Have Ewe Any Wool?

Sunday, March 07, 2010

Fabulous Classes with Beth Brown-Reinsel


Wow....what a great weekend! Beth Brown-Reinsel (left) was at Nature's Yarns this weekend and taught three fabulous classes. My brain is literally overflowing with techniques, tips, and memories of a very fun filled weekend.

Beth is extremely personable as well as very knowledgeable - the perfect combination in a knitting instructor. She's also an awesome designer with many fabulous patterns. The combination of material and Beth's style of presentation made it the perfect weekend. If you ever have the chance to take a class from Beth, do it!

Swedish Cast ons...

The first class of the weekend was "Swedish Cast-Ons and Scandinavian Knitting Techniques". We experimented with and generated a number of swatches.

These photos don't really show the true effect of the cast on...you really need to both see it and feel it - and ultimately, view it as part of a finished project. Some of the cast-ons produce a flat edge and others a more decorative edge. There is visible difference in the look and tension of the cast-on edges. The best one to use is highly dependent on the project. I find that the use of color in the cast-on coupled with the "lay of the resultant fabric" makes a very elegant edge . I definitely plan to incorporate some of these techniques into my future projects.

Double Cast-On

Twisted Cast-On

Dala Floda Cast-On

Cast on One

Cast on Two

In addition to the cast-on methods, we learned some of the Scandinavian knitting techniques and color techniques. In my swatch, I explored some of the color techniques - horizontally as well as vertically.

Twined Knitting...

The Saturday afternoon class focused on Twined Knitting - a Swedish style of knitting. It was very intriguing. I discovered that I had actually done twined knitting (purely by accident) when I was knitting what I believed was a Fair Isle bag. Instead, the way that I had carried the yarn was actually twined knitting rather than Fair Isle.

As part of this class, I was supposed to have finished a single wristlet, but somehow, I managed to only complete about 1/3 of it! Sadly, with the limited amount I managed to knit, you can barely see the start of some patterning. I found that I really needed to concentrate on this as I knit to ensure the proper "twining" of the yarn. Hopefully I'll have a finished pair in the not too distant future!

The Seamless Aran Sweater...

The all day class on Sunday was focused on techniques for creating a seamless Aran. We explored the various stitches and cables that comprise an Aran sweater - primarily by creating our own miniature Aran. We even had homework to do before class - I had to knit up two sleeves and the "skirt" (bottom ribbing) of a miniature Aran. I did manage to complete my assignment before class - initially, I wasn't sure if I was going to succeed at that or not.

As you can see, I'm not quite done with the "mini Aran", but it's getting close! All that's left right now is to create the crew neck and weave in all my loose ends! I think this little sweater is so cute! And it was PERFECT for practicing the construction of a seamless Aran.

Beth showed a number of fabulous Arans each with its own unique construction and stitch combination. She also provided us with the "basic recipe" for creating our own personal Aran! Every sweater she showed us as examples only further inspired me! I can't wait to design one of my own!

NOTE: The sweater components above and the constructed sweater look like two different colors, but they're actually the same! The lighting and background produced very different results. The sweater parts were photographed in the daytime under an Ott light against a light background. The constructed sweater was photographed under fluorescent lights at night against a dark background. The difference in the coloration is surprising!


  • At 4:34 AM, Blogger Julia, in Virginia said…

    Good to see you again in a class at Nature's Yarns. I am using my wrister as a coffee cup hugger!


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