Yarnporium Workshops: Haps, brioche, crochet, colourwork and more!

After last year's Pop-Up Marketplace and when we were getting into the planning for the Yarnporium one of the first things we knew we wanted to add with a two-day show were workshops. As fun as all the yarn-fumes and shopping are, sometimes it's nice to be inspired in another way. Learning a new skill is a great way to stretch that creative muscle!

Our venue space at King's College on the Strand was hugely attractive from this perspective as not only does it have the large marketplace space we were looking for, but being a university it also has smaller classrooms that are perfect learning in an intimate, group setting.

The workshops we've selected to be part of this first ever Yarnporium are a similarly intimate group. Each workshop is limited in size to facilitate the best learning experience possible, which is ideal as we've got some super classes that we've selected just for you. Here are a selection of the classes on offer at the Yarnporium:

Karie Westermann's stunning Mahy shawl uses the hap construction techniques taught in her class.

Karie Westermann's stunning Mahy shawl uses the hap construction techniques taught in her class.

Knitting Hap Shawls - The Yarnporium is happening during Wovember after all, and what could be more woolly than a warm Shetland shawl to wrap yourself in? Designer Karie Westermann is joining us from Glasgow and will expertly guide you through the various techniques used in a hap shawl.

Brioche is even more fun when it's two-colour brioche!

Brioche is even more fun when it's two-colour brioche!

Brioche Next Steps  - Want to take your brioche skills to the next level? Join Renée Callahan of East London Knit to learn two colour cast-on and cast-off and other advanced techniques for this hugely popular stitch that shows no signs of slowing down!

Hook onto a great class with Joanne Scrace from The Crochet Project!

Hook onto a great class with Joanne Scrace from The Crochet Project!

Crochet for Knitters - Come learn from The Crochet Project's Joanne Scrace how to be mutli-craftual! Joanne will teach you how to wield a crochet hook like a pro and show you how versatile adding crochet to your knitting skills can be.

Wool fibres and yarns are de-mystified by Julia Billings of Woollenflower.

Wool fibres and yarns are de-mystified by Julia Billings of Woollenflower.

Fibre and Yarn 101 - Another woolly-focused class in honour of Wovember! Julia Billings of Woollenflower is hugely passionate about all things wool. She'll help you to navigate through this overwhelming subject to learn how to choose the best wool and yarn for your own projects.

Colourwork can be as colourful as you like!

Colourwork can be as colourful as you like!

Yarn and Colour Choice for Stranded Knitting - Designer Juju Vail loves swatching for colourwork projects with the result that she'll have lots to share with you on all she's learned! Then stranded knitting goes high-tech as you'll learn about apps you can use to explore your own colour combinations and design ideas!

Phew! So many great classes to learn from and be inspired by. And that's not all! Karie Westermann will also be teaching a brand new class for us on Knitting the Landscape and knitting and crochet designer (and professional photographer) Kat Goldin of The Crochet Project will show you how to take your project photographs from good to great! (Both of those classes are almost full, so be quick!).

Full workshops descriptions can be found here, or click here to register! All workshops include automatic entry to the marketplace on the same day. 

 

Blog Tour: The Klee Collection

On the last episode of the podcast we joked about keeping things "all in the family" when we've made recommendations or reviews or promoted people in the past. The reality is we're thrilled to have met a lot of folks in this community, many of who have become friends. Being good friends, we're happy to support them when we can - whether it's sharing our platform or working with them behind the scenes.

But we also want to make sure there's a balance and that we're not being one-sided by only talking about our friends or sponsors either. We're trusting you to tell us if things ever feel too heavily skewed one way or the other. In return, we will be as transparent as we can when there's crossover from our non-YITC work into stuff that we talk about as Yarn in the City. Fair deal?

Today's blog post is about a long-time Yarn in the City friend, Renée Callahan of East London Knit and her new release of patterns The Klee Collection. We first came to know Renée as one of our volunteer yarn guides for the first Great London Yarn Crawl and she's helped us out in many ways since. We've been happy to return the favour:  in the interest of full disclosure, you should know that Rachel has helped with some of the tech editing on The Klee Collection and Allison has helped out with with some of the promotion and putting the blog tour together.

The Klee Collection by Renée Callahan of East London Knit is Renée's first collection and a lovely, thoughtful offering that pairs three garments with three accessories. A former student of art history, Renée was inspired by the works of Paul Klee on a trip to the Tate Modern a few years ago. In particular the works Angel in the MakingTwilight Flowers and Angelus Novus.

Angelus Novus by Paul Klee, 1920.

Angelus Novus by Paul Klee, 1920.

When Renée and I first chatted about how she'd come up with the idea, I was fascinated. I love hearing about the inspiration behind a designer's work and seeing how that initial spark translates into a final piece. To take inspiration from paintings as wonderful and different as Klee's boggled my mind - where does one even start?

The Angelus Novus cardigan

The Angelus Novus cardigan

Luckily I'm not a designer and can enjoy instead the results of Renée's hard work. It's the little details in particular that get to me. Pretty, feminine eyelets, a pop of colour, a cosy waterfall opening  on a cardigan, beautiful hand-dyed yarns. Klee was a modernist painter and his works are an excellent complement to Renée's interpretations as a modern knitwear designer.

Twilight Flowers. I have sport weight yarn in my stash that I think is now destined to become this sweater.

Twilight Flowers. I have sport weight yarn in my stash that I think is now destined to become this sweater.

Twilight Flowers Mitts

Twilight Flowers Mitts

It's hard to choose a favourite and I keep waffling between the snuggly-looking Angelus Novus cardigan and shawl (knit in Blacker Yarns Swan Falkland Islands DK - a yarn I've been dying to use) and the elegant neckline of Twilight Flowers (knit in The Uncommon Thread Everyday Sport). I'm not a wearer of long, fingerless gloves but the Twilight Flowers Mitts are causing me to deeply question why not.

Likewise, the lace detail on the yoke of the Angel in the Making pullover is shown off in a pop of colour that takes a sweater from being simple into being simply more. The yarn used is the German hand-dyed The Walk Collection's Cozy Merino Fingering and I'm quite in love with how the neutral grey and that lipstick red complement each other!

The Angelus Novus Shawl

The Angelus Novus Shawl

As a designer Renée likes to keep things interesting in her patterns - both for herself as she's creating them and for the knitter when they're making them. The result are innovative construction techniques - like the way the Angelus Novus cardigan starts and grows from a garter-tab cast on like a shawl - and unexpected details such as the lace panel down the sleeves of Twilight Flowers. Gosh, you can tell I'm really dithering over which to cast on first, can't you?

The Angel in the Making Shawl

The Angel in the Making Shawl

The patterns are all available individually on Ravelry for £5/ea for the garments or £3.50/ea for the accessories. Or if you're like me everything suits you to a tee then you can grab the whole collection for £15. That's great value for all of that gorgeousness!

And if you're interested in learning more about the pieces, Renée has started writing about the collection on her blog and her design process. The Klee Collection really is "selfish knitting at its best". Now where to start...

You can check out the rest of the blog tour on these lovely sites:

Thursday, 29 October - East London Knit

Friday, 30 October - Curious Handmade

Tuesday, 3 November - A Yarn Story

Wednesday, 4 November - Plutonium Muffins

Thursday, 5 November - Blacker Yarns

Friday, 6 November - Yarn in the City

And how would you like to win a digital copy of the whole Klee Collection? We've got one to giveaway thanks to Renée. Leave a comment below by Thursday, November 12 telling us your favourite from the collection and which one you'd cast on first! We'll draw a lucky winner next Friday!