One of the things I love about stranded colorwork and Fair Isle knitting is that you can be learning something new constantly! It's exciting on an intellectual as well as emotional level.
Last weekend I taught the 3-day Design Your Own Fair Isle class to a group of four women. They usually meet up each year at some fiber event--and for 2014 they chose to set up a private workshop with me. I felt so flattered! (I've arranged private workshops with teachers myself--I was amazed to discover that most teachers are quite happy to set up private workshops because the class is smaller, there is no overhead, and they don't have to travel.)
At any rate, the photo (above) shows Suzanne Bryan's inspiration photo, speed swatch for color, and her motif swatch. Aren't they beautiful? And even lovelier in person.
The majority of knitters don't have the opportunity to take classes, though, so we are extremely lucky these days to have so many alternatives. Here are a few that are of use to stranded knitters:
- Recently I had a chance to watch Beth Brown-Reinsel's new DVD "Color Stranded Knitting Techniques." If you wish you had someone to help you hold and tension the yarns this DVD is for you. Beth really covers everything (including purling color pattern! I might just have to drop my resistance...)--I was most entranced by her exploration of holding BOTH colors in one hand. This is such an elegant and efficient way to hold the yarns, but I've struggled with tension when I've tried it. Beth covers that, too. I recommend this DVD highly.
- Craftsy continues to add classes that guide the stranded knitter. Amy Detjen's Simple Sweaters Stranded & Steeked covers all the techniques you need to create a stranded sweater. Amy is an engaging teacher and one of the best technicians I know. (I haven't watched this class, but I have watched Amy teach many many times and have a high regard for her.)
- Mary Jane Mucklestone's The Fair Isle Vest is another Craftsy class from a highly regarded teacher. Working with DK weight Shetland Mary Jane walks through the steps for creating a vest with traditional banded patterning, including steeking. (Again, I haven't watched this class myself, but I trust Mary Jane.)
- I learned to knit Fair Isle from Meg Swansen's A Fair Isle Vest and her Dubbelmössa DVDs (go halfway down the page to view these). In fact, I pretty much learned to knit from Meg's DVDs (actually, VHS tapes at the time--DVDs are so much easier to work with!) and can't speak highly enough of them.
REMINDER: PARTY THIS SUNDAY!
A knitters' gathering on April 6th at my home in Berkeley, from noon til 4:00. Bring your knitting, perhaps some finger food to share, and come on down! My yarn playpen will be set up for those who want to play with some Jamieson's Shetland Spindrift, and I'll be happy to answer Fair Isle questions--but you don't have to be a stranded knitter to come! Drop me a line and I'll send you my address.
Mason says he'll move his blankets off the sofa in your honor.