Teachers

Knit For Fun in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada!

Once again, Knit For Fun Retreats will partner with River City Yarns for a third Knit For Fun Retreat in Edmonton, Canada. Because we like it so much, we’ll return to the DoubleTree by Hilton, West Edmonton.

Rock Star teachers are Olga Buraya-Kefelian, Xandy Peters, and Shirley A Scott.

OlgaThe daughter of a professional tailor, Olga Buraya-Kefelian (aka Jazzyknits) acquired an understanding of clothing construction at a young age. That understanding has evolved into Olga’s imaginative yet versatile knitwear designs that balance a love for texture with a minimalist approach. Her designs evolve from technique-driven elements that provide her students with a greater learning experience and impeccably finished knitwear. In addition to publishing her own designs, Olga is a contributing designer, author and co-author of numerous titles. Learn more at www.olgajazzy.com.

Xandy Peters is a knitting designer and teacher, best known as the innovator of the stacked stitch technique and for her Fox Paws pattern. After graduating from Pratt Institute with a degree in Industrial Design, she started out as a footwear and product designer. Xandy turned to knitting as a way to explore textiles and surfaces without using factory production and has since made a career out of knitting, publishing new patterns monthly, and teaching workshops across the country. Xandy has been published in magazines such as Vogue Knitting, Twist Collective, Knitscene, Knitty, and Pom Pom Quarterly, but continues to self-publish most of her work on Ravelry. Follow Xandy’s blog at http://theworkisgettingtome.blogspot.com.

Shirley A Scott (aka Shirl the Purl) is a handknitter with a special love for history and North Atlantic culture that led to her first book Canada Knits: Craft and Comfort in a Northern Land, which chronicled the history of knitting in Canada. She went on to publish her own knitting newsletter, to establish her own craft tour company, and to design and publish many knitting patterns. She is now co-author with Christine LeGrow of Saltwater Mittens, Saltwater Classics, and the upcoming Saltwater Gifts books, all of which celebrate the Newfoundland aesthetic. A native of New Brunswick and a survivor of 50 years of living in Toronto, Shirl now makes her home in Newfoundland, where she has found shared interests, deep friendships, and much food for the soul

The regular retreat classes will be scheduled during four class periods: Friday morning, Friday afternoon, Saturday morning, and Saturday afternoon. You will be given three classes (one with each instructor) and one free period with regular registration. In addition to three 3-hour classes, you’ll have the opportunity to sign up for one-on-one sessions of 20 minutes each with the Knit Doctor (that’s me, Ann Budd) on a first-come, first-serve basis. I’ll help you with anything that ails your knitting, from taking measurements and choosing yarn to finding your place in a piece gone wrong and fixing mistakes. With more than 40 years’ knitting experience, I’ve seen (and corrected) almost everything.

For additional fees, you can sign up for an extra full-day class with one of the teachers opening day (Thursday, August 27). If space is available, you’ll also have the opportunity to register for a fourth class in lieu of a free period.

Go to Knit For Fun Retreats for complete details.

Registration opens Saturday, January 11 at 10:00 a.m. Mountain Standard Time

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Getaway to Michigan

For a number of years I’ve taught at Four Purls, a family-owned and run yarn shop in Winter Haven, Florida that’s home of hand-dyed Emma’s Yarn, created by owners JD and Laura Dobratz’s daughter Emma as a result of homeschool classes on math. (I used Emma’s Yarn for my Junior Goat Herder Pullover.) Still in high school, Emma relies on her older sister Aspen to help with the the logistics of running a rapidly growing yarn dyeing business. I’m happy to say that I’ll return again December 7 and 8 this year to teach A Skirt For All Seasons and Toe-Up Socks. It’s always nice to escape the Colorado winter for a bit of Florida warmth.

However, I’m even more excited to announce that I’ll be one of three teachers at the first Four Purls Getaway in Kalamazoo, Michigan, July 16-19, 2020. Kalamazoo is the hometown of JD and Laura. For years, they’ve dreamed of sharing their Michigan roots with their clients.

Next July, that dream comes true.

The retreat will take place at the Radisson Plaza Hotel in the heart of downtown Kalamazoo, walking distance to specialty shops, breweries, distilleries, and coffee roasters, as well as world-class dining.

I’ll join teachers Kate Atherley and Melissa Kemmerer.

Kate Atherley, Knitty.com’s Managing Technical Editor, seasoned designer, and teacher of all things knitterly, is known for her attention to detail in her patterns and classes. Kate regularly teaches at stores and events across North America, and her work has appeared in many books and magazines. Kate’s technique classes are a lively mix of discussion, demonstration, and hands-on practice, with individual attention and guidance provided. At the retreat, Kate will teach Two Socks At Once: The War & Peace Method, Make-or-Break Garment Skills, and The Pi Shawl.

