Shetland Knitting Weekend – Little Rock

March 21-24, 2019



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Denise of Lost City Knits and Janine Bajus, the author of The Joy of Color, are bringing a weekend of Shetland Knitting to the River Market area of downtown Little Rock, Arkansas.


Janine, who goes by the handle Feral Knitter, has traveled the world teaching Fair Isle colorwork. She will be leading her intensive eighteen hour class on designing your own Fair Isle sweater. Denise knows her from Knitting Camp, and thinks she is one of the best teachers in the business. This series of classes will begin Thursday evening at 6:00, run all day Friday and Saturday, and wrap up Sunday at noon.


For those who want to work on a traditional Shetland hap shawl, Denise will be teaching class all day on Saturday focusing on hap construction and color choice. Sorry – you’re going to have to choose the Fair Isle class or the hap class! 


We will have a Friday Night Public Pop Up Shop from 5-8 pm in Denise’s classroom, featuring Lost City Knits yarns, patterns, and books, so even if you aren’t taking any classes you can stop by and check things out. And there is a pub nearby. Ahem.


The dates are March 21-24, and the location is the Homewood Suites at 400 River Market Avenue in Little Rock.



Class Description for Wrapped in Warmth – Shetland Hap Shawls, by Denise Bell

This is a six hour class, running from 9-12 and 2-5 on Saturday.

Not all Shetland shawls are knit with skinny yarn and can pass through a wedding ring. While we love those that are, the traditional Shetland hap shawl is knit with jumper (fingering) weight yarn in the natural colors of Shetland bred sheep. In this class Denise will add a little twist to the traditional Shetland shawl.

We won’t stick to natural colors in this class. This can be an exercise in color. Bring three to five colors of solid-color fingering weight non-superwashed wool yarns to class. 100-200 yard scraps are perfect. You’ll choose one color as a main color and then plan the others to create a pleasing palette. We will discuss traditional techniques and color placement in class and work on a swatch to learn the basics of Shetland hap shawl construction. 

Experience Level – 
Ability to execute standard increases and decreases, and basic chart reading.

Supplies to bring – 
Students should bring a size 5US or 6US circular needle(s) in both 24 and 32 inch length (or interchangeable cords), stitch markers and the usual knitting kit. Also bring three to five solidcolored fingering-weight non-superwash wool yarns of 100-200 yards each, and colored pencils or crayons in shades representing your chosen swatch colors with maybe a few more to play around with. (Instructor will supply graph paper.)






Class Description for the Fair Isle Class from Janine Bajus

This is an eighteen hour class, beginning Thursday evening.

Designing a Fair Isle sweater from scratch can seem intimidating!

So many things to consider: color, patterning, construction. And each of these elements affects the others. This class breaks the design process down into understandable steps, so that no matter what kind of sweater you hope to design—classic Fair Isle pullover, bright folkloric cardigan, mysterious Celtic vest, whatever!—you will have the tools to make it a reality. Your colorways will be derived from photographs or paintings—this results in highly individual, complex designs without requiring an art degree! There is time throughout the workshop for questions, brainstorming, and individual feedback.

Day 1 starts with a discussion of what sets the use of color in Fair Isle knitting apart from other stranded knitting traditions: value sequencing and mirroring. You will begin swatching with an exercise in value recognition. Then Janine will demonstrate the use of different color tools, and you will plunge into the actual process of identifying colors in your sources of inspiration. Before the day is done you will have chosen colors from the Jamieson & Smith Jumper Weight Shetland yarn from Lost City Knits and started speed swatching to see how they work together.

Day 2 is spent charting motifs and swatching them using the colors you’ve identified through your speed swatching. Janine will discuss how color choices affect your motif options. You can bring your own charts or create your own in the workshop. Janine will discuss motif placement, garment shape, ease, and other design considerations as details of your sweater emerge.

Day 3 our focus turns to construction and fit issues specific to Fair Isle-type garments: steeks, corrugated ribbing, purl-when-you-can borders, shaped shoulders, and adding bands will be discussed and demonstrated as desired. You will continue to swatch and refine the details of your garment as you gain confidence in the direction you are going.

By the end of the workshop you should be well on your way to a unique, personal design.


Experience level: You don’t need to be an expert Fair Isle knitter to design your own garment! For this workshop you need to know how to knit with 2 colors in the round—although Janine will be answering any technique questions you may have (how to make your floats the right length, for example), she will not be teaching the basics. You will find it helpful to have some experience knitting garments, which will help you understand construction and fit issues. However, you don’t need to be an expert knitter—slow but steady wins this race. The most important thing is that you be willing to experiment and persevere.

Materials provided include Jamieson & Smith Jumper Weight yarn for extensive swatching, mini journals, bag, and 32-page professionally printed handout. 

Homework: none

Bring: size 3US 24-32” circular needles for swatching (if you are unsure of your gauge, bring a range of sizes from 1 to 4); sharpened pencils; inspiration photo (instructions will be sent prior to the workshop); motif books; (optional) 3-in-1 Color Tool (colors tools will be available for use in class). 




Location of The Classes

The Homewood Suites at 400 River Market Avenue in Little Rock will host the event in their conference rooms. This is a revitalized neighborhood of Little Rock, and there are many restaurants and bars within walking distance. The hotel is offering students a discounted rate of $119 a night for their suites, which have a living area and kitchen separate from the bedroom and bath. It would be easy to share these rooms. 

The Little Rock Airport (LIT) is a quick ten-minute taxi ride. 

Image result for river market neighborhood little rock



Availability – On Sale Now

Seats are $150 for Wrapped in Warmth – Shetland Hap Shawls, and include time with Denise and good swag from Jamieson & Smith and Lost City Knits. 

Seats are $465 for the Fair Isle Workshop, and include class time with Janine, cool swag from Jamieson & Smith Wool Brokers of Shetland, and yarn for classwork from the Lost City Knits collection of the full spectrum of colors from Jamieson & Smith. This cost can be paid in full or in three installments.




The Friday Night Public Pop Up will be open to all, and held from 5-8 pm.