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Workshops focus on the practice of couture knitting: on its philosophy of garment design and fabrication, and on the acquisition and development of the techniques that comprise a couture method of hand knitting. They offer several levels of content from introductory to intensive hands-on practice; they vary in length from one six-hour day to a full six-day week; and their focus ranges from a single technique to a complete, in-depth exploration of couture knitting. We offer public lectures and presentations that introduce couture knitting to large audiences and are happy to consider requests for workshops tailored to the specific interests of small groups.

The Basic Techniques of Couture Knitting

This workshop is the first part of an introduction to the couture method of handknitting that is the foundation of our signature approach to garment construction and finishing. We begin with a general discussion of couture knitting, of the principles of line, fit, design and fabrication that are the core of its philosophy. From there, we move on to the essential and basic techniques that constitute the method. Through hands-on practice, workshop participants learn the techniques, explore their application and discover how to adapt conventional patterns for their use.

2 days / 8 hours per day

Designer Details

Designer Details is the sequel to the Basic Techniques of Couture Knitting and continues the exploration of couture knitting. The techniques that are the focus of this workshop are unique to couture knitting. They add finish and refinement to handknits and reflect the influence of couture dressmaking on this approach to knitting. Workshop participants are introduced to shaping and facing techniques for borders and hems, to full or partial knitted facings worked on the interior of garments for structure and finish, and to welts and joins enhanced with discreet passementerie-like cording for exquisite finishes and detailing.

In order to benefit fully from this workshop, participants must have sufficient previous experience with the basic techniques of couture knitting to feel comfortable with their application and execution.

2 days / 8 hours per day

Tension, Gauge and the Knitted Swatch

Tension not only affects the appearance of the knitted fabric; more important, it determines gauge; and gauge determines the size, shape and fit of the finished piece. Tension is one of several technical idiosyncrasies that derive from individual knitting styles and that are reflected in the knitted fabric. Knowing one’s technical idiosyncrasies enables a knitter to make critical decisions before beginning to knit that will transform a garment from ill-fitting and disappointing into one that is perfectly shaped and beautifully finished. Workshop participants learn how to read a piece of knitted fabric, how to analyze its characteristics, how to identify any anomalous characteristics and determine how they may be accommodated either in the course of knitting the garment pieces or in the construction of the garment.

Given the relationship between tension - or individual knitting style — and the knitted fabric, swatching and blocking are as crucial to the creation of a couture garment as the fabrication and construction of the garment pieces. Proper swatching and blocking figure among the most important of the techniques of couture knitting. Workshop participants learn why it is essential to work large swatches, how to work and dress a swatch for the most accurate results, what the risks of improper swatching are, and what information, other than determining the gauge needle, can be derived from the swatch that may be essential to the garment’s outcome. The relationship between needle size, gauge, yarn, stitch pattern and garment shape are also discussed, as are the importance of and the appropriate methods for swatching border and edging patterns, including ribs. Blocking methods are detailed with respect to tools, yarns, measurements and the stages of garment fabrication and construction at which the blocking occurs.

2 days / 8 hours per day

The Atelier

The Atelier is the most comprehensive as well as the most intensive of the workshops. It brings together all three workshops that address the couture method of handknitting — The Basic Techniques of Couture Knitting, Designer Details and Tension, Gauge and the Knitted Fabric. Workshop participants have the opportunity to explore all aspects of couture knitting in both its theory and practice through a single, coherent curriculum, to learn how key essential and basic techniques provide the foundation for more complicated garment construction and embellishments, and to gain the skills that will enable them to transform the look and fit of their knitted garments.

6 days / 8 hours per day

Rethink your Knitting

A distillation of the core elements of couture knitting, this workshop presents a group of techniques that are easily integrated into a traditional knitting practice and that will take the look of participants’ handknits from ordinary to extraordinary. This workshop is ideal for knitters who are anxious to familiarize themselves with the most important techniques of couture knitting, but do not want an intensive in-depth workshop, or for knitters who have taken The Basic Techniques of Couture Knitting workshop in the past and would welcome a review. Participants will begin their mastery of these techniques and will learn how to integrate them into their technical repertoire.

Rethink Your Knitting can be presented as a six or eight hour one day workshop, or as a nine or twelve hour one and a half day workshop. The six and eight hour versions offer an overview of the techniques with examples and minimal hands-on practice while the nine and twelve hour versions allow time for more complete consideration of the material and more intensive hands-on practice of the techniques.

Design and Fit

At the core of this workshop are those critical principles that determine how a garment fits and whether that garment enhances or diminishes the wearer. We begin with a discussion of the general criteria by which to judge garment fit, silhouette, structure, placement of shaping details and yarn suitability; we then individualize these criteria for each participant by developing a set of design parameters. During the second part of the workshop, participants create a full-size sloper of a basic pullover sweater that is customized to each participant’s measurements and that reflects their individualized parameters of fit, silhouette and shaping details.

2 days / 9 hours per day

If you would like information about other workshops or about hosting a workshop or lecture, please contact us.

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