Knit designer, Melissa Kemmerer is from Upstate New York. She loves to knit sweaters and does not like to sew, a combination that results in her nearly seamless sweater designs. Since 2018, Melissa has been designing for and creating Nomadic Knits magazine along with her best fiber friend, Becky Beagull. Melissa travels the country looking for indie dyers and designers to feature in the pages of Nomadic Knits. She loves to explore the local knitting culture wherever she goes and is ridiculously excited to share her finds with the world. At the retreat, Melissa will teach Beyond the Basics, Inside Nomadic Knits, and Knits that Fit.

I’ll fill in with Happy Heels—Explore Three Heel Variations, Two-Layer Mittens, and Fixing Mistakes.

In addition to classes and camaraderie, attendees will have access to a specially curated marketplace that will feature Michigan makers, as well as a private one-on-one 30-minute shopping session with Laura, Aspen, or Emma, all of whom will help you find the perfect yarn for your project.

To provide their guests with the opportunity to explore more of Kalamazoo after the retreat, Laura and JD are offering a 4-night extension (organized by my own event coordinator Cindy Hallam) that will include many of the highlights of their favorite town.

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Knit Stars 4.0

Last year I had the terrific opportunity to be part of Knit Stars 3.0: North Stars Rising, the brain child of Shelley Brander of Loops yarn shop in Tulsa, Oklahoma. I taught how to cut and finish steeks with a zipper or buttons. I had a blast filming the segment and am honored to have been included in the impressive group of stars.

This year’s Knit Stars 4.0: I’ll Alpaca My Bag will take you to new heights in Peru, weaving together the stories of the Pacomarca Sustainable Alpaca Network and the Centro de Textiles Tradicionales del Cusco, whose mission is to aid in the survival of Cusqueñan textile traditions and to provide support to the indigenous people who create them.

You’ll then east to discover how non-profit Manos del Uruguay is working with rural women to provide jobs that are more than an income, but also an opportunity to develop personally, gain independence, preserve their roots and traditions, and remain close to their families and community.

And you’ll criss-cross North America, from Nova Scotia to Oregon and everywhere in between…learning the stories of knitters and crocheters, designers and dyers…all united in their passion for the craft and their desire to spread the joy of creativity.

In all, there will be 11 informative episodes, many of which include an exclusive pattern:

  • Pacomarca – Preserving and Celebrating the Andean Way of Life
  • Martha Wissing – A Chullo-Style Hat
  • Lucy Neatby – Two-Color Double Knitting
  • Susan B. Anderson – Seamless Toy Knitting Techniques
  • Cecelia Lalanne – Hand Dyeing the Manos Way
  • Blue Sky Fibers – Adventures in Cabling
  • Andrea Wong  – Portuguese-Style Knitting
  • Hannah Thiessen – Slow Knitting, Natural Dyes, and Mending Knits
  • Marly Bird – Crochet Mending
  • Diane Ivey – Guide to Moving Forward: from Social Media to Building Inclusive Communities
  • Caitlin Hunter – Traditional Colorwork, Reinvented

It’s good to know that Knit Stars is deeply committed to diversity of all kinds – race, ethnicity, religion, sexual identity, gender identity, age, geodiversity, and the inclusion of people with all ranges of ability, many of whom are unable to travel to access inspirational teachers. Year after year, Knit Stars will continue to strive toward shining a loving spotlight on teachers, dyers, and thought leaders across the broad and beautiful global spectrum that is the fiber universe.

Open enrollment begins this Thursday, October 24. Don’t procrastinate — enrollment closes in just 7 days: at midnight Pacific Standard Time on Thursday, October 31.

Click on the following link https://knitstars.com/a/4441/qzGWw9gQ to register.

Let’s knit this world together!

 

 

 

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Fun in La Jolla

It’s been a couple of weeks since my Knit For Fun Retreat in La Jolla, California, and I’m already missing all the new friends I met and the old friends I got to see again.

My event coordinator Cindy Hallam and I were joined by international teachers Nancy Bush (from Salt Lake City), Andrea Rangel (from British Columbia), and Veera Valimaki (from Finland). I think I speak for all of us by saying what a delight it was to spend some time in warm sun before returning to cooler weather.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As a special treat, Jeane DeCoster of Elemental Affects was on hand as the Style Doctor to help retreaters determine the optimum styles for their particular sizes and shapes. We all learned a lot about proportions and balance. Thank you Jeane!

Lastly, I want to take this opportunity to publicly thank my most excellent helpers Rhonda Croxon and Chonita Olivas, who ensured that the retreaters were well taken care of and cheerfully solved any problems that cropped up.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The next next Knit For Fun Retreat will take place in historic Savannah, Georgia. April 23 – 26, 2020. The three teachers will be cable expert Norah Gaughan (from New Hampshire), lace expert Elizabeth Johnston (from the Shetland Isles) and yours truly (from Colorado). The basic registration package includes one class with each of us.

