Fiber to Fabric: How the underlying fiber informs the fabric, with Margaret Radcliffe
February 8 @ 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Join us for a four-part workshop, Wednesday evenings, February 1, 8, 15, and 22, 2023. Sign-ups will close two weeks prior to the first class to allow students time to prepare their homework. Class recordings will remain available to students for one month after the last class.
Scroll down for the workshop registration form
From dependable sheep’s wool to tricky rayon, every yarn is individual. Each type of fiber, from a specific breed of sheep or other fiber-bearing animal, from plants like bamboo, hemp and flax, manmade or remanufactured, brings its own distinct benefits and challenges to a knitting project. Learn to evaluate the potentials of your particular yarn and techniques for ensuring success in your hand knit garments.
We will cover the roles of garment architecture, fit, and borders, ways to prevent sagging and biasing in inelastic fibers, and pattern stitches and seaming techniques to stabilize garments. Class will be a combination of lecture, hands-on work, and discussion. Students will take away an understanding of fiber characteristics, yarn behavior in knitted fabrics, and an arsenal of techniques for best results. Note that homework will be assigned before each class session.
Class Dates: February 1, 8, 15, and 22, 2023.
Class Time: 7 – 9 p.m.
Skill Level: Intermediate through advanced. Students should be comfortable casting on, binding off, working simple pattern stitches, increasing & decreasing, and picking up stitches for borders. Students will find this class most helpful if they have already finished several garments..
Cost: $75 members, $85 non-members.
Class Size: Max 25 students
Deadline to Register: January 25, 2023 at 6 p.m.
Questions: Email firstname.lastname@example.org
- One ball of each of the following yarns. Sport, DK or worsted weight preferred.
- 100% fine wool (for example, Merino)
- 100% longwool or coarser wool (for example, Icelandic, or Wensleydale)
- 100% other animal fiber (for example, angora, alpaca, or cashmere)
- 100% cotton
- 100% linen or hemp (be sure to get natural which is stiff, not rayon
- 100% silk or rayon (look for a soft slippery yarn, rather than one that’s been processed and spun to feel like cotton)
- A small amount of fingering weight wool yarn (for example sock yarn)
- Needles in the sizes used to knit homework, plus needles 2 and 4 sizes smaller and 2 sizes larger
- Ruler (12”-18” long)
- Optional: Wraps per inch (wpi) tool. You can also use your ruler, a narrow piece of cardboard, a short dowel, or a pencil marked with a 1” or 2” length using permanent marker.
- Optional: Tags for labeling swatches
- If you have one, a notably successful or a notably unsuccessful garment knit in yarn from a single fiber (i.e. 100% wool, cotton, silk, angora, linen, rayon, etc.). Email a clear photo of the garment to instructor at least 48 hours before class begins, with notes on what worked or did not work in this garment.
- Basic knitting supplies (scissors, markers, cable needle, etc.).
- Knit 6 swatches, one from each of the yarns specified in the supplies list. Use whatever needle size you normally would for each yarn, to create a stockinette stitch fabric you like the feel and look of. Swatches should be 30 stitches by 42 rows. Begin each swatch with 8 rows of K2 P2 ribbing, then continue with 26 rows of stockinette, and finish with 8 rows of K1 P1 ribbing. Bind off. Do not block. Keep a record of needle size used for each swatch. Have swatches and remaining yarn available during class.
- Download and review the handout.
- Print a paper copy of the Yarn and Fabric Evaluation Table from your handout.
About Margaret: Margaret Radcliffe is the author of the bestselling Knitting Answer Book, The Essential Guide to Color Knitting Techniques, Circular Knitting Workshop, and The Knowledgeable Knitter. Margaret has taught knitting since 1991 and began publishing her designs in a line of knitting patterns under the name Maggie’s Rags in 1997.
Margaret’s books explore knitting techniques at a depth well beyond what’s usually presented, in a way that makes both the techniques and their appropriate uses clear to readers. As a designer, her specialty is rewarding garments that look complicated but rely on the simplest knitting techniques. As a teacher, Margaret enthusiastically teaches everything from beginning knitting to garment design, and is acclaimed for her ability to help all knitters to develop their independence and creativity.
Margaret’s many teaching venues for knitting and dyeing have included the John C. Campbell Folk School, the Madrona Fiberarts Winter Retreat, the Southeastern Animal Fiber Fair (SAFF), Knitters’ Day Out, Houston Fiber Fest, the Schooner J&E Riggin out of Rockland, Maine, online fiber challenges for The Livestock Conservancy, plus numerous shops and fiber guilds across the U.S. and into Canada.
Like many knitters and spinners, Margaret has had a long and varied career. She has degrees in Medieval Studies and English Literature, has been an internal auditor, computer programmer, business executive, research administrator, dancer, and editor. Her current fiber arts interests include preparing, spinning, and designing handknits using heritage breeds and participation in The Livestock Conservancy’s Shave ’Em to Save ’Em program.
The deadline to sign up for this workshop is January 25, 2023 at 6 p.m. EST.