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Archive for August 22nd, 2006

Allegan, Design Your Own Turkish Socks Class

Tuesday, August 22nd, 2006

Mini Turkish Socks from ClassFriday all day, and Saturday morning at Michigan Fiber Festival, I got to teach a subject I adore. Five women joined me for a day and a half of learning about Turkish (toe-up is redundant) socks and how to create your own look within several knitting structures used in Turkey.

I own four pair of socks from Turkey. I had assumed before I received these socks, that all socks in Turkey were knit with afterthought heels (you knit a tube with a toe and then go back, open up the tube in any of many ways, and knit a heel as the last step). However, of the four pair I received, only one was knit with this heel.

Students from Turkish Sock ClassThe least perfect of the socks I received (loose gauge, simple patterning) was fascinating to me on a structure standpoint. It had a toe I had not seen before, and it had a heel that looked familiar but not familiar. I figured out from the Priscilla Gibson-Roberts book “Ethnic Socks and Stockings” that the toe was called a swirl structure (something like a star toe), and the heel was called a band heel (which is like a top down Dutch heel but with the flap under the foot, and without a gusset).

I made a pattern for Dawn Brocco‘s Heels and Toes Gazette with this structure, which has become my own “Turkish Toe-Up Socks” pattern. This pattern is written in a single yarn of DK weight. For this weekend’s class, I worked up a handout using the structure but not specifying any particular gauge or size, and helping students figure out how to make their very own pattern.

I also gave them a handout on using two-color stranded knitting/colorwork to embellish parts of their socks as they wish. I think they all did a great job making their own style show through!

Here I have a photo of socks from class. The red one in the middle is my own sample for the class, but the others were knit by students in class. They were able to finish or nearly finish one first minisock in the Friday session, then they went home and made a toe before class on Saturday. Saturday we learned about afterthought/peasant heels, and other possible ways to finish a sock cuff within this tradition.

The next photo is a group class shot. Left to right in back is Lorraine, Maggie, AJ, Gladys. Front row is Sue. Maggie and AJ took the class not so much because of the subject but because they knew about my work and chose to study with me. I am honored. Thanks SO much for taking my class, all of you ladies! I had the time of my life!

Allegan, Polymer Clay Class

Tuesday, August 22nd, 2006

alleganpolymer1.jpgWednesday I taught Polymer Clay Buttons and Beads all day at Michigan Fiber Festival (also called “Allegan” for its location). Fourteen people joined me for some “serious fun” working with color in three dimensions.
alleganpolymer2.jpgI had Brian and Terrie back from last year’s class and AJ, loyal blogreader, came in from Wisconsin. I had eleven other great folks as well. What a fabulous time we had, my friends!

alleganpolymer3.jpgI started taking photos of folks in class after some had already left, but I took pictures of work going in and out of the oven so you can see much of the creative output the folks made, whether you see their faces or not.

alleganpolymerbriansbuttons.jpgOf particular delight to us all were Brian’s amazing buttons. They look like silk shibori to me. It always intrigues me to see how we all have the same colors and techniques available to us and yet everyone’s work looks so vastly different!

alleganpolymerstudents2.jpgI’m so glad Brian decided to return this year for more polymer, he just did such great work. And trust me, it was SO hot that others (including myself) were having trouble even slicing the clay. His work looks so polished I wonder if he had his own personal fan or air conditioner going at his corner. Didn’t he just do a great job?

alleganpolymerstudents3.jpgNews flash: I figured out how to use Flickr to hold my web-sized photos so that I don’t have to show you tiny thumbnail pictures here any more. Thanks for waiting while I figured it out. It’s all because I’m in transition between the old site and the new one, and I’m still glad I switched. It’s just that darned learning curve again!