OK. I promised I would be blogging from the TKGA/CGOA event in New Hampshire TWO weeks ago. So you may be wondering what happened. I did take my laptop to the show. I figured out how to access the free wifi at the hotel. I even went online to see how it would all work. And did I blog? NO! I was alternating dying from the heat. Manchester, NH was no cooler than New York City after July 4th. OK, maybe 5 degrees cooler, so what's 99 with high humidity compared to 103 and high humidity. No difference in my opinion. Then I was freezing in the class rooms and my hotel room. The classrooms, I had little control over the temperature; my room, I battled the maids. I would set the room at 74-75 when I came in. The temperature would be reset to 68 after the maid was done. It would take some time to warm up. Add on that I could not direct where the A/C blew, and, of corse, it blew directly on the head of the bed. I came down with a terrible cramp/ strain/whatever of the muscle going over my left scapula. You know, that wing shaped bone on the bottom of the shoulder. I went out for some pain killers. Got some generic Aleve at the local drug store because I wanted the longer relief but it didn't work as well as the ibuprofen I had in my bag. So I braved the heat again to get some ibuprofen. This happened on the second day of classes. I made it through my classes and some friendly knitting in the lounge. I then hoped that sleeping in my own bed and at the normal temperature I keep my house at would help heal the shoulder. No such luck. It still hurt and it was taking 600 mg of ibuprofen four times a day to keep it in check. I decided that typing was not a priority until the shoulder felt better. Even knitting was not a priority, so I did not finish the top for the ColourMart challenge. In fact I finished the sleeves today, a full day after the challenge ended. I still have to block the pieces, sew it together and run in the ends. I did finish one entry, a lace shawl, but I doubt I will win any prizes. I did not accumulate enough points for a first place in any category.
The classes at the conference were great. I would say all of them were the quality you get at Stitches. In fact they probably are the same as those given at Stitches since many of the teachers will be at Stitches. The cost for classes were less than Stitches especially if you are a TKGA or CGOA member. And if you're interested in crochet, there are may classes to learn or hone your skills. It isn't as crowded as Stitches so you can really see what's in the market or get the attention you need in class. The market isn't as big as that at Stitches, it still gets enough of a choice and had everything you needed for the classes, in case you forgot something. I saw Lion Brand and Dale of Norway there as well as some yarn shops from as far away as Virginia and Canada. I started the TKGA Masters program several years ago, but have been scared to send in my swatches for evaluation. I went to an additional program specifically on the program. It definitely helped me get over my nerves on submitting my book. They had the books of previous Master candidates with their evaluation letters. I could see what was acceptable and what was not. So while I did see that I has some work to do and needed to replace some of my swatches, I gained confidence that I could get through it now without redoing any of my swatches. I also learned that the program was being revamped with a greater emphasis on gauge, one of my pet peeves. I noted that there was very little mention of gauge and how to obtain it in the Level 1 program. I think it is a basic of knitting and the understanding of gauge, how it's measures and ways to obtain it should be in the Level 1 tests. The committee agreed with me and are changing the program to do just that. So now I have to wait until the end of the month to get the new program, redo some of the swatches, rewrite a report and submit my book. Wish me luck.
I want to let you know about an independent fiber artist who is supporting wildlife rescue efforts in the Gulf. As you know, the Gulf is rich in wildlife and they are in trouble with the oil leak there. Susan of Susan's Spinning Bunny has made a special colorway called No More Oil Spill whose profits will go to help with Gulf wildlife. Here's a link to her palette where you can see a picture of the yarn and a project made with the yarn, http://www.spinningbunny.com/yarns/yarnpalette.html . I picked up some for socks and mitts. I know knitters are compassionate people and animal lovers at heart. After all, we love the fibers and yarns that those animals provide. Bye now.