So, I went to SkipNorth.
This is the story of last year (with lots of photos of stained glass).
This year, Isabella and I went down a day early, it's a four to five hour drive and we didn't want to be exhausted by the time we got there, and we also didn't want to be late for the workshops. (The link gives a comprehensive report on the whole event from her perspective as well.)
We weren't quick enough to get into the YH at Haworth, so Isabella cleverly booked us into the fabulously named Mankinholes YH near Hebden Bridge.
We stopped off along the way for a little fibre-enhancement which meant we arrived later than planned, and yes, there really was an irate woman driver who stopped her car in front of me, undid her seat belt and waved her fists at me for having the temerity to not drive at 40mph in a built up area with a 30 mph speed limit, when I there was so much rush hour traffic the lane markings on the road were obscured by vehicles.
Beware, should you go to the Youth Hostel, it is at the top of a hill on the edge of the moors and there are hairpin bends all over the place which are either bounded by nothing at all, no barriers of any description, or they are bounded by eight foot high walls and the roads are about a car width wide. Let's just say I got plenty of practice doing hill starts.
Sue was destashing, and I was lucky enough to be given a copy of Jan Eaton's Ripple Stitch Patterns, which is one of those books I have been picking up and meaning to buy for years but the only copy shops ever have is the one which has been used as a reference copy by a gazillion other knitters.
She also destashed some sock yarn in Margarete's direction. I'm not going to mention the dyer, but let's just say this stuff has the reputation on the web for being less than colourfast. With the assistance of a niddy noddy it was wound from a ball back into a skein, and soaked. And yes, the water turned an interesting pale peacock colour. We had no vinegar, but we did have a Biochemist in the shape of Sally, who suggested a Diet Coke as a substitute! Isabella generously offered one of her cans to the project, and after a further soak in a carefully measured (glug-slurp-glug) 50% solution of Diet Coke and warm water, followed by a wrapping in cling film and 8 minutes in the Youth Hostel microwave (I took the decision that this was safe, Diet Coke being food of a sort), it emerged, colourfast! I suspect things rather less wholesome have been microwaved in it in the past, and I did clean it afterwards...
The next morning was misty.
But the light at the YH was lovely.
This was in the garden.
The painting on the side seemed to say Servis, like the washing machine brand, but looking at it again here, I wonder if it doesn't actually say "Gents"!
The next morning saw us visiting Texere in Bradford before heading off to the YH at Haworth to meet up with the other Skippers. There were A Lot Of Knitters, and possibly... can this be true... even more people spinning than knitting?
I learned to knit Judy's Magic cast on again in a rather more fluid fashion than I had done at home, and Jane ably assisted by Ruth (who now has tonsilitis), had me wrapping and turning as if I was skipping across a dance floor! And thanks to Dianne, I can now read lace charts.
The evening saw us having a giant destash in the sitting room - however Karen cleverly kept back the better items and they were destashed separately for Honesty Box p/hop donations. She did a great job of describing all the items and they were whisked away, in most cases barely before her words were uttered. I started out being very polite, but realised very quickly that she who hesitates is lost, so I became rather less ladylike! Donations are now rolling in from this event, so if you were one of the lucky ones, the Just Giving Page is at your disposal. Thank you to everyone who participated.
Now the bit you've all been waiting for... Lace News.
Well I have good news and not-so-good news.
The good news is that I rather like this making holes thing. It's rather appropriate that I learned it on a weekend where I stayed at a YH with almost the same name.
The bad news is that I have frogged it.
Of course you could be generous and say I was swatching!
I remembered to take a photo before I pulled it out completely...
It seemed to me that the needles, 3.75mm addi lace ones and the yarn, which is this...
... just make a fabric which is a bit too holey on the solid bits for my liking.
It's the recommended combination, but I think the needles need to be thinner or the yarn needs to be fatter.
The main issue I have, however is with the pattern.
It's a lovely pattern, clearly written and error free (I checked), click on the link and you can see how pretty it is (and click again to make it bigger too).
However, the charts are rather small.
They start off OK, but as the shawl gets bigger, the charts stay in the same page layout so they are reduced in size overall.
This is chart 2 (on the right) and chart 6 (on the left), with a pencil for scale.
I just can't see me managing with it being so small. My scanner doesn't enlarge things.
The only thing I can think of doing is taking a photo of each chart and then printing it off on ordinary paper on the B&W laser printer in A4 landscape size.
Would that work, do you think?
In the meantime I may cast on for something different just to keep the mojo flowing.