Knit for Fun
Past Retreats 2019
May 2 to 5, 2019
162 Main St.
Freeport, Maine 04032
Instructors: Kate Atherley, Isabell Kraemer, and Mary Jane Mucklestone
Kate Atherley of Toronto, Ontario, is an expert teacher, with more than 12 years’ experience teaching at yarn shops, guild gatherings, retreats, and large-scale events. Her classes are a lively mixture of discussion, demonstration, and hands-on practice, with plenty of individual attention and guidance. Kate is the author of The Knitter’s Dictionary, Custom Socks, Knit Mitts, and The Beginner’s Guide to Writing Knitting Patterns. Learn more about Kate at www.kateatherley.com.
German knitwear designer Isabell Kraemer, aka Lilau, has a background in dressmaking and a passion for fresh, wearable, and modern garments. Her timeless, classic designs are often among the list of what’s hot on Ravelry. Isabell’s designs have been published in Laine Magazine, Amirisu, and Vogue Knitting, as well as many yarn companies, and of course, Ravelry. Follow Isabell’s life in pictures on Instagram @lilalu72.
Mary Jane Mucklestone
Mary Jane Mucklestone loves to knit, especially with color. She travels the world to study traditional knitting techniques and delights in sharing her knowledge with her students. Mary Jane is a popular teacher specializing in lively, fun, and informative classes. Mary Jane’s designs have been featured in numerous books and magazines, and she is author of several, including 200 Fair Isle Motifs, 150 Scandinavian Motifs, and 150 Scandinavian Knitting Designs. Follow Mary Jane’s adventures at MaryJaneMucklestone.com.
Retreat Class Offerings
Each class is three hours; choose one from each instructor.
Classes by Kate Atherley
Introduction to Garment Alterations—Make it Your Own
Participate in a detailed discussion of garment fit and how to adjust that fit. This is not a class on how to custom-fit a given pattern; rather, it’s a discussion of how to choose the right garment to simplify the alterations, how to identify the alterations required, and how to approach the pattern adjustments. Note: This class covers the same material as Kate’s all-day class Smart Strategies for Garment Knitting. Do not sign up for both.
Experience level: Intermediate. Must be familiar with sweater construction.
Materials: Notepad and pen; calculator; tape measure; any patterns your wish to discuss or alter.
Soxpertise—Improve Your Sock Knitting
In this class, you’ll explore a wide range of sock topics, including fit, reinforcement, different constructions and different ways to work them, and yarn choice. You’ll also learn Kate’s fail-proof method for picking up gusset stitches to prevent holes from forming in top-down heel flap socks. Requires homework.
Experience level: Intermediate. Must be familiar with sock construction.
Materials: Notepad and pen; calculator; tape measure; any patterns you wish to discuss.
Homework: With worsted-weight yarn and size U.S. 6 or 7 (4 or 4.5 mm) needles in your preferred configuration for sock knitting, cast on 36 stitches. Join for working in rounds, being careful not to twist stitches. Work in k1, p1 ribbing until piece measures 1” (2.5 cm) from cast on.
Fearless Finishing—A Perfect Ending
Let Kate guide you through the key finishing skills, including seaming, blocking, weaving in ends, working the Kitchener stitch, and picking up stitches. Through hands-on practice, you’ll leave confident in finishing your next project. If you suffer from “finishing-itis”, this class is for you! Homework required.
Experience level: Advanced Beginner.
Materials: Any project that needs finishing; blunt-tipped tapestry needle; six homework swatches plus needles and yarn.
Homework: With light-colored worsted-weight yarn and size U.S. 7 (4.5 mm) needles, knit four 4” x 4” swatches as follows: two in stockinette stitch, one in garter stitch, and one in k1, p1 ribbing. With the same light-colored yarn and needles, work two additional swatches as follows: Cast on 20 stitches, work 10 rows in stockinette stitch, place stitches on holders.
Classes by Isabell Kraemer
Short-Rows—When and Why
Short-rows have become a shaping staple for many knitwear designers. In this class, you’ll learn several different techniques for using short-rows and where to use them. You’ll learn how to add shaping to a neckline worked in the round and how to shape shoulders, bust darts, and hemlines. Techniques will be illustrated through a variety of Isabell’s designs that use this versatile technique.
