Knitting by Judy @ 10:37 PM

a bevy of knitters
a bevy of knitters

OK. We’ll go back to talking about knitting, now. But before we do… did you read the incredulous tone of the pingback to the previous post? … That’s right, a blogger whose focus is knitting hacked WordPress… 😆 The ping came from a very nice person who is as unhappy with the WP admin panels as I am, so I don’t want to give him any grief. (But I did wander over to his blog and tease him just a little.)

Thursday night I definitely left my comfort zone, but I had the best time! Several months ago, I had been asked to speak about Judy’s Magic Cast-on at the April meeting of the Tigard Knitting Guild. I was very pleased and excited to accept.

And I started thinking that I really should try to figure out exactly what I was going to say. And then I got busy and I didn’t. But I did think about teaching JMCO to a crowd and wondering exactly how people in the back were going to see it. The largest group I’ve taught it to before would probably be one of my sock classes. And that would be around five or six intrepid knitters.

This was around… 50. 😯

A week ago at Tangle, I spied some US#19 circular needles – these are really big, gentle reader. I bought two – one in wood and one in metal. And I bought two balls of the bulkiest yarn I could find in the brightest colors that Alice had, and I hatched a plot.

more knitters
more knitters

At the appointed time I arrived at the appointed place. I had yarn, needles, my current projects and a few items to show some cool things that JMCO can be used to do. There weren’t many people there yet, and I knew some of them. All were warm and welcoming, and I was invited to join a table. I sat and knitted and waited for the meeting to began and reminded myself that it would be a good idea to figure out what I was going to say.

Now, I know I am going to hear howls of protest when I say this, but I’m really a shy person. Once I get to know people, then I’m not shy at all. But in crowds where I don’t know people… yeah. I realize that some people are totally comfortable speaking to thousands of people. I’m not one of them. I have to force myself to come out of my shell and talk to people. Even knitters. And the knitters kept coming and coming and coming. And I just kept knitting and knitting and knitting. I knit two inches on the Salish Sea Socks – last December’s Rockin’ Sock Club pattern – all of which had to be frogged out the next day.

The meeting got rolling, and before I knew it, I was being introduced. I rose from my chair, waved at the crowd, took a deep breath, and started in.

It turns out that my voice is loud enough that I didn’t need a mike. Whodda thunk it? (I hear you laughing out there.)

I totally winged it, telling about how I had developed JMCO when I was home sick, and why it was cool. And then I called for volunteers. One volunteer played Judy’s Index Finger, and one volunteer played Judy’s Thumb. I handed each a ball of yarn, tied the ends together in the middle, and, holding up my humongo needles, demonstrated the cast on. The needles were so big that I actually needed both hands to hold them and loop the yarn around. Once I had demo’d, I showed off a few FOs that I had started with JMCO: two pairs of socks, and The Wings Of The Raven, and a bag that I’m pretty sure I started with JMCO. Well… I could have, so it got the point across.

and even more knitters
and even more knitters

And then I wandered amongst the tables, helping the knitters master JMCO and having a really marvelous time with everyone. In the pictures, you can see a bunch of wonderful knitters, concentrating on winding that yarn just right.

When I had circled the entire room and made it back to my table, I answered questions, took a few photos, thanked everyone for welcoming me into their fold, and sat down with relief. I used almost exactly my allotted time. Whew.

It was amazing and fun and I’m so glad that I did it! But I’m not sure that I’m even going to become comfortable speaking in front of crowds.

I’d also like to talk to you a bit more about the Great Adirondacks Soxie yarn. The link is just the first place I found that actually had a picture of the color. As you were, I was a bit surprised that they compared this yarn to Koigu. It’s nothing like. For one thing, although it felt softer after washing and would be OK to wear, it’s obviously not Merino. And the most obvious difference: I’ve never had Koigu pool or stripe. Ever. I couldn’t keep this from striping.

Interestingly enough, at the TKG meeting I sat next to Karen, who was knitting lace with this same yarn in a blue and green colorway. And, although I could see that the colors in the ball were lovely, in the scarf the colors looked darker and just not as luminous. Karen mentioned that this was the second time she’d used Great Adirondacks, and both times she’d been disappointed with the colors – lovely in the skein, not so much in the FO. And she had not knit socks either time! So I feel vindicated.

I still haven’t decided what to do with that second skein. I think it will need to be something like entrelac to get the biggest punch from the colors that I can.

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