Sunday, June 10, 2007


I spent all of yesterday participating in the Victoria Fiber Festival. All in all, it was a very enjoyable day. I met some new friends, I learnt some new skills and I saw the Yarn Harlot. I took my Clematis with me everywhere.

I have only just started a toe up sock, and with so much going on, I didn't get too much knitting done. In my infinite wisdom, I chose to knit a sock pattern that a) is rather complicated and b) I only just made up the day before - a Brioche twisted knit stitch rib toe up pattern, I call them my BC socks (Brioche Clematis). So, needless to say, I had to TNIK (knit backwards) almost as much as I knit.

In the morning I learnt how to hand spin with a very good instructor named Brenda. I met some new friends. I tell you, it's a new experience having friends who like to knit first rather than having learned it from me. That's how it often goes with my friends; they see me knitting so much and enjoying it so much, after a year or five, they ask me to teach them.

Now, this is where I confess to my new friends (we traded blogs you see, and since they now have access to the majority of my fiber art's history, I had best be brave and confess my sin). I have spun before. I have spun exactly three times before the class. One on a drop spindle (which dropped more than it spun), once on the spinning wheel, it was far too thin to knit with and I was truly disappointed in myself. So much so that I didn't pick up rooving again for almost 8 months. The third time was also on the wheel. I had been reading about spinning you see, and I though, "I can do that, what am I so afraid of?" I was going to spin luscious grey sock yarn, but instead, I spun the chunkiest yarn I ever did see. I was time to find an instructor.

So, you see, I had spun a bit before, but I felt kind of embarrassed to say.

In the afternoon, Brenda also taught a weaving course. Now, I have to stop and tell you, I think weaving is amazing! There are so many threads going all different directions and so many machines and gadgets. What's even more impressive is that it comes with so many toys. I mean, you've go the loom, you've got the shuttle, you've got the.... well, the list is rather long. If I could find the right sort of loom for me, I would love to start weaving.

In the evening I saw the Yarn Harlot. I had read her blog a few times but never her books and to be honest, I had no idea what to expect. To start with, there was a room of almost three hundred (mostly women, but more men than I expected) almost all knitting.

It was quite a sight.

There were so many lovely knitted creations. Sweaters, bags, vests, so many things. I wish I had taken a picture of each and every one of them to share with the world.

I hadn't intended to, but since it was cold during the afternoon, I threw on a sweater as I left to go see the Yarn Harlot. I hadn't realized until I arrived that it was my Eris (yes, I actually am that absent minded - think Philosophy and then think Academic). Everyone was telling me how great it was and Stephanie Pearl-McPhee even pet it (while I was wearing it). I'm so unaccustomed to compliments about my knitting from people who actually know what they are on about (rather than the usual "that's nice, how cleaver of you to have made it all by yourself. Wouldn't it have been easier to have just gone out and bought one?"), that I turned bright red with all the attention and got quite shy. It also felt rather nice to have people appreciate my work as well.

Here are some of my new friends:

There were people from all over, including one couple from Mississippi (I think) who had arrived on one of the (many) cruise ships docked here. They were so excited that the husband came up before the show and took pictures of us all.

There were also stash wiesel (I hope I got that name right). Adorable felted little creatures made by a woman in a shall so lovely, it almost made me want to knit a shall. She was needle felting all night, and I didn't quite see, but I think she presented her creation to Stephanie Pearl-McPhee at the end of the evening.

As for the Yarn Harlot herself, what can I say? She is inspiring. She is funny. I'm extremely glad that I didn't stay home to watch Inspector Morse.

I can't do her justice to try to describe what it was like except to say that she had me laughing to the point of tears almost the entire evening

At the end she signed my book and I had my photo taken with here. Here is one of the rare instances you will see a photo of me online (the first time, and probably the last, I will post one on my blog).

Aren't we happy.

Stephanie Pearl-McPhee, thank you for coming to Victoria.


Beth said...

It was so nice to meet you last night! Wasn't Stephanie good? Neat that you got a picture with her...happy knitting!

Miss Scarlett said...

It was so wonderful meeting you!

For a shy person you really did quite well - you met so many new people and were so friendly and talkative - good for you. I wouldn't have thought you were shy actually. :-)

Great blog post! I am so impressed that it is up already.

Your sweater is gorgeous and the colourway is a fantastic choice, lovely with your complexion.

The Yarn Harlot was so friendly and personal - that is so neat that she petted your sweater.

The weaving class looked incredible - I would have loved it, you're right.

Can't wait to explore your blog more.

Brenda said...

Hi Raven! So awesome meeting you. I'm lookign forward to exploring your blog some more and getting to know you better. For now I need a nap though. I'll get my weekend recap pics up tomorrow (not home yet, at my parents computer in Nanaimo)I hope our paths cross soon.

The Bullknitter said...

I am jealous that you met the Harlot. She is so funny in her books that I can't wait to someday meet her for real. She has never come to Calgary. Edmonton, but not Calgary. Sigh.