Thursday, 30 January 2014

Behind the Scenes: Brighton Friends' Meeting House

Another class venue ~ Brighton Friends' Meeting House, set in a lovely garden, stands in the very centre of Brighton, two minutes from the sea. Built in 1805, the Meeting House is the place of worship for the city’s Quakers and a grade two listed building.

Class registration is now open and you can browse the class list here

On the 12th & 13th July, this sanctuary in the heart of town will be filled with knitters and spinners. I can't wait, can you?


photo courtesy of Brighton Friends' Meeting House
 


Monday, 27 January 2014

Unwind with Bristol Ivy...


Bristol Ivy is a very busy person in the fibre world: A prolific knitwear designer as well as the wholesale pattern distributor and customer service contact for Brooklyn Tweed and a tutor in knitting, spinning, weaving, dyeing, and felting. Add to this list that Bristol is also a knitting and fibre photographer and you can see why I was keen to get her to Unwind to share her extensive experience and talents!
 
When I saw Bristol's most recent design, Wainwright, I was fascinated by the construction. I often look at her work and think 'How did you do that?'. I would love to take one of her classes! Bristol will be teaching two classes on Saturday, 12th July 2014: Blocking (am) &
 
 
Bristol kindly agreed to answer some questions about her knitting life...

What was your first knitting project?
Oh wow, that takes me back! I was homeschooled all through my schooling, and when I was little, my mom would read to us as part of the curriculum.  Then and now, I fidget basically constantly, so mom taught me how to knit to keep my hands busy while she read.  My first project was a neon variegated acrylic headband in garter stitch.  I held onto it until I was probably sixteen or seventeen, and really wish I still had it!

 
What’s your favourite thing to knit?
Probably sweaters, but cowls and shawls come in a close second.  They're just a really great canvas for exploring different techniques and shaping.
 
 
 

What was your most successful project?
The most successful is usually what's just off the needles! For least successful, though, I have one lace pattern that never even got off the ground.  I spent probably forty hours charting and recharting this one complicated idea I had, and then spent another ten hours knitting and re-knitting a massive swatch.  I stared at it for about ten minutes, then crumpled it up, put it in a drawer, and haven't looked at it since!


Do you have any other crafty hobbies?
Definitely! I also weave, spin, and sew when I have the time, and did a lot of paper art growing up—papermaking, collage, and bookmaking—that I'd like to get back into.  There's never enough time in the day!                                                                   
 

Is there anything you’d never, ever want to make?
I've said “never” before—intarsia! Color-blocking! Crochet!—and I somehow always come around to it.

 
Would you say you are a process or product knitter?
Definitely product.  I'll slog through a lot of boring knitting to get a product I love, and I hate having more than one thing going at a time, even if they utilize wildly different techniques.  So I'm very monogamous to a single product at a time, always looking towards the end goal!
 

What are you working on at the moment?
Shockingly, just a swatch—I finished up a sweater earlier this week and haven't cast on for another big project yet.  I'm hoping to this afternoon, since I have a couple deadlines coming up!

 
If you had to pick just one kind of yarn to knit with for the rest of your life, what would it be?
Oof, that's hard.  Can I cheat and just say “wool”? :)


What are you most looking forward to about Unwind Brighton?
I'm so excited to come to the UK! I've been a total Anglophile my entire life, so I'm just really looking forward to getting a chance to visit and see the knitting culture there. You've got such a great group of teachers and vendors lined up and I can't wait to be a part of such an amazing event!
 
A big thank you to Bristol Ivy for taking the time to share some insight into her knitting world. You can find Bristol’s latest patterns on ravelry. Just decide which Shakespearian inspired knit you want to cast on first, Messaline or Illyria ?

Friday, 24 January 2014

Unwind with Carol Feller

Publishing the class schedule was such a relief ~ I’d kept it all to myself for weeks and I’m glad to see you’re all as excited as I am about it! Class registration opens tonight, Friday 24th January at 8pm GMT - Check your local time by clicking here. While you're busy deciding which classes to take, I'll introduce you to some of our talented teachers and speakers.

First up is Carol Feller, the designer of Stolen Stitches. Carol’s pattern range includes both self-published collections and single patterns, as well as designs that have been featured in major publications such as Twist Collective and Interweave. Her patterns for men, women and children are also widely published in books, including Knitting in the Sun, More Knitting in the Sun, and her own book, Contemporary Irish Knits.

