knit nation, pt. 3 — the inimitable ann hanson

21 Aug

Along with a handful of others, I had the wonderful good fortune to take a class with Ann Hanson of knitspot on the Friday of Knit Nation. A Christmas pressie from my parents, the class was part of her finishing series and I’m so glad I took it!

Ann is warm, with a wry sense of humour and an ease with dealing with zealous knitters. (I unfortunately chickened out of actually asking her for a proper picture and thus only have a couple of zoomed, blurry flubs for photos to offer.)

The class effectively took you through finishing a knitted/crocheted piece, from steaming and how to use schematics properly when blocking, to creating a fluid bind off, to different seaming and grafting techniques (and the difference between the two). I didn’t learn a lot of new things, but the class was incredibly validating: it turns out I already do and use many of the techniques Ann uses!

I won’t go into many of the tips she had to offer — you’ll have to take a class with her to hear them all yourself! — but I will give my very favourite, which is more commonsensical than anything else and one which I had only just started doing before I took the class. When using the mattress stitch, rather than picking up the bars in the selvedge edge 2:2

pick up and sew 1:1.

It makes for a far less bulky seam and a sturdier one as well.

However, the main thing I really credit Ann for is resparking my enthusiasm for Bridie. Bridie started with a bang; her fronts back and one arm reeled off the needles within days. And then I realised I wasn’t exactly sure how much yarn I had left and that the button band looked scary and what if I ran out midway and the whole thing ground to a halt.

No more. After taking Ann’s class, I took another look at the button band. It’s not actually that complicated, it just calls for a bit of bicraftual cunning (you knit it and sew it in place as you go to ensure the right fit). The sleeves, which I was never happy with originally, have been altered to fit my forearms better and as of last night I reckon I’ve probably got enough to make them full length rather than short caps.

Hopefully I’ll have the whole cardigan finished, blocked and ready to wear by Monday — wouldn’t that be marvvy? I say!

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One Response to “knit nation, pt. 3 — the inimitable ann hanson”

  1. pip 21 August 2010 at 8:23 pm #

    …sounds like you had a wonderful time :)

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