Workshops for Crocheters and Knitters (including Ultimate Sweater Machine knitters)

My workshops are packed with information, and I show lots of samples. I'm very enthusiastic about my subjects, but my teaching style is calm. When workshop participants make samples and try new skills, I am always positive and encouraging.

In classes where we work creatively, I gently guide those who need help. Especially in situations where people are stretching their creative abilities (or discovering them for the first time), I strive for a happy, flexible, can-do atmosphere.

Many of these workshops can be tailored to the specific needs of your group. Just let me know what you need. Workshops that list "3 hours or more," are also suitable for day-long workshops or weekend retreats. The longer classes explore design and technique in greater depth, and students make more elaborate samples.

Please have a look at the Textile Fusion workshops for these classes of interest to knitters and crocheters: Sew a Totebag from an Old Sweater, Quilts from Your Old Sweaters, Knit or Crochet an Underwater Scene, and Button Boutique


For Hand Knitters, Crocheters, and Bond (USM) Knitters

Very Variegated for Knitters or Crocheters (3 hours or meeting program)

Learn many ways to use variegated, fleck, tweed or any other multicolor yarn to its best advantage. I show lots of samples, and we do a very useful color exercise in this workshop.

This class gets great reviews.

It's a good class for all skill levels.

For a glimpse of some of the content of this workshop, see "Color Partners for Variegated Yarn," INKnitters, pp. 4 ff., Vol. 2, No. 6, Fall 2002.

Supplies:

  • variegated yarn--the gaudier the better; appropriate needles. If you have time, knit a swatch, about 20 sts wide and 2" long, in stockinette st.
  • other variegated or multi-color yarns you want to work with
  • a bag of lots of different colors of yarn--at least 25 colors if you have them. Please bring yarns you won't mind sharing a few yards of.
  • scissors
  • your own variegated nightmare project or dream project to discuss in class

For the classroom: a whiteboard and markers, OR a flip chart and markers.

Contact Suzann at textilefusion@hughes.net


Easy Does It Color-Start Slow, End Confident (3-6 hours).

You won't be afraid of color if you learn how to approach it the slow and easy way. I'll show you, step by step, how to add more and more colors into your knitting or crocheting until you aren't intimidated even by a riot of colors! Many examples.

This workshop is good for all skill levels.

For a glimpse of some of this workshop's content, see "Designing Color Ways for Fair Isle Motifs," INKnitters, pp. 80 ff., Vol. 4, No. 13, Summer 2004 and "How Now Brown," INKnitters, pp. 66 ff., Vol. 3, No. 12, Spring 2004.

Supplies:

  • a supermarket bag full of different colors of leftover yarns
  • choose one yarn color from your collection, and bring as many shades of that color as you have
  • knitting needles
  • scissors

Contact Suzann at textilefusion@hughes.net


Color Workshop Retreats (two or three days)

For a weekend retreat, I can teach Very Variegated and Easy Does It Color, the Seveness technique, Color Cross Training, and much more! Color Cross Training is where students explore the approaches of well-known quilters, jewelers, painters, and other craftspeople, to gain a fresh perspective and new color combinations to try in their own work.

Or we can mix and match color exploration with color knitting or crochet technique. For a break from color, consider spending an afternoon making buttons. All this is taught in a relaxed and tolerant atmosphere, where even beginners can feel comfortable and successful.


Sophisticated Yarn Scraps (3 hours or meeting program).

Are yarn leftovers taking over your home? Learn how to organize, store, and use your yarn scraps. See ideas for using 2-inch scraps to several skeins. In workshop, practice selected techniques. I will show slides and lots of examples. This includes the Seveness technique (Suzann's Sensational Similar Shade Scrap Stripe System).

This is a good class for all skill levels

See my article on Seveness knitting in INKnitters, Spring 2002.

Supplies:

  • a bag or two of lots of different colors of yarn--at least 25 colors if you have them. Please bring yarns you won't mind sharing a few yards of.
  • scissors

For the classroom: slide projector and screen

Contact Suzann at textilefusion@hughes.net


Treasure Textiles for Knitters and Crocheters (6 hours or more).

Same as Treasure Textiles (see the class description in the TextileFusion workshop list) with particular emphasis on knitting and/or crocheting.



Crocheters Only

Crochet Flowers and Leaves (3 hours).

