Saturday, September 29, 2012

Is It January Yet?

A few years back, I had the very good luck to teach some spinning workshops at Fiber Whims, a fiber shop in Chassell, Michigan.  That’s just south of Houghton, in the Keweenaw Peninsula of the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.  I was especially lucky because the workshops were in January!  I was so excited to go to a place that averages 250 inches of snow per year.  January in the UP.  January in the Keweenaw.  Ahhhhh…..

It was a great trip.  And since that trip I’ve longed to revisit the UP in winter.  This coming January, I get my chance!  I’ve been asked to teach two days of workshops for the Country Spinners and Bridge Shuttlers, a fiber guild in Sault Ste. Marie.  I’ll be teaching “Spinning With Commercial Yarns” on Saturday, January 12, 2013, and “Shaping With Stitch Patterns” on Sunday, January 13, 2013.

Lois Robbins is the person to contact.  906-632-3689,

Lois asked me to create a new knitting workshop for this visit.  What I came up with, “Shaping With Stitch Patterns”, really evolved out of one of my most recent new spinning workshops, “Spinning Super Stretchy Wools”.  I taught that workshop a few weeks ago at the Wisconsin Sheep &Wool Festival.  To prepare for that workshop, I had knitted up a number of swatches that I thought would make the most of highly elastic yarns.

When I swatch, ideas come to me.  Thus the idea of exploring how different stitch patterns behave.  Here’s the description I’ve written for the workshop:

Many knitted pieces, such as a sweater, require shaping.  Most often, that shaping is accomplished by increasing and decreasing the number of stitches you are using.  In this workshop, we will cover how to shape the structure of a knitted piece by selecting the right stitch patterns.  We will cover stitch patterns that shape by pulling in, pulling up, biasing, curling, pleating, twisting, and more.  In the process, we will explore the importance of both stitch gauge and row gauge to understanding how these stitches work their shaping magic.  We’ll also cover issues and techniques of blocking your knitting, and how yarn selection can influence shaping.

So, I’m headed to “The Soo” in January.  Wanna join me?

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