Carol’s background as both an artist and structural engineer seems to have helped her develop a keen understanding of construction and flattering shapes. Carol will be teaching two classes on Saturday, 12th July 2014: Fearless Cables in the morning and Short Rows Demystified in the afternoon. 


I asked Carol to answer a few questions and share some of her crafting experiences with us...


What was your first knitting/spinning/crochet project?
I learned to knit when I was at school and I’m not totally certain what my very first project was. The very first one I was conscious of though was a pair of lemon acrylic fingerless gloves. I was probably only 7 or 8 when I made them and I just remember the double pointed needles….

Do you have any other crafty hobbies?
I really wish I had time for other craft hobbies. I’ve got 4 sons (from 7 to 15) and they are really busy. Working from home means that my knitting workday gets squeezed in around their lives. Every spare minute I get is spent on knitting or knitwear design. I do dream about having time to learn how to crochet though and I’d love to get myself a new sewing machine and learn how to sew again.

What’s your favourite thing to knit?
I love knitting garments. I actually like the fact that they’re longer as I find it more relaxing to knit them! Rather than starting and stopping (and planning) for several smaller projects I can just dig in and enjoy the knitting.

Do you have a favourite knitting tip to share with us?
I don’t know if this is a tip as such, but when starting a new project you really need to have faith that it will work out. The first few hours of knitting can often look like nothing much and it takes a lot to not get discouraged! This is especially true when you’re designing, you have a picture in your head of what you want it to look like but it takes quite a while before your knitting begins to take shape!

Would you say you are a process or product knitter?
I’m actually both! I love getting a project finished and the end result but if the process of getting there isn’t enjoyable it all seems a bit pointless, right?

If you had to pick just one kind of yarn to knit with for the rest of your life what would it be?
How cruel to be stuck with just one choice! However my favourite yarns tend to be light DK/Sport weight, generally merino or close to 100% wool. For some reason I find this weight yarn really fast to work with, I love the weight of the fabric and I find it easy on my hands.

What are you working on right now?
A few months ago I started on a very large book project (it won’t be out until Autumn of 2015!) so planning that project and all the knitting involved is taking up much of my knitting time. More specifically I’ve got about 3 different projects in various states of finish; a linen sweater that is almost at the sleeves, some soon to be felted slippers as a gift for one of my sons and a shawl that just needs me to finish the crochet bind off.

A big thank you to Carol Feller for taking the time to share some insight into her knitting world. You can find Carol’s latest self-published book, Among Stones, in both print and pdf format at Carol’s website  Carol is also currently producing patterns for the Irish Yarn Club, which is still available for the pattern only option. 

‘Among Stones’, © Joseph Feller

Friday, 17 January 2014

Unwind and Learn: Classes and Talks

I'm so happy to share with you the class and talk schedule for Unwind Brighton!


I'll be adding detailed descriptions of each class before registration starts, but I just couldn't wait to show you what's lined up for the very first Unwind Brighton.

Over the next few weeks you'll find out more about our fabulous teachers and speakers, some of which have never been to the UK before! 

In the meantime, I'll let the schedule speak for itself:

Friday 11th July 2014  


Afternoon Classes  


Advanced Sock Knitting with Rachel Coopey
Friday, 11th July 2014 14:00 - 17:00  


More Friday classes to be announced.. 


Saturday 12th July 2014   


Full Day Classes:  


Hat Design with Woolly Wormhead 
Saturday, 12th July 2014 09:30 - 17:00 



Morning Classes:  


The Little Lopapeysa with Ragga Eiriksdottir
Saturday, 12th July 2014 10:00 - 13:00 

Shawl Design with Kirsten Kapur   
Saturday, 12th July 2014 10:00 - 13:00 

Colour Theory with Amy Hendrix  
Saturday, 12th July 2014 10:00 - 13:00 

Blocking with Bristol Ivy  
Saturday, 12th July 2014 10:00 - 13:00  

Modular Knitting with Olga Buraya-Kefelian
Saturday, 12th July 2014 09:30 - 12:30 

Fearless Cables with Carol Feller  
Saturday, 12th July 2014 09:30 - 12:30  

Striped Short Row Shawls with Veera Valimaki 
Saturday, 12th July 2014 09:30 - 12:30 

The Contiguous Method with Susie Myers 
Saturday, 12th July 2014 09:30 - 12:30 

Flip your Top (mittens) with Asa Tricosa  
Saturday, 12th July 2014 09:30 - 12:30 



Morning Talks:


Colour Stories - Theories & Inspiration with Felicia Lo
Saturday, 12th July 2014 12:00 - 13:00 OC


More Saturday morning talks to be announced.. 


