Stranded With Mary: Episode 1

As the most blessed and lucky knitter in the world, it is my profound privilege to spend time in groups of knitters, sharing the things I know, and learning from them in ways that never stop surprising me.

My Yorkshire Yarns knitters are certainly no exception.  These intrepid souls have signed on to complete a stranded colorwork adventure together with me:  Each is creating their very own steeked garment, from start to finish, over the course of the next four months.  We're meeting for class four times, and in between we'll be on Ravelry together, and the knitters will be meeting informally at the shop, to share their experiences.

The wonderful thing about a long-term workshop like this is that the knitters and I will really get to bond and become friends over the course of it.  Having "survived" the project together makes for a deep connection that's different than any other community knitting experience.  Here are some highlights from our first workshop session:

Robyn and Bonnie cast on and swatch, respectively.  

Robyn and Bonnie cast on and swatch, respectively.  

We spent time in our first session making decisions about each garment and choosing the cast-on and edge treatments that best support our personal design choices.  We also took the time to work a few swatches together, to make friends with our yarn and needles, and find the knitted fabric we liked best.

Sue (who hates having her picture taken, so I promised I 'd cut off her head) works the fiddly-but-sexy picot edge of her Fleur-D-Zebra interpretation.  Sara, next to her but only partially visible, knocked out most of a 260-st folded hem on size 1's during the course of class.  Deadly Fast Knitter.

Sue (who hates having her picture taken, so I promised I 'd cut off her head) works the fiddly-but-sexy picot edge of her Fleur-D-Zebra interpretation.  Sara, next to her but only partially visible, knocked out most of a 260-st folded hem on size 1's during the course of class.  Deadly Fast Knitter.

Some of these knitters chose to recreate the designer's versions of their patterns exactly.  Some are doing their own variations on a style.  And still others are changing their patterns so much that originals are really just jumping-off places now.  All of them are fearless, and committed to coming away from class with a new understanding, and a finished project.

Jeannie, Lisa, Jeannie and Jackie threw themselves into casting on with determination and enthusiasm.

Jeannie, Lisa, Jeannie and Jackie threw themselves into casting on with determination and enthusiasm.

One of the many delights of leading this workshop is to watch the results of each student's choices unfolding.  Some really delightful and inspired edge treatments have been selected by this group; all but a few being tried out for the very first time.  Another luxury of the long-format workshop is that I have the time to work with each knitter to adjust her pattern for size and fit; something shorter classes don't allow for.

My proud and fiesty knitters hold up their completed cast-ons, while I cheer for them.

My proud and fiesty knitters hold up their completed cast-ons, while I cheer for them.

Another component of the workshop is goal-setting.  Each knitter sets achievable benchmarks for the next time we meet, which reinforces their determination to meet  them.  Part of the fun for me is seeing what they get done - and it always blows my mind.

Today I'm careening toward my July 1 deadline.  Same thing we do every day: Try to take over world.  One Stitch At A Time.