I can’t believe how near we are to Shetland Wool Week! This is one of the highlights of the year – a fantastic celebration of wool and knitting in Shetland, where we all have the opportunity to meet Shetland’s amazing knitters, to learn about Shetland’s amazing textile traditions, and of course to do lots of knitting with lovely Shetland Wool.
I’m teaching several classes during Wool Week and have received a few emails with questions about skill level and materials needed. I’ve also received some requests from folk hoping to buy my book during Wool Week. If you’re coming to my classes, I’m really looking forward to meeting you, and I’ve written this post to answer your FAQs!
1. WHAT ARE THE KNITSONIK CLASSES GOING TO BE DURING WOOL WEEK?
SUNDAY 24TH SEPTEMBER, 1000 – 1300, Isleburgh Community Centre
MONDAY 25TH SEPTEMBER, 1000 – 1300, Isleburgh Community Centre
Learn how to creatively translate things you love into stranded colourwork using the KNITSONIK system. Bring a treasured object or image from which to develop a yarn palette, charts and shading schemes. You’ll also need your favourite double-pointed or circular needles for working small-diameter stranded colourwork in the round with fingering weight yarn: 2.5-3.25mm depending on your tension. Knitters must know how to knit stranded colourwork in the round.
SUNDAY 24TH SEPTEMBER, 1400 – 1700, Isleburgh Community Centre
WEDNESDAY 27TH SEPTEMBER, 1000 – 1300, Isleburgh Community Centre
Discover the KNITSONIK system and use it to create your own colourwork patterns and shading schemes based on the Shetland landscape. We’ll explore how to turn the vast landscape into manageable knitting, using a pre-selected Shetland inspiration and a carefully curated palette of Jamieson and Smith yarn. Bring your favourite double-pointed or circular needles for working small-diameter stranded colourwork in the round with fingering weight yarn: 2.5-3.25mm depending on your tension. Knitters must know how to knit stranded colourwork in the round.
J&S MITTS-A-LONG WITH FELICITY FORD
TUESDAY 26TH SEPTEMBER, 0930 – 1230, or 1330 – 1630, Jamieson & Smith
Join Felicity Ford in this mitts-a-long class exclusive to Jamieson & Smith for Shetland Wool Week. Using the KNITSONIK system, you will design a pair of mitts using J&S yarns, a curated palette and a Shetland inspiration chosen by Felicity. The price of this class includes 8 full balls of yarn to take away for finishing your mitts.
2. WHAT ARE THE DIFFERENCES BETWEEN THE CLASSES?
In QUOTIDIAN COLOURWORK, you will work from an inspiration source of your own choosing. My pro-tips for this are, make it small, portable, something you can carry with you. If working from a photo, I suggest you print it out. I’ve found in the past that it’s harder to match yarn shades to an inspiration source when you’re staring at a glowy screen that keeps on going dark, or with a slowly draining battery! Here are some of the sorts of things people have brought to previous classes to give you ideas…
…in SHETLAND COLOURS, I have pre-picked a palette and inspiration source, which some people prefer… it’s also a really nice way to explore a specific sense of place in our knitting, whilst in Shetland…
…and in J&S MITTS-A-LONG we will be starting a pair of mitts which themselves be a kind of swatch and a record of Shetland.
All three classes place a very heavy emphasis on creative process; learning to source palettes, patterns and shading schemes in the world around us; and celebrating life through the medium of stranded colourwork.
3. WHICH NEEDLES DO I NEED TO BRING?
NEEDLES: QUOTIDIAN COLOURWORK and SHETLAND COLOURS classes are both based on working small-diameter swatches in the round. Knitters each have their own method for this; magic loop; double-pointed-needles; two circulars… and they are all suitable as long as you can manage working two shades of yarn at a time with whichever needles you intend to bring to the class. This is why the class description doesn’t specify dpns, circulars etc. I use 2.5mm double-pointed-needles for all my swatches because I knit very loosely. However, I’ve found that this needle-size is a little tight for knitters whose gauge is less relaxed, so have suggested 2.5mm – 3.25mm needles depending on your own tension.
NEEDLES: as the name suggests, the J&S MITTS-A-LONG class involves the production of an actual pair of mitts. This is another small-diameter project worked in the round and whichever needle combination/method you like to use for socks or mittens will be fine for this! The suggested gauge for the mitts is as follows, so you might wish to make a small swatch ahead of the class to ensure you are bringing needles of the right size, but the pattern is very forgiving and if you don’t have time IT WILL BE FINE!
30sts/36rnds to 10cm/4” over colourwork pattern using 2.75mm needles, or needle size to meet gauge
28sts/34rnds to 10cm/4” over colourwork using 3mm needles, or needle size to meet gauge
This is a different swatching-colourwork-in-the-round technique to the one I teach in my classes, but you may find it useful if swatching for the mitts.
And for a rough idea of what the MITTS-A-LONG entails, please check out my KNITSONIK YouTube video, noting that in Shetland we will be using a Shetland-based inspiration rather than the Magnolias detailed here!
4. DO I NEED TO BRING YARN?
Yarn for classes will be supplied; you do not need to bring yarn.
5. CAN I BUY YOUR BOOK AT SHETLAND WOOL WEEK?
The KNITSONIK Stranded Colourwork Sourcebook goes into a lot of detail about the ideas and processes explored within my classes and is a valuable companion for continuing classwork under your own steam afterwards! However, I hope you can appreciate that it is not practical for me to be selling copies during Shetland Wool Week and especially during classes where my number one priority is always on teaching and exploring the KNITSONIK System! If you wish to get a copy of the book, the best thing to do is order one here in plenty of time for me to post it to you well ahead of Wool Week. If you really want to get the book during Shetland Wool Week, it is sometimes stocked by my friends at the Shetland Museum and Archives and at Jamieson & Smith. And if you want to save on postage and are coming to Shetland from outwith the UK, please check out my lovely stockists page and see whether your local yarn store stocks the book.
6. CAN I SEE KNITSONIK SWATCHES IN THE CLASSES?
YES! I always bring my KNITSONIK swatches to classes as they are invaluable teaching aids. This year there will be many new swatches not previously seen; I can’t say more than that for now, but let’s just say the more I work with the beautiful palette of J&S, the more possibilities I find…
I hope that’s answered all your FAQs about KNITSONIK at Shetland Wool Week 2017; I really am thrilled to be heading to Lerwick in just over a month and can’t wait to see you there!
YOURS IN LOVE OF SHETLAND WOOL WEEK,