22 November 2010

Planning for 2011

It's that time of the year. No, I'm not referring to Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas, the great triumvirate of cool-weather dark-day holidays. No, it's time to start signing up for all the great knitting offerings in 2011.

Registration has just opened this morning for STITCHES South 2011. Because of where Easter falls on the calendar, STITCHES South will be a week early on 14 through 17 April. Good for us, as the spring flowering trees should be in even better blossom than the previous two years. XRX will be setting up the party at the Renaissance Waverly Hotel & Cobb Galleria Centre, just off I-285 and I-75 on the north side of Atlanta. (Clicking the link at upper left will take you to the STITCHES main portal page. Clicking the link at the top of the sidebar will take you to the description of my class.)

Once again, it is my privilege to teach at STITCHES South. I'll be teaching "More Than One Way to Skin a Sweater." This is an overview of sweater construction, where we'll look at ten actual finished sweaters. Some have easy architectures, some are more complex. We'll discuss the pros and cons of each construction method. We'll also discuss some of the real-world problems I had to solve along the way. Here's a quote from one of the student evaluations last year, "Inspiring -- I'm going to go home and fix several UFOs. I learned practical applications for things I'd always heard about. Helped me not be afraid of "Out There" patterns!"

By the way, if you are trying to make decisions about classes using only the .pdf of the the brochure, the classes in the brochure are grouped by type, but in the online registration pages they are listed in order of appearance. Looking online can sometimes be easier if you are trying to see what your options might be for a certain day and time.

After much internal deliberation, I've registered for:
Thursday: Sharon Costello "Embed and Embellish: Felt, Stone, and Bead Jewelry"
Friday morning: Merike Saarniit "Fiendishly Difficult Stitches"
Saturday morning: Merike Saarniit "Spinning for Knitting"
Sunday all day: Gayle Roehm "Even More Challenging Stitches From Japanese Designs"

Sharon's class looks very interesting and unusual. Plus, Karin Skacel is supposed to reschedule with Atlanta Knitting Guild at some point. So it will be nice to up my felting skills between the two. And I do have some loose fiber lying around that I might not want to spin.

I couldn't take "Spinning for Knitting" last year because it was opposite my class. This year it is offered twice. Glee! And I noticed that "Exotic Estonian 'Patent' Stitches" (which I took in 2009) is offered on Friday afternoon rather than Sunday morning, so you won't be trying to learn it with a tired mind. Scenter took "Fiendishly Difficult Stitches" back in 2009, so I know from his review that it has some very interesting manipulations.

I'll end my weekend with Gayle Roehm. I took the first part of challenging stitches in 2009, so I'm very happy to see this nice long follow-up for Sunday. Between Gayle and Merike, I'm sure I leave with too many clever ideas about how to do strange things.

I have to admit I was keenly tempted to take Jean Frost's class "Lining a la Chanel." The homework is to knit a jacket but don't put it together so that in class you can put in a couture lining. While I like to think I can knock out a jacket between now and April, the reality is that I have a whole lot of other knitting that I ought to be doing. Still, I think it is a great class offering, as it is information that can't be found elsewhere. And if you already have a jacket in your UFO pile because it is waiting to be assembled, well then your procrastination has paid off!

Other good choice that I'm not taking:
Saturday morning: Sarah Peasley "Cut and Paste." This is the class to take if you are afraid of Kitchener grafting. Sarah not only shows you how to graft a variety of stitch patterns, she shows you how to do full-up replacement surgery on a sweater. I've done this sort of thing to sweater sleeves (both removing too much fabric and inserting more), and I can tell you this is a wonderful thing to be able to do. Being able to cut and graft gives you the freedom to make changes -- both aesthetic and functional -- to an otherwise finished garment. A lot of the really out there stunt knitting I do involves grafting. I highly recommend adding knitting grafting surgeon skills to your repertoire.

Saturday all day: Laura Bryant "Intentional Patterning with Hand-Dyed Yarns" I can't take this one because it is opposite mine. (Drat!) I have heard from other people that this is a very good class. Laura will show you techniques to make the most of those hand-dyed yarns that seduced their way into your stash. Maybe I'll get to take this one next year.

Saturday afternoon: Rebecca Ewing "In Loving Color" I've heard Rebecca speak at Atlanta Knitting Guild and I've taken her workshop offered through Southeastern Fiber Arts Alliance. If you feel uncertain about choosing colors, Rebecca can help you find the confidence to combine colors that will look fabulous.

Of course, I'll be doing some of the other fun things as well, such as shopping the market (but only for things I can't get locally), enjoying the fashion shows, attending the banquets, and partying at the pajama party. And I'll be sitting around knitting and admiring everyone else's work.

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