Sunday, April 15, 2007

She's Just as Cute As She Can Be

Sally Melville that is. I saw her. I learned from her. I ate lunch with her. She's as nice as she is talented. Excellent teacher. She gave us well written, easy-to-understand handouts.

My Mom and I went together to the Yarn Barn in Lawrence to learn from Sally Melville. It was a wonderful all-day workshop where we learned intarsia techniques in the morning and practical knitting advice about fixing project disasters in the afternoon. See the peachy crossover sweater I'm holding in the photo? That is from her Purl book, and I always wanted to make that when I saw it in the book, well now, I am determined I WILL make it. In fact, I'd like to get it done in time to wear to Stitches midwest this summer. It would be a nice summer sweater for me to wear in warmer weather, and then I can continue to wear it over a turtle neck in winter. That's my color, darl'n!!

The sweater Sally is wearing in this photo is the one that was made for the cover shot of her Color book. The sweater uses a combination of both intarsia and Fair Isle. It was one that didn't look nearly as cute in the book as it is in person. Now I'd like to make it too, but it uses Fair Isle, Intarsia AND duplicate stitch so I don't know if I'll get to it soon. Maybe it will be on my long-term project list. I need to update that list. I've been too scattered lately. If I'm going to have anything at all to wear to Stitches, I need to get moving and focused.

In the shot with her thumb, that is showing the backside of her work. It's almost as neat and flawless as the front side. In the next photo, she's showing the small knitting bag that inspired this design.
This workshop was wonderful because I didn't feel overwhelmed. I learned a TON of information that was actually usable in my every-day knitting. Things like: how to fix a wonky stitch and get it tamed into the right tension, how to prevent holes when switching colors in intarsia, when you need to twist a colored stitch and when you don't need to bother. How to pick color and design for a sweater. How to work Intarsia without using bobbins - banish the bobbins Sally says! How to work with a chart and read it more easily. How to use graph paper to chart out your own picture design.
How to do duplicate stitch and the ways you can use it, not only to change color but to add dimension and remove mistakes. How to secure floats, how to figure out what length a sweater should be for our particular body. (Most women wear their sweaters way too long). How to fix a sweater that is too long, too short, too wide or too narrow. How to make sleeves the right length. How to fix my messed up seed stitch border on my Plain Vanilla sweater (I shouldn't have chosen seed stitch as an edging on a stockinette sweater because seed stitch is wider than stockinette and that's why it wants to flip up!). How to get the right tension in intarsia and Fair Isle and keep it from puckering. How to use art magazines as design inspiration.
All in all, it was a day well spent, and a very inspiring class. Plus, best of all, I see, in person, many of the key projects that are in Sally's books. What a fun day we had! Thanks Yarn Barn, and most of all, thanks Sally for giving so much of yourself to make it a fun and learning-packed day.


Biby Cletus said...

Nice post, its a really cool blog that you have here, keep up the good work, will be back.

Warm Regards

Biby Cletus - Blog

Laura said...

Very cool pictures! Both of Sally AND of your friend Pam. :)

ColorJoy LynnH said...

I agree, Sally is a really great teacher. I have met her twice over several years. I learned a lot both times.

I'm glad you had a great class!

Elysbeth said...

Yay! Sounds like you had a great time. Suppose I shouldn't be envious, but I am : )