learn more about the process of knitting, the mechanics, and that learning from your mistakes is often more important than the ability to straight read a pattern or chart.

2. Two Color Double Knitting with Melissa Leapman
Anyone who follows my blog knows that I am quite a Melissa Leapman fan. I have made it a goal to take a class with her every Vogue Knitting Live and I have never been disappointed. This class was especially great for me because it combined my love for Melissa with a new and challenging course. I LOVED this class. It was so much fun to work on something completely new but that you see the effects of the pattern-work immediately. The only thing that bummed me out was that Melissa sold out of her book "Mastering Color Knitting" before I could buy a copy and have her sign it! Sad face!

3. Icelandic Chevron Mitten with Ragga Eiríksdóttir
The Icelandic Chevron Mitten class was the one I was most intimidated by. I do not know why I was but maybe the combination of the instructor's name with the fact that I knew I would be knitting a mock little mitten on dpn's did it for me. (Just a side note, I HATE knitting on dpns because I feel like I am always one odd move away from impaling myself or losing an eyeball). However, I was VERY happy with this class.

Ragga is such an interesting woman. She made me laugh so much during this class. There were so many great aspects to this class but I think the part that really sold it for me was Ragga's incorporation of the Icelandic culture into this learning experience. First things first, Ragga asked us to purchase Einband, a traditional Icelandic yarn for the project. It had such a different feel and (I know my mother is going to love this comment), the most amazing natural smell. Once we got going on our mittens, Ragga then started playing Icelandic music and showed us a slide show of images she has taken while on knitting tours throughout the country. This was such a neat experience. I do not know much about Iceland at all so I LOVED getting to learn a bit about knitting and about the Icelandic culture as well. Sign me up for an Icelandic knitting tour!

4. 10 Things Your Mother Never Taught You with Candace Eisner Strick
The last class that I took on Sunday morning was with Candace Eisner Strick. My mother has been telling me for years that I have to take a course with her. Candace was A RIOT! I was dying laughing all class. This was a very good nuts and bolts type of course and I think it is important to take one of these every lecture. While I did not learn as much in the ways of knitting techniques, I did greatly enjoy spending time with Candace. I will never forget, for as long as I live, how to do a double decrease because of her jokes.

All in all, I really enjoyed my classes this year. I am happy to say that I think I am learning more and more every day that I knit.

Tomorrow we talk about the extras - the cocktail party, gala dinner and the lectures! Please share your comments with me about what you liked or didn't like about your classes!

Until Next Time,
Broke Knitter

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