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Monday, April 27, 2009

Purls of Joy!

I attended the Purls of Joy seminar in Moundsview, MN this last weekend, held at the AmericInn, attached to the historic Mermaid bar, grille and bowling alley. This mermaid is awesome, probably the largest land-locked mermaid in the world and she spends her entire time atop the roof. Not sure,but I think she's 20 feet tall. Just awe-inspiring. But... can you imagine how cold those boobs get when it's -20F?

The seminar is put on by the Upper Midwest Knitting Machine Dealer Club. Its members come from Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, Iowa and Wisconsin. This was their 25th annual seminar. The guest demonstrators were Uyvonne Bigham, Mary Anne Oger and Charlene Shafer. Sandee Cherry was also scheduled to come but was unable for health reasons. This dealer club began as a Brother Knitting machine dealers' club. In 2002, the name of the club was changed to the Upper Midwest Knitting Machine Dealer's Club. In 1995, the seminar name was changed to Purls of Joy from the Brother Dealer Seminar. There was lots of food, lots of shopping and lots of pearls of wisdom (as relates to knitting on the knitting machine). It ends up to be a bit pricey when shopping, motel and registration costs are totaled, but worth going to considering there aren't a lot of resources for machine knitting these days. Besides, it's fun being around like-minded addicts.

Mary Anne is always popular. Her main focus was tailoring so that your garments have a professional finish. Seeing her garments in person is always so much better than viewing them in the magazine. She showed us how to do some of her nifty edges that are unique to Mary Anne. Her skills are truly awesome. Among other things, Uyvonne had some cute beaded purses done on the machine that were very popular. One of my friends bought three or four of her kits. She had a garter carriage sock that looked interesting. Charlene Schafer of Knit Knack Shop fame (Tricia Schafer's mom) had good sessions on DAK and demo'ed some of her tricks of the trade. To fill in the last minutes of one of her sessions, she told us how to do a fancy trim making use of the garter bar.
I had to try it when I got home so I wouldn't forget how to do it. For once I didn't use unkind words about the garter bar. One of her newer books is doll clothes for the American Girl doll. The clothes are sooooooooooo cute. Little details make the clothing special. No grandchildren to knit for here, so I passed on it, but not before drooling. She explained one of the options in DAK to print the neckline shaping so that the numbers aren't on top of each other making them unreadable. I'm pretty good at DAK, but that little option had escaped me to this point.

I bought a new sponge bar for my 970, a garter carriage book: Did you know that the turtle knits without a needle in it? Why don't they say that in the manual? Nabbed two cones of Poodle yarn and a 60 stitch ribber comb. I was prepared to spend more money, but was a bit restrained this time.

There was lots more to talk about, but I thought i'd share the highlights. I'd say if you have a chance to go to a mk seminar, you should spend the energy, time and money to get there. It's fun and you'll learn a lot. Besides, we need to support the dealers and demonstrators!