Wednesday 12 September 2012

In the Loop

King Alfred in Winchester
Last week, I was in Winchester for the In the Loop 3 conference - The Voices of Knitting.  John came with me (to Winchester, not to the conference) so we had a week's holiday there.  While I was at the conference, John went to various military sites along that part of the south coast, such as the Napoleonic War forts on the hills around Portsmouth.  And while I wasn't at the conference, we went to places that would interest both of us - the old town of Southampton, Buckler's Hard, East Meon,..... And of course Winchester itself.

In the Loop was my first knitting conference.   It was fascinating - the talks covered a huge range of topics, all related to hand-knitting.  You can find the programme here.  Amongst many other things, there were papers on knitting and the Olympics (of course),  knitting therapy groups in the NHS, Shetland knitting (three different talks on that),  1930s knitted swimsuits,  the Faroese jumpers in The Killing, yarn bombing, the knitwear worn by early polar explorers,....    Several things I wanted to emulate - in one of the talks on Shetland knitting, there was a photo of a Shetland garden fence that someone had knitted, in the traditional Print o' the Wave lace pattern, but in garden twine using sharpened curtain poles.  I immediately started trying to think of somewhere in my garden to put up a similar fence.  Tom Van Deijnen (aka "tomofholland") showed a Curiosity Cabinet of knitting samples that he has made to demonstrate techniques, such as different methods to cast on or increase - you'll find a photo of part of it here.  And someone showed Schiaparelli's trompe l'oeil jumper with a white collar and floppy bow at the neck and white cuffs - whenever I see that, I think that I should knit it one day. 

 I took some knitting with me, of course, and finished my lace ribbon scarf during the second day of the conference.  The lighting was dimmed during the talks, but it is a simple enough pattern to do in poor light - I haven't made any permanent mistakes that I can see, at least.  I wore the finished scarf on the third day of the conference, straight off the needles, though it looks better now that it is blocked.  After that, I started the cuff of the second of the pair of gloves that I am making - the fingers of the first are not yet finished, but I needed something simpler to do than knitting fingers in the dark.

I need a mannequin

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