Workshop news: Unravel

Choosing yarn colours from Sweet Georgia's palette.

Choosing yarn colours from SweetGeorgia’s palette.

If you’ve been reading this blog for any amount of time you know that I’m pretty passionate about yarn. I get so excited about it that my design listings on Ravelry often suggestion three, four or even five different yarns that you can use to make the project. I like knitters to have options!

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Which is why I’m excited to announce that I’ll be teaching a workshop at the upcoming Unravel festival on Substituting Yarn: Picking the right yarns for your projects. The aim of the workshop is to help you find the best match of yarn to the pattern you’re knitting, with a little bit of theory and plenty of examples, and help you build your confidence to be able to make these choices on your own.

One of the reasons I include so many yarn choices with my patterns is because there are so many yarns I want to try myself! Most have been swatched in a number of different yarns or combinations, depending on what I’m going for. What if the yarn is variegated or semi-solid? What do I want the finished fabric to be like? Does it need to drape or flow or have more structure? I love experimenting, and like most things in knitting there is never only one “right” answer.

Once I’ve swatched and am happy to move forward, the knitting begins – and not just on my own needles. I have a fantastic team of supporters who test knit for me, which allows me to see how the design looks or feels in an even wider variety of yarns.

Mini skeins for swatching and a shade card for Baa Ram Ewe’s Dovestone DK for a new pattern design.

And then there’s you, dear knitter.

No sooner is a pattern released I get asked about the suitability of a different yarn. Do I think it would work? Or you’ve got something in your stash that you’ve been wanting to use but it’s not the right weight of yarn. In fact, all of your questions were the inspiration for the Play sections in Knit Play Colour and formed the beginnings of this workshop. How would the design look in this yarn, or this yarn…or even in this yarn?

The Substituting Yarn workshop takes place on Sunday, 21st February from 10:30am to 12:30pm at the Unravel festival at Farnham Maltings. Click here to buy tickets. Workshop price includes a day ticket for entry to the show on Sunday. Bring your yarn and pattern combo questions, and I look forward to seeing you there!

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