Unbeknownst to most of you, I was on a cruise ship last weekend, going up the coast to St John and Halifax and back. I had a great time, won a little at craps, got some knitting done, but primarily just had a nice vacation with my wife. The cruise was ostensibly knitting-related — although there were only 58 knitters on a ship holding over 3000 people — and while I partook in some of the knitting activities, taught a short workshop, sold some of my books and visited knitting shops in our ports of call, I really meant the cruise to be a pleasant time away for myself and my wife.
So as not to make this post altogether too long, I’ll highlight only one exceptional experience which was completely unexpected.
As we approached Halifax, there was a rumor circulating that, in addition to the yarn shop we already knew about, there was a fiber festival going on at the Marriott. We resolved to check that out once we got some more info at the yarn shop. However, we found out that the “festival” was more of a private retreat — but that there was a vendor room that was open to the public.
I had already been witness to large amounts of Kauni in the yarn shops we had visited, which made for an obvious conversation starter when talking with folks in those shops. They were already familiar with the designs of Lucy Neatby, who has also been using Kauni heavily in her recent design work. So it was no surprise to find, when we entered the vendor room, a large basket of Kauni in addition to most of the line of Hand Maiden/Fleece Artist yarns. I browsed for a while and eventually struck up a conversation with the woman running the vendor room — a designer named Ilga Leja. It turned out that she had heard of me and my book, and was overjoyed that I had randomly shown up. After talking to her co-organizer Jane Thornley, it turned out that they were coming to the end of their retreat, and they asked me to do an impromptu presentation of my work to the assembled attendees. Needless to say, I opened a few more eyes there, even if my heavily-engineered work was a radical departure from the freeform openwork they had come to learn.
I would be remiss if I didn’t mention Yarns on York, our LYS host at Fredericton, a bus-tour away from our port of call at St John, NB. They organized a knit-in (or knit-out) in our honor and we got to meet up with a whole bunch of knitters from that area. Thanks to that experience it’s entirely possible I’ll be extending my workshops to a new country in the not-too-far future!
Now, the part you’re probably itching to see. A couple of months ago I finished knitting Parallax v2.0 — the Parallax scarf I’ve been knitting in Kauni on the bias. I was hoping to get around to blocking it before taking photos but my studio is a little too chaotic right now to deal with that. So here it is, unblocked but still glorious. You can probably tell why I couldn’t stop working on it. One really neat side-effect of working this in the bias is that the really clean selvedge runs around all four edges, not just the sides. So I have only 3 more Parallaxes to finish before the eBook has enough content to be published. However, given my other design contracts for this year, I don’t think that’s likely to happen in 2012.
Anyway, I’ve regained my landlegs just in time for a classic New England August heat/humiditywave, and while my condo is cool enough, the general unpleasantness of the environment is not particularly conducive to knitting. Still, I have my to-do list to look at and there will be some knitting in the near future. But for now, I’m reminiscing about the cool night breeze on the cruise ship. Good night, all.