Classes @ Stitches Midwest 2006

Thanks to everyone who commented on my post for Challenge #6 with Diamond Lace and the Peanuts gang. It was a lot of fun!

I took one class each day at Stitches and was pleased overall with the teachers and the techniques I learned. All the teachers in the classes I took were very positive and encouraging, which was great.

Nordic Color

I had no idea what to expect with this class taught by Nancy Bush. All I knew was that the topic was some sort of Estonian inlay technique. The inlay turned out to be embellishments that resemble embroidery. You don’t embroider with needle and thread/yarn, but instead, apply the decoration while knitting. The effect was very pretty and I had fun with it. This inlay is traditionally used in Estonia on socks and gloves. I think it would also be great on mittens, and more. We also learned a combination cast-on traditionally used in Estonia. It creates an edge that is both decorative and stretchy, and incorporates a double strand of yarn (you can even use three) in one part of the cast-on movement. You can see this cast-on a little bit in the picture of my class project below. And because of the stretchiness, Nancy recommended it for socks.


Intarsia in the Round

Beth Brown-Reinsel seemed a little bit disorganized in the beginning, but her style was more mentor than teacher, so it evened out. We used two colors to cast on for our class project (wristers), and I liked this effect, pretty and subtle at the same time. We learned a couple of tips to help achieve intarsia in the round, and then practiced with our wristers. I became tired as I finished up my wrister and my tension got sloppy; it in the picture above, it’s all icky at the top section. An extra thing I learned was that I didn’t like putting the exact number of stitches required by the intarsia pattern onto one DPN. (For example, the design on the Wrister was 17 st wide, so I had these 17 stitches on one DPN). This made changing colors at the widest point difficult to manage, tension-wise. I’d like to try again, with 1-2 stitches “padding,” or maybe divide these pattern stitches onto 2 dpns and see how that goes.

Zip, Button, Tie

At last, the class I was eagerly anticipating! Margaret Fisher took us through the steps for attaching zippers to knitted fabric. I had only enough time to finish one, and it’s a little bit crooked. But I no longer have any qualms about sewing zippers. I plan to add a garter border to my second swatch before attaching it. I’m also looking forward to a new cardigan project I want to knit this fall, which will incorporate a zipper closure. We also looked at different ways to make buttons and cording for ties. A new type of cord I learned was a Faggot Cord, which is loopy and lacy, and is knitted back-and-forth (the usual way, not by sliding, a la i-cord). You can’t really see it very well in the large picture below, so here’s a close-up; I used fingering-weight yarn. This style of cord would be great with beads for jewelry.


The Art of Knitting Backwards

Candace Eisner-Strick was very funny, which a very sleepy yours truly found impressive on that very early Sunday morning. She uses “smooth” and “bump” to describe the backwards stitches, because, depending on perspective, some might disagree or become confused on which is (backwards) Knit or Purl. We started out with simple stockinette, knitting across, and then making smooth stitches back across the needle. Fun! Then we switched to garter, while still knitting right-to-left and then bumping back. It was a bit more tricky learning how to form the bump stitches, but once I figureed out how to insert the needle properly, it went quickly. We practiced further on the homework swatch by making narrow garter edging and also a short-row mitered corner. I will try out (and practice some more) different border patterns on the remainder of my swatch. This is definitely a useful skill that will come in handy for different projects.


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4 Responses to “Classes @ Stitches Midwest 2006”

  1. Chris Says:
    August 23rd, 2006 at 4:27 am

    Sounds like you had great classes that I would’ve enjoyed, too – particularly the knitting backwards, intarsia, and the button/tie class.

  2. Meg Says:
    August 23rd, 2006 at 10:14 am

    Hello! You’re so lucky to have gone to stitches – I’m enjoying reading about it. I can’t wait to get your Knitflix questionnaire. :)


  3. hege Says:
    August 23rd, 2006 at 3:23 pm

    Sounds like it was excellent. Cool to be able to take classes from such well known teachers.

  4. Rina Rahardjo Says:
    August 24th, 2006 at 1:30 pm

    I would like to try intarsia in the round once. Maybe I’ll try one someday on socks first.

In progress…

Sock Count (Pairs)

  • 2009 ~ 2
  • 2008 ~ 7
  • 2007 ~ 18 (1 baby)
  • 2006 ~ 20 (14 adult)
  • 2005 ~ 2
  • 2004 ~ 5
  • 2003 ~ 1
  • Total (sans 2009): 53

Just Stuff

  • Six Sox Knitalong
  • Sockamania Club Knitalong
  • zMeme
  • zRavelry
  • zSock Nation
  • zTSFB


August 2006
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Good Stuff: Patterns