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Guild News
Franklin Habit Classes!
March 12, 2014

franklinWe are beside ourselves with glee! Not only is Franklin Habit coming to speak to the Guild Friday, July 11, but he’s teaching FOUR classes Saturday and Sunday, July 12 and 13 at MIT’s Tang Center (Building E51), Room 095, 70 Memorial Drive, Cambridge. (Print a map showing the building and room)

Classes are limited to 20, so we’re giving Guild members first crack at the tickets on Saturday, March 15, along with a $5 discount for each class (members will get a discount code by email before ticket sales open up; contact if you don’t get one). Tickets go on sale to the public 2 weeks later, on Saturday, March 29; Guild member discounts will still apply. Register for classes here.

Don’t forget to check the materials list for each class you’re taking! (Print materials list for all classes)


10AM-1PM: Working with Antique and Vintage Knitting Patterns ($80; $75 for Guild members). Don’t let the tiny type and archaic language fool you: There’s a goldmine of beautiful, functional designs waiting to be rediscovered within the pages of Victorian and Edwardian books and magazines. In this session, we’ll discuss the history of patterns, the selection of appropriate yarns and needles, methods for deciphering and troubleshooting arcane recipes, and “reverse engineering” from photographs and extant pieces. You don’t need to be a historian or re-enactor to enjoy this class – just a knitter with a curious mind. Pre-requisites: Fluency in the basic maneuvers of knitting, including knit, purl, yarn over, increasing and decreasing. Materials (to be provided by students):

  • 1 ball smooth DK or sport weight yarn (e.g., Dale Baby Ull, St-Denis Nordique, Cascade 220 Sport) in white or a light color
  • 1 pair straight needles or 1 circular needle, size 6 or 7 (4–4.5mm)
  • Notebook and pen or pencil for making notes (important!)

2PM-5PM: The Knitted Plaid: A Color and Pattern Workshop ($80; $75 for Guild members). New in 2014! If the prospect of mixing colors gives you the fidgets, but you’ve dreamt of putting together your own complex color schemes for projects, this class is for you. We’ll begin by learning a simple but strikingly effective method for knitting plaid fabric – a method that can even be used to recreate family or school tartans. Then we’ll use the framework of the plaid as the point of departure for a practical, hands-on lesson in color selection. You can learn to design your own color schemes – all it takes is a little knowledge, a little practice, and a little playfulness. Pre-requisites: Fluency in the basic techniques of knitting. Materials (to be provided by students):

  • 5-10 balls of smooth (non-fuzzy), firmly-spun yarn in sport or worsted weight (e.g., Cascade 220, Dale Baby Ull, Universal Yarns Deluxe Worsted) in different colors. Partial balls are welcome! This is a great class for using up leftovers from stash. You’ll be mixing and matching with yarns brought by other students, so be prepared to share what you bring.
  • A 16″ or 24″ circular needle, or one pair straight needles, in a size that will give you a firm gauge with typical worsted or sport weight yarn
  • Tapestry needle
  • Notebook and pen or pencil for making notes
  • Basic knitting notions: scissors, stitch markers, etc.

SUNDAY, JULY 13, 2014

10AM-1PM: Photographing Your Fiber ($80; $75 for Guild members). Bring your own camera and a project or two, and learn the basics of lighting, depth of field, exposure, styling, and common fiber-photography problems like capturing true color, capturing stitch definition, and photographing lace. We will also learn how to make a light box at home, cheap! You don’t need fancy equipment to make good photographs–the emphasis will be on getting the best possible images using your camera and materials already at hand. Pre-requisites: No prior knowledge of photography is necessary. Just have a camera and a sense of adventure. Materials Required (to be provided by student):

  • Camera (preferably digital)
  • Camera manual (if available)
  • A selection (at least one or two) of projects to play with
  • Notebook and pen or pencil

2PM-5PM: Knitted Tessellations: Playful and Powerful Patterns in Practice. ($80; $75 for Guild members). A hands-on introduction to the fundamental concepts of tessellation: the creation of interlocking patterns. Tessellations–motifs which lock together without gaps or overlaps–are as old as design itself. They can be found in the some of the most ancient examples of human design, and were famously used in the modern era by the artist M.C. Escher. In this class, we will discuss the theories behind tessellating, and then put into practice the basic techniques for creating tessellated shapes that can be used for knitting (or other charted needlework). Participants will leave with the know-how to begin designing their own interlocking motifs. Pre-requisites: Fluency in the basics of knitting, and familiarity with the process of working from color and/or texture charts. Students are offered the choice of swatching in knit/purl texture patterns or in two-color (stranded) knitting, so those choosing the latter should be adept at it as the technique is not taught in this class. A sense of humor, a reasonable ability to concentrate, and a taste for adventure are strongly advised. Materials (to be provided by students):

  • Yarn in solid or semi-solid colors with little or no halo/fuzz to obscure visibility or make ripping back difficult. 2 balls in highly contrasting colors if you wish to work in stranded colorwork; 1 ball if you choose to work in knit/purl texture patterns. (If the latter, white or a light solid color is preferred.)
  • Needles of a size appropriate to the yarn(s) selected, according to your preferred method for swatching (flat, in the round)
  • Notebook, pencils (not pens), and erasers for sketching, charting, and note-taking
  • Notions: Stitch markers, scissors
  • Roll of Scotch tape
  • 2 or more 8.5×11″ sheets of 4 squares to the inch graph paper (easily procured from shops, or print for free here:



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1 comment

  1. […] Longer descriptions of the classes are here. You can register for classes here. If you are interested in becoming a guild member, it’s $25 for a yearly membership, which gets you in for free at our 6 regular meetings – 2nd Friday of the “odd” months (January, March, May, July, September and November). […]