Interweave Knitting Lab behind me, I haven't been disappointed.
I should qualify that. I was disapointed a couple of days ago, when I found out that Barbara Walker would not be attending. Meeting her was one of the main reasons I wanted to go to Interweave's premiere event at the San Mateo Marriott, on November 3-6, 2011. Barbara wrote the Treasuries of Knitting, Mosaic Knitting, Knitting from the Top, and many other knitting resources. She's at the pinnacle of the knitting authority pyramid. We still haven't heard the reason behind her absence, except that it was an emergency. Everyone hopes that she's okay.
Nevertheless, I took two days off from work to attend this knitting extravaganza. Why all the fuss? Well, a few reasons, including: the small classes; the brilliance of the teaching staff; and ... it's in my backyard! Well, I only had to drive a few miles from where I live.
San Mateo Marriott is in a weird spot, alongside Highway 101 on the west side. It definitely caters to Silicon Valley conventioneers, with meeting rooms named Connect, Inspire, Synergy, etc.
Galina Khmeleva, who gave a lecture class on Broken Borders: Lace Restoration Therapy. I've been a fan of Galina's for several years, and had already picked up a copy of her Gossamer Webs book of patterns. I had heard rumors that she was an opinionated teacher, who didn't take any guff. And for goodness sake, don't be late to class! I suppose I was a bit apprehensive, wondering if the class would feel like Catholic grammar school, when we sat with hands folded, back straight, not speaking with our neighbors. On the contrary, the class was small, only about ten students, and Galina made us feel at home. She made eye contact with each of us, smiling and telling stories about how she learned and perfected her lace restoration techniques.
Galina is the foremost expert on Orenburg lace. She can tell you stories that would curl the mohair of the most jaded lace knitter. I was flabbergasted to learn that my methods of storing my lace shawls were all wrong, that moth eggs can survive and actually hatch for up to three years, and that cedar can leave yellow spots on your fabrics.
Oh ... my ... gosh ... I was writing notes as fast as I could. I didn't want to miss anything important. But then Galina would smile and tell us a funny story, and more than once she exclaimed, "Piece of cake!"
Whew. I felt better. If Galina says it's a piece of cake, then by golly, it's a piece of cake. There's no doubt about it. That's how she makes you feel.
In order for me to get a good night's sleep tonight in preparation for my Sock Innovation class with Cookie A tomorrow, I'm going to speed through my notebook and give you the highlights from Galina's many nuggets of wisdom. Really good stuff.
When finding moth holes, the most important thing is to kill the eggs and larvae or whatever remains in the fabric. Those little eggs stick. They do not shake out or even wash out. To kill the buggers, she zips up the lace in a Ziplock bag and freezes it on the highest setting in her freezer for two weeks. Then she takes it out to air, rearranges it, and zips it up again and repeats this procedure three or four times. The temperature changes are important. They make the eggs think it's time to hatch, or something like that.
Camel, cashmere, bison, and yak do not like to felt. Rabbit and merino do like to felt (with temperature change and agitation).
WHY GALINA HATES BUNNIES
"I hate bunnies; I just eat them."
In the concentration camps, production of soldier's gloves and helmet liners during wartime was enormous. Also, Galina is allergic to bunnies.
Outline the repair area with a red silk thread. Use a styrofoam board, muslin, and dark fabric under the work. I wish I could show you how she fixed a hole before our very eyes, using a duplicate stitch. The expertise was quite amazing. She is also teaching classes at The Lace Museum in Sunnyvale in February.
.... That's all for tonight, folks. Time to sleep and dream of socks and lace and twisted stitches and Japanese charts. Oh, I'd better just sleep.