Afternoon Classes:  


Colour Theory with Amy Hendrix
Saturday, 12th July 2014 14:00 - 17:00  

COs, BOs, Knitted Edges and Trims with Kirsten Kapur   
Saturday, 12th July 2014 14:00 - 17:00

Windrow Cowl Workshop with Bristol Ivy  
Saturday, 12th July 2014 14:00 - 17:00 

Short Rows Demystified with Carol Feller 
Saturday, 12th July 2014 14:00 - 17:00  

Icelandic Upside Down with Ragga Eiriksdottir
Saturday, 12th July 2014 14:00 - 17:00 

Ziggurat method with Asa Tricosa  
Saturday, 12th July 2014 14:00 - 17:00  

Bavarian Cables with Ann Kingstone 
Saturday, 12th July 2014 14:00 - 17:00 


Afternoon Talks:


3D Knitwear Designs with Olga Buraya-Kefelian
Saturday, 12th July 2014 14:00 - 15:00

Colour Confidence - Choosing Colours for Knitting Projects with Felicia Lo
Saturday, 12th July 2014 16:00 - 17:00 

More Saturday afternoon classes to be announced.. 



Sunday 13th July 2014 

Full Day Classes:  

Perfect Sweater with Ysolda Teague  
Sunday, 13th July 2014 09:00 - 17:00  


Morning Classes:  

Lace with Kirsten Kapur   
Sunday, 13th July 2014 09:30 - 12:30 
  
Speed Steeking with Ragga Eiriksdottir  
Sunday, 13th July 2014 09:00 - 12:00 

Sideways Shawl Design with Asa Tricosa 
Sunday, 13th July 2014 10:00 - 13:00 

Stranded Knitting with Ann Kingstone 
Sunday, 13th July 2014 10:00 - 13:00 



Afternoon Classes  


Spinning Hand - Dyed Fibres with Felicia Lo
Sunday, 13th July 2014 14:00 - 17:00 C2
  
Sock Design with Rachel Coopey   
Sunday, 13th July 2014 13:00 - 16:00 

Contiguous Method with Susie Myers 
Sunday, 13th July 2014 13:00 - 16:00 

Striped Short Row Shawls with Veera Valimaki
Sunday, 13th July 2014 13:00 - 16:00  

I-cord Magic with Ann Kingstone
Sunday, 13th July 2014 14:00 - 17:00 

Non Traditional Short Rows with Olga Buraya-Kefelian
Sunday, 13th July 2014 13:30 - 16:30  

More Saturday afternoon classes to be announced..  


Afternoon Talks:


Do I Really Need to Swatch? with Dani Sunshine
Sunday, 13th July 2014 12:00 - 13:00 

Icelandic Knitting with Ragga Eiriksdottir
Sunday, 13th July 2014 14:00 - 15:00





Registration for classes at Unwind Brighton 2014 will begin on January 24th .
Half-day (3 hour) classes will be £50 and full-day (6 hour) classes will be £90. All classes to include marketplace entry.1 hour talks will be £10. There is a 10% discount when  booking more than one class or talk per student. 

You can find out more about our teachers and speakers here
Full details of all classes will be available before registration opens. 

Wednesday, 8 January 2014

Behind the Scenes: Jubilee Library

Last week I visited some of the class rooms booked for Unwind Brighton. Lots of natural light? Check. Comfortable seats? Check. Just a stones throw from Brighton Dome Corn Exchange is Jubilee Library:



The d├ęcor is modern, colourful and stylish, but my favourite thing about this building is that it's eco friendly! The building has been designed to take advantage of natural energy provided by its south coast setting – specifically sunshine and wind. The sun's energy is gathered through the vast glass south wall. Heat is stored in walls and a specially constructed floor, being released slowly into surrounding spaces as part of a low energy release ventilation and heating system. Wind towers on the roof use the south coast sea breeze to draw excess heat from the space below. Concrete has been extensively used to give the building ‘thermal mass', which reduces the need for artificial heating. Even the toilets are flushed with recovered rainwater!

More news about classes very soon! The schedule is almost ready to show you!