Most times I travel by car or plane to attend a knitting conference or retreat. This time, my mode of transportation was my trusty steed:
(Note primary fuel source.)
My Thursday morning began with a one-hour wonder course on Judy's Magic Cast-on by the Judy Becker herself. Judy is a fabulous teacher--someone who can stay cool, calm and collected in the face of a horde of disciples. While I'd learned her clever cast-on online from Cat Bordhi's fabulous YouTube video (worth watching just for the animal sounds alone), having the person who invented the method demonstrate it and mention additional applications was worth every minute. And, as in every lecture & class I've attended this weekend, I had the joy of sitting next to very smart & interesting knitters from near and far.
Next was an hour lecture on Turkish Stitches with the lovely Anna Zilboorg. A few of my favorite socks from her collection:
AZ's first exposure to Turkish knitted work was through this book, one I am glad I ordered a summer or two ago from Schoolhouse Press as it is now difficult (and expensive) to get ahold of. For carpool knitting this coming school year I'd like to work up some pillow covers using these simple yet beautiful designs. AZ spoke to the difficult life Turkish people live and how the foot coverings, typically worn inside the home, were made to help make life beautiful. When discussing the rhythmical & mathematical repetitions inherent in the designs, AZ described the patterns as singing when worked. Can't wait to hear their songs.
One interesting fact I learned is that Turkish knitters traditionally knit tensioning the yarn around their necks, knitting with their thumbs while facing the purl side. I had first heard of this tensioning & knitting method from Brazilian knitter Andrea Wong. Now I see from Andrea's website that her mother was taught by a Portuguese knitter, and that the method is indeed practiced in Turkey, Egypt, Greece, and Peru.
Being an attentive knitting student all morning called for a luxurious lunch hour at the local J&M Cafe. Ah, how I love me a breakfast burrito any time of day.