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Getting Off with Casting On

Instructor: Kirk Hochstetler

    Please Note Your Preferences for Workshops – MSKR 2017




    Friday, 5/19
    9:30 – Noon

    Official Road Trip to Fiber Kingdom

    A visit to a shop specializing in fine yarns, spinning and weaving equipment and a colony of Angora rabbits.


    Friday, 5/19
    2:00 pm – 5:00 pm

    Beginner’s Spinning – Spinning Wheel

    Instructor: Joe Wilcox

    Workshop participants will learn all of the parts of a spinning wheel and how those parts work together to put twist into fiber.  We will also learn about different types of fiber preparation and how to draft fiber using the short forward draw, as well as plying technique to make our very first yarn. 

    Note: Wheels will be available for us to use at the retreat, and fiber will be provided for you to practice with.

    Skill:  Spinning

    Level:  Basic

    Cost: None

    Short Rows Unwrapped

    Instructor: Tom Belunis

    If you find working short rows with the wrap-and-turn method frustrating, there are other techniques for short rows that don’t involve wrapping and turning. We’ll look at two such techniques: German short rows and Shadow Wrap short rows.

    Skill:  Knitting

    Level:  Requires some knowledge

    Cost: None

    Introduction to Weaving:  Part I

    Instructor: Dave Sledesky

    Skill:  Weaving

    Level:  Basic

    Cost: $20 if you need to rent a loom

    If you’ve ever wanted to give weaving a shot, consider taking this two-part class where you will learn how to warp a rigid heddle loom and weave a fabulous pinwheel scarf that you will take home with you from the retreat.

    Drum Carding Basic Blends

    Instructor: Aaron Bush

    The drum carder is an indispensable tool that isn’t just for preparing washed fleece to spin.  The versatile drum carder can help you make an incredible variety of custom blends of both fibers and colors.  In this workshop we will explore making custom and repeatable blends from a variety of luxury fibers and wool, as well as custom colors and multi-colored wool batts and rovings. 

    Skill:  Spinning

    Level:  Basic

    Cost: None

    Crocheting Skullcaps

    Instructor: Sine Rofofsky

    This workshop will be about crocheting skullcaps (kippot) – basic one-color and patterns.
    Skill:  Crochet

    Level:  Basic

    Cost:  None

    History, Methods, and Styles of Lace Knitting

    Instructor: Franklin Habit

    In this session, we’ll examine the fundamental principles and techniques of knitting’s grandest tradition. Students will learn about the history of lace knitting, and the development of the art in three parts of the world (Russia, Estonia, and the Shetland Islands) in which the craft was developed to the highest level of artistry. We will not only discuss, but practice and play with some of the methods and motifs that distinguish each of these traditions, and view beautiful examples of lace both modern and antique.  Whether you are merely curious about lace or a devoted practitioner, there will be something for you to enjoy. Participants should be familiar with the basic of knitting (casting, binding off, knitting, purling, yarn over, decreasing); and willing to work from charts.

    Required Materials:  One ball smooth (non-fuzzy), sport- or worsted-weight (example: Cascade 220, Cascade 220 Sport, Universal Yarns Deluxe Worsted, Dale Baby Ull, or *any* similar yarn) in white or a light solid color. Wool or another non-slippery animal fiber is recommended. If you cannot handle wool or do not knit with animal fibers, select a DK/Sport weight fiber that pleases you.

    One pair straight needles (8″ or longer) or circular needle (16″ or 24″ suggested length) in whatever size will give you a drapey gauge in the yarn of your choice; this will likely be larger than you would select for knitting plain stockinette.

    Notions: Scissors, yarn needle, stitch markers (6), pen (or pencil) and paper for making notes. (Note-taking is highly advised!) Row counter recommended, but optional.

    Skill:  Knitting

    Level:  Requires Some Knowledge

    Cost:  None


    Saturday, 5/20
    10:00 am – Noon
    Basket-weaving Basics-Part 1

    Instructor:  Michael del Vecchio

    Last year, we had our inaugural basket making workshop with great success! This year, we tackle a larger project – the shoulder tote. Roughly the size of a large knitting bag, the shoulder tote can be as simple or complex as you’d like. We’ll go through the basics of course – weaving the base, twining the keeping row, upsetting the basket and weaving the sides – plus, we’ll talk about some simple twills and effects to create color and unique texture. Cost of materials includes all the basket reed and rental of the tools needed.  (This is an all day workshop requiring participants to be in both Part 1 and Part 2-Saturday morning and afternoon time slots).
    Skill:  Other

    Level:  Basic

    Cost:  $20 for materials (payable at the workshop to the instructor)

