It turns out there were two rope classes going on. The Dennis teaching boarding mats class was upstairs, and Steve teaching splicing & other stuff downstairs. It's funny how things work out at CWB sometimes.
Dennis lead us through making a basic mat, pretty much the same as the one in The Marlinspike Sailor. The basic idea is that you tie some variant of the Carrick Bend, and then follow around the same path several times. One small difference is that Dennis had us start in the middle and work both ends at the same time, while Smith has you start and one end. Dennis's approach means that you do the following around with less rope, which is nice.
I brought mine home looking a lot like this Ocean Plat. The next step is to make a Flemish Coil around it & it will become my new doormat at home.
After the class, I went downstairs & saw that the other group was still going. So I invited myself to join, and made my first eye splice. It came out pretty well. I took it home & served it with some whipping twine. While it looks nice, it's only about a fathom long, so I don't think it will ever be useful.
I also got to see the Lavengro launch for a trip around Lake Washington. I really wanted to go, but the wife & son were waiting for me at home. I'm sure I'll get another chance. One thing I don't really get is that to ride on the boat costs money (not much) but to crew is free. You mean if I pay you, you won't let me help? What's the point of getting on a sail boat if you're just going to sit there? 🙂
One other amusing note: when I was buying the rope, the lady who cut it for me asked who I was going to tie up. *wink*.