Saturday, October 23, 2010

Friday at the Conference

So, Friday dawned bright and early. I had plenty of time to get ready/get my stuff together, and Erin and I made it in plenty of time. In fact, I think we were the first eager beavers. Then I started my annoying Laura thing, and immediately asked for a conference poster I saw. Sorry, Erin! But, tomorrow I plan to get a frame for it. :)

We plopped our stuff in the sunny, sunny, high-ceiled classroom, then coasted around and checked out the layout of the museum.

Charlotte, who had originally been a museum coordinator of the conference, had accepted a different job closer to home a few months ago. Stina had stepped into her shoes, and Alex Butler, and others, had been a big help. I was reminded of the Bohus Exhibit a bit -- thinking of non-knitters trying to make everything accommodating for a huge hoard of fiber enthusiasts. I'm sure glad that, for the most part, we are eager to please and be pleased!

The museum had lots of coffee and tea available, bottled tea and water, and nice trays of sweet breads and cookies. Nametags, booklets and schedules were given out at registration, and the nice yarn booth people passed us in final preparations for the conference. Yum!

Then, off we went to the first class: Moensterstrick, Teknik og Design with Ruth Soerensen

She is a genius! And she is the reason I went to the conference.

Somehow, I happened to be on her website, specifically the winter sweater thing. Wow. Then, I read she was going to be teaching in the States. In the class, she had a large suitcase full of beautiful, beautiful Kauni and Evilla colorwork items she has dreamed up, most in the past 4 to 8 years, and that with an elbow injury taking months out this year's knitting.

Ruth spoke about her inspirations, her patterns and yarns.

We wound yarn, we sketched and we cast on.

Then we got her to chat. Danish history, Jutland hosekrammer, edicts in 1906 which said all people must... throw, was it? Her kids, musk ox, the farm. Her elbow, some future plans. It was fun. All the while the room got hotter and hotter, and I got tired-er and tired-er. I cast on. I ripped out. I cast on. I ripped out. I cast on.

I think that's the right number of times.

We had lunch and met a few other people. Then we headed back into the heat hole. Thankfully, one of the museum staff showed us how to open the 16-foot tall windows, and we plunged into knitting again.

Toward the end I tried on some of the wooly goodness.

Somehow, in the last 5 minutes, I said I'd never cut a steek.

Well, now I have. Ruth forced me to, but I made her hold my hand.

That night, there was a cocktail hour in the museum lobby. Ulla Karin Hellsten spoke on her mill Ostergotlands Ullspinneri in Sweden. She showed slides and told the history of how her family purchased an older mill in the early 70s, and now continue to make yarn and products from the yarn. Check out the adorable sheep baby blanket.

She had some of her yummy, heavenly, soft, wooly yarn available for sale. It is totally worth the search and rescue it would take to get your hands on it. Go. Do it. Now.

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