    Sheep Breeds: A World of Difference

    Instructor:  John Crane

    Humans and sheep have co-existed for millennia:  humans have offered safety and nourishment to sheep and sheep have offered fiber, meat, and dairy to humans. In this workshop, you will learn about fleeces given to us by 50+ different breeds of sheep.  You will see and touch locks (washed!), carded roving and/or combed top, spun yarn, and knitted swatches for each of the breeds.  Many breeds of “heritage” sheep will be included — in addition to the more commonly available fine wools, medium wools, long wools, and down wools.
    Skill:  Other

    Level:  Basic

    Cost:  None

    Tunisian Crochet

    Instructor:  Tom Belunis

    Tunisian crochet, sometime called afghan stitch can create fabrics with interesting textures, including some that look like knitted fabric. This workshop will cover the Tunisian Simple Stitch, Tunisian Knit Stitch and Tunisian Purl Stitch.

    Required Materials: Light-colored, smooth yarn in DK or worsted weight. Each participant will receive a tunisian crochet hook, for free, theirs to keep.

    Skill:  Crochet

    Level:  Basic

    Cost:  None

    Introduction to Magic Loop

    Instructor:  Dave Sledesky

    You’ll learn the basics of how to use a circular needle to create knitted tubes of any diameter without having to deal with double-pointed needles.  Participants will create a simple hat/toque using the technique.

    Required Materials:  200 yards worsted weight yarn and a 40″ or longer circular knitting needle, size US8

    Skill:  Knitting

    Level:  Basic

    Cost:  None


    Saturday, 5/20
    2:00 pm – 4:00 pm

    Basket-weaving Basics – Part 2

    Instructor:  Michael del Vecchio

    Part 2 of all-day workshop on Basket Weaving a shoulder tote (you must be in both parts of the workshop)

    Skill:  Other

    Level:  Basic

    Cost:  $20 for materials (payable at the workshop to the instructor)

    Introduction to Weaving:  Part II

    Instructor: Dave Sledesky

    A continuation of Part I above (you must be in both parts of the workshop).

    Skill:  Weaving

    Level:  Basic

    Cost: $20 if you need to rent a loom (just the one-time cost for both parts of the workshops

    Introduction to Double-Knitting

    Instructor: Alasdair Post-Quinn

    Double-knitting is a unique method of making a fabric with no “wrong” side and a built-in reversible colorwork pattern. Significantly different from the standard intarsia and Fair Isle colorwork that are so well known, double-knitting is a labor-intensive but wholly worthwhile technique to have in your repertoire. In this workshop, you’ll learn my 2-color cast-on for double-knitting, get comfortable with the techniques involved, then move into colorwork. At the end of the workshop, you should have a motif swatch and be confident that you can tackle a larger standard double-knitting pattern. This is an advanced technique, but you need only be comfortable with the long-tail cast-on and basic knit and purl; previous experience with colorwork is also helpful but not necessary.

    Equipment Required: 2 well-contrasting colors of worsted or dk-weight yarn and needles in an appropriate size

    Skill:  Knitting

    Level:  Requires some knowledge

    Cost:  None

    Working with Balls

    Instructor: Christopher Walker

    Supplies to Bring:

    2 skeins DK weight yarn (bring colour combinations that you believe will work well together), double pointed needles appropriate for size of yarn (3.25mm or US 3), stitch markers, tapestry needle, crochet hook (for the hanging loop at the end of the ball) and wool or polyester batting for stuffing.This workshop will take you through the creation of knitted balls using double-pointed needles. Techniques of knitting in the round, using two-colours, reading charts, and stranded colourwork, will be used.  At the end of the class you will have learned the skills to create and knit your own ball pattern.

    Technique Requirements: Knit/purl; cast on/bind off; increase/decrease; confident beginners and anyone who has yet to try working with two yarns at once will love this class! 

    Skill:  Knitting

    Level:  Requires some knowledge

    Cost:  None

    Design Your Own Fair Isle Hat

    Instructor: Lars Rains

    Have you ever wondered how designers come up with their patterns? In this class, we will work step-by-step through the process of designing your own Fair Isle hat. We will look at what to consider when choosing colors for a stranded project and discuss the importance of yarn dominance. We will examine existing motifs available in source materials and draft our own examples on chart paper. We will discuss swatching in the round and learn the Channel Island cast-on method, which sets up 1×1 ribbing beautifully. At the end of this class, you will leave with a completed pattern and be well on your way to knitting up a one-of-a-kind masterpiece of your own.

    Required Materials:  Worsted-weight yarn in 2 to 7 colors, Size US 6 and US 8 circular needles or double-pointed needles, or size needed to obtain a gauge of 20 sts = 4″ in stockinette stitch. Chart paper will be provided.

    Skill:  Knitting

    Level:  Requires some knowledge

    Cost:  None