Teaching and Crafting


I've posted my in-person teaching calendar for the beginning of 2020! If you're interested in learning to machine knitting (in Brooklyn) or improving sweater knit sewing skills (at Stitches United in Hartford CT), I'd love for you to join me.

All techniques covered fall comfortably into the crafting fashion category. Yes, Crafting Fashion, as in the name of this blog, chosen because it communicates that it’s not just design that’s important in fashion. I consider the act of crafting the garment of prime importance in the best fashion.

There are so many ways to enjoy the crafting process. I love figuring out the most effective and efficient ways to create a desired stitch pattern. 

Screenshot of O! Jolly! Off Kilter Plaid in the Design a Knit application
Selecting quality materials is one of my favorite parts of the process. What maker doesn't enjoy fondling the raw materials or browsing through catalogs?

The act of constructing the sweater is a most satisfying part, making sure the craftsmanship is neat and accurate. I often enjoy the process far more than the final product. In fact, I have several projects temporarily halted in the process phase (a.k.a. UFO, unfinished objects) at the moment.

Lately I've been doing lots of teaching. More teaching means less crafting, so I squeeze crafting in wherever I can by making samples and doing demos of specific techniques. Teaching is my excuse for breaking a project down into its smaller elements, a process I love. Teaching means observing exactly how and where my students grasp, or perhaps struggle, with a technique. Teaching means I'm always editing, always refining the presentation. Students bring a fresh perspective, and I get to see old standards through new eyes.

Teaching Since 16

Did you know I've been teaching since I was 16 when I taught pre-ballet to 5-year-olds! I was so proud of my class. I am not exaggerating when I tell you my fives were the best fives in the recital!

In my early 30s I taught commercial acting and modeling (after a brief career in show biz). Surprising as it may sound, it was a very satisfying job. We were located in a small and very scenic market, experiencing a boom in production during those years. A good 25% of my students booked jobs within 6 months of completing my class. A few students booked before they finished the course! This is unheard of in larger markets, where there's greater competition. It also helped that the school was attached to a talent and modelling agency.

In the 90s and early 2000s I helped craft an independent education for my son. By that, I mean we homeschooled. I prefer to call it an independent education because that phrase more accurately describes the process. Many people consider a 40-hour week full time work. It is not. Learning can happen at anytime and not only when sitting at a desk. Can you imagine the number of museum classes, soccer games, Broadway theater, off-off-off Broadway theater, classical guitar lessons, recitals, swim lessons, sailing lessons, nature walks, beach trips, and play dates we participated in or attended in the name of "home" schooling? We educated from birth through pre-college. Son later majored in computer science at a top-tier university and currently works his dream job as a game developer.

On a field trip with my favorite student! Sweater was a gift, designer unknown.


Current and Upcoming

My students' creativity at the Fashion Institute of Technology and Parsons School of Design continues to be invigorating. The knitwear courses I teach at each school are part of the fashion design departments. But as stated earlier, it's never just about design, it's also about the crafting.
Knitting studio at Parsons
Two or three times a year I teach at the Textile Arts Center. It’s a beautiful, large space in the Gowanus area of Brooklyn. Though I teach only machine knitting at the school, a variety of fiber related crafts such as weaving, sewing, dyeing, and more can be explored there. This place is a textile crafting wonderland, open to the public.

March will be my first time joining the teaching crew of Stitches United. Well known for their large hand knitting conventions and markets, Stitches opened up a couple of their events to other fiber-related crafts. I’m presenting an introduction to cut and sew sweaters and also teaching a class on making the perfect crew neck for your cut and sew sweater. My class sizes are limited to 20 people each, so you're sure to get your questions answered at the presentation plus individual attention in the class. And of course there will be lots of other classes you can attend. I hope you can make it!

O!

P.S. If you can't join me in person next year, perhaps you can join me online? Let's craft sweaters together!


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