Registration is now open!

 

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Teacher Spotlight: Veera Valimaki

I’m very pleased to announce that Veera Välimäki will be the third teacher (along with Nancy Bush and Andrea Rangel) at my Knit For Fun Retreat in La Jolla, California, September 19 – 22.

I first met Veera a couple of years ago at the  Hill Country Weavers Knitting in the Hills Retreat last year. I was so impressed with her friendly intelligence that I immediately asked her to put a Knit For Fun Retreat on her calendar.

Veera Välimäki lives and designs in a small village in Southern Finland. In her ten years of designing, she has focused on simple and clean lines with small fresh details. She’s heavily influenced by architecture and the relationship between art and architecture. Veera loves simple yet modern knits that are both easy to knit and easy to wear, especially ones that engage the mind as well as the eye.

Veera has two books published in Finland, the names of which I can’t pronounce. Fortunately for English speakers, she has also published six (6!) volumes of Interpretations, co-authored with Argentinian designer Joji Locatelli. Each volume features innovative designs by both authors. In a refreshing twist, the authors model their own garments.

Veera’s work has also been featured in magazines and books in Finland, Europe, and the U.S.

You can follow Veera on her blog, 100% Rain.

Veera will teach the following classes at my Knit For Fun Retreat in La Jolla, California, September 19 to 21. 

Colorplay
Enjoy a class that focuses on color in knitting—what to expect from certain colors, which colors to pair and which to begin with. You’ll learn basic color theory hands-on while knitting swatches. You’ll leave class full of inspiration and confidence!

Stripes — Beyond the Basics
Learn how to add stripes to your knitting, how to best work them, and how to make stripes extra special with easy techniques. You’ll also learn what to expect from certain colors and which colors pair best, how to enhance stripes with simple stitch patterns, knitting jogless stripes in the round, working stripes with short-rows, and keeping the edges neat.

Round-Yoke Sweaters
This class is dedicated to the art of round-yoke sweaters. Through knitting a mini sample yoke, you’ll learn the basic construction and math, then explore different ways to add colorwork, lace, or other stitch patterns. The lovely look and wide-ranging design possibilities make a round-yoke sweater ideal for experimentation.

Shawl Shapes
In this class, you’ll learn the most common shawl constructions and how to take your shawl knitting to a whole new level. In addition to basic shawl shapes—triangle, crescent, square, circular, etc.—you’ll learn how to add stitch patterns while increasing or decreasing to form the desired shape.

Click here for more information on the Knit For Fun Retreat that will feature Veera as a teacher.

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Teacher Spotlight: Andrea Rangel

Andrea Rangel

I’m very pleased that Andrea Rangel agreed to be one of the teachers at my Knit For Fun Retreat in La Jolla, California, September 19 – 22. I’ve only “met” Andrea through an online group interview of all the Knit Star 3.0 teachers, hosted by Loops in Tulsa, Oklahoma. I’m super excited to finally meet her in person this September!

Andrea is a trained educator, having taught elementary, middle, and high school for several years before becoming a full-time knitwear designer. A true international representative, Andrea holds three passports (U.S., Canada, and Peru). She lives in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada, where she knits, designs, and blogs. She also rides her bike and spends as much time outdoors as possible, often taking close-up photos of nature. She translates the detail and creativity she sees in nature into many of her knitwear designs. Enamored with the functionality and beauty of knitting, Andrea knits and designs everything from head to toe.

Andrea is the author of two books: Rugged Knits and Alterknit Stitch Dictionary. Her designs have also been published in Brooklyn Tweed Wool PeopleTwist Collective, Interweave Knits, and Knit Scene, as well as independently. Her printed patterns are available for wholesale purchase through Stitch Sprouts Distributors in North America and Ysolda Distribution in Europe.

Learn more by visiting Andrea’s website.

 

Andrea will teach the following classes at my Knit For Fun Retreat in La Jolla, California, September 19 to 21. 

The Fine Art of Yarn Substitution
Have you ever had trouble choosing the appropriate yarn for a pattern? In this class, you’ll be guided through the intricacies of fiber, yarn weight, and plies. You’ll learn how to decode yarn labels to match the perfect yarn to your project. You’ll get lots of hands-on experience examining Andrea’s extensive collection of swatches.

The Basics of Stranded Colorwork
Two colors of yarn can be used to create an infinite variety of beautiful patterns in knitted fabrics. Take the plunge and learn to work stranded colorwork. Expert knitter, teacher, and designer Andrea Rangel will guide you through all the elements needed to make striking stranded patterns in your knitting. Learn to read color charts, manage two balls of yarn, catch floats, and create gorgeous smooth fabric while working a fun cowl pattern. You’ll also get hints on how to pick colors that shine together and which yarns will work best for your project.