(Look in the Textile Fusion Art Gallery for examples of these flowers and leaves: Shards 1 and 2, Fishy Cento, Still Life with Flowers.)

Have you seen all the crochet flower embellishment on fashion clothing lately? Learn to make several pretty flowers and leaves using simple Irish Crochet and 'ribbon' flower techniques. Use them to decorate anything from clothes to home accessories. This is a great use for scrap yarn.

This class is good for all skill levels.

Supplies:

  • yarns in flower and leaf colors-leftover yarns are fine
  • hooks in sizes appropriate for the yarn you bring
  • scissors, tapestry needle
  • optional: a 10" x 10" piece of crochet to use as a background for a crochet bouquet

Homework is optional, but will speed things up for you in class: In a flower color, ch 96. Dc in 6th ch from hook. * ch 1, sk 1 ch, dc in next ch * Repeat bet *s to end of ch. End off. Make this again in different flower colors if you want.
In a flower color, ch 65. Hdc in 5th ch from hook. * ch 1, sk 1 ch, hdc in next ch * Repeat bet *s to end of ch. End off. Make this again in different flower colors if you want.

Contact Suzann at textilefusion@hughes.net


Cornering and Curving Crochet Edgings (3 hours).

You've found just the edging you need, but there aren't any instructions for turning corners or going around curves! This class will show you how to work out corners for most crochet trims, and then you can make edgings for place-mats, tablecloths, and anything square or curved to your heart's desire.

For intermediate and advanced crocheters. You will need to know your crochet stitches well, and knowing how to read crochet symbols is helpful.

Supplies:

  • small mirror (no border around it)
  • tape or gluestick
  • yarn or thread you are comfortable with and appropriately sized hook
  • scissors for cutting paper
  • optional: do you have a trim you'd like to have help with? Crochet 4-5 repeats of it, bring this sample and the pattern to class.

For the classroom: a whiteboard and markers, OR a flip chart and markers.

Contact Suzann at textilefusion@hughes.net


Irish Crochet Techniques (6 hours)

Irish Crochet differs from Regular Crochet in several ways:

  • Motifs are joined and set-off by a background of net-like crochet
  • Padding is used for texture and shaping
  • Single crochet sts are packed in for heavy, well-defined borders
  • Crocheters can stack motifs for texture and fanciness
  • Irish crochet is free-er. You're on your own with the background
  • It makes use of Clones knot and bullion stitch
  • Most instructions are reprinted from the original instructions which used British crochet terms (for instance, their double crochet (dc) is the same as our single crochet (sc)).

We will make an Irish Point sampler, where the motifs are made separately and then joined by a background netting. We will practice Clones knots, and background crocheting.

For experienced crocheters only.

Supplies:

  • cotton crochet thread, in a size you are comfortable with (for instance, Knit-Cro-Sheen)
  • hook that will give you a fairly tight stitch in your chosen thread
  • scissors
  • sewing needle and sewing thread that contrasts with your crochet cotton

Homework: make a chain in the thread you'll use for your sampler--24" long.

Contact Suzann at textilefusion@hughes.net

 

Hand Knitters Only

Color Knitting Techniques (3-6 hours).

We'll learn about and practice the following:

Stripes: one and two-row stripes in flat and circular knitting; how different stitch patterns can make stripes a lot more interesting; vertical stripes; what happens to stripes in stockinette stitch, garter st, reverse stockinette st

Intarsia: what is intarsia? the importance of crossing threads in intarsia; keeping yarns untangled; benefits and drawbacks of using bobbins

Stranding: what is stranding? when to cross or not to cross the threads; keeping threads untangled; how long a strand can or should be; ways to secure long strands; stranding in Fair Isle patterns; flat vs. circular stranding

Slip-stitch color patterns: how to work slip stitch color patterns, including mosiac patterns
In a six-hour workshop, these techniques are included:

Two-handed stranding: how to knit with your "other" hand; benefits and drawbacks of two-handed color knitting
"Knitting in": this is how to weave in long strands between color changes. Two-handed stranding is important here; when to use "knitting in"

Duplicate Stitch or Weaving-in strands: learn another way to add small amounts of color to a piece, how to weave in a second strand of yarn for a "running embroidery stitch" look; when not to use the technique

Double-sided, two-color knitting

Discussion: when to use a certain color knitting technique if the pattern doesn't specify; how the technique you use affects the knitted fabric; ideas for using the different techniques. Many examples

Supplies

  • 2 oz each of 2-4 different colors of worsted weight yarn (preferably acrylic or wool), but more colors are more fun.
  • appropriately-sized knitting needles
  • stitch holders (to hold samples if you don't want to bind off yet)
  • scissors, yarn needle

Contact Suzann at textilefusion@hughes.net


Knitting Rugs (3-6 hours).

