07 Feb

dutch knitting festival 2019 – special edition

Dutch knitting festival 2019 - special edition

The Dutch Knitting Festival is the most popular knitting and crocheting event in the Netherlands. There are many shops, over 30 classes, free yarn tasting, and lectures, demonstrations of all sorts of fiber techniques and, of course, lots of opportunities to knit and crochet together. Perfect for inspiration-filled days with and among like-minded people.

On the 25th and 26th of May 2019, there will be a special edition of the festival in a beautiful industrial location, in the middle of Amsterdam. The special theme is sustainability in yarns, fibers, and textiles.

And I’ve got some very exciting news: I’ll be teaching a workshop on Sunday the 26th on knitting a top-down crescent shawl!

Knit a top-down crescent shawl with La Visch

Crescent-shaped shawls are very popular and rightly so. Because of the special shape, they stay draped over the shoulders better than traditional triangular shawls. In this workshop, you will learn how to knit a special variant of the “garter tab cast-on” using the Art-Deco shawl pattern. This special cast-on seamlessly merges into the main part of your shawl. Attention will also be given to how to prevent the “hump” so often present with the crescent shawl shape.

At the end of the workshop, you have made a start with your shawl. And you know everything about the construction and knitting of top-down crescent-shaped shawls.

For more information on this workshop, visit the workshop page on the Dutch Knitting Festival website.

Early bird tickets for admission and this class are available through the workshop page from February 15th, 19.00 (GMT+1).

Will I see you at the Dutch Knitting Festival in Amsterdam? Do let me know if you plan on visiting. In case of questions or remarks regarding the workshop you’re, of course, also welcome to contact me. I’m very much looking forward to seeing there!

08 Jul

inspiration: workshop Stephen West

Once in a while I very much enjoy following a workshop. To learn new techniques or to find out how other people do certain things. Recently I followed the “Colorplay the Westknits way!” workshop with Stephen West at Ja, Wol in Rotterdam. This is by the way a really lovely yarn store with a great assortment of natural fibers, handmade or hand-dyed yarns and fair trade yarns. Absolutely worth a visit!

If you are familiar with Stephens work, you know that he is a true master in combining color and texture into eccentric but wearable pieces. Gorgeous examples include Exploration Station, Color Craving, Esjan and the Askews Me Sweater. During this 4 hours workshop he explained us his philosophy and guided us in experimentation involving lots of color, lots of texture and combining yarns.

Stephen remarked very accurately that everybody has his own color preferences, colors that are often reached for first when planning or starting a project. In the same vein there are also lots of colors, textures etc. we often don’t even consider using and walk past quickly: “Not my color”, “to busy” etcetera. It is his goal to no longer say “no”, but to become a “yes” knitter.
A too bright color? Use it as an accent. Too wild texture? Use it sparingly for that something extra in your project. Something not “your” color? Double it up with another yarn to give a whole new effect!

Various techniques like knitting an i-cord / slipped stitch edge (striped!) and short rows were also reviewed.

What I personally find so interesting, is that this working from color and material is so much different from how I usually work. I get the idea about a design, work it out on paper and then knit my sample from this pattern. Stephen Wests approach is start with a whole selection of varying yarns, a general idea for a shape and then he starts knitting. Only during the project he decides what the item wants to be.

Not only subject makes this workshop so interesting. Stephen west is a very charismatic person, easily engrossing his public with the stories of his knitting adventures. Add the pleasant surroundings of Ja, wol, the lovely tea and brownies the owner of the yarn shop Saskia served and you have a wonderful recipe for a well spend Sunday morning.

One thing is sure: I now have plenty inspiration for many new designs!