Total Immersion

Every year, around this time, the Madison Knitters' Guild hosts the annual Knit-In, a one-day event that rewards knitters of all stripes with total immersion into the craft. So, last Saturday Cassandra and I joined hundreds of knitters from around the country and took advantage of the opportunity to bathe in the luxury of knitting all day.
The Knit-In offers morning and afternoon classes, lunch, and a large vendor room. The cafeteria becomes the defacto knitting room with large, rounds tables filled with friends, old and new, knitting, talking, laughing and generally enjoying some fiber-filled leisure time.

The Guild always manages to snag some pretty great main guests. In the past, I've seen The Mason-Dixon Girls and the founders and staff of Ravelry, among others. This year, the featured speaker was Kate Gilbert from the Twist Collective and her talk included a fashion show that I hear was exceptional. Neither Cassandra and I made it to her talk. Instead, we opted for spending some time and money in the vendor room.

At first pass, nothing jumped out at Cassandra as a "must have" item. I wasn't so lucky. I was completely enamored of a multi-colored hand-spun Alpaca and some super-cute drawstring bags. Plus, I kept seeing patterns that I just HAD to make. After a quick run through the vendors to see what was there, we left, empty-handed, for the cafeteria and lunch. A yummy spread of "make your own tacos/burritos" and ridiculously good desserts (they know their audience) was followed by some frantic swatch knitting as both Cassandra and I forgot to do the homework for our afternoon class - Conquering Kitchner Stitch.

I don't knit socks so Kitchner doesn't show up too often in my patterns. However, it does show up and I've never, ever been able to do it successfully. I figured a three-hour class on nothing but Kitchner would probably change me from a Kitchner failure to a Kitchner winner. And, boy, did it! The instructor, the author Ann Budd, was patient and kind and insistent that there was nothing to fear. By the end of three hours we had learned to perform successful Kitchner Stitch on stockinette, garter, K1P1 rib, and K2P2 rib. She opened up a whole new world of joining!

Look at this mess...

Except for some tension issues, pretty good!

Once our class was over, we wandered back to the vendor room to see if anything was calling out to us. I ended up with three skeins of the alpaca that I loved, a skein of angora, two drawstring knitting bags, and two patterns. Cassandra got a couple of skeins of lovely yarns in her "signature colors". Fortunately, this event is always right around the time I get my tax return. LOL

Cassandra's booty

Honestly, there's nothing much better than spending the day surrounded by like-minded, lovely people. Everyone was wearing some wonderful creation - shawls seemed to be the "garment du jour" - and there was an air of  fun and relaxation. I wish there was a Knit-In every quarter, instead of just once a year. :)

- Alex

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