Sunday, October 5, 2014

Fresh Fair Isle with Mary Jane Mucklestone


Today, I attended the Nordic Knitting Conference 2014 at the Nordic Heritage Museum in Ballard (a neighborhood in Seattle).

In an earlier post, I showed the yarn that I bought for the class I was taking with Mary Jane Mucklestone called Fresh Fair Isle.
Liven up your Fair Isle knitting by exploring fresh new colorways. Color is the big fun – yet a big fear for many. This course will introduce the basics of color theory and how you can use its principals to guide your color choices. We will learn about the use of color over the years in traditional Fair Isle Knitting, and move beyond, developing our own new color schemes. Knitting a simple stranded wristlet will quickly illustrate these concepts. A classroom situation is the best possible learning experience; we will learn as much studying the color choices of our classmates as from our own selections. An exciting day of color experiments await you!

 The class was only 3 hours, so it was very quick.  As Mary Jane said, color theory is usually taught as a year long class in art/design school, so this covered just the basics.  Her main mantra was to experiment, experiment, experiment.  Also, she said to never rip out your work.  Save what you don't like or what doesn't work so you have a reminder of what you did wrong.  Also, sometimes a color combination that you think doesn't work, will become more appealing to you after a few years wait.

The class was sold out, and every chair was taken.

She gave a great explanation of what makes Fair Isle different from other stranded colorwork, the "Rules" of Fair Isle.  She talked about and demonstrated how to hold your yarn, but also stressed that there is no "Correct" way. 

We brought a 48 stitch bit of ribbing, and then worked on a chevron motif to put some of what we were learning into practice.

First we divided our colors into darks and lights.
We chose two darks and two lights, paired them up and got to knitting.

At the end of the class we looked at each others' work and discussed what worked and what didn't.

In the end, I was not happy with my choices, or my pairing, I will bind off and save the sample.
But I really felt like I learned a lot, and can't wait to start another stranded project.

shaping the planet with X's and O's

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