Gather at the farm in the lush Green Mountain State to join professional fiber artists for an escape to the country, an immersion in art and natural beauty and a sweet, homespun and simple getaway.
We’ll be spending 4 nights and 3 days together in an inspired and relaxed gathering on the farm with 7 sessions of workshops and presentations, home cooked farm-to-table meals(4 dinners and 2 lunches), opportunities to quietly craft or explore the farm and pastoral surrounds of our country road.
Taproot Magazine will sponsor our gathering on Wednesday, May 30 from 2:00 onward while guests arrive and settle in and we’ll begin our time together sharing dinner and evening presentations.
Our workshops will feature classes with Susan Anderson, Thea Colman, Bristol Ivy, Cal Patch & Katrina Robidaugh for tutelage in everything from Shawl construction, Crochet for Knitters, Pattern Drafting, Boro, Sashiko & Kantha stitching, Designing for Knitters, and more. There’ll be evening presentations and a little down time for exploring plus the opportunity to shop the Taproot Magazine sponsored Makers Market here at the farm on Saturday.
Each day and evening, you’ll be part of classes that are small and intensive which will provide ample opportunity to explore the respective crafts with detailed instruction. The days are a mix of workshops and breaks to relax and enjoy the peace and quiet of rural, front porch living. Company will include farmyard animals of all varieties. There’ll be lambs, of course, and, hopefully, two brand new cria(alpaca babies!) to join our company.
You’ll want to pack your knitting, crochet and sewing needles, your favorite casual outfits, throw in a swimsuit in case the late Springtime gives us a little unexpected warmth, and warm wraps in case of the opposite. It is Vermont, and you know what they say about the weather—if you don’t like it, just wait a few minutes and it’ll change!
Nearby accommodations are offered at a local boutique motel that is offering our group discounted rates on comfortable individual or shared rooms. They are minutes away and we have the use of their spacious gathering room for our own group use in addition to the farmhouse and barn here at Wing & A Prayer Farm. Details are included in registration information.
Honored to host this Spring’s instructors:
Susan Anderson Sheep! Class
Since we are on a farm for the event, it will be great fun to knit a farm animal. Susan will be teaching the Sheep! class. All of her toy classes include tons of toy-knitting tips and tricks, small group demonstrations and individual attention and instruction for finishing the specific toy at hand…in this case, a wooly sheep which you can name for one of your favorites here on the farm!
After working in various advertising agencies, Thea took a break to be home with her young daughters and fell into knitwear design, mostly by accident. She’d always been a knitter who couldn’t follow directions without changing things, so the idea of writing her own was pretty organic.
The opportunity to combine two of her favorite things – knitting and cocktails – into a career, while having the flexibility to raise her daughters, has been amazing. She designs mostly women’s garments and accessories, and loves using cables, lace, and little details to make designs that are classic and wearable, but just a bit unique.
Thea lives in the greater Boston area with her husband and two girls and blogs semi-regularly about both her designing and her cocktailing.
BabyCocktails Design Workshop Summary
In this class Thea will go through basic design steps, showing the students her basic process for design.
The goal is that each student will know the steps to custom design a basic cowl by the end of the class. Skill level is not an issue since you can design as simple or as complex a cowl as you want. You’ll pick out ideas for your yarns and, with Thea, work up a basic design for each.
Using yarn that you bring and a supply of samples and additional options that she’ll provide, you’ll start by going through how different fibers that affect design choice, then cover what to think about when choosing motifs for certain yarns, and then cover some of the options for how to use these motifs in a working garment or accessory. Once you have a direction, you and Thea will plan out and swatch and cast on.
Bristol Ivy is a knitting designer and teacher from Portland, Maine. Her design work focuses on the intersection between innovative technique and classic tailoring, and her classes focus on creativity, technique, and understanding the nuts and bolts of knitting. Bristol has been to the farm before as a sheep-hugger, fiber-animal-enthusiast, but this is our first time to host her as a teacher and we couldn’t be more tickled!
