Archive for the ‘WEKP’ Category

WEBS Expert Knitter Certification Capstone Graduation 2017

Monday, July 10th, 2017
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My favorite evening of the year is the Capstone Graduation ceremony, held at the Delaney House a few miles down the road from WEBS. It’s a chance to congratulate and praise the students who have made their way through the 19 required classes and electives, and then used the knowledge they’ve acquired to design and knit a sweater that fits them to a T. This year’s graduation was held on June 21, a beautiful summer evening, and our group gathered to socialize, see old and new friends and fellow students and teachers, and celebrate our newest group of 9 graduates.

We began with a tribute to a dear friend and colleague, Liz Wrobleski. Liz passed away very unexpectedly in late December–we’d already met and I had approved her proposal for her Capstone sweater, but she never got to start it. Her family gave one of her exquisite sweaters to us, and we awarded her certificate to her husband and son in her honor. It was a beautiful and sad moment, but her family was supportive and we are so grateful that we were able to recognize her talent. Here is her Sweater Construction sweater–and it’s flawless.

Liz Wrobleski sweater

Susan Drew is a seamstress as well as a phenomenal knitter, and her sweater design was an interpretation of a classic Chanel jacket, with i-cord trim standing in for Coco’s famous braided edging. She used a 3-color slip stitch pattern, and painstakingly reviewed each step of her process with her mentor, Stephanie Gibbs, for technical accuracy. I think you’ll agree that the effort she expended shows to great advantage in her iconic design.

Susan Drew sweater

Kim Lier chose to do a cabled aran sweater, but proportionally correct for her small size and shape. She researched cables, twists, crossings, ribbing, twisted stitches, and finally steeled herself to do a saddle shoulder (without EVER having done one before!) so that her cables would truly shine, uninterrupted by a shoulder seam. At one of our “support group” meetings, she worried that perhaps her sweater was going to be smaller than she wanted–and she ended up ripping out a month’s worth of stitches to re-do her design to more closely mirror her ideal fit. Her cabled cardigan is really a work of art, and her mentor, Leslie Ann, agrees.

 Kim Lier sweater

When I first met Salin Low, she was caring for a very ill spouse. Although I knew she had a long drive to WEBS and had a lot on her plate with work,in-home care for her husband, and a lot of complicated knitting, she was always warm and took time to talk with me and her fellow students. Sadly, her husband passed away a few months ago. Salin created a Capstone love letter to her husband by adapting the design on her wedding ring, whichwas a glass seal used for sealing letters with wax. The design was a sun and a flower with the words “I turn for you” in French. With mentor Erin’s help, Salin’s sweater incorporated an intarsia sunflower and sun, and embroidered sun rays on the shoulder. The sunflower was supported by an i-cord stem and the border of her hem was stranded in different colors to resemble grass. The entire effect is clean and simple, with texture on the flower adding a visual pop to the background of the stockinette stitch.

Salin Low sweater

Angie Tierney had an ambitious plan for her sweater–using two different yarn weights, she wanted to make a sweater that looked like a sleeveless vest over a lighter long-sleeved shirt. I had no idea how she was going to make that work, but of course she did, beautifully. Using Valley Yarns Colrain for the body of the sweater, she designed numerous cable patterns to accentuate the shaping and fit of her “vest,” and then chose Valley Yarns Huntington to knit the sleeves, collar, and hem. By choosing tonal variations rather than stark contrasting colors, she softened the visual effect of the two different parts of the design and truly made a unique sweater that will certainly be an attention-getter once the weather moves into winter temps.

Angie Tierney sweater

Michal Lumsden and I share a former workplace–she’s there now, and I was there for several years before her. I knew her colleagues would be supportive of her knitting in meetings, for which I was pretty envious! Michal’s sweater is a simple, elegant, form-flattering light cardigan with an intriguing eyelet at the hem, giving it an airy feel and a sophisticated look. I told her that if I didn’t know she had knit it, I would have picked it out of a lineup for her to wear. It just says “Michal” to me! The genius of having 3 top buttons leaves the options for accessorizing open–in the summer, it can layer over a tank, and in the winter, a turtleneck wouldn’t look out of place underneath it. Cyndi Shepard, her mentor, is incredibly proud.

Michal Lumsden sweater

Elaine Bloniasz knew she wanted to use Fair Isle colorwork in her sweater. True Fair Isle is knit in the round with no seaming, but the Capstone requirements demand that there be shoulder, sleeve, and side seams on the sweater for their final project. Elaine and her mentor, Erin, came up with a truly genius solution for that, by making a yoke that she seamed into her shoulders. Desperate times call for desperate measures…Her sweater fits her so perfectly that it reminds us all that truly well-fitting garments are within our reach.

Elaine Bloniasz photo

Jan Wilson has spent a lot of time in Africa, courtesy of her daughter and son-in-law who moved there to teach. She was entranced by a woven basket she saw during her time there, and had the idea to recreate the look and feel of that basket in her sweater. It is amazing! Knitting a worsted weight yarn at a tighter gauge gave her the tightly coiled texture of woven plant fiber, and her tri-color braids perfectly reflect the braided seam holding the coiled strands together. Working tirelessly with her mentor, Ping Wood, Jan really made this sweater the stand-out for most closely resembling the inspiration for the garment.

Jan Wilson sweater

Ruth Manna worked with mentor Beth Decker on a drapey open cardigan with intarsia striping that is deceptively simple in appearance. In order to make those stripes she had to do intarsia (color blocking) sections with invisible joins. I know she ripped them out over and over in her quest for perfection, and her garment is the richer for her hard work. Not only that, but the stripes in her hemline align exactly with the striping on her sleeve cuffs–and that is perfectionism I can get behind! Ruth’s sweater is absolutely lovely, fits her perfectly, and would be appropriate year-round.

