When we booked the trip to San Francisco, I used the events function in Ravelry to see if there were any interesting detours that I should make while in California. When I saw a Nancy Bush class “An overture to Estonian Lace”, I was very excited. The class was held at Lacis in Berkeley. I would have taken more photos, but suffered from an unusual variation on camnesia, where I had a camera, but had omitted to bring a memory card, so I only have one photo available from the built in memory.
Nancy Bush is a wonderful, enthusiastic and extraordinarily patient teacher, and we were in a small group that used her skills constantly. After my previous classes with her, I had continued my avoidance of nupps, but during this class, I think that I finally conquered the technique. The group of students varied widely in experience, from extremely experienced knitters to people who had just progressed past being a beginner, but Nancy took care of us all. We chatted happily as we knitted, and one student volunteered a bottle of wine which we consumed with lunch!
Apart from the class, the shop at Lacis is quite marvellous. They have an astonishing range of gadgets, equipment and habedashery for anyone interested in creating. From shoe making, to millinery, lace making, tatting, knitting, embroidery and crochet, they have it all covered. There are also vintage shoes, clothes, lace and underwear, and an extensive selection of books about all things crafty.
Now, at this stage, I’ll warn you that while Lacis has some yarn – a notable selection of Jaggerspun Zephyr in particular, it doesn’t have a fantastic selection of yarn. There are some laceweight, and fingering weight yarns, but to my recollection nothing heavier, and unlikely to have a sweater’s worth. I did buy some Zephyr in claret, which I have already cast on, but I also bought a magnetic board (as recommended by Nancy for chart reading), a set of bone Wanda’s (which are a marvellous tool which is half DPN and half crochet hook – perfect for knitting emergencies), a set of Hiya Hiya interchangeables, and these marvellous books, Estonian Mittens Around the World, and Estonian Sock Patterns around the World (this link is to an extract from the book – you will note the reference to the desirability of thick legs!).