Posts Tagged ‘Mentors’

Class of 2018 Capstone Graduation

Tuesday, June 26th, 2018
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My favorite night of the year! We celebrated our newest graduates from the WEBS Expert Knitter Certification Program on a beautiful late-spring evening along with family, friends, former grads, and the members of the WEKP. With a toast to the group and their mentors, the evening kicked off with a welcome by Kathy.

Donna Dyer crafted a beautiful cabled cardigan with a seed stitch collar (perfectly designed!) in Valley Yarns Northampton. With former Design Manager Kirsten Hipsky as her mentor, I was fairly sure there would be no problem at all, and I was right. Donna looked amazing in her just-right sweater.

Jodey Benson is the most precise, technical knitter I’ve met, so I knew her design proposal for a long open cardigan with a lace border would be perfect. What I didn’t expect was that it would be gasp-inducingly beautiful. She not only grafted her lace border at the neck, she also created a unique belled sleeve in the same lace pattern and grafted THAT onto her set-in sleeves (after blocking them on styrofoam trees she bought at the Christmas Tree Store, of course).

Whitney Linnenbringer was brave enough to do a gradient colorway on her pullover tunic, and found that the biggest challenge was managing the color changes. I have to agree that you sure don’t want a line cutting your chest in half of two different colors, so it took plenty of math and charting to make those changes work not only on the front and back but down the sleeves as well. I think you’ll see that the effort produced a stunning garment, ably abetted by mentor Cyndi Shepard.

Jan Dumond Neiman chose to do a long jacket-like cardigan, with crocheted embellishment in a contrasting color at the stitch patterned collar. She also included the most important function in any garment–pockets! She inserted on-seam pockets and knit a lining in that same contrasting color as the collar trim; the crab-stitch outline makes them easy to snuggle hands into on a cold walk outside.

Deb Ullman was least confident about her seaming and finishing skills going into the Capstone process, so she did what I am all in favor of: she spent the months before she started her knitting by researching, swatching, and practicing every kind of seaming technique she knew she’d use on her Capstone sweater. Her beautiful pullover with an eyelet stitch pattern at the hem and sleeve cuffs shows off a deceptively complex construction and her finishing saved the day. Mentor Erin Holman gave her plenty of support, as she is a master of finishing herself.

Shannon Carey is an accountant, which should tell you that she is precise, slightly obsessive, and focused. Nowhere did that show more than in the fine details of her beautiful yoked pullover. She charted the sleeve caps, she charted the neckline, she charted the repeats to be sure she could seam in the lace pattern of the body of the sweater. She swatched every single detail of her sweater, and in the process made 2 fronts and 3 sleeves. That’s dedication! Her sweater is the most technically perfect and one of the most beautiful in all of the graduations I’ve been a part of. And she looks amazingly happy!

And the most creative and detail-rich sweater of the evening, without a doubt, was conceived and knitted by Ryan Subucz. Her proposal, submitted in December of 2017, showed a sweater with two intarsia panels representing the stained glass windows from the magical animated “Beauty and the Beast.” I was pretty worried about her ability to pull that off, even given her amazing talent with colorwork. Mentor Elizabeth Decker talked her down and the resulting sweater featured the entire back of her sweater covered in the most painstaking detailed colorwork, delineated by single crochet and duplicate stitch to look exactly like a stained glass window. It was offset by a perfectly plain solid-color front and sleeve construction. This sweater drew gasps of admiration and we are so proud of Ryan for persevering through that LOONG process.

What a gorgeous night–in so many ways. I hope you’ll come to the store and see these beautiful works of fiber art on display in the store for the next week or so. Remember that they’re all original designs, so no patterns will be available. Be inspired!