Shawl Shapes with Bristol Ivy
Shawls are one of the most popular projects in the knitting world right now. They’re the perfect way to explore new techniques or use just a few skeins of precious yarn for something lovely. In this class, we’ll look at a how to create a few different shawl shapes, and then discuss adding stitch patterns or playing with unconventional shaping. Experience needed: knitting, purling, increasing.
Materials and homework: though we will mostly be swatching, you can bring between 500-900 yards of fingering weight yarn to start your chosen shawl and a size 5 or 6 32” or longer circular needle. For swatching, please bring around 200 yards of dk or worsted weight yarn, appropriate needles, and stitch markers.
In January 2009 Cal relocated from urban NYC to rural Ulster County, New York, to realize her dream of being a crafty farmer. She currently teaches sewing, crochet, pattern drafting, embroidery, and lots more in the Hudson Valley/Catskills region of NY state, as well as at retreats and shops around the U.S. Her first book, Design-It-Yourself Clothes was published in September 2009.
Cal has taught at Wing & A Prayer Farm in the past with her sold-out “Dresses And Donkeys” workshop in which she taught pattern drafting and sewing and we’re thrilled to have her back to offer two classes:
Crochet for Knitters
Are you a knitter who avoids any knit pattern with even a hint of crochet? A little crochet knowledge can be a fun and helpful tool in every knitter’s box! Use it for decorative or practical edgings, button bands, joining, or embellishing with flowers or other motifs. Once you know how to wield a hook AND a needle, you’ll be invincible! Note: Students should know at least chain and single crochet; can be rusty but not the first time!
Pattern Drafting for Knitters
Whether you plan to knit, crochet or sew a garment for yourself (or anyone else), the first step is determining the unique size, shape and proportion of the body you wish to clothe. Like snowflakes, none of us are exactly alike, and not until we assess our actual dimensions can we begin to achieve the goal of perfect fit! Cal will show you how to properly take your measurements and use them to draft a sloper (simple pattern) for your personal fit profile. Think of it like a life-size schematic, which you can refer to as you knit from a pattern, or while designing your own! We will also discuss the concept of ease, both positive and negative, and how it affects the end result. Understanding and taking control of these elements will allow you to create pieces that fit and flatter YOU.
Katrina Rodabaugh is an artist, writer, and crafter working across disciplines to explore environmental and social issues through traditional craft techniques. Mostly, she rethinks the relationship between fiber art, sustainability, and slow fashion. Since August 2013 she has been on a fashion fast, Make Thrift Mend, to focus on mending, plant dyes, and prioritizing handmade or secondhand garments instead of buying new clothing. She also grows, forages, and harvests dye plants near her farmhouse in the Hudson Valley.
In her workshop, participants will utilize the Sashiko and Boro techniques to mend an existing garment with individual consultations. Students will leave the workshop with an introduction to mending, one mended garment (or mending in-progress, depending on the size of the repair), various resources, an introduction to mendfulness, and greater stitching confidence and skill. Basic sewing and stitching skills are required.
If you are interested in joining this country gathering on a working fiber farm in our fair corner of Vermont, just email firstname.lastname@example.org and we will send accommodation and expense details as well as a PDF of the Registration form. A real person(me!) answers your emails individually, so if you have any questions, I will endeavor to answer them thoroughly.
We regret that there are a limited number of openings for the New England Fiber Art Summit and apply a ‘first come-first serve’ processing of posted registrations. After the limit has been met, we keep the remainder of registrations in a wait-list file in the event of cancellations.
If you would like to submit a registration form, snail mail the completed application to Wing & A Prayer Farm, 983 Myers Road, Shaftsbury, VT 05262 by January 16th. Registration forms will be honored on a first-come/first-serve basis. If you are traveling with family or a friend and would like your registrations considered together, please submit the registrations in one envelope. Should registration close, you will be given the option to keep your name on a waiting list, also honored in the same fashion should there be cancellations.
$200 deposits for event will be due by January 31st, balance of event will be due by March 31st.