Monday, October 03, 2005

Machine Knitting Wrap Up

Entrelac hat

I’m here to say that the Maritime Machine Knitters Annual Seminar was a great experience. My head is still swirling from all the information I took in and most of it, I’m sure, I will never use.

It was also nice to meet some other knitters, some of whom are like me, and rank beginners at it. And always helpful to pick Barb Telford’s brain. I love talking with Barb because she really has a sensible handle on the BUSINESS end of craft.

I was lucky enough to been seated at the lunch table with Mary and Graham Avery, the couple who had travelled from New Zealand, and Tina Doiron, a Fredericton machine knitter. The Avery's are a wonderful, charming couple who have done a lot of knitting. Friday night, Graham had said that last year he knit 6000 (no, not a misprint - that is six thousand) scarfs for the Japanese market out of hand dyed New Zealand wool. Of course, Tina and I took the opportunity of lunch to grill him on his production techniques. He has two machines set up, with electric motors, and just keeps cranking. His explanation was he's a retired dairy farmer and after a lifetime of milking cows, he's learned to think of other things while he's doing boring tasks. That's when Mary stepped into the conversation and let the cat out of the bag. Apparently, there's a picture of Graham in his 'knitting room", both machines turning out the scarfs and Grandpa Graham and a little one having a wee snooze.

Tina and I made arrangements to be room mates at next year’s seminar in Prince Edward Island. Hopefully, by then, I will have mastered how to use the ribber.

The instructor for all of Saturday’s sessions was Audrey Wagenaar from Kenora, Ontario. She was such an inspiration. One of the really neat things, in the pile of a zillion neat things, was doing Entrelac on the machine. It’s time consuming, although it’s time consuming on the 2 needle version as well. There’s one of her hats in the photos above. She showed some really beautiful pieces that she has done that are so fantastic. I wish I had more pictures of her work to show you all. She did a silk suit that was just out of this world.

There were door prizes galore. Your OddBall won two pattern books and a Timeposter perpetual write-on calendar. Do you think maybe the conference organizers know how badly I need to get organized?

Mary Avery and the booty

Mary Avery, who claims she NEVER wins ANYTHING, won the ‘Early Bird” draw on Friday. Then, when the door prizes rolled around, she won the two highy coveted skeins of hand-dyed yard Barb Telford had donated. Apparently, her luck is a whole lot better north of the equator. Thank goodness we’re shipping the two of them back to New Zealand on Tuesday while there’s still some goodies left here in Canada.

And really, if you didn’t do like I told you last column, and check out some of the incredible knitting they’re doing in New Zealand, take a second and click here. It ain’t no Granny Grunt Frump down there.

I need to go finish whipping the ‘studio space’ into shape. It’s about 90% organized and I’m getting very impatient about this last two weeks of being kept from my mad passion of knitting. Talk to you’se all laters; thanks for reading.


At 6:50 p.m., December 07, 2006, Anonymous Mary said...

I have lost, and been looking for, Tina Doiron, who once knitted lovely face cloths for me, with the Natural Essentials band wrapped around them.
Can you tell her I'm crazy for her cloths, and would love to hear from her?


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