Sunday, 13 November 2011


A quick look at my geocaching statistics tells a nice little story:

Four caches, four countries:
  • My most-Northerly find is The Mackintosh Church in Glasgow, Scotland and was actually found very recently as it was the venue for the Glasgow School of Yarn where I took classes with Amy Singer and Stephen West. That was, sadly, the only cache I found that trip, as I just wasn't feeling motivated to go out.

  • My most-Southerly find is the Maryland Municipal League Geotrail - Annapolis in Annapolis (Maryland), United States. I found that cache in February 2010 when attending HotMobile, a computing conference. I seem to remember nearly running out of time looking for that cache - it was (as always) just slightly further away than I though.

  • My most-Easterly find is Not On Rocky Ground (Yuanmingyuan) in Beijing, China. Again a recent find on another conference trip. This was the only cache I found on that trip.

  • My most-Westerly find is Blue Hoosier in Vancouver, Canada. This was a honeymoon find, we really loved this side of Canada.

Friday, 11 November 2011

GSoY: Colour play the Westknits Way

It's been a while, but my last post was the first of three about classes at the Glasgow School of Yarn, the first birthday celebrations of The Yarn Cake - Scotland's only dedicated knitting cafe. Of the many classes/workshops on offer I picked three (a 'Hermione Granger'-inspired time turner would have come in rather useful for getting to try some of the others). Friday afternoon's workshop was...

'Colour Play, the Westknits Way'

What made me pick this one...? I love the way colour can be used in knitting projects but when it comes down to it I tend to pick simple one-colour projects. If I ever combine colours I go looking for a combination someone else has done and do my best to match it. Boring... I'm also pretty unfamiliar with most colour-related techniques. I played with stripes for a bit in 2009:

And also tried my first stranded project in the same year:
The next stranded project was quite a bit simpler (I'd learnt something) in 2010:
To be honest I still feel like a complete beginner with stranding - I have another project on the go and I've learnt a couple of things this time around. Here's hoping it'll improve still more in the future.

Other colour techniques.... I've played with slip stitches on a few sock projects this year (I really like the way this looks):

But (prior to this workshop) I've yet to try any intarsia (although I kind of played around with the idea a bit on a pair of mittens I made up last winter):

So, what did we get up to? In this workshop we played around with a two-colour sample. (We didn't talk about colour choices but I did get to see lots of fine examples of things that worked - maybe I'll get out some brave soon.) We started out with some simple garter stitch stripes, something that actually works really well, I'm not a huge fan of garter stitch, but adding some colour definately makes it worth a second thought. To the garter stripes we then added a couple of slipped stitches which then became traveling stitches moving across the sample.

Next stop, intarsia! This was actually pretty straightforward at this scale - I hear it gets a bit more fiddly with more colour transitions... I felt like I'd got to grips with that and so went on to experiment with cables. It's not often you see cables on stockinette and I can see that they might not show so well in a single colour but here it makes and interesting linking effect:

And that was that, the light was fading and that dark blue was increasingly feeling like a poor choice of colour - time to head back to the hostel (and to a lovely haggis and neeps at Stravaigin - eating our solo is often really quite weird but the whole thing was just really pleasant - great service, great food, really lovely atmosphere).


PS - Stephen West was great too, he took plenty of time to talk us through his samples and to look at the swatches we were playing with. I wish I had his style...

PPS - Project online on Ravelry.


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