Sivia Harding Knit Designs

Classes

I have worked with fiber and art since I could remember. A few notable fiber events from my youth were having fiber pieces shown in the High Museum of Atlanta’s gift shop when I was 14, and being chosen to attend the prestigious Governor’s Honors summer program in fiber art when I was 16. By adulthood, I was a weaver, spinner, and dabbler in dyeing and other modalities, but only learned how to knit in my mid-forties. Almost immediately I began to design my own lace patterns. Now I am a knitwear designer known mainly for my work with beads and lace. I also design accessories and garments, as well as specializing in Moebius knitting. I love teaching because of the cross-pollination of ideas and enthusiasm that happens in a class setting. I am a warm and open instructor and often feel that I get the better part of the bargain since I learn so much from my students. My design work has been widely published under my own name, in many books and other collections including Jared Flood’s Wool People series, and in online magazines such as Twist Collective and Knitty.

I regard knit design as being sculptural because of its unique capacity to enclose the body in an imagined form. I usually begin to design with a particular shape in mind, which may be unusual or asymmetrical, or may drape over the body in a wonderfully unaccustomed way. Surface embellishment such as beads and lace adds diminension, interest and beauty to that form.

As a teacher, I appeal to the creative spirit, and few students remain untouched by my verve and passion for the craft of knitting. In my classes, technique – though important – is a means to an end: the delight of following the joyful knitting muse wherever it may lead.

Both my technique and my project classes and workshops serve as a jumping off place for discussions on all sorts of related knitterly things. Students will often find themselves inspired to experiment outside the realm of the original technique or project, sometimes coming up with highly original ideas of their own as a result.

One of my specialties is knitting with beads. I particularly love the magical effects that are conjured up when beads are used in conjunction with lace, cables, and other textural elements. My classes almost always contain some type of exploration of this exquisite partnership.

I consider myself to be a knitting mentor and I love what happens when knitters and budding designers are freed from the self-critical inner voice that can inhibit joyful creative work. I offer a safe place for play and discovery in my classes; all learning styles are welcome and all questions are heard. My classes are ideal settings for the transmission of inspiration and joy of craft.

Below are the classes that I currently offer.

Beaded Buttoned Bracelets!

While working a bracelet tutorial, we explore several beading techniques while learning about a million things about beads in the process. You emerge with inspiration and tons of ideas. The handout includes three additional bracelet patterns for you to enjoy making at home. 3 hr class.

Put a Bead on it!

This workshop will jump start you into putting beads in all of your knitting! I divulge all sorts of tips and techniques as we work a swatch that incorporates several popular techniques for including beads. You will find out what every knitter needs to know about beads from a designer who has worked with these techniques for years.1-1/2 hr class.

Diamond Fantasy Shawl: The Rhythm of Lace and Beads

This tip-to-top diamond lace triangle shawl features a garter stitch sawtooth lace edging that is worked at the same time as the stockinette lace pattern. Attached I-cord completes the shawl. In addition to basic and not-so-basic lace knitting topics, we discuss choosing the perfect bead for your project and other fine points of the versatile crochet-hook technique of adding beads.This is a great project for beginning and experienced lace knitters alike. 3 hr class.

In Search of the Perfect Bead

Beads add undeniable beauty to knitting, and many designers are now including beads in their lace and other designs. But how is one to choose perfect beads for your project? This class presents guidelines for choosing beads. We discuss dimension, color, and magic. In the morning, we learn the principles that guide you to make consistently inspired choices of beads and yarn. In the afternoon, I introduce Arcuato, a shawl design that takes up to four colors of beads. We will cast on with confidence, based on the morning’s work! You must be comfortable with reading knitting charts for this class. I guarantee that you will not look at beads the same way after this class.
6 hr class.

Round Yoke Cowls and Capelets

A modification of Elizabeth Zimmerman’s EPS system is the basis for our exploration of cowls that are shaped with round yokes. This amended system works for any size and any length cowl or capelet; the shape only needs to be long enough to encompass the shoulders. Cowls that have shoulder shaping are especially versatile because they stay on. They can be made as long as you like, as in capes or ponchos. You can use this template to make a patterned yoke, or stay with simple stitches. 3-hr class.

Fluency Fingerless Gloves

The exquisite fingerless Fluency gloves, a fast knit in dk-weight yarn, feature an easy swirled rib pattern embellished with beads. We discuss beading while delving into glove knitting tips and tricks. These mitts are a beautiful, quick gift for yourself or someone else. 3-hr class.

