I have some really exciting news to share, which is that I am teaching at Knit Stars 6!
Early Bird signups open TODAY. If you are interested in doing my class, signing up through my affiliate link is an amazing way to support me and my work, as it means I get paid a commission. Thank You!
What is Knit Stars?
Each online season of Knit Stars features tutors from all over the world, each of whom deliver a unique masterclass which is pre-recorded by a professional film crew in the home of the designer. When you sign up to the summit you’ll feel like you’re traveling all over the world. Me, Mark, our messy house, our dear chickens and Joey Muffkins are very excited to be on the Knit Stars 6 destination list.
What makes this online conference so special is how it combines founder Shelley Brander’s professional media background together with her love of crafts as a Local Yarn Store owner. Incredible production values are brought together with a solid understanding of what makers need (and want) to see in an online class. I am beyond thrilled to have this opportunity. Also – I can’t lie – after conceiving, building, marketing and administrating all my own online courses for The KNITSONIK School last year, I’m pretty excited to go deeper into online teaching with an experienced team. The other designers teaching at Knit Stars 6 this year are amazing. I feel really honoured to be teaching in such fantastic company and really grateful to Åsa Tricosa for suggesting me as a tutor. Thank You, Åsa!
So, what am I teaching at Knit Stars?
My Knit Stars class was part-designed by my newsletter subscribers. Last year I wrote to my mailing list, asking for a KNITSONIK CLASSES WISHLIST. These topics came up time and time again:
- making charts
- sequencing yarn shades for stranded colourwork
- talking about sounds and SONIK inspirations
- designing squares for the Balance for Better Blanket on which I worked with my amazing friends at KDD&Co
- more about artists
- focusing on colour theory
I thought carefully about how to bring these things together, and I hope what I’ve come up with will do that. My Knit Stars class is called Think like an Artist: A Stranded Colourwork Masterclass. It involves knitting a long stranded colourwork cowl, each section of which speaks to a different artists’ practice. It’s not about copying the paintings of famous artists; it’s not about doing charts which are pictures of sculptures. Rather, it’s about critically engaging with the different approaches artists take to seeing, celebrating and recording the world around us, and taking forward those ideas in our stitches.
We will look at how composers like Daphne Oram arrange and visualise sounds in graphic forms…
…at how painters like Alma Thomas record the world in stripes, grids, patterns and brushmarks…
…at how artists like Bobby Baker reinvent our relationship to daily life through imaginative intervention…
Unlike with previous KNITSONIK classes, charts for the whole cowl will be provided, along with pointers about how to sequence yarns and – if you’re working with one of the limited edition yarn kits – suggested shades. However, there will also be instructions guiding you to make your own charts or to do your own thing with the colours. I hope this will enable knitters at all levels of confidence, experience and skill to find ways to engage with my ideas. All the artists referenced in my Knit Stars 6 class are women.
There will be yarn!
One of the things I was most excited about in agreeing to teach at Knit Stars 6, is the opportunity to partner with one of the amazing yarn companies whose work I love. For Knit Stars, I’m thrilled to be working with John Arbon Textiles. I first met John Arbon back in 2008 in Coldharbour Mill.
I don’t have a picture of John from that meeting all those years ago, but I do have a folder full of photos of mill machinery from that amazing day…
…the kind of salvaged, vintage machinery which beat at the heart of the John Arbon Textiles mill today. The small team who run the mill are known for sourcing woolly wools, making the best of what the landscape has to offer, and spreading love for machinery, sheep and music and I’m so excited to be working with them!
Ever since I designed POLKAMANIA! In John Arbon Textiles Knit By Numbers yarn, I’ve wanted to do a deep-dive on the shading and gradient possibilities offered by these precisely-calibrated colours. I love this 100% non-superwash merino yarn, grown in the Falklands, spun in the UK. The gradients enable extremely subtle blending but also high-contrast possibilities for designing and knitting stranded colourwork. The colours are created through mixing undyed tops with saturated ones, which is similar to watercolour painting, wherein the white of the page and the quantity of water used to dilute the pigments regulate how saturated or faded they appear. For a project inspired by artists, this yarn – which speaks to watercolours and knit-by-numbers painting kits, and which offers so many avenues for creative exploration – presents the perfect match.
Limited edition kits exclusive to Knit Stars 6 attendees will be available from May 15th onwards, featuring three palettes that I’ve curated to speak to a range of different artists’ practices. I won’t give everything away here, but I do want to shout out my friends at the mill, to say how happy I am to be working with John Arbon Textiles for this, and to put our collaboration on your radar.
Online Teaching… with friends!
Building and running KNITSONIK Bullet Journaling and The KNITSONIK System last year opened my eyes to how online teaching can make classes more accessible financially, geographically, and for different learning-styles. I love how students can knit from the comfort of your own homes… re-watch or re-play things until they make sense… and revisit the content anytime. Knit Stars takes the benefits of online learning to the next level and I couldn’t be happier to be part of it.
I have loved building and designing my own online courses for The KNITSONIK School and there are more classes for my own online school in the works! However, at times wearing all the hats is an awful lot of work and – in a business run by just one person – can feel incredibly lonely. The chance to work with all the other people involved in this – the film crew; my fellow Knit Stars; the amazing folks who run the whole production; and my friends at John Arbon Mill – is just the joy I need.
Looking at all the other tutors set to teach this year, I think it will be the joy we ALL need when all the classes come online in November.
Thank you, Shelley and Co., for having me along for this adventure – I’m excited to get stuck in!
If you are excited about my class and wish to sign up for Knit Stars 6, enrolling through my affiliate link is an amazing way to support me and my work, as it means I get paid a commission.
Yours in #LivingColorfully,