The workshop was held in her home and limited to 5 students. We were made comfortable from the moment we walked through her door. Introductions were made and we gathered in the kitchen to start each day with bagels and coffee and tea. Then, we settled around the table and Janine gave us detailed information about fair isle, what it is, where it's from and what distinguishes it from other techniques.
Color is an important first step, so we looked at the inspirational pictures that we had brought with us, discussing the way colors work together, or not...how they might work in a photo but not in a garment. The only way to be sure about your colors is to swatch. Next, we were shown the "playpen" which contained at least one ball of every one of the 225 colors of fingering-weight Spindrift that Jamiesons makes. Janine dazzled us with how she can remember the name and number of every one of the 225 colors and recognizes them on sight, even those that are close together.
We learned about values, color families, speed swatches, mirroring, color placement and the color tool. Then we swatched, first a simple swatch and then more complex swatches. We discussed, we analyzed and we learned from our own swatches and from each others.
It was a good group and, along with the knitting, there was lively conversations. Sometimes we strayed a bit off topic but were gently guided back to project at hand. It was all very enjoyable.
From there we started thinking about the motifs we'd like to try out and looked through books and magazines to find inspirations and to do some planning. Janine taught us how to think about color and how to work it into our designs to best advantage. She showed us her vast collection of sweaters and explained why the colors were chosen and placed as they were. To me, the design process is fascinating. One of the techniques I'm going to use right away is how she does her steeks with a crochet hook...so much easier and better than using the sewing machine, in my opinion.
As a bonus, we met Janine's family, including Mason, the dachshund. He charmed everyone! Janine spoiled us with freshly-baked, warm cookies every afternoon.
On the last day, I excused myself just a bit early. As I had such a short visit to the Berkeley area, I wanted to get in some sightseeing. Janine planned out a route for me to take through the Napa Valley and the scenery was amazing and beautiful. I even found time to take a detour to Fairfield and visited the Jelly Belly factory.
|This is just a very small amount of the Jelly Belly candies that I saw.|
Oh, and yes, some wool followed me home. I don't normally wear vests or a lot of pink but when I saw the Rosebud Vest "in person", I knew that I had to make it, so I bought the kit. I'm looking forward to starting.
Janine, if you're reading this..... A huge THANK YOU from me.