Saturday, November 17, 2012

Elements of Hand Knitting Design

I was really fortunate to teach a class at the inaugural Knit Fit a few weeks ago.  You may remember this stack of swatches that I posted a few months ago in preparation for the class.

Well, I made a whole lot more swatches after I photographed that stack, and we had a lot of fun touching and squishing and measuring and stretching and staring at them.  The class was about how to design with a strong focus on fabric creation and combining fiber, yarn construction, stitch pattern, and color to achieve the desired results.   

My favorite part of the class was watching students as they observed and compared swatches.  The longer we were at it, the more closely they looked, and when the first student started pulling apart the end of the yarn to check the number of plies it had, I knew I was doing my job.  

This activity was a team effort in which groups of students had to identify the yarn, fiber content, construction, and gauge of the swatches.  It was challenging, but I loved watching them work together and combine their fiber-y knowledge.  When I was planning this game, I pictured a sort of rowdy, loud room in which students were running around and stealing each other's swatches.  But, my students were much more civil and secretive!  There were prizes for the fastest team, so voices were kept low to keep the other teams out of it.  

Aside from exercising their powers of observation, students also planned a design for a scarf and got a head start on it in class.  I feel very grateful to have had such a strong, insightful, and thoughtful group.  Thanks, knitters!  Please let us know if you have progress to report on the design we planned in class or any others.  I'd love to see what you're working on!

If you took classes at Knit Fit, what were they?  Share what you learned and what you hope for next year!

I also have to give another shout out to Hannah and Sasa, the Knit Fit organizers.  They did an amazing job keeping the whole event humming.  

I'm currently accepting testers for several patterns that will be in an upcoming book.  If you're interested in testing, please head over to the Free Pattern Testers forum on Ravelry to take a look.

Color Work Sweater (Dude knitters, I'm looking at you - if you actually accomplished that feat, this sweater will be a piece of cake.)

Color Work Hat

Zipped Cardigan

Textured Socks

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