Experience level: Intermediate. Must be familiar with garment shaping.
Materials: Notepad and pen; DK- or worsted-weight yarn and appropriate circular needles; safety pins or locking stitch markers; tapestry needle; crochet hook the same size as the knitting needles; waste yarn.
Seamless Set-In Sleeves—Look Ma, No Seams!
Ever wanted to get the tailored look of a classic set-in sleeve garment without sewing? This workshop will guide you through the techniques needed to work a set-in sleeve seamlessly from the top down. You may never knit a sleeve from the bottom up again! Homework required.
Experience level: Intermediate to expert. Must be comfortable knitting small circumferences in the round and working the basic wrap-and-turn short-row technique.
Materials: Notepad and pen; homework sample and yarn and needles; safety pins or locking stitch markers; tapestry needle; a bit of waste yarn.
Homework: Homework will be sent 2 weeks prior to class.
Shawl Shapes—So Many Choices
Shawls are knitted in a wide range of shapes. This class will help you understand how the shapes are created by increases or decreases to form triangular (both symmetric and asymmetric), circular, semi-circular, and square shawls. You’ll learn different ways to increase, how to add color and texture, and how to combine different yarn weights.
Experience level: Advanced beginner to expert. Must know how to knit, purl, increase, and decrease.
Materials: Notepad and pen; your choice of knitting yarn and appropriate circular needles; stitch markers.
Classes by Mary Jane Mucklestone
Scandinavian Colorwork — Examine a Tradition
Through knitting a headband or hat, explore color choices and the classic motifs used in Scandinavian stranded knitting. Learn techniques for tacking down extra-long floats, how to Norwegian purl, and a nifty way to execute garter stitch in the round. Along the way, you’ll explore ideas for combining motifs and adding colorwork to liven up any project.
Experience level: Intermediate. Must have some experience working stranded colorwork in the round.
Materials: Two or more highly contrasting colors of DK-weight yarn (50 to 100 grams each); 16” circular needle in the smallest size listed on the ball bands; 16” circular needle one size larger; set of double-pointed needles in the same size to finish hat.
Two-Color Knitting—Let’s Begin
Through knitting a headband or hat, learn the basics of two-color knitting, including several methods to hold yarns, reading charts, yarn dominance, how to introduce new colors, prevent yarns from tangling, and weave in ends. This class is for those new to stranded knitting and those looking to brush up on their techniques.
Experience level: Advanced-Beginner. Must be comfortable working in rounds in small circumferences.
Materials: Two or more highly contrasting colors of worsted-weight yarn (50 to 100 grams each); sizes U.S. 6 and 7 (4 and 4.5 mm) 16” circular needles; size U.S. 7 (4.5 mm) double-pointed needles for hat; stitch markers; tape measure; scissors; tapestry needle; notepad and pen.
Making It Up—The Fair Isle Hat
Begin designing with Fair Isle motifs by starting your own hat. Through Mary Jane’s guidance and lots of individual attention, you’ll experiment will color and pattern to create your own design. You’ll leave class inspired to complete your hat and generate other colorwork projects! Homework is required.
Experience level: Intermediate. Must know how to knit, purl, cast on, bind off, increase, and decrease. Must also have experience working stranded colorwork in the round and reading charts.
Materials: Three to eight colors of worsted-weight yarn: 90–135 meters each of two high contrast colors and 20–50 meters each of the other colors; sizes U.S. 6 and 7 (4 and 4.5 mm) circular needles in 40” lengths; size U.S. 7 (4.5 mm) double-pointed needles; tapestry needle; stitch markers; calculator; graph paper; colored pencils; notepad and pen.
Homework: Choose between 15¾ (19, 22)” head circumference. The target gauge is 5 stitches/inch. With smaller circular needle and color of your choice, cast on 72 (88, 104) stitches and join for working in rounds, being careful not to twist stitches. Work k1, p1 rib for one round (or as long as you’d like if you’d like to have a k1,p1 ribbed edge). In class different rib patterns, corrugated ribbing, moss stitch, etc., will be described.
Andean Accents—An Exploration of Decorative Edges
Learn to make both the checkerboard and scalloped edgings used in traditional chullos (Andean earflap hats), as well as “instant” popcorns (bobbles) while knitting a fun pair of wristlets. You many never knit a “plain” edge again!
