I've sat in lecture halls listening to teachers with multiple doctorates, and though I wasn't bored, I was definitely nowhere near as riveted as the classes I experienced this weekend taught by none other than the Yarn Harlot, Stephanie Pearl-McPhee. I love her as a writer and knitter, because she's funnier than a cream pie in the face, and because everything she feels about knitting, so do I. Being passionate about anything can be weird and hilarious sometimes, and she sure knows how to express that about knitting, spinning, and family, in ways I can totally relate.
The Yarn Harlot taught three classes: Knitting for Speed and Efficiency, Grok the Sock, and Knitting with Mawata. The classes were amazing workshops that not only taught us about more forays into knitting, but her engaging dialogue educated us about many other life lessons in general. She not only knows a freaking lot about knitting and how to teach it well to other people, but she also knows a lot of stuff about many important things. I also had the pleasure during this retreat to dine with her and the other organizers, and enjoyed listening to everything she has to say. She's educated, political, scientific, and just generally a great human being. Her lecture on "This is Your Brain on Knitting" was a fascinating explanation about the ways knitting enhances our cognitive abilities. Her knitting efficiency class gave me more speed on the first try, just by eliminating all the things I was doing wrong. Her sock class is a lesson in understanding complicated sock construction easily that one can master sock knitting without a pattern. My knitting hobby has forever changed in the best ways possible.