I-cord Knitted Jewelry Workshop

The simplicity of I-cord lends itself beautifully to knitted jewelry forms. In this workshop, we combine several lariat variations with the added focal interest of a pendant that could be one or more lampworked beads, stones, or even buttons. We learn several bead techniques that will result in different looks for the necklace. I hand out a basic pattern for this class but that is just our starting point. There are tons of possible modifications, so each piece is guaranteed to be completely unique.  3 hr class.

Harmonia’s Rings: Moebius and More!

The Harmonia’s Rings family (cowl, tunic and sweater) use Cat Bordhi’s Moebius cast on to achieve the mysterious spiral neck shape. They feature a stitch pattern that creates concentric rings reminiscent of ancient architecture. The cowl sits cape-like over the shoulders and flatters a wide range of body types. This class introduces many techniques: the Moebius cast on, shaping and texture within the Moebius structure, and the charming beaded picot bind off, among others. We also discuss customizing the cowl shape to fit any body type. This class is guaranteed to take you through the looking glass! 3 hr class.

Sideways Shawl Construction: Heart to Heart

This simply shaped crescent shawlette highlights a fetchingly beaded lace edging. The versatile sideways construction can be made to accommodate any amount of yarn with a bit of planning. We also discuss some unusual lace and bead knitting tips, and I demonstrate my no-fail incremental blocking technique that allows you to use the start of your shawl as a swatch. 3 hr class.

Hooded Shaped Shawl Workshop: Jo’s Pride Hooded Shawl

This shawl, which takes inspiration from Faroese shaping, is cast on at the bottom edge and morphs into a hoodie; a single seam at the top of the head joins it all together. Learn the elements of the Faroese shape and why it is provides a superior fitting shawl, while practicing your lace and bead skills. 3-hr class.

A Bit of Bias Lace: Knotty Scarflet

This superbly giftable necklet is more asymmetrical than it seems. An addictively easy lace pattern provides the basis for bias shaping along one side, and a scalloped border adds charm. You are done in a flash… knot up a corner and you’re on your way, or incorporate a beautiful button for a different look. We discuss choosing the perfect bead for your project along with other fine points of this versatile technique. This is a fantastic first beaded lace project. 3 hr class.

Moebius and the Mysterious Stitch Mirror

The knitted Moebius is a beautiful, graceful, and endlessly fascinating form, made popular in the knitting world since Cat Bordhi presented her brilliant (and easy) Moebius cast-on technique to the world. The experience of Moebius knitting is easy, accessible, and soothing, just like knitting in the round. The fun begins when seeing what happens to various stitch patterns when worked in this form.

In this structure, patterns amazingly appear to be mirrored and reversed on either side of the cast on round. What stitches will reliably produce symmetry? There are some guidelines, but there are also ways to bend the rules and make many stitch patterns work once you understand the structure. Not all will result in symmetry, but all are interesting and beautiful!

I guarantee that students will have many “aha” moments as we see simple stitch patterns develop in amazing and sometimes unpredictable ways! Many Moebius cowls and sweaters will be shown as inspiration. The Harmonia’s Rings Cowl will be cast on during class as a teaching tool. 6 hr class.

Moonrise Necklace

This luscious, densely beaded necklace gets lots of notice, mostly from knitters who cannot believe it was knitted! A garden of beads is randomly strung onto lace weight yarn to produce a luscious, densely beaded necklace. Students employ bead stringing skills, learn how to easily manage strung beads, and employ the easiest short rows ever to shape this remarkably comfortable and very beautiful neckpiece.  Plan on making more than one of these! 3 hr class.

Ophidian Beaded Shawlette: First Lace Workshop

This perfect first lace project is a top-down triangle that begins with easy garter stitch after learning my favorite tab start. Soon a lovely textured lace pattern emerges, embellished with beads. We cover the basics of chart reading and discuss intuitive ways to increase accuracy and speed in your lace knitting. 3 hr. class.

Rainshadow Scarf with Short Row Stripes

This ram’s-horn shaped garter stitch scarf features two different kinds of short rows: one for the color insert wedges along the narrow edge, and one that shapes the long curved lengthwise stripes. We learn about these two short row methods (and why you need two!) while we work up a swatch. We talk about lace, beads, color stripes, and how to deal with all the issues that you will encounter such as weaving in ends and carrying yarns. Warning: Addictive knit ahead! 3 hr class.

