Monday, September 2, 2013

Getting Ready for Wisconsin

I’m ramping up for the Wisconsin Sheep &Wool Festival (September 6-8). I have only a couple more days to get ready. My notes are prepared, but not copied yet. I still need to gather samples and supplies.

I’ll be taking some of my favorite knits as samples. On Friday morning I’m teaching I Heart Duplicate Stitch.

I really do “heart” duplicate stitch. One of the first times I used it was on a sweater I knitted long ago: a very sweet Pam Allen design in an old isse of VogueKnitting, Spring/Summer 1995. I was smitten when I saw a cute, short cardigan with cherries all over it.

By the way, I live in the Cherry Capital of the World. The Grand Traverse region produces more tart cherries than anywhere else.

So, I had to have the sweater. My dilemma: it was designed to be knitted using intarsia techniques. Now, I can do it, but I don’t like it. Instead, I decided to duplicate stitch all the cherries. I’m so very glad I did that because in the process I learned to love duplicate stitch.

Here’s a close up:

I’ve got several other wonderful knitted examples of my use of duplicate stitch. I’ve also got examples of when I didn’t use duplicate stitch and I wish I had. Lots to look at and think about.

Friday afternoon’s class is Spinning Marl Yarns. I know there are many spinners out there who try to avoid “barber pole” looking yarns. I’ll admit that the skeins of yarn may not look exciting, but I really like how such yarns knit up: all speckled and natural. I’ll be taking several sample skeins to show folks, and I’ll be taking one shawl that I created a couple years back, “3 X 3 = 10”. I spun ten 3-ply yarns, using 3 different colors. Here’s a picture of the shawl, modeled by Vivenne K. I wrote an article about it for Spin-Off (Fall, 2011). You can find the pattern in the article.

On Saturday, I’m teaching Shaping With Stitch Patterns. I’ve really got to come up with a better title for this workshop. It’s mostly an exploration of how different knit stitch patterns behave. Some pull in, some pull up, some curl, some bias, some are stiff, some are stretchy. And you can use these different characteristics to help shape your knitted garments. I’m taking several sweaters and dozens of swatches as examples/samples.

On Sunday, I’ve got Blending Colors at the Wheel. I’m taking a jacket/sweater that I designed some years back. The sweater now belongs to my friend Sylvia VM, but she lets me borrow it. Here she is wearing it. The pattern is called “Right Side Up?” because it can also be worn upside down.

And I’m taking a shawl that I designed long ago. The shawl now belongs to my friend Becky McD who also lets me borrow frequently. Here’s a picture of the shawl as modeled by Gladys Strong, who passed away earlier this year.

The festival takes workshop registrations up to the day workshops are taught. Not only are there wonderful workshops, but the festival is an awesome event for all things sheepy.

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