Friday, May 13, 2011

KNITWORKS: DESIGNING WITH COLOUR, TEXTURE, AND PATTERN

2011 Maiwa Textile Symposium Workshop

Alison Ellen
$175 (Includes $10 Lab Fee) Two full days
October 1 - 2 (Sat - Sun) 10am - 4pm
Maiwa Loft - Net Loft Granville Is., Canada Class Limit 14

This workshop will take an alternative look at how colour can be used in hand knitting. Beginning with a personally selected photograph, object, or image, students will work to translate the colours that interest them into yarns and knitted works.


Colour can be used in knitted works in a number of ways. One of the most effective is through different stitches, giving the opportunity to “build” colours. This can be done at a basic level with simple stitches such as garter and moss stitch or with more intricate slip stitches.

Students will analyze colour proportions using yarn. Then they will use the flexibility of the knitting technique and different methods of colour knitting to translate what they see into a design. The aim is to become more aware of colour and of the possibilities of using, mixing, and building colour more creatively in knitting. Students will achieve this ability both through basic stitches, textured stitches, and more advanced techniques (such as fairisle, intarsia, working with the yarn in both hands, and weaving in on the back). The class will also look at knitting in different directions and modular and entrelac knitting.

By the last half of day two students will be working toward their own projects and ideas for continuing later. Alison joins us from the United Kingdom.

Alison Ellen

Having trained in weaving and textile design at Surrey Institute of Art and Design, Farnham, and worked with hand-printed textiles, Alison Ellen began designing and making hand knitwear in 1980. This background has enabled her to approach knitting as a way of constructing both a fabric and a 3-dimensional shape, exploring what the technique can do to alter the drape, thickness, and stretch of the material.

As well as an enjoyment of colour, texture, and pattern, Alison explores shaping through the structure of knitting, designing clothes knitted all in one piece with emphasis on construction. Her ideas for textures and colours are sourced from the surrounding countryside, gardens, landscape drawings, and museums. Designs for shapes are sometimes influenced by studies of ethnic dress from around the world.

Alison has taught in the UK for the past twenty-five years. Her teaching has stimulated more research into technique and history, inspired further explorations into design, and led to the publication of three books on hand knitting. www.alisonellenhandknits.co.uk


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