I’ve been staying home more than usual this year, but I have my spring teaching trip coming up soon. I find that getting away for a little while in the spring is a good transition out of winter for me. Sometimes I travel to teach at national events like Interweave’s Yarn Fest or Stitches, sometimes I teach at fiber festivals, shops or guilds. I love all of those different environments, but lately I’ve been really digging retreats. This spring I have two fun retreats set up.
Yarn Cupboard Annual Fiber Arts Retreat
On April 22-24 I’ll be at the Yarn Cupboard Annual Fiber Arts Retreat and Market in Syracuse, NY. I’m really looking forward to this. One reason Dom and I moved back east and to Vermont was because, as much as it seems like we live in the middle of nowhere, we can drive to a lot of places in one day. Syracuse is about 5 hours. (New York City is about 6, Boston is 4, and Montreal is 2.) So I’ll get a nice little road trip, and some time to kick back with knitters in upstate New York, and I also get to teach a few of my favorite classes:
Event Horizon Pi Shawl — in this class we make a miniature shawl to learn the techniques needed to make the full-size Event Horizon shawl, which is one of my most popular designs ever. Using diamond and circle lace motifs designed by Dorothy Reade and the easy-peasy pi shawl shaping invented by Elizabeth Zimmermann, we get to create something that is beautiful, warm, and oh-so-much fun to knit! The pattern is available in Stories In Stitches 2 or in the new $2.99 Stories In Stitches Sampler ebook.
This is me showing off the shawl when I took it up from blocking. Sure it’s not as gorgeous as the pro photos that got published, but just love seeing how this shawl is so big (there are 2 smaller sizes for those who don’t want a shawl as wide as they are tall), and I love seeing how you can see through the lace stitches, even though this is a quicker-than-normal shawl knit because it’s made with sock yarn.
Bosnian Toe-Up Colorwork Socks — in this class we learn how to make a Bosnian-style sock toe, work with two colors using either the two-handed fair isle technique or the more traditional Bosnian technique of tensioning yarn around your neck (similar to Andean and Portuguese styles of knitting), how to make Baltic Braids, and how to finish the heel and top edge of this old-style toe-up sock. The pattern is free on Knitty.
Stories in Stiches — I think this may be my favorite class to teach because it consists of a bunch of stories about knitting around the world intertwined with learning stitches and techniques from each of those regions. It’s a fun way to spend a morning or afternoon building your skills without committing to a big project like a shawl or a pair of socks.
Unwind Getaway in the Mountains
On April 29 to May 2, I’ll be at Unwind Getaway in the Mountains at Blowing Rock, NC. Ava Coleman, my Stories In Stitches co-creator, will be joining me to take part in the workshops and our evening talk. It’s a great opportunity to meet both of us in the same place at the same time!. We’ll be teaching:
Victorian Knitting: The Shape of Shawls, which covers some really fun antique patterns that we will attempt to knit from the original instructions. We’ll also play with charting the patterns, learn about the period techniques, tools, and materials that were used by knitters in the nineteenth century, and then get a final pattern for a shawl that Ava and I have updated for modern knitters. You can learn about this in Stories In Stitches 5, too.
Symbols in Stitches is a class where we dig into the meaning of symbols in knitting on two different levels. First we look at the motifs themselves and talk about the stories and myths behind their shapes and designs, and then we will look at the secret codes in chart symbols that can help you understand what they mean without pulling your hair out.
Then we’ll also be teaching the Stories In Stitches class that I’m offering above at the Yarn Cupboard retreat, but with both Ava and I together, this version will be a completely different experience.
After that, I get to stay in NC to visit my sister for a week, then we drive home together with Mom and Dixie (her dog), and the two of them will stay with us in Vermont until sometime this fall, when I hit the road again.