Saturday, 18 June 2016

A Most Excellent Road Trip

Yesterday, Jen and I and my new knitting friend, Barb, travelled to Waterloo with the ultimate goal of taking a class on brioche knitting with Kate Atherley. The class was offered as part of the World Wide Knit in Public events.

Jen and I took a brioche class last fall at another knitting retreat and it was a disaster! We left more confused than when we had arrived. Last week I tried to get a sneak preview by trying to find a decent  video to watch on YouTube to no avail.

Jen picked us up shortly after noon so we headed first to a stitchery shop, The Stitcher's Place. We browsed there for quite a while. It is a well-stocked shop with a wide variety of stitching accouterments.

Barb and I both saw a very cute knitting chart with sheep. And there was one for each of us!
There was only one skein of two of the colours so Barb and I each bought one and split them to share. I don't think there will be enough left of the green that we split for all that grass so I'm probably going to use one strand of it with one strand of the DMC equivalent.

I also found a colour of floss for another project that was back-ordered at Kimat Designs where I bought a floss and a chart for another project. I also picked up three other skeins that were called 'short cuts' - ends of colourways that may be short a little bit of floss so were deeply discounted.
I will now be on the lookout for a frame to fit the finished project, so I'll have it ready to frame once I finish it. (That's optimistic, isn't it?) I will do the house in a different colour and possibly additional colours for the flowers.
Our stitching guild selected 'samplers' as the theme for this next year's stitching so I have at least two projects in mind. I now just need to get stitching.

Then we moseyed over to Shall We Knit? to shop before dinner and our class. I snagged this Gifts issue that doesn't come with my regular Interweave Knits subscription
Jen found a clearance basket with Freia yarn. I picked up this ball of 200 yd. of sport weight - possibly for some future brioche pattern
For some of the knitters on my upcoming cruise, I found some small skeins of the frilly, novelty yarn that were on sale for only $1. I will start knitting one of them and leave it as a demo sample and any who want one of the other skeins may have one. Any of these would really jazz up my little black dress.
After Thai dinner, we headed back to Shall We Knit? to get ready for our classes.

We first practiced some of the brioche stitches on a little swatch. Then we cast on for Kate's Lemon Difficult pattern. It is a 'squooshy' triangular shawl.

After a few rocky starts, and a couple of mistakes a few rows in, I felt I really had grasped the concept and just before we left, I ripped out my attempt to prepare to start it in earnest.

Once I got home, I sat up for another couple of hours to get the project underway. Today I got more done, including finding a mistake a couple of inches down, ripping back to that point, and knitting back up and beyond.

I'm using my handspun so the stitches aren't perfectly consistent. However, I'm really liking the colours. One colour dominates the ribbing on one side.
And the other colour dominates the other side. I can really see this is a great way to use up some of my single skeins of handspun. I also just remembered I have some bright-coloured Knit Picks Chroma yarn that would be excellent for a brioche project.
What I liked the most about Kate's teaching is that she showed us how to read our knitting so we could confidently know where we are in the pattern. We really understood the concepts. She is an excellent teacher and I highly recommend anyone take a class with her.

Doesn't this yarn look Noro-esque?
This was that MCN that I spun at the retreat last month. I'm just going to knit until I run out of one colour.
 Needless to say, I'll be on the lookout for other spiffy brioche patterns - cowls, hats, scarves.

It was SO fun spending the day with other knitters who also like stitching. Now we three need to find some time to get together and stitch and knit together - hopefully on somewhat of a regular basis.


  1. good for you tackling the brioche stitches!

  2. I always think that if you can rip out to correct a mistake and subsequently carry on in pattern, then clearly you understand the concept! So great that you had the opportunity to take this class with Kate Atherly!