My Advanced Kitchener workshop had it's first airing at Edinburgh Yarn Festival this March. It wasn't an easy workshop to describe, or deliver for that matter. Whilst some students may have felt daunted and many students would have had the penny drop some time later, there were a number of students who 'clicked' within the 3hrs and absolutely loved it. It isn't an easy subject, but it's not difficult, either.
Let me go into a little more detail, in response to some feedback I received, and to help demystify this oh so favourite subject of mine.
I asked for feedback at the end of my class at EYF, and the one thing that rang through was the wish for an intermediate level. I completely appreciate that a jump from regular Kitchener (or my beginners class) may seem a jump too far. I do see that, I promise. But there isn't an intermediate level.
Once you want to move beyond grafting stocking stitch, reverse stocking stitch, garter stitch and reverse garter stitch (all things I cover in my Kitchener Stitch - an Introduction class) then you have to make the leap - there's no other way to do it. Why? Well, because we have to change how we see grafting. And that's no bad thing.
When I was writing my first book, Going Straight, I knew how difficult it might be for some to get their heads around the sideways construction. Even my tech editor wanted some breathing space around other projects. That 90 degree shift in thinking is subtle, and it seemingly turns everything upside down (which of course, it doesn't... it's a mere shift...) and it can take a little getting used to. But once your brain has adjusted, it's pretty much plain sailing.
It's no different with grafting.
What you know about grafting now - working the two selvedge stitches then launching into a routine of working two stitches on the front needle then two on the back - subtly changes. It's a minor change. And if you think about it, you're still doing the same thing except you're starting the routine at a different point. Instead of working two stitches on the front needle, two on the back.. you start to work one stitch on the front needle, two on the back, then one on the front. In a nutshell, that's it (there's a little bit more, which I explain in the class) but that really is it.
It's all very well for me to say it's not rocket science as the one who's teaching it, so I won't. But it isn't beyond anyone. To some extent it's easier with less understanding of the common Kitchener stitches, mostly because there's less habit to be undone. The class is a fresh perspective on a subject that many find daunting. And that fresh perspective describes the whys and wherefores, the engineering behind your stitches. It's eye opening.
And I'm kinda thinking that maybe calling it an Advanced class needs to change...
I'm teaching this class at Woollinn, Dublin, in a few weeks. As I've mentioned before, due to my health and stuff I'm take a long break from travelling to shows and teaching workshops, so I'd grab this chance while you can to come and pick my brains in person.
This blog post was bought to you from my new studio with the support of a new wrist brace. More about the new studio shortly.