Thursday, May 17, 2007

Celtic Cables

I went to a Fiona Ellis workshop on Tuesday night. I really can't say enough about the wonderful time I had. What a fabulous, charming woman! She was so pleasant and the rhythm of her voice was perfect for knitting. Who doesn't love a Brit accent?

We knit a little sample in class to learn the basics. Do you know the difference between regular cables and celtic cables? Regular cables move up and down -- celtic cables can also move sideways. Thus forming the celtic "knots".
She told us a little about herself and I loved a story she told from her childhood. She learned to knit and sew at a very young age. One day, she was making a little doll dress and she didn't know how to do gathers, so when she joined the skirt to the bodice, she had excess fabric at the back. She took the problem to her grandmother, who looked at it and said "Well, let's make a bustle!" She attributes that "make lemonade out of lemons" attitude to her abilitly to come up with creative solutions and designs. It's a good lesson to learn. I could use a little of that spontaneity. I would have taken it out and learned how to make gathers. Stupid rigidity.

I learned some new tips. Like (and this one is common sense -- duh, me) cables shouldn't be knit with dark colors 'cause they don't show up as well. (Could of used that tip before I started the sweater I'm currently working on.) Early on in the class, I asked her if it's possible to drop just a few stitches off the needle to repair a mistake several rows back, without ripping those rows out. She assured me it was and she went into detail about how it could be done. Naturally, since I asked the question, I would be the one to make the stupid mistake and forget to cross some stitches, not noticing it until four rows later. Dingbat. It was actually a fun lesson though -- I got to see her in action. It was pretty cool to watch her fingers move as she repaired that mistake. I'll have to make a lot of mistakes like that before I become fluent in the language of successful cable repair work.

If you're interested in cables and you get the chance to go to a workshop (or if your guild needs a great workshop) with Fiona, don't miss it! She's a very interesting woman and great fun to listen to. Highly, highly recommended! Oh, and that book in the picture is great too. There are a bunch of really beautiful sweaters in it. One of them is a cute hoodie -- the celtic cable goes up the back and continues all the way to the front of the hood. Alas, another obsession.

XOXO,
Anna

P.S. Fiona has a new Fair Isle book coming out in October. Just can't picture that -- she'll always be the cable woman to me!

5 comments:

rohanknitter said...

That sounds so cool. Now you've got me wishing I had a yarn shop closer where I could go to things like that. (ha- I'm always wishing that!!)

KBG said...

This *almost* makes me wish I didn't hate knitting. But, alas, I do. I'm a hooker, through and through. :)

Flibbertygibbet said...

This makes me feel a little less scared of cables, but only a little...

Elizabeth said...

I've really enjoyed exploring your blog. And have to say, the thing that impresses me the most is that you knit socks. Like it's no big deal. Just knit up some socks...
Wow!

meggie said...

Another interesting post. I used to knit such a lot for my children when they were young. My mother taught me to knit amid much frustration. I am left handed, but I knit right handed. My grandmother had endless patience... as I now do with my grandchildren. LOL