Sunday, July 15, 2012

worth the wait list

Hey, look who I was lucky enough to take a class from today!

Yup! That's the Yarn Harlot! She taught a couple of days worth of classes this weekend at A Verb For Keeping Warm.  I couldn't get into the class that I most wanted to take (they filled up so fast!), but I was on the wait list, and....lucky me!!  Someone cancelled, opening up a spot!

The class I took was called "Knitting for Speed and Efficiency," which where Stephanie teaches "Lever Knitting" (Sweet Georgia has done up a nice post about it here).  I had seen Stephanie demonstrate Lever Knitting once before at a retreat I went to a couple of summers ago, but it was very brief. She wasn't teaching how to actually do Lever Knitting at that time, she just gave a wee little talk about it, and showed what her hands were doing. 

During this class I took today though, we actually got walked through the technique step by step.

I do not believe I would be alone in saying that I felt like I was learning to knit all over again. I do believe I have a firm understanding of how the whole thing works, in my head, but also in my hands. I am going to practice for awhile and see if I can get the technique to settle in, because aside from being faster, I do believe that it's much gentler on the joints of the hands.  Perfect for me with that crazy CMC joint thing going on in my right thumb.

Whether I make the transition into becoming a Lever Knitter or not, Stephanie at least had as looking at our own "regular" knitting style and making some slight changes to our own movements to increase efficiency. Just making those changes alone I went from knitting 26 stitches per minute to 32 stitches per minute....and that was with fixing a dropped stitch in there, too!

Some of the other fun parts of her class were learning some interesting tidbits about the history of knitting (knitting is not really as old as I like to think it is, apparently!), and she also had some things to say about the width of stitches and some things that knitters do in general that make them loose or tight knitters.  I can't wait to take some of this info and use it for when I am teaching myself.

There was a second class after the class I took about socks, and then Stephanie was going to give a talk tonight from 7 to 830 across the street at a church.  Even though I wasn't registered for the afternoon class, I was on the list for the talk, and my plan was to find some way to kill 5 hours (probably knitting somewhere, ya' think?!) in between the class and the talk, but it was not in the cards for me.

I had woken up with a screaming headache this morning. I took something straight away, and although I made it through the class, by the time class was over, the headache was much much worse (nausea included).  Nothing Stephanie or Lever Knitting did to me, I assure you...hahahaha. I think it was the florescent lighting ;-)

I ate lunch next door so I could take a second round of something more for the headache, and I waited to see if relief would kick in, but it didn't. I decided to skip Stephanie's talk and head home.  I spent the rest of the afternoon doing everything I know to get over it, including laying down on my bed of nails pillow, which usually works, but it didn't.  Sheesh!!  What finally straightened me out was digging into my neck with the back knobber thingy, and yay! I finally rounded a corner and started feeling a bit better at about 10pm.

Bummer to miss her talk, because I bet it was awesome, but there was a waiting list for her talk, too...and the store was going to work on filling my hopefully my not going opened up something for someone else the same way I got into the class I was able to go to!

My goal for this week is to do exactly what Stephanie suggested we do in the Knitting for Speed and Efficiency class, and that is to start a Lever Knitting specific project, one that we can pick up and work on a little each day, separate from our "regular" knitting. She suggested a 1x1 rib scarf (knit one, purl one), so that we get good at both knitting and purling. She suggested knitting the scarf in something colorful, like the ever so popular Noro Striped Scarf, so that we don't put ourselves into a coma. She said we should work on Lever Knitting every day for 30 days until the new habit is developed, and that we should Lever Knit every day until we either get angry or cry...and then put it down.  Hahahaha.  

I'll share my progress.


Jen Anderson said...

The lever knitting class sounds awesome. I'll try to take it if I ever get the chance.

OK, so I'm on day 2 of a migraine right now, so I checked out the bed of nails pillow and the back knobber thingy. How do you use the pillow? It's shaped like a neck bolster--do you rest your neck on it or your head? Does the back knobber come with instructions, or do you just kind of wing it?