I spent a lovely weekend with my fellow CSMers (Circular Sock Machines) in a hotel in Kegworth. Got there straight from work Friday night, with only a small delay in the traffic. One fish and chip dinner later and I was pretty much ready for bed. That, and there were some rather annoying "hens" with an "impersonal stereo" aka a smartphone playing tinny dance music. There are pubs that play music, you know - you only have to google them.
Saturday I was down to attend Hilary's fairisle class - but got carried away making a toddler sock (came out somewhat misshapen because I'd grafted the toe before I realised I'd forgotten to do a short-row toe - oops!) and managed to miss her class completely. Luckily, she gave me a mini demo of the ingenious two-colour mast she'd developed. Of course I had to buy one!
I then had a class with Matt where he demonstrated polka dots, fairisle worked using the holding position - and a class with Mary - dragon scales ie pointed flaps and lace. As I'd written notes up for a class on cables, which had been left out of the programme, I gave her my handouts and a sample to show everyone. Three techniques for the price of one class! To be fair, teaching more than one class is a bit much because I want to learn stuff too, and that's a push in two days because you can't be in two places at once. In the late afternoon I gave my talk about starting a sock with the ribber - this year I'd manage to borrow a projector so that helped, and Mary borrowed it later for her history talk.
Sunday I did wedge toes and short-row spiral shapes with Steph, and I managed to knit one of a pair of tube socks in WYS blue. Yes, the Wool Wagon was there again and yes, I did succumb to some Stash Enhancement eXperiences. Loving the cashmere mix, hoping it feels as nice as socks as it does in a ball.
Sleep was in short supply - the room too warm and the bed very hard - but I'm not sure I'd sleep well anywhere these days, seeing as I can't even get a decent night's kip in my OWN bed - so I can't entirely blame the hotel for that. All too soon it was over and people were packing up and drifting away - the saddest part for me! I'm sure if we had five days we still wouldn't haven't have explored every topic these machines bring up.
Highlights for me? Steph's class (I've been admiring her socks on Facebook) and especially her "naughty" weights (soft sock weights with faces on), seeing a very simple Co-Op CSM machine and some beautifully painted CSMs. I guess perhaps you have to be an engineer to understand the attraction and wonder at beautifully-machined metal contraptions.
Lots of pictures here. Many thanks to Mary H (from Ruddington museum) for her endless patience in putting this convention together and putting up with lots of hassle, and the Wool Zone for replenishing my supplies!
Current mood: exhausted