Ruth Manna sweater

I’m so proud of this year’s graduates. Their sweaters are on display in our store for a few more days, so come in and see them in person!

WEBS Expert Knitter Certification Program Capstone Graduation

Friday, July 3rd, 2015
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Last week I was honored to present our latest group of graduates of the WEBS Expert Knitter Certification Program their certificates. This is my second graduating class, and once again I was truly inspired and amazed at the creativity and imagination of our grads. This post will be heavy on pictures, since my words won’t do these beautiful Capstone sweaters justice.

WEBS 2015 Expert Knitter Graduation Ceremony, more on the WEBS Blog - blog.yarn.com

Just as an FYI, our Certification program students take sixteen required classes and three electives in everything from basic knitting to Advanced Fearless Finishing (VERY technical) and Sweater Construction (designing and knitting a sweater to fit). Their Capstone sweater should reflect elements of their classwork, be it texture, color, lace, perfect finishing, or an interesting construction. The only requirements are that it be knit in pieces and seamed, be knit to fit the maker, and have saddle or set-in sleeves.

WEBS 2015 Expert Knitter Graduation Ceremony, more on the WEBS Blog - blog.yarn.com

As an extra bonus each year the Capstone graduates receive a handmade bracelet by local jewelry artist Kris Potasky. The beads match each sweater and are totally unique.

Without further delay, this year’s lovely garments…

WEBS 2015 Expert Knitter Graduation Ceremony, more on the WEBS Blog - blog.yarn.com

Patty Creedon (who has only been knitting for TWO YEARS!) made a deceptively simple pullover, accented with a Tunisian crochet collar and sleeve cuffs. It fits perfectly, and the finishing is exquisite.

WEBS 2015 Expert Knitter Graduation Ceremony, more on the WEBS Blog - blog.yarn.com

Susan Gruen (who is also a Master Weaver, because why not?) made a sturdy jacket with a garden motif in a contrasting color; the assymetrical colorwork really stood out but the piece de resistance was her Czech buttons bought in Prague. They were such a perfect match that it looked like the sweater had been built around them, rather than the other way around.

WEBS 2015 Expert Knitter Graduation Ceremony, more on the WEBS Blog - blog.yarn.com

Jessie Tropp’s sweater was a vintage-inspired cardigan with delicate lace panels–and peeking through those panels was a surprise! Bright pink lining on both front panels and down the back. To finish it off, subtle beading accented the lace pattern. It was breathtaking.

WEBS 2015 Expert Knitter Graduation Ceremony, more on the WEBS Blog - blog.yarn.com

Bonnie Miller did the un-doable: she spun fiber into yarn and used that yarn to knit her sweater. Really, what could go wrong? Anything and everything. But thankfully, not much went wrong, and her sweater is a real work of art, with a Japanese stitch pattern adding textural interest.

WEBS 2015 Expert Knitter Graduation Ceremony, more on the WEBS Blog - blog.yarn.com

Sandy Kistner made what I can best describe as an actual couture garment. She used a designer sweater as in inspiration and crafted a slipped-stitch pattern in three different colors that looked like it had come from a Paris showroom.

WEBS 2015 Expert Knitter Graduation Ceremony, more on the WEBS Blog - blog.yarn.com

Meri Ames did tons of research on Japanese kimono construction and use, and dyed her yarn to achieve a shibori effect. Yes, you read that correctly. She dyed the yarn she used to make her kimono. As a dramatic accent, check out the back view, where she showcased a crochet motif that was knitted into the fabric of her garment. Amazing.

WEBS 2015 Expert Knitter Graduation Ceremony, more on the WEBS Blog - blog.yarn.com

Brenda Aldrich lived in China for five years and it so influenced her that she chose to feature it in the outerwear sweater that she made. She also wanted to honor her Irish heritage, so she used a bright Kelly-green yarn to craft an arch texture in the body of her sweater. She made figure-8 cables around the hem of the jacket, a nod to the Chinese belief that 8 is a lucky number. She also crocheted matching frogs to use as closures. It’s a sweater that tells her story.

WEBS 2015 Expert Knitter Graduation Ceremony, more on the WEBS Blog - blog.yarn.com

 

Linda Sasso’s sweater also revealed a life-story. She raised 3 daughters as a single parent, and to do that she taught Spanish for many years. Her love and respect for that culture informed her dramatic black-and-red cardigan with an I-cord closure at the neck. Look closely at the embroidery on the front panels and along the sleeves. The flowers reflect her family and the sleeve design shows a Mayan “Tree of Life.”

WEBS 2015 Expert Knitter Graduation Ceremony, more on the WEBS Blog - blog.yarn.com

And in the category of “Most-Touched Garment,” Sheri Rademacher made a pop-culture sweater that blew the room away. Her “Doctor Who” sweater was made to look like the iconic Tardis, a time machine disguised as a British police call box. The details such as thumbholes at the sleeve cuffs and colorwork that made it look like her Tardis was whirling away were nothing compared to the fact that her hood-windows LIT UP and the sweater MADE NOISE! When I turned out the lights in the room, the applause drowned out the sound of the Tardis whooshing away, and the lights winking from her hood made the evening as fun as a fireworks show.

I hope you’ll be inspired to check out our Expert Knitter program. You can make one of these amazing works of art, too!