Organize and practice working with your knitting and your thoughts

Knitting and HEF booksCheck out all Our Courses.

What is knitting to you? For me, it is a way to produce unique, stylish clothing and accessory items that I want and need. At the same time, I soothe my body and mind, and facilitate decision making, since knitting is a quiet think-time for me.

Do you want to get your knitting under control, learn new knitting techniques and calm your body and mind? Then try one of our knitting group levels.

Once you have your knitting under control, consider practicing by making natural items for our Natural Knitwear Bazaar.

Structure your techniques and your time

Each knitting group level starts with a specific project as a plan of action. Subsequent agendas will be developed collaboratively with group members, including topics, projects, and frequency of meetings.

With our knitting, we discuss breathing and use hand and body awareness to calm ourselves and be present with ourselvesĀ  and our creativity.

The fine print

Cost: Free if you use our knitting yarn, otherwise there is an hourly fee for group or private lessons.

Type of yarn to be used: Buy or bring undyed natural yarns of the following types: wool, cashmere, alpaca, other animal hairs [there are many], linen, stinging nettle or hemp. No cotton, dyes, synthetic or remanufactured yarns please as our owner is allergic and would not be able to handle the yarns. If in doubt, bring a sample to our initial meeting.

Contact Ingrid Splettstoesser via email or telephone 705-229-4916 to book an appointment for an initial meeting, skills assessment or private pre-group training. Form your own group with three or more people. CURRENTLY NOT AVAILABLE

Wind your yarn at our yarn table

Wind your skein of yarn at our work table, or purchase a swift and yarn winder for your own use.

Level 1: Knit and purl with grace

Headband with wool and nettle

Knit and purl are the basic stitches that allow us to create texture in our garments. With them we can create ribbing and thus stretch at the edges of our garments, or create a variety of textures.

Our startup project for Level 1 is a seed stitch headband using three textures and shades. The sample shown here uses a black wool blend wrapped with stinging nettle, and a white wool stripe. Techniques used are cast-on, knit and purl (to create the seed stitch), weave method for adding colour, cast-off, and an s-stitch to sew the ends of the headband together. A trick to an easier use of seed stitch is to cast on an odd number of stitches.

To move on to more challenging projects requires control of your knitting so that the garment has equal tension throughout. This requires practice and experimentation to determine your own knitting style. Along the way we will use different shades and yarns to enable the development of beautiful garments or accessories.


Level 2: Twisting, turning and more

Cable stitch sample

Advanced knitting techniques involve using additional tools such as extra needles or holders. Needles are twisted and turned, stitches are stretched and doubled, and other garment-related disciplines such as embroidery or crochet enlisted to create the desired effects. If multiple shades are used with a complex pattern, then yarn management alternatives such as intarsia (where shades or colours are cut frequently) can be brought into play. Such effects are often time-consuming, and what you choose to use depends upon the type of garments or accessories that you would like to create and the amount of time that you have.

Prior to working in a Level 2 group, you will be asked to demonstrate your mastery of knit and purl with consistent tension.

Our initial project for this group is a cable stitch in-the-round leg warmer. Skills used are cast-on, knit, purl, front and back cable, adding stitches (make-one purl) and cast-off. Choose your colours and textures to develop your own creative style.

Level 3: Creative pattern use

Shrug with alpaca/merino and nettle

As a group we will select a basic pattern, or each person will select a pattern, and then play with it. Depending upon the pattern selected, we will practice the needed new techniques, and prepare a pattern of the garment using tissue paper to guide our knitting.

The image below shows a shrug that evolved from a knit/purl shrug that I made over half a dozen times. The result: five garments that I could wear, and several that I took apart. There are a long grey wool shrug with wood buttons, a toffee alpaca/merino shrug sewn together to make a top and two comfy loose shrugs in different alpaca/merino twists resulting in a lovely stripe. Finally, the garment shown here is a stripe of three different alpaca/merino wools twisted together with stinging nettle, and a tree-ish pattern on one of the sleeves.

I enjoyed each project, and each of the garments has a very different flavour.


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