I taught a two-day seminar in San Diego last weekend. I'd like to paint a picture for those of you who don't typically attend seminars,
The Saturday began at 9:00 a.m. I started out with a quick cast-on and then showed two bind-offs that look EXACTLY like hand-knitters' bind-offs. While I won't say that other commonly used bind-offs are "wrong," these are quite easy and very good-looking, especially appropriate for situations when the bind-off shows. Somehow or other, though, many machine knitters don't seem to know them. Then I knocked out a fast picot hem. This is all simple stuff, in my beginner DVD, but I like to cover it at seminars because they are techniques a lot of knitters haven't tried.
Next, I dove into garter bar techniques. The San Diego club has incredible teaching resources, with a very low cost adult education class, but they especially enjoyed this part of the classes. I showed how to do garter stitch and Quaker stitch, which is much easier to do if you use your stopper properly. However, everyone got VERY excited about the incredible speed-ripping technique and also about the "move only desired stitches" technique.
Here's the deal on the "move only desired stitches" trick: you can set your machine's patterning device, whether punch card or electronic, to select the needles when it's time to cable, or select needles for lace transfers or other techniques, and that way, you move the correct stitches at the correct time. Then there's a way to use your garter bar to leave the un-selected stitches safely in their hooks and easily move only the selected stitches. I spoke only briefly about using the garter bar to increase and decrease. Those garter bar ideas, and a bunch more, are in my Garter Bar Course, which is 2 DVDs only.
I showed how to do a set-in sleeve attached with short-rowing to an armhole. Then I did the no-sew lined slipper from Footnotes, the sew-as-you-go sock from Footnotes, and showed how the tam goes together. I did a little shaped Entrelac from Diamonds, and there went the day.
The second day, Sunday, I taught how to do scalloped lace, both the Stitch World method and the Enchanted Edgings version. This was the most popular item at seminar for the San Diego gals. Lots of Brother knitters in that group, and lots of lace fans!
Then we put the ribber on and I did a bunch of ribber things, including quilted ribbing, sock techniques (knitted a circular sock, showing all the techniques), did the ruched heart trim, the twisted fringes, the mitered ribbing for bands, a cast-off, the bubble wrap stitch, and pretty much wore 'em out.
Typically, lunch and snacks will be right in the room or close by, and that's what we did in San Diego. Groups meet up at restaurants after class at the end of the day.
We had over 40 people at the San Diego seminar, and all sorts of personal interactions are always going on - people helping each other with knitting problems, selling or giving away a bit of equipment or yarn, and showing off finished and unfinished objects.
It's a blast! Try it sometime. I am doing several more seminars this year, which I will announce on this blog.