Increasing & Decreasing Master Class
Dive into the intricacies of shaping knitted fabric. Practice a variety of increases and decreases and learn the pros and cons of each method. You’ll learn how to make your shaping lean left, right, or center, and why it matters. You’ll also learn how to use shaping to improve the fit of your sweaters. This class will deepen your understanding of knitting, and allow you to add beautiful detailed precision to your projects.

Brioche and Beyond
Brioche knitting creates a lofty, squishy, and reversible fabric. In this class, learn to work basic brioche and two-color brioche, along with increases, decreases, and finishing techniques. Following instructions for both Continental and British-style knitters, you’ll work a brioche sampler.

Click here for more information on the Knit For Fun Retreat that will feature Andrea Rangel as a teacher.

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Teacher Spotlight: Nancy Bush

I thought it would be nice to highlight the three teachers I have lined up for my Knit For Fun Retreat in La Jolla, California, this fall. Nancy Bush, Andrea Rangel, and Veera Valamaki will all be spreading their wisdom and encouragement between September 19 and 23.

Nancy Bush

Like many knitters, Nancy Bush taught me to knit socks. More than that, she helped me understand sock construction and set the foundation for my ability to design sock patterns. I first met Nancy in 1993 when her first book Folk Socks was in the process of being published by Interweave Press, where I had recently joined the book department. That book launched the sock knitting craze that shows no sign of abating.

Nancy studied Art History in college and weaving from experts in Sweden. Both experiences added to her appreciation of traditional textiles, particularly knitting.

 

Nancy opened The Wooly West retail store in Salt Lake City, Utah, in 1980 after returning from time abroad in weaving school in Sweden and working as a nanny in France. She chose knitting as a primary focus because she loved the portability of it (as opposed to weaving) and realized that knitting was accessible to everyone–the tools are few and the basic skills are easy to teach and to learn. Through the years, her shop has encouraged more folks to knit than she ever thought possible.

Nancy sold the retail store in June of 2000, but continued The Wooly West as an online endeavor. One of the first shops in the USA to carry true Shetland yarn to sock yarn imported from Wales, The Wooly West has offered “real” wool and great colors for projects to make any knitter proud. She now offers a collection of yarns to which she is devoted. You’ll also find patterns for shawls and scarves, as well as sock and other small projects, her books, a collection of books from Estonia, and some special accessories. Nancy’s goal for the Wooly West has always been to offer fine natural fiber yarns, classic and traditional patterns, useful knitting tools, and expert instruction to all of her customers.

Nancy unleashed her passion for Estonia, the country and people as well as the knitting, while writing Folk Socks, and has devoted her work to Estonian knitting ever since. She has visited Estonia many times as a researcher, travel guide, and tourist.

Since 1993, Nancy has written four other books: Knitted Lace of Estonia, Folk Knitting in Estonia, Knitting Vintage Socks, and Knitting on the Road (not shown because I’ve lost my copy), and, most recently, updated Folk Socks. Each of these books is about knitting, but also includes some history of the craft.

Nancy has also written numerous articles and patterns for many publications, including PieceWork and Knitting Traditions, and recorded an online workshop called Estonian Lace Explained for Blueprint (formerly Craftsy)

At the Fall 2019 Knit For Fun Retreat in La Jolla, California, Nancy will teach the following classes:

Estonian Cast-ons—Useful and Colorful Beginnings
The Estonians have many interesting ways to cast on for their knitting, each giving a unique effect. Students will learn several different ways to cast on, including variations of a decorative braided cast on and an outstanding, stretchy and bold cast on for socks, cuffs or even the edge of a sweater. Students will learn when to use each technique and what makes each one special.

Nordic Color—Roositud, an Estonian Inlay Technique
Estonians use a special inlay technique for adding decorative color motifs to gloves and socks. Unlike embroidery, the technique is worked right into the knitting, row by row. Learn how to read Roositud charts and work this unique and colorful embellishment by knitting a sample in class.

Knitting Estonian Lace—A 200-year history
Estonia has a lace tradition spanning nearly 200 years. In this class, you’ll explore the stitch patterns and some of the history of lace knitting from Haapsalu. Through knitting a sampler, you’ll learn several ways that Estonian knitters create texture in their exquisite lace shawls.

Muhu Knitting Traditions—Color and Texture from a Small Estonian Island
The knitting from Muhu Island, off the west coast of Estonia, has gone through many changes since knitting was first practiced there several centuries ago. Learn the evolution of knitting on Muhu and learn about the colorful, intricate braided and patterned cuffs of Muhu mittens and gloves, popular in the 19th and early 20th centuries, all while making a mitten, or mitt using unique techniques.

Click here for more information on the Knit For Fun Retreat that will feature Nancy Bush as a teacher.

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