Smart Garment Strategy

Garment knitting: we all want to do it, but we’ve all experienced – or seen – the sad outcomes that can result when the project doesn’t go well. This workshop is all about equipping you to be a successful and fearless garment knitter!

It begins with good pattern choice, and so we’ll start with a deep dive into the topic of garment style and fit, to help you understand what garment styles work best for you. We’ll discuss how to identify the right patterns – garments that offer the appropriate style and sizing. We’ll spend time on measurements and sizing, teaching you how to virtually “try on” a garment from a knitting pattern, and help you identify the sizing you need and like.

From there we’ll discuss alternations to fine-tune and tweak the garment fit, providing tools and techniques for easy modifications – with as little math as possible. The focus of this workshop is making smart decisions up front to reduce (or indeed possibly eliminate entirely) the math. Although we will discuss in detail how to go about doing alterations: modifying length, adding or changing waist shaping, modifying sleeve length and fit, our focus is on doing as little of it as possible.

Along the way, we’ll talk about gauge and what it means and what to do about it: how to match it, and what you do if you can’t. We’ll talk about strategies for assessing and tweaking garment fit as you work through the project, including mid-project course-corrections.

You’ll leave the workshop with a new way to look at garments and garment patterns, and with all the skills you need to create fantastic, flattering, well-fitted sweaters.

Materials for garment strategies:

Bring: paper and pencil, tape measure, calculator (or your phone with a calculator app), and any garment patterns you are considering. If you’ve got a sweater project (good or bad) that you want to discuss, bring that, too.

Blocking and Fiber Care

Blocking: it’s a critical step in the finishing process for hand knits, and is all too often ignored or skipped, because the instructions aren’t clear, and the value isn’t well understood. It turns that it’s ridiculously easy, and the value it provides is immense, taking an item from complete to truly, beautifully finished. This session will demystify the process, and break it down by both fiber and project type. Along the way, we'll also talk about fiber care: safely and easily washing handknits - when you can use the machine and when you should handwash (or not wash at all). We'll also talk about moth prevention and safe yarn and garment storage.

No materials or homework for blocking, although students are welcome to bring items they want assistance or advice about.

Fixing Your Mistakes

This class will teach you how to spot and fix mistakes in your knitting, whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned expert. We'll share tips for safely ripping out stitches and rows, for fixing mistakes without ripping out, and for deciding when you don’t need to bother fixing at all. We’ll cover dropped stitches, mysterious holes, loose strands of yarn; we’ll talk about how to deal with too many or too few stitches. We'll also discuss strategies for fixing mistakes in completed projects, and addressing common mistakes that come up when working a pattern like missing an increase or decrease.

Materials & Homework for fixing your mistakes:

Homework: Using US #7/4.5mm needles and light colored worsted/medium weight yarn, cast on 24 stitches.
Work 4 inches as follows:
RS rows: Knit.
WS rows: K12, p12.
Do not bind off.
Bring: a crochet hook in a similar size to the knitting needles.