I know what you're thinking - if you follow this blog at all you'll know that I am a total beginner and am in no way ready to be steeking. I shared your thoughts, and hoped to go along and merge into the background lest anyone ask me about cabling, thumb cast-ons or other such things I know nothing of. I planned to hide behind my role as photographer, and, as I didn't have time to prepare any sample swatches, I figured that the likelihood of me having to actually get involved was a slim one. Oh, how wrong I was.
|The fateful moment!|
The workshop was run by the mighty Ann Kingstone, whose glorious website you can visit here. I was pretty anxious about going to what I knew was going to be a full workshop, having inadequently prepared and lacking the knowledge to even feign the confidence I needed!
|Copious amounts of tea were needed.|
Ann, and all the lovely ladies who shared the steeking experience with me, were all super encouraging. It was also nice to be there on my own terms - as much as I love doing these things with my mum, it was really interesting to be there by myself. It meant I couldn't rely on the person next to me to help me out when I made a mistake, and forced me to speak up when there was something going on I didn't understand. Thankfully, everyone was so lovely, I found myself being a little too honest about my inability to pick up stitches, but they all encouraged me to keep at it and I had the hang of it pretty quickly, helping me to keep repeating it until I had it dialled.
Weirdly, even though I was by far the least experienced person in the class, I didn't feel left behind at all. I may not have been the quickest, but I achieved the same amount as everyone else and managed to even pick up a few bonus skills! We learnt three different ways of reinforcing knitting, and I'm so completely confident that I feel fully able to attempt a pattern with steeking in it. I don't know when one will come my way, but I know the skills I learnt will help me when one does!
|Machine enforced knitting - weird, huh?|
The experience overall was so edifying. Just when I reach the end of my patience with a project, or get bored with knitting swatches, an experience like this will come along and completely restore my spirits. I cannot recommend the workshop experience enough! The combination of great teaching and great company really added to my enthusiasm and I'm still buzzing! I'm trying to refrain cutting up everyone's projects - apparently "just because I can" isn't a valid reason for doing it!
|Fairisle steek sample.|