Wednesday, October 24, 2007

My Day Knitting Orenburg Gossamer Lace

OMG....I cannot tell you how fantastic a day I had yesterday. Ian generously took the day off so that I could take a gossamer lace knitting class in Newburyport, MA ...with none other than the famous Galina Khmeleva, author of Gossamer Webs: The History and Techniques of Orenburg Lace Shawls.

There were about 8 of us in the class (including Cyndi, Julia, and Kelly and Cheryl from my spinning group) and we were so lucky to have the class at Merrill Place, a historic home near the a lovely inn run by Ruth Ann. The class itself took place here in the dining room...complete with a crystal chandelier!

We had the most delicious lunch: freshly squeezed lemonade, Hot and Cold peanut noodles, chicken ceaser salad, another salad, squash with rice & pears, homemade buns made also with squash (I think), fresh veggies and cheese/crackers. There was also cookies and cheesecake for dessert. YUM! Half of us ate outside on the steps (it was such a gorgeous and sunny fall day) and the other half ate in here on the porch with Galina and her husband. (This was also where the luxury yarn shopping was later on....oooooh!)

Meeting Galina was a treat....she is matter-of-fact, very funny (she had us with tears in our eyes at one point) and extremely talented. She was more than happy to sign books, explain the lace knitting as carefully and patiently as possible and gave me a big hug at the end of the class. I would definitely take another class with her....the three day lace knitting sounded like a blast!....what a wonderful teacher she is.

We were blessed with a nice, long, leisurely lunch after a couple hours of introduction to the history and technique of Orenburg lace knitting and then.....there was SHOPPING!!! I'm kicking myself now that I didn't take a picture of all of the handknitted Orenburg lace shawls she was selling. Why, oh, why didn't I????

I took pics of-

The rainbow color circles of Zephyr laceweight displayed on the table (the yarn some of us used for our triangle lace sample):

Julia taking a picture of me:

Cyndi knitting her lace:

and even this cool stone cat on the porch:

But not shawls...oh, what is wrong with me?

Anyway, I able to finish more than half of the triangular Orenburg gossamer lace shawl sample before we left. The purple Zephyr is just so wonderfull silky and soft....oooh! (This is the border with "tooth" edging, the start of the shawls.) The picture at the start shows a square sample I did using KP Alpaca Cloud...both samples are knit using size 0 needles. (I truly wish I'd used a 1 or 2.)

When the yarn TUBS (yes, tubs) were brought in, there was a frenzy of running, grabbing and fondling yarn. Oh, it was wonderful. The selection was something like this: (90% was laceweight)

-100% superwash merino
-100% quiviut
-Quiviut blends
-100% cashmere

I could go on and on....and the colors!....well, if you love lace and lace yarns.....there was something for EVERYONE! The only thing we felt badly about was that we didn't have enough money to buy everything we wanted.

This is what I got:

55% silk and 45% angora's a 2/32 yarn (meaning 2 ply, 32 wraps of yarn per inch)'s finer than any laceweight I've ever used and I hope I can do it. It's one of my goals to knit my own Gossamer Orenburg lace shawl...we'll see. Remind me in about 2 years, okay? LOL!

Before I forget, I want to say that I'm SO behind on my blog reading, so if I haven't commented lately, please know that I will soon. I'm trying to find a day that I'm NOT working so that I can get caught up. I have to say that, even though I love working at the yarn store, I'm having a difficult time keeping up. I feel like I never see my family because I'm working Friday nights, all day Saturday, half of Sunday and Monday nights....then my knitting night is Wed. Ahhhh!

A good thing is the sock class that I'm teaching is getting less difficult and I've only got 2 more classes. Thank goodness.

Another good thing is that the Friday Night Knitting Club that I'm hosting at the store is getting pretty popular. See the write up and picture of me (ugh...I'm not even smiling!) here.

Hope all is well with you, my knitting friends, and let me know how you think my lace is coming along....


yarnophiliac said...

I so wish I could have been there! sounds like such a great time! And the yarn -- silk and angora? I'm swooning.

Anonymous said...

You are the master of lace, Gina! I really want to knit a lace shawl, but other things keep getting in the way. I'd love to have one done before SPA.

Sounds like it was a wonderful day; you deserve it!

Jackie said...

Wow, that sounds like such a great day! I'm glad you had fun. I love the sampler you knit.

Nichole said...

Aren't knitting class days / trips so much fun??!!

Marion said...

That sample is so pretty. You keep providing new inspiration and goals to grow towards. Marion

Sonya said...

Boy what a great time!
Can't wait to see the lace that you
will create.

NH Knitting Mama said...

Looks like a great time! Great article, too!

kiyomi said...

the lace class sounds like it was so much fun! Some day I hope to meet some knitting celebrities...for now i just stalk them from a distance!

Silk and angora?! I'm jealous!

Ellen said...

LOVELY! Oh my gosh, you are sooo lucky to work with her.

Plus as a bonus, you have been tagged. See my blog for details :)

julia fc said...

That was fun, wasn't it! I can't wait to tackle the purple quiviut one now!

Heide said...

What beautiful lace you're knitting! The class sounds like it was thoroughly enjoyable. I'll have to keep checking back here for lace inspiration.

Marianne said...

That was a great day, I had such fun! I am also a Reiki Master and read tarot! I love discovering knitting and spinning friends who share other similar interests. I'm hoping Galena will be back again for more classes.

Gigi said...

Oh the lace samples you are knitting could only be described as heavenly! Cannot wait to see the pattern you choose for the shawl. =-D

Life Info Zone said...

Hmmm so u had a gr8 time...N tat sample is superab...Thanks for sharing with us.
keep up the work.

GJabouri said...

Hi, those are very nice samples. I'm taking a class by Galina in February Now I'm looking forward to it even more!

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