Tuesday, August 15, 2006
Beading With Joan
I have long been a fan of Joan McGowan-Michael's White Lies Designs. I have knit a couple of them, and the Milinda is on my needles. Some of Joan's latest designs feature retro-style beading, which I find absolutely fascinating. (Of course, I find nearly anything with pretty beads fascinating!) So I jumped at the chance to attend her beading class on Saturday, sponsored by the Sacramento knitting guild.
Joan is a very patient teacher, and provided everything except our knit swatches -- and proper lighting. The lighting in the classroom was, well, awful! It would have been fine for a regular knitting class, but when you are over a certain age and working with teensy beads and teensy needles, good lighting is a definite plus! To be fair, I doubt that any venue would have had sufficient lighting for this type of class. A couple of smart people brought their portable Ott lights, and shared them generously. (Joan made a note to be sure to add portable lights and extension cords to her class supply list for future sessions.)
But I did learn a lot about vintage-style beading techniques, and Joan was very generous with her tips and tricks of the trade. She had some beautiful vintage sweaters for show-and-tell, and shared some wonderful anecdotes about her experiences restoring fabulous movie costumes worn by actresses such as Cyd Charisse and Judy Garland. In all, it was a fun class with a great instructor and a perfect way to spend a pleasant Saturday morning. In my book, this is one of the best advantages of belonging to an active knitting guild.