In the spirit of long distance fellowship between islands and the joy of knitting and color, we were excited to have two classes focusing on Fair Isle knitting. First, learning the traditional methods and techniques by knitting a small sweater, suitable for a teddy bear, in class with Mary Germain and Sandy De Master. Then, immediately following, was Janine Bajus’ Fair Isle Vest Design class. Students developed their own colorway from inspiration photos, knit several swatches and then planned their vest design.
Fair Isle, the most geographically remote inhabited island in the UK, is famous for its knitwear. Sievers is honored to help keep their island traditions passed along and practiced on our island and beyond in the hands of our students.
In the Fair Isle Techniques class, there’s a choice of several colorways for the little sweaters. Starting with the corrugated ribbing, the body of the sweater highlights the motifs, using no more than two colors at a time. The sweaters come together with Mary and Sandy’s help in this three-day class and we’re imagining the proud faces of those teddy bears wearing their new “jumpers”!
To design a personalized Fair Isle Vest could be daunting, but Janine Bajus leads her students step-by-step from choosing and developing a color palette, to charting motifs and covering construction and fit. A yarn “playpen” of each color of Jamieson & Smith’s 2-ply Shetland wool provided a rainbow for swatching. (97 colors are in stock at Sievers and they’ve just added four more, which we’ll include in our next order.)
Seeing the experimentation and progression in the swatches from a little distance shows how the final designs and color placements shine.
And there’s more! Overlapping with the knitting classes was a four-day Open Quilt Studio. Lots of space, vibrant colors and patterns in the studio and as always, many wonderful quilts and projects.
Our island is a busy place this month. There’s a lot to see and do on what we think is our own “fair isle”. At Sievers, we’re anticipating more great classes through July and into August, including Marbling: Paper & Fabric, Rigid Heddle Weaving, another Open Quilt Studio, Finding Our Way: A Fabric Dyeing Journey, Beads! Glorious Beads! and Embroidery: Basics and Beyond.
Here’s to time for knitting, quilting, marbling, weaving, dyeing, beading, embroidery and exploring islands!