Halfway through the Spring workshop season …

Here in New England we’ve had a couple of false starts to Spring, but this time for sure … or not, as snow begins to fall again. But whatever the weather, my workshop schedule continues unabated. I’ve done my last scheduled in-person workshops (thanks if you attended one at VKL or Red Alder last month) and now it’s all virtual for a while. And in addition to my own BuildingBlox workshops, I’ve also got a couple of new events next month to announce!

Without further ado, here’s what’s coming up in my BuildingBlox series:

You may notice that there are not many people signed up for anything right now. I hope that will change, but I won’t be cancelling the workshops for that reason. I still want to get the recordings up, so I will still be running the workshops even if they’re empty. However, a virtual workshop is always better with live students because people often come up with questions that I might not anticipate, which enriches the workshop and makes for a better experience for all who view it, even later on. So consider enrolling if you have the time and interest.

You may also notice that there are no BuildingBlox workshops in April. This is due to my very busy schedule in April, partially for personal reasons and partially due to two weekend events which I’ll list below:

First, I’m doing a presentation and a long weekend of 3-hour virtual workshops for the Rochester Knitting Guild. Members of the guild get a discount but anyone can sign up. I think you probably need to be a member to attend the presentation. All times are in ET:

  • Mon, Apr 3, 7-8:30pm: History of Double-knitting talk and demo
  • Fri, Apr 14, 9am-12pm: Introduction to Double-knitting
  • Fri, Apr 14, 1:30-4:30pm: Double-knitting in the Round
  • Sat, Apr 15, 9am-12pm: Advanced Beginner Double-knitting
  • Sat, Apr 15, 1:30-4:30pm: Designing Two-pattern Double-knitting
  • Sun, Apr 16, 9am-12pm: Slip-stitch Double-knitting
  • Sun, Apr 16, 1:30-4:30pm: Reverse Double-knitting
  • Mon, Apr 17, 9am-12pm: Three-color Double-knitting
  • Mon, Apr 17, 1:30-4:30pm: Self-lining Double-knitting

Second, I’ll be doing one of each of my new Foundations workshops for the WEBS Virtual Spring Knitting Retreat (these are all 2-hour sessions; all times in ET). Registration opened late in February and these workshops usually sell out quickly but as I understand it they’re still only at ~60% capacity:

  • Fri, Apr 28, 11am-1pm: Introduction to Double-knitting
  • Fri, Apr 28, 3-5pm: Advanced Beginner Double-knitting
  • Sat, Apr 29, 11am-1pm: Double-knitting in the Round
  • Sat, Apr 29, 3-5pm: Slip-stitch Double-knitting

So what else is new?

My focus has really been on building this new virtual workshop “engine” which will, after a time, create a constantly-updated library of double-knitting instruction videos. The work to do this has been daunting, and considerably more time-consuming than I had budgeted for. I am keeping up with it, but not much more than that right now. This means that it’s going to be a little while until I have time to really focus on new designs. However, through the compiling of new handouts, I am rejuvenating my engagement with double-knitting, as each new handout forces me to rethink how best to present the subject.

For example, I have, to my shame, found a glaring error in my original Extreme Double-knitting text which propagated to the new version without being noticed by me or my editors. But it has spurred me to discover a new technique which had eluded me back in the early days of my double-knitting development, and that new technique will be added to one of my new workshops. As soon as it’s properly tested, I’ll be adding it to the errata page, so stay tuned. And if you’re itching to know what it is, be aware that it’s so obscure that nobody has noticed the error in over a decade, or at least nobody has bothered to tell me about it. So you’re likely not missing anything unless you’re deep in the appendix techniques.

But what about new patterns? An interaction at Vogue Knitting Live this past February got me thinking about an old back-burnered pattern that I’ve brought back to the foreground and have started testing again. It’s a lace pattern, and very complex, but I don’t love the way the repeats are lining up so I plan to redesign it. This is a bit frustrating since the current version of the pattern is already stretching the bounds of possibility, and now I have to rethink the whole thing. My brain may not always be up to it, but it’s on my needles and I hope it’ll grow into something exciting in the future.

In other news, I’ve got my Virtual Assistant working on setting up an Etsy store for me — this is something I used to have, but which I got rid of when I set up my own eCommerce site. But since then I’ve heard that they handle VAT processing for international shipments, so I’m going to restart it explicitly for that reason. And of course, if more people find me that way, so much the better. No link yet, but stay tuned.

I’m also looking at a couple of ways of getting more word out there about the workshops, and especially what’s new/different between last year’s offerings and this year’s. Look for a podcast on my YouTube channel this coming Saturday morning (March 11th), talking about all of that — and also, I’ll be doing some more regular blog posts, one about each workshop (kind of like what I did when I published my books, focusing on each pattern).

Thanks for sticking with me — hope to see you at a workshop soon!

Alasdair Post-Quinn, “Softwear Engineer”, Fallingblox Designs

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