Sunday, February 15, 2009


Yesterday I had the good fortune to travel up to Tacoma for a class at the Madrona Fiber Arts winter retreat. Other years I've gone up for a night or two but this year Sarah and I decided to make it a day trip. Leaving at 6am made for an easy drive north and got us there in time for a quick stop for coffee, scoping out parking, and super-easy and super-fast registration (upon which time Sarah learned she'd won a door prize, hurrah!). I had signed up for Cat Bordhi's class on hybrid sock architecture and was pleased to find a free seat up front surrounded by friendly and fun knitters (are there any other kind of knitters? I think not). And for a bonus, Sivia Harding, designer of loveliness, was there to assist and add general charm to our class.

In preparation for the class I had knit the first two learning socks and begun Bartholomew's Tantalizing Socks, pictured above. I love the use of linen stitch in the pattern and how it flows into the arch expansion across the top of the foot:
Unfortunately I knitted the short-row heel on autopilot and missed Cat's particular way of concealing the wraps, which became perfectly clear after watching her youtube video on the subject. So, I will be restarting these, but without regret as both the pattern and the Blue Moon Fiber Arts Socks that Rock, medium-weight ("Downpour") is enjoyable to knit.

Before yesterday's class I was feeling a bit constrained by the patterns in the book. Needing to read a pattern carefully line-by-line is not how I usually knit my socks, but hearing Cat speak about the basic recipe of her method and how to use it to your own devices was quite freeing (and in line with what I knew to be true, that she really wants knitters to be able to take her arch expansion methods every possible, individual, original way).

Here's my sample baby sock from the class, employing Upstream arch expansion with yo's:
And with the lightweight STR in "Mustang Sally" I found at BMFA's booth in the marketplace, I'm ready to cast on for Cat's "Veil of Leaves" with Cedar architecture.

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