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Saturday, October 11, 2008

Brandon Mably Workshop

On Friday, Serenity Knits hosted world famous author and knitwear designer, Brandon Mably as he presented his workshop "Concentrating on Colour and Design". He proved to be an avid and enthusiastic teacher, bringing us out of our comfort zone and away from preconceived ideas about working with colour. The workshop, which was held at Newmarket's new Magna Recreational Complex, began with selecting light and dark palettes of colours for our swatches (12 colours just to get started!). This exercise seemed to be a challenge in itself, with hundreds of yarns to choose from.

Next came knitting our Fair Isle swatches and turning all the rules we ever had about combining colours upside down. There were KNOTS (gasp) to contend with! (Anyone who has taken classes from me know of my "no knots" rule.) Then there were the actual colours and moving past our usual comfortable choices. I was quite happy with my usual blues, purples and pinks when Brandon jolted my swatch with LIME GREEN and then later with browns, oranges and more greens. After I picked myself up, I had to admit that his combination was amazing (although don't expect to see it on my next sweater).
Here are several of the students swatches that are ready for critiquing by the expert - which Brandon did with great insight and useful suggestions - and his wonderful sense of humour.

There were door prizes, generously provided by Westminster Fibers, distributor of the fine Rowan yarns used in Brandon's designs. Jeanette was a winner of one of Kaffe Fassett's sweater kits called "Glacier".
Brandon also had many of his designs on display which provided us with a large measure of motivation and great appreciation of his skill.

This is Brandon's "Royal Cat" vest, showcasing his intricate detailing and effective use of so many different colours.

It was truly a day of inspiration and skill building for us all!
Posted by Karen

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