This past Saturday and Sunday, Sandy De Master and Mary Germain came down from Wisconsin and taught an Ethnic Sock Knitting workshop at the Trading Post for Fiber Arts. This was one of the most fun classes I have ever taken, and it was mostly because of the teachers. These two ladies were personable, funny and knowledgeable. They had stories from their trips to Latvia and Estonia as well as from their mentor in Latvian knitting, Irma.
Their array of samples was inspiring. Most of them were knit by Sandy and Mary, but some were knit by Irma as she interpreted American Christmas stockings from her Latvian viewpoint. Fascinating, really, to get this glimpse into the mind of Irma at that point in her life.
This sock kept calling me and I love the colors and the pattern.
And I love the colors in this one. Also, for Ethnic socks, this one was very simple in design.
Look at how the pattern on the thumb continues onto the palm so that there is no interruption in the pattern. The talent of the designer awes me. I have so much to learn.
Look at the wee mitten knitted by Mary. That is my finger wearing it.
And, look, she knitted her initials into the palm. I want to knit a pair of these for Lizzie.
Mary said she just completed this hat, and we loved how the pattern looked like trees. I wish I had taken a picture of the top because it was a lovely snowflake with how the pattern came in with the decreases.
And here we go. The book and instructions as written by Mary and Sandy were concise and very easy to follow. If you get the chance to buy any of their books, do so.
And to show you what we did in two days:
Debbie Squire’s sock
Pat Kreiling’s sock
Catherina Forbes and her sock – She came all the way from Toronto to attend this class. Obviously, she chose to use sock-weight yarn for her sock. Christmas stocking for her house Brownie?
Debbie Doggett and her sock. I adore Debbie’s sock and the colors she used.
And Kathy Shewmaker’s nearly finished sock. She did get it done, but my camera’s battery was threatening to die so I didn’t get a final shot of it.
Some weren’t able to finish their projects, but that wasn’t for lack of trying. There was a lot going on around us as we worked.
Susan Markle’s sock – we all ooohed and ahhhed over the color choices on this.
Amanda Murray’s sock
This last sock has naturally dyed wool in it. The purple is Logwood and the gray is the same pot at exhaust. I loved how they looked in her sock pattern.
And here is what I did:
For size relationship purposes.
And a close up of the finished sock.
And, no, none of the ends are woven in, but that will come later. In the meantime, I’m going to stick a bar of lavender soap in the toe to cure and do double duty of keeping moths away while it is hung in my studio.
At the end of Sunday, Mary and Sandy went over how to make socks that fit using much finer yarns than the worsted weight we used in class. I usually don’t like “fussy” sock patterns because socks, typically, are my relaxing project or when I’m in a place where I don’t need to concentrate on what is in my hands. These socks will not be part of that plan. I do want to look at all the options and make myself some fussy socks.
And, last, but definitely not least, I want to give my sincerest thanks to Sandy and Catherina for fixing the hole in my madder gradation shawl. They did such a great job, you can’t see that there had ever been a broken bit of yarn.