Location for the Craft Sessions - Yarra Valley Conference Centre.

Location for the Craft Sessions – Yarra Valley Conference Centre.

The hastag for this weekend was #thecraftsessions2015 – do check it out on Instagram – so much inspiration.

So,to pick up from my last post,  Friday afternoon I checked in at The Craft Sessions, placed my suitcase in my room and attended my first class – Knitting your first sock.  This was such a fun class – the teacher, Ophelie Lechat was very patient with us and took us through all the steps.  My little sock was finished right up to the toe at the end of the class and I had practiced the kitchener stitch to close the toe on a swatch. I finished the sock in my hotel room in Melbourne after the weekend was over.  (This was actually my 4th finished sock – but my first formal class in knitting).  I am a self taught knitter.

Finished sock from "My first sock class".

Finished sock from “My first sock class”.

We had a wonderful comradely dinner Friday evening and sat up late (for me – I’m usually in bed by 9pm). My fears of feeling lonely were unfounded, everyone seemed very friendly.

Saturday morning, my roommate sprang out of bed and headed to Yoga – I just couldn’t face it so, I ambled towards the hall for breakfast after lying in for an extra half an hour.  Then it was time to head off to my next class – Introduction to spinning.

Set up for the spinning class.

Set up for the spinning class.

This 3 hour class was a fun introduction to the craft of spinning.  In the class materials, the ladies (a mother and daughter team, Judy and Kate James) had included some different fibres (so stroke-able) and a guide to fibres, prepping fibre and contact information for spinning groups.  During the class, I had an opportunity to prepare fibre using carding brushes (surprisingly fun), look at different put ups of fibre and practice plying on an espinner.  Then during the second part of the class – I had a go on a spinning wheel (actually two wheels).  This was fun, but believe me, I am not a spinner yet – a lot practice will be required. I have lots of difficulty keeping the wheel spinning in the correct direction and produced a short piece of overspun unhappy yarn during class.  What the class achieved for me was demystifying the process and made me less afraid have a go.

Shopping haul

Shopping haul from the mini market (missing a few items that I went back for).

After lunch (SOOOUP – yuuummm!) we had some free time.  I sat in the dining hall on the sofa’s knitting away on my Playground Shawl (no Ravelry project page yet – boo, badly disciplined knitter) till the mini market opened.  The market was so fun.  There were stalls from Sunspun and Stitch 56 and a group stall from the teachers.  So much loveliness.  I had a ball looking at all the offerings.  I bought a strange mix of things that spoke to me.

I returned to the dining hall to knit some more (maybe 1/2 an hour) then rushed back to the market when it was revealed a book I had on my wish-list was available on the Sunspun stall.  Then rushed back once more when I realised I had no souvenir yarn.  This is pretty typical Cathy shopping behaviour. I don’t really have a LYS so it was fun to see and touch the yarn before purchase.

Dinner that night was another fun meal.

Serene Cathy K

Me – enjoying a moment of serenity before going into our embroidery class Sunday morning.

Sunday morning I eschewed the yoga again and slept in for an extra half hour.  Bliss. Enjoyed breakfast and then headed off for a little walk around the grounds and took a couple of pictures including the one at the top of the post and this one which I took whilst sitting by the fire-pit outside the classroom for my final class – Embroidery: 101 project bag with Melissa Wastney.  I felt so peaceful and happy at that particular moment. So much joy.

This class was just lovely.  I found the embroidery instructions straightforward and Melissa was fabulous (quite different from my previous instructors in embroidery) she was just so patient, kind, and non judgemental.  I enjoyed this class so much.

Resulting embroidery from the embroidery class.

Resulting embroidery from the embroidery class.

After lunch, I finished up my embroidery – here’s a less than perfect image of the finished work.

Then the wheels fell off a bit.  I don’t really track my hormone levels so was ambushed by my feelings when I had difficulty finishing the bag.  Even when I’m not experiencing PMT I don’t take failure well, but with PMT – the unstoppable tears are just the worst.  Intellectually, I knew I could just unpick it at home and repair it but my heart just couldn’t take the disappointment (it didn’t help that our classroom was the meeting point for everyone at the end of the sessions so people kept pouring in).  Irrational tears make me so embarrassed.

Anyway that sad little end didn’t detract from what I consider to be one of the best experiences I have had as a crafter.  I met some lovely people at the sessions who were encouraging, interesting and so willing to accept another into their groups.  The teachers and organisers were the best and the staff at the Yarra Valley Conference Centre are to be commended too.  I’m so grateful to have had the opportunity to have been part of the weekend.

* The shawl I am wearing in the serenity pic is “Brickless” by Martina Behm.  More information can be found on my Ravelry page.

** It’s probably time I talked to my doctor about these mood swings – I do find them a bit difficult to predict/manage.  Usually, it is the people at work or poor old Dr K who have to witness the dissolution (although it is more likely for them to be inexplicable doldrums).