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, of course, 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 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 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 you take your first trip down the seductive path of beaded knitting. 1-1/2 hr class.
Lace and Beads Workshop: Diamond Fantasy Shawl
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. The crochet hook add-as-you-go bead method is introduced as an ideal embellishment for lace, and we discuss choosing the perfect bead for your project and other fine points of this versatile technique.This is a great project for beginning and experienced lace knitters alike. 3 hr class.
Fill a Triangle with Lace
In this class we examine the structure of the top-down triangle shawl and insert our choice of lace patterns to create an original design, with an eye to shaping, esthetics, and flow. Charting patterns, shaping lace in pattern, modulation from one pattern to another, and borders and edgings are discussed. Students receive the benefit of my experience in designing innovative lace shawls and exceptional beaded lace. You will learn all the skills you need to design your own top-down triangle shawl, and acquire many tools that carry over into other areas of knitwear design. 6 hr class.
Round Yoke Cowl Workshop
Elizabeth Zimmerman’s EPS system is the basis for our exploration of cowls that are shaped like round yokes. This amended system works for any size and any length cowl, although the shape is meant to be long enough to encompass the shoulders. Cowls that have shaping are especially versatile because they can be worn inside or outside (or instead of) outer garments, and can be made long, as in capes or ponchos. You can use the template to make a patterned cowl, or stay with simple stockinette. 3-hr class.
Beaded Mitt Workshop: Fluency Fingerless Gloves
These exquisite fingerless gloves in dk-weight yarn employ pre-strung beads to decorate a swirled rib pattern that looks cabled but is performed with simple increases and decreases. You learn glove knitting tips and tricks and a special twisted stitch technique that does not require a cable needle to do. These mitts are a very quick, satisfying knit. 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. The basic pattern for this class is Galatea but that is just our starting point. This is an extremely giftable item so get all your prezzies lined up for the holidays! 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 we practice our lace and bead skills working up a darling doll-size mini-version of the shawl. 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
Moebius knitting is endlessly fascinating! I have been entranced by the possibilities of this knitted form for many years now. In this class, I share the magic of designing for this half-twisted, one-edged shape that truly has no inside or outside. We learn what stitches best interact with the structure, in which, amazingly, patterns appear to be mirror image and reversed on either side of the cast on round. Which stitches will produce symmetry? There are some guidelines, but also ways to bend the rules and produce stitch patterns, not all symmetrical, that are interesting and beautiful. As we work a sampler cowl in worsted weight yarn, I guarantee that students will have many “aha” moments as we see stitch patterns develop in amazing and sometimes unpredictable ways. Many Moebius garments are shown as inspiration. 6 hr class.
Knitted Jewelry Workshop: Moonrise Necklace
This luscious, densely beaded necklace gets lots of notice, mostly from knitters who cannot believe it was knitted! Students learn how to easily manage strung beads and employ the easiest short rows ever to shape this remarkably comfortable and beautiful neckpiece. Guaranteed to be an addictive knit, and a fabulous, unique gift! 3 hr class.
FIrst Lace Workshop: Ophidian Beaded Shawlette
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.
Short Row Stripes Workshop: Rainshadow Scarf
This garter stitch scarf features two different kinds of short rows: one for the color wedges along the short edge, and one for the long stripes that create the ram’s horn shape. We learn about these two short row methods (and why you need two!) while we work up a sample swatch. We talk about lace, beads, color stripes, and all the issues that you will encounter such as weaving in ends and carrying yarns. Warning: addictive knit ahead! 3 hr class.
Freeform Beading Workshop: River Rock Scarf
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 Design
Sideways-knit crescent shaped shawlettes are easy and satisfying to knit, and provide a fun way to play with lace edgings. We explore the structure of lace edgings and choose one to showcase. You will be able to put together your own lace shawl design based on skills you receive in the class. This is a no-fail method of producing a striking and unique lace garment! 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.
Mending: More than Making Do!
We examine past and present methods of mending and darning knits with a cross-cultural emphasis. 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. A slide show of beautiful mended textiles from around the world engages us visually and viscerally. I present several utilitarian and attractive mending techniques not commonly used (but they should be!), including my own knitted mend. Finally, we discuss embellishing our repairs with texture, color, and stitches. 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.