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Camp Is Coming Up

Greece, 2004–Sally at Lunch. Steve is behind her.

Every year I go to Colorado to knitting camp.  This year we have Sally Melville coming to teach.  She is a superb teacher and terribly clever.  No matter what the class, she always has amazing tips and tricks to share.  Our homework letter explains it all.  I thought I’d share it in case you have any questions I might could ask in class.  That way I am sure to be smarter when I come home.

Some of you will realize that I actually teach some of these topics.  No matter how much you already know, a good teacher will give you something new.  Besides, any camp or retreat is an opportunity to learn from everyone there.  I’m taking my new spindle to show to Jay; Gay will have knitted at least 10 new sweaters for me to steal the tricks from; Linda will have gone to some exotic locale and have textile souvenirs to share.  It isn’t only about the knitting—but everything is really about knitting if you think about it.

Here’s the homework letter–

Sally Melville’s classes for camp in Ft. Collins
July 11 – 15, 2012

These are the descriptions of each of the classes that we will have with Sally.

THE SET-IN SLEEVE (2hrs) – Thursday
The set-in sleeve is our most pleasing shape to wear – when it fits. But too often it does not, with shoulders too wide and upper sleeves too generous. In addition, even when the final result fits, the sewing is a struggle. Not anymore! This class explains how to measure, draft, knit, and assemble a simple and beautifully fitted set-in sleeve. You will be amazed at how easy it can be!

SUPPLIES TO BRING: tape measure, calculator is optional

A knitter who spends the time and energy to make her own clothes should be rewarded with a result that makes her happy and proud. It should fit, it should flatter, and there should be no mystery as to how this happened. But sadly, and too often, this is not the result. Why? Because the knitter chooses the wrong pattern, OR chooses the right pattern but follows the directions without questioning them, OR makes the right garment but wears it with the wrong thing.

There are a few simple rules to follow for successful knitting: start with styles that flatter, knit with appropriate decisions for a personalized fit, and then wear it with something that makes it look wonderful! This workshop covers all these decisions and puts the power for successful results into your competent hands Yay!

HOMEWORK: It is essential that this exercise be completed. You will be disappointed if you don’t do this! And please read this carefully, including the NOTE at the bottom.

1. Dress in something close fitting. (We need to see your real silhouette. You may wear only lingerie, or you may add a bodysuit, a leotard, or tights. But do wear supportive lingerie.)
2. Standing straight, with arms slightly away from your side and feet together, have someone take a straight-on full body (head-to-toe) photo of you. (Have the photo fill the screen as much as possible.)
3. Print the photo onto plain paper, enlarging it to 8 – 10” tall.
4. Trace your outline only with a heavy black pen: We don’t need your photo anymore, only your outline. Bring your outline to class.

SUPPLIES TO BRING: A couple of pages each of 2 different colors of light-weight (20 lb. or lighter but NOT tracing paper) plus scissors, measuring tape, pencil, eraser.

Note: Common homework and supplies errors are the following: arms too far from sides, feet not together, head not included, paper too heavy or too light (tracing paper does not work), photo brought instead of just silhouette, silhouette not outlined or not outlined heavily enough.

No matter how advanced and accomplished we are, there are habits or holes in our knitting repertoire. Perhaps we rely upon the same cast-on, the same increase, the same decrease; perhaps we are confounded by selvedge stitches, or by picking-up-and-knitting around a round neck; or perhaps we knit without the awareness that we have choices.

This workshop explores and explains the many techniques we should all have in our repertoire. We’ll talk about which are best suited to each situation and why, and we’ll practice them all with lots of hands-on experience.

SUPPLIES TO BRING: more yarn, tapestry needle, crochet hook
HOMEWORK: Use plain yarn: worsted weight works best.

1. Cast on 24 stitches, work in stockinette (working selvedge stitches in stockinette also) until the piece measures 3” in length. DO EXACTLY AS WRITTEN: Do not slip stitches and do not work short rows. (You are shaping a round neck, in case you wonder.) At the beginning of the next RS row, bind off 6 stitches. At the beginning of the RS row, bind off 3 stitches. At the beginning of the next RS row, bind off 2 stitches. At the beginning of the next 3 RS rows, bind off 1 stitch. Work 8 rows even, then bind off.

This workshop shows knitters how to use, manage, and replenish a yarn collection. Participants will learn ways to use up bits of this and that plus those 4-6 balls of something heretofore unusable. They will also learn that they may now buy one ball of anything that appeals to them knowing they will use it well. The elegance of the resulting fabrics, plus the fact that they took nothing like odd-ball knitting, comes as a very exciting discovery to participants in this workshop.

Students will explore the problems inherent in using multiple yarns and colors: which ones go together, which stitch patterns will accommodate different weights and colors best, how to arrange a yarn collection to make the most of it, plus much more.

SUPPLIES TO BRING: various yarns (weights and colors)
HOMEWORK: With any yarn and appropriate needles, cast on 15 stitches and work 2 rows stockinette, leaving work ready to work a RS (knit) row.

Wish you all could go with me.  More later–


3 Responses

  1. really like her books!!!

  2. I would love to go someday! Those classes sound great!

  3. We can arrange that quite easily.

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