River Rock Scarf: Freeform Beading and Ribs

This luxurious scarf uses oodles of beads that create the illusion of natural “rocks” embedded in a flowing “river” of 2x2 rib. The simple ribbed structure provides a perfect backdrop for an imaginative bead treatment. Students learn how to manage large numbers of prestrung beads with ease. Students may choose to follow one of four charted designs or throw caution to the winds and make a freeform piece. In either case, this heavily beaded scarf is a unique work of art! 3 hr class.

Sideways Lace Shawls

Sideways crescent shaped shawls are great fun to knit, and provide an easy introduction to designing. You will choose between a few options to begin your crescent shape, then we choose a knitted lace edging to showcase in your shawlette. We will discuss lace stitches particular to edgings and how they may be portrayed in charts. We also discuss placements for beads within your lace design. Students receive the benefit of Sivia’s years of experience in designing exceptional beaded lace. 6 hr class.

Shapes of Lace

This class is an exploration of basic knitted geography. Ever want to knit half-circles, center-out squares, or something in between? We start with simple shapes, and end up outside the box. We discuss how to insert lace patterns into our chosen shapes with an eye to esthetics and flow (and a bit of math), and talk about modulation between patterns and how to end gracefully. Many samples of shaped lace garments are shown as inspiration. 6 hr class.

Toe Ups for All!

This class is a comprehensive introduction to toe-up sock knitting, suitable for all sock knitters, including beginners. Students start from their own individual stitch and row gauge and create perfectly fitting socks for their own feet. We start with Judy’s Magic Cast On and progress through my clearly explained gusseted heel flap construction. The class is demonstrated on 2 circular needles. Students receive my Toe-Ups for All! pattern template which includes an array of sock sizes for either sport or fingering weight yarn. This class is taught in 3 sessions of 2 hours each, a total of 6 hrs.

Uncommon Garments from Simple Shapes

This out-of-the-box class offers you the opportunity to invent a new garment shape by draping fabric on a dummy. No sewing is involved in the process. In this experiential, no-holds-barred exercise, unusual joinings and wildly asymmetrical shaping are encouraged and celebrated. The resulting shape can usually be knit without the need for a pattern, although we may want to carefully record what we do in order to create a pattern eventually. After knitting a gauge swatch, we strategize how to maintain the structure of the shape while increasing and decreasing as needed. 6 hr class.

Decorative Mending: More than Making Do!

Mending and making do is a principle we are all familiar with, usually thought of in association with the frugality of the War years in this country and in Europe. But mending and darning have traditions that are far more ancient and of far more philosophical interest to craftspeople like ourselves. For a different perspective, we look at old items of interest with new eyes, and bring mending up to present day with a peek at modern fiber artists’ new interpretations of old techniques. I guarantee a beautiful, poetic presentation that will make your fingers twitch to get mending! 3 hr. class.

Moebius Skills Workshop: Wild Iris Cowl

Wild Iris, a graceful, asymmetrical Moebius cowl in fingering weight yarn, begins with Cat Bordhi’s Moebius Cast On and plunges immediately into a textured knit and purl pattern. A buttoned, asymmetrical edge incorporates a beaded lace edging, attached I-cord, and a perfect one-row buttonhole. What’s not to love? This class is taught in 2 sessions of 3 hrs each, or a 6 hr class.

Upcoming Classes and Events

Nifty Knitter Retreat, Victoria, B.C., July 10-13, 2017
Website: http://www.niftyknittershop.com

Classes at Mountain Knits and Pearls, East Stroudsburg, PA, August 26-27, 2017
Website: http://www.mtnknitspearls.com

Workshops with the El Segundo Slipt Stitchers, Los Angeles, CA, September 16-17, 2017
Website: http://www.sliptstitchers.org

Oregon Flock and Fiber Festival, Canby, OR, September 23-24, 2017
Website: http://www.flockandfiberfestival.com

Workshops at Knit City, Vancouver, Canada, September 30-October 1, 2017
Website: http://knitsocial.ca

Workshops at Loopy Ewe Fall Fling, Ft. Collins, CO, October 6-7, 2017
Website: https://www.theloopyewe.com

Fall Joy of Knitting Retreat, Friday Harbor, WA, October 22-27, 2016
The retreat is full. Please contact me for information on future retreats at siviaknits@gmail.com

Sealed with a Kiss Retreat, Guthrie, OK, November 4-6, 2017
Call 405-282-8649 or email swak@swakknit.com

Workshops at Knit Fit!, Seattle, WA, November 11-12, 2017
Website: http://www.knitfitseattle.com