A few weeks ago I was privileged to spend the weekend at the Travelodge Hotel with a bunch of knitters and one very famous knitting designer. In honor of her having led the very first Montreal Knitting Guild workshop 10 years ago, (and also because she’s just a wonderful teacher), the MKG brought back Sally Melville to run a weekend-long series of workshops.
If you ever get a chance to take a class with Sally, do it! She is the cutest little thing, and tells wonderful stories. She is also a great teacher. Here are my swatches from that weekend:
On Saturday I took 2 workshops- “Rescue Tips and Emergency Techniques” and “Learning to Love Intarsia”.
This poor swatch got really put through the wringer! First we had to cut a stitch and unravel back to show how you could cut your knitting to make changes (shorten, lengthen, etc). I wasn’t afraid to cut, remember the Superman costume legs? I’d already cut them and lengthened them by an inch, before grafting the feet back on. We also learned how to fix a mistake by duplicate stitching then cutting out the original yarn. In this swatch, the blue stitches in the Fair Isle row were originally black. We duplicated-stitched over them, then cut out the black stitches.
This was our intarsia sampler. She gave us some great techniques for avoiding holes without too much twisting of the yarn.
After the classes Saturday night a bunch of us went out for dinner with Sally. We had a great time and had some yummy (but overpriced) Italian food in Dorval.
On Sunday it was one workshop all day long; I forget the name but it was something about tips and techniques “…for the Self-Taught Knitter”.
This was a little stockinette stitch swatch I made to show Angie that knitting wouldn’t unravel sideways. She was positive that if you cut your knitting, it will all come undone- this was to show her that even in a plain-old acrylic yarn, the stitches aren’t going anywhere. The 1-stitch width you see unravelled above took a LOT of tugging and pulling to get it to “pop out” on its own.
This hideous piece was our increase, decrease and bobble sampler. It also prompted a witty observation- we spend money to go to a workshop, spend all day joyfully knitting away, then come home to our significant others waving this deformed mess at them, proudly exclaiming “look what I did today!!!”. No wonder non-knitters don’t get it!
This last swatch was for practicing seaming and buttonholes. I think one of the best “a-ha!” moments of the class was her tips on picking up stitches for a neckband. One simple modification to eliminate any gaps- it’s genious.
All in all, it was a great weekend spent with some great people. I am thrilled that I was able to meet a knitting legend like Sally, and wish her much success with future books and projects.