Knit Design - Improvised Top Down Colourwork
Spend the day with designer Anna Maltz aka sweaterspotter, learning how to freestyle a colourwork sweater for yourself from the top down.
Teacher: Anna Maltz
Workshop Duration: Full Day
Description: In this workshop you’ll start knitting an improvised colourwork sweater for yourself from the top down. The beauty of top down knitting is that you can try it on and tailor it to your specific body shape as you go along. It is the perfect system for those who like to take matters into their own hands and don’t like to be bound by row-by-row instructions.
On top of the simple construction, we’ll layer our own experiments in colourwork, from basic geometric shapes to more elaborate designs drawn on squared paper to use up oddments and stray balls of yarn left over from previous projects. With just a little theory, a couple of measurements we’ll take together and handful of basic numbers, you can set yourself up for a knitting adventure that will end in a sweater designed to fit you in a pallette all your own.
Materials and Preparation: Bring ALL your woollen DK oddments left over from previous projects and lonely single balls! We will build our palettes together from what we have. Swapping encouraged – the colour you have lost the love for may be exactly someone else’s cup of tea and in colourwork you never know what strange (and sometimes revolting) colours will make it sing. If you are starting from scratch and need to buy yarn, bring at least 7 different colours.
Know your average tension over a colourworked swatch (don’t forget to knit it in the round) to we can start our calculating from there and bring suitably sized 40cm and 80cm long circular needles.
Bring a pen, squared notepad (or paper) - go to http://www.theknittingsite.com/knitting-graph-paper/ to download some knitters graph paper.
If you have a favourite sweater – bought, borrowed, handmade or not, wear it to the workshop (or simply bring it along) so you can take some measurements from it as reference.
Takeaway: You'll head off with the start of a sweater yoke designed to fit you and the notes you need to finish it and start another.
Level: This class is suitable for confident knitters who are comfortable with knitting in the round and colourwork. No previous experience of garment design necessary, but experience of knitting a sweater is essential.
A note from Anna - For some pre-class reading: If you’d like to have a peek at or even purchase a copy of Barbara Walkers Knitting from the Top Down, that will set you in good stead. It’s a book I highly recommend – it gives enough hard and fast rules to hold onto while truly encouraging you to dive in and make it up as you go along. A few newer takes on the system exist, but somehow they lack the 1970s DIY vigour. If you want to get your pattern drawing juices flowing, a little internet research on Hønsestrikk will inspire you, as will the books of Mary Jane Mucklestone.