Experience level: Intermediate. Must have solid knowledge of knitting and purling, stitch mount, and a willingness to try something new.
Materials: Sizes U.S. 5 and 6 (3.75 mm and 4 mm) 16” circular needles; size U.S. 6 (4 mm) double-pointed needles; size F/5 or G/6 (3.75 or 4 mm) crochet hook; scissors; stitch markers; tapestry needle; smooth DK-weight yarn in solid and variegated colors: 10 yards each of three colors for the scalloped edging; 5 yards of one color for popcorns; 20 yards each of two colors for checkerboard.
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 to fixing mistakes. With more than 40 years’ knitting experience, I’ve seen (and corrected) almost everything.
You don’t have to have a specific ailment at this time to book an appointment.
Optional Thursday Intensive (Six-Hour) Classes
A Skirt for All Seasons—Design a Custom-Fit “Pleated” Skirt
Knitted skirts are becoming wardrobe staples—and they’re a lot easier to knit than you might think (they require just three to four skeins of sock yarn)! Learn how to take proper waist and hip measurements and combine them with your gauge to create a “pleated” skirt with a perfect fit, no matter your size. You’ll leave with a personalized skirt pattern for your yarn and gauge. Homework is required.
Experience level: Intermediate to expert. Must be comfortable knitting in rounds, increasing, and have a sense of adventure.
Materials: Your choice of fingering, sport, DK, or worsted-weight yarn for a skirt (you’ll be notified prior to class how much you’ll need based on your hip size); appropriate 24” circular needles for your chosen yarn, plus needles at least one and two sizes smaller (you may need to go down a needle size to achieve a good fabric); calculator; tape measure; homework swatch.
Homework: With your chosen yarn and needles, cast on 46 stitches and work in rounds for at least 3”; do not bind off. Bring your swatch (on the needles) and yarn to class.
Smart Strategies for Garment Knitting—Make the Most of Your Knitting Time
This class takes a deep dive into garment knitting, beginning with how to choose a style that suits your body type and how to choose the most flattering size. You’ll also learn how to choose appropriate yarn and how to get gauge, and you’ll leave prepared to tweak the fit with your own alterations and adjustments. Note: This class covers the same material as Kate’s three-hour class Introduction to Garment Alterations. Do not sign up for both.
Experience level: Intermediate. Must have knitted at least one sweater.
Materials: Notepad and pen; calculator; tape measure; any patterns you wish to discuss or alter.
Top-Down Sweater Design—Make it Great from the Top
Geared toward the adventurous knitter, this class will lead you in designing your own top-down sweater. We’ll begin with a brief overview of different top-down constructions and how to choose the one that best suits your design ideas. We’ll work through all the steps necessary to bring your ideas to life, from taking measurements and adding ease to the effect of stitch patterns.
Experience level: Intermediate to expert. Must have basic knowledge of top-down sweater construction.
Materials: Notepad; pencil; eraser; tape measure; gauge swatch (see homework); knitting needles in various sizes plus appropriate yarn for those sizes; a schematic (on graph paper) of any sweater that fits the way you like (this does not need to be a handknitted sweater).
Homework: Use light-colored DK or worsted-weight yarn to knit a stockinette swatch that measures 5” square.
Fresh Fair Isle—Liven Up Your Knitting
(Mary Jane Mucklestone)
Learn the basics of color theory and how to use its principles to guide color choices while knitting a simple stranded wristlet or fingerless glove. Examine the use of color in traditional Fair Isle knitting and move beyond into developing your own personal color schemes. You’ll also learn to analyze how different color combinations can completely change the look of a motif.
Experience level: Intermediate. Must have experience working stranded colorwork in the round.
Materials: Three to eight colors (or more!) of 25–100 yards each of fingering weight wool yarn (Shetland wool preferred); size U.S. 3 (3.25 mm) double-pointed or your preferred needles for working small diameters in the round; tapestry needle; scissors; stitch markers. Graph paper and colored pencils, if desired.
Homework: With the fingering weight color of your choice, cast on 48 stitches. Place marker and join for working in rounds, being careful not to twist stitches. Work in k1, p1 rib until piece measures 1” (2.5 cm) from cast-on.