Tuesday, August 17
KnitCamp 2010: review
This was my classroom set up in room 44. The two standard Brothers are nearest, Jo's chunky is nearest the windows on the left (she lets her cat sleep on it! Argh!), and the convertible is furthest. Around the walls I put my MK work folders and some sample garments - Amelia the mannequin is just out of shot on the right. Not a bad little room, but rather warm (no aircon and windows that hardly open).
I had two students at 9.30am and we just about managed to get everything in, in 90 minutes. They were both thinking about getting machines, so I hope I inspired them enough to start shopping around. If you spot me on Rav, guys, say hi! :)
The KC staff put a piece of paper outside my door so that students could sign themselves up for a slot - I also put a quick advert on the noticeboard. My name actually disappeared from the Knit Camp website for months - I did ask to have it put back on, because I was pretty sure I wasn't fully booked, but I did not reappear until last week. Consequently nobody knew about me to book me, which is a darned shame. I could have taught 16 in a day!
Anyway, no students appeared for the second slot so I wandered over to Pathfoot to have a look at the marketplace. I had brought £50 and was very good, didn't get the plastic out once. I got a lovely giant button from Toft, which I'm using as a coaster, a knitted sheep kit from My Baboo, a flower loom, and some lovely buttons from Injabulo. Although I had managed to get a food voucher by this point, I had left it in my classroom, and it was getting too late to get it and then get to the one dining room that would accept it, so I had lunch in the Pathfoot cafeteria. Wandered back over to my classroom for 2pm, hung around until 2.30pm, still no students, so back over to the marketplace to see the other part. One of my students was Renee from Vogue Knitting magazine - alas, she was manning a stand so had cancelled and wasn't sure she could get time off.
At 3.30pm I had two more students - local ladies who had somehow found out about the event (they have no internet). We got through the basics very quickly, because they'd got knitting machines under beds, so had done it before - and I got to show them lace, fairisle, knitweave etc. It was a lot of fun! They hadn't booked in advance, so I took them to the KnitCamp office hoping to get payment sorted out, but there was nobody there, so we swapped details and they'll be putting a cheque in the post.
Went and had some dinner (some vegetarian pasta) and then went and sat in the bar and knitted for a while. Made a pear cider last over an hour - well, Cottrell and Pathfoot are a 15 minute walk apart (with a bit of a hill) and I'd done that trip four times, so I was bushed! Went back to the chalet and tried to sleep, which wasn't easy as I could hear someone on their mobile in the next room, and wooden chalets are kind of creaky!
Decided to start packing up on Saturday morning, as no more names appeared on my booking sheet. I felt really mean for packing up, but as most of the classes etc were all now in Pathfoot it was pretty deserted in Cottrell - designed by a prison designer apparently - the room numbering was certainly interesting!. I was done by 10.30 - discovered the service ramp I'd been directed to (and not found) on the first day, was actually down the far end of the carpark I'd been in originally. No wonder I never found it the first time!
Found my way back to the motorway (some new roadworks slowed me up on the A74M), and after a quick stop at Tebay for cheese (Greg) and purse (me - they didn't have any), I just kept my foot down until Rugby hove into view.
All in all, a good event. All the students I spoke to (bearing in mind, I got there late Thursday) were very happy with their courses, and some had even taken ones they hadn't originally planned, because of the disruption on the first day. I've seen suggestions on Rav that the "happy campers" have been somehow brainwashed, that actually they weren't happy. If you think someone could brainwash 200 odd people then, well, you watch too much science fiction and should probably get out more. Some folks seem rather unhappy that things went so well, an addiction to schadenfreude perhaps? I wouldn't mind, but a lot of those weren't attending, but "I might want to attend next year so I need to know what is going on!". Sorry, I've not had any suggestion that this is now an annual event. That's just a poor excuse for sticking your nose in, in my opinion. If the students are happy, the students being the final "customer", then the event was a success I think.
From my point of view, I would have preferred to teach more students to make it worth the physical effort and travel, and nobody had been sent my notes - luckily I printed off a load of handouts just in case. I would prefer not to have to advertise myself last minute, when everybody is already booked on other courses. But, that minor gripe aside, it was fun and I met Lucy Neatby (fantastic fairisle cardigan!) and a few other folks who've only been names on websites.
Was quite glad to get home to pizza and beer and my own bed, though! :)