jazzknitting workshop: follow the thread as you knit with no worries!
Ilisha Helfman, Jazzknitter, has developed a new way to use the inherent qualities of hand dyed yarn in knitting. In this workshop we will follow the placement of color on our skeins to form the shapes of our knitting. We will see how the same skein can produce completely different shapes when different colors are featured. We will also embrace qualities natural to knitting (striping, pooling, and curling) to make beautiful natural forms. The artist has shown her knitted collages in galleries in NYC and Portland and will bring her pieces to class. She will talk about the flow of ideas and experiments that led her from one kind of shape to another and about the way each collage came together, pointing out the different possible uses for different kinds of forms. There will also be a variety of loose knitted pieces to study for inspiration. Unlike free-form knitting, this is a considered and structured approach, though a liberating one as there are no patterns to follow, no gages or stitches to count and no mistakes to make or correct (hence, "knitting with no worries!"). Students have found it both fun and addictive as they follow their threads to find their own paths.

Students need only to be familiar with long tailed cast on, knitting and purling. All other stitches and techniques will be taught in class, including beading possibilities, designerly thoughts and a bit of color theory.

Students should bring a small stash of hand-dyed yarns, preferably in 100% merino. Ilisha uses lace and sock weight yarns in her work but some students find heavier weights easier to start with and Jazzknitting principles can apply to any weight yarn. Bring a small range of dps or circular needles to experiment with. For lace and sock weight yarns, size 0 and 1 bamboo needles work well. Size 2 can also work for some of the knitting students may choose to explore with these finer yarn weights. For heavier yarns, bring needles that are a little smaller than you'd normally use. A size 5 needle for worsted weight merino, for instance, should provide nice results.