I went to MN Knitters' Days, a weekend knitting retreat, for the first time this year. The teacher was Lucy Neatby, who obligingly posed for this photo...
...and taught 38 experienced knitters double knitting.
I knit A LOT but had darned little to show for it. Double knitting is awesome but extremely slow when one is first starting. Let's just say that I am now very proficient at tinking DKing.
My DK swatch (in fingering weight yarn), front and back:
After I got home I cast on another DK project, this time in worsted weight, to reinforce what I learned. I'm getting a lot faster.
I plan to felt it and use it as a trivel when it's done. In other words, if I screw it up the errors may not show (much).
The site of the retreat, as I mentioned before, is gorgeous. This was the view from the window of our classroom looking out over the Mississippi. The foreground is MN, the hills in the distance are WI.
The weather was beautiful -- chilly nights, warmish days, lots of sunshine. We had the opportunity to visit a nearby alpaca farm. (Technically it was a working dairy farm, but the wife had 17 alpaca.)
This is Eleanor The Diva Alpaca. She posed beautifully for us. Really, she did!
Kris, whom I know from the Knit Night Orphans, was taking photos with her iPad. The alpaca followed her around, very curious about what she was doing.
Kris found that when she held up the iPad to actually take the photo, however, the alpaca were rather less interested in her, probably because they couldn't see her face. Kind of like that peek-a-boo stage of infant development, where, when the baby cannot see a thing any more, it no longer exists. So, if you are wondering, the mind of an alpaca is equivalent to that of a 3- or 6-month old infant. (Sorry, don't remember my child development specifics.)
The cows were interested in what was going on, too.
This lady Holstein licked my fist. I didn't give her a chance at my fingers.
The alpaca lady sends the fleeces to a mill to be spun into yarn, which she then dyes. She had a display of her wares in her house for us to admire.
A little bit of it came home with me, two skeins of laceweight in a gorgeous teal.
Thanks to Kris for this photo, showing Lucy in all her colorful glory.
And thanks to soxanne for letting me in on this retreat and being my roomie. Go check out her blog post -- gorgeous photos, less blather.