After a look at historical knitted rugs, we delve into the practical art of knitting your own rugs. Discuss best yarns, stitches and techniques for making a wide range of rugs. Explore square, oval, circular, and other rug shapes, shag rugs, recycled and unusual materials. Practice selected techniques.

This is a good class for all skill levels.

Supplies:

  • 2-3 colours of yarn, double knitting or heavier, with appropriately-sized double-pointed needles. Also a pair of regular needles, about 3 sizes bigger than the others. We are going to make samples (not rugs), so you don't need rug yarn. I would recommend wool or acrylic for the samples.
  • Scissors
  • Rotary cutter, cutting mat (18" wide is best), and straight edge. Two or three people can share one, so you may not have to buy one.
  • Things you won't mind cutting up: an old t-shirt OR tights OR a pair of old jeans OR other fabric or clothing.
  • 2-3 plastic bags from the supermarket

For the classroom: Slide projector and screen. If possible, something to write on--a blackboard or flip chart.

Contact Suzann at textilefusion@hughes.net


Dotty Knitting (3 hours).

We will discuss the ground rules of mosaic designing, and then we'll work a practice design. Then I'll show you how to chart your own mosaic designs, which is essential, especially if you have children or grandchildren (because you'll want to interpret their drawings in knitting).

See my article about designing your own mosaics in INKnitters, Winter 2001.

For intermediate and advanced knitters.

Supplies

  • Two or more colors of contrasting yarn
  • Needles appropriate to the size of yarn
  • A few sheets of blank paper
  • Water-based (non-permanent) transparency marking pen and a tissue
  • 4 or 5 paper clips

For the classroom: a whiteboard and markers, OR a flip chart and markers.

Contact Suzann at textilefusion@hughes.net


Knitting the Impossible: Seamless Argyles (6 hours).

This is a new and improved class! Participants make a practice sock. This class requires intense concentration--for knitting "techies" only!

Advanced knitters only.

Supplies

  • Three colors of worsted weight yarn, 1 oz. each; a few yards of contrasting yarn for the criss-cross lines
  • Double pointed needles appropriate to the size of yarn
  • 6 stitch holders

For the classroom: a whiteboard and markers, OR a flip chart and markers.

Contact Suzann at textilefusion@hughes.net

 

MEETING PROGRAMS & LECTURES (1-2 hours)

Meeting programs are only available in conjunction with day-long workshops.

  • My Knit and Crochet Artwork. Lots of slides and examples of my recent explorations of color, cross-training, quilting knits, and more. My work is representational, using familiar objects. (Need a slide projector and screen.)
  • The Design Process, or Designing Sweaters: 2% Inspiration, 98% Hard Work. How do artists, designers, or even engineers go from a pile of supplies to a finished product? Practical advice on how to go about designing.
  • Shaker Knits. We all know about Shaker furniture and architecture, but the Shakers were great knitters, too! (Need a slide projector and screen.)
  • Sophisticated Scraps, Knitting Rugs, Very Variegated, and Easy Buttons can also be given as meeting programs.

TERMS

Because of the time involved in travelling, I prefer to schedule workshops lasting one day or more (or an equivalent number of 3-hour workshops), which can be a combination of topics listed above. I give short lectures and programs at guild meetings if the meeting is the night before or the same day as the workshop. Contact me, so we can make arrangements that are good for all involved.

  • In the U. S., $475 per 6-hour workshop; $100 for a guild program in conjunction with a workshop. I do not charge for the time spent in travel.
  • Travel expenses from Dublin, Texas, to be paid by guild or shop. This usually includes $100 for round-trip mileage to and parking at DFW airport, plus airfare to the workshop. For workshops within 150 miles of Dublin, Texas, I charge for mileage only.
  • Room and board to be paid by guild or shop.
  • I am glad to teach for two or more groups in one trip. This means that travel expenses are split among the groups.
  • I will send my rèsumé at your request.

 

Contact Suzann at textilefusion@hughes.net

All photos and content Copyright Suzann Thompson
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