Hey everyone!

We’re back for Part 2 of Rachel’s amazing trip to Interweave Yarn Fest 2016, so let’s jump right in!

AST: Okay, now we’re on to the hard questions. What was your favorite class and why?

Rachel: I really don’t know that I can choose a favorite. Honestly, my instructors were such nice folks, that all of them were fun and educational, but I would have to say the one that surprised me the most was the ply splitting. I didn’t realize how much fun it would be and how addicting it has become. It may be a new past time, I think.

AST: Ply Splitting? We’ll have to talk more about that later! Sounds like fun to me! Alright, next question. Which was the hardest class and why?

Rachel: The multi color double knitting. Sadly, I looked forward to it so much, I think I psyched myself out on it. Serious over thinking went on in that room. It was also a bit harder because we worked some 3 color double knit AND made it 2 pattern. I am going to need to spend some time just focusing on 2 pattern separate from 3 or more colors in order to really get the hang of this skill set.

AST: That does sound really intense, and we all know you’re really good at double knitting. I’m sure you’ll get it soon! Okay, here’s a real tough one. Who was your favorite teacher and why?

Rachel: This is like asking to choose a favorite child in a family of many. I can’t. ALL of my instructors KNOW their stuff. ALL of them had awesome personalities! Not one ever said any question was dumb or stupid to a single person! Even when the prerequisites said you had to know certain things and folks signed up for the class and then expected basic skills. I will say getting to meet your personal knitting hero, in person, has to be a serious highlight. Alasdair Post-Quinn is awesome! His matter of fact way of giving info on some seriously hard stuff to do and then laughing with us when we all failed to understand…Well, you never would have figured on that sense of silliness. As a side note here, the techie in me really has to give Alasdair special props for the use of his Go-Pro like camera to show us his hands in motion. None of the other teachers had that kind of set-up and it really made things so much easier for all of us to see!

AST: That is pretty brilliant! Especially when working with such complicated techniques, I’m sure it was extremely helpful to have the extra visual assistance. So now that you’re back, what are you most excited to continue learning about?

Rachel: Ply Splitting. Now that I have a better understanding of how it all works, my project list just got longer!

AST: As if it wasn’t long enough already! Here’s a fun one. What was something you didn’t expect to happen?

Rachel:  I went with an open mind, so learning new skills was easier. But I would have to say, having never been to one of these types of long weekend events, that the atmosphere of people had me smiling the most. Everywhere I went, folks were knitting, crocheting, spinning, or weaving. In the lobbies, on the floors, and at meal time. I mean, seriously, when have you ever gone to dinner with 200 strangers and almost everyone was working on some yarn project during the keynote speaker’s address, and it was expected?!

AST: That must have been pretty amazing. Okay, last question. What is your favorite memory from this experience?

Rachel: Being surrounded by fiber enthusiasts. There was So. Much. Yarn. Everywhere I went! Sometime it just takes a few days of full immersion to really get the juices of creativity going. I think every artists needs a full weekend of total immersion like this to keep things going. Being surrounded by so much yarny goodness makes me long for more hours in the day to Yarn ON!

AST: That is so true. Amazing. Okay, we have one last little thing to talk about, and by little we mean huge. So there was a design your own yarn competition? Can you tell us about that?

Rachel: UDesignitYarns.com is a company that gives you, the fiber artists, the opportunity to blend fibers not usually seen. The company was a sponsor for the Yarnfest and had an item in the goodie bags as well. Thy offered a contest to allow attendees the chance to design their own fiber and possibly win a skein of that yarn!  Finalists were chosen, and those yarns were actually spun and brought to the fest for purchase and voting! Voting opened on Facebook the week of the fest, and continued to noon on Sat. There were 12 finalist and they were all were pretty yarns…but, I talked up the contest so much, I WON! Well, my fiber was awesome…I made a blend of Bamboo, silk, and sari silk into a 3 ply sport weight yarn. I am not sure how many skeins of each yarn the folks spun up, but after the fest, when I called to see if there was any left of mine, just to be sure I had enough to knit up my chosen pattern, they only had a little bit left. They told me they sold all the rest! During my visits to the marketplace, I noticed that my yarn kept disappearing and the others were still on the racks…maybe it was timing, but maybe not. I think this yarn and I are going to have to make an encore performance in the future. It knits up like a dream!  Stay tuned for photos of the project as I work with it!

AST: Absolutely amazing! Thank you so much, Rachel for all the wonderful feedback, and Thank You readers, because without you, there’d be no Us!