Sunday, 6 May 2018

'SOCKMATICIAN' Nathan Taylor's 2018 South Island knitting workshop tour, August 29 - 31

Nathan wearing his hugely popular Il Burato double knit scarf
Nathan Taylor is a knitter on a mission... to convert every knitter into a double knitter, one knitter at a time and by his catchphrase 'One Stitch At A Time' or OSAAT. (He lovingly refers to his followers as OSAATers).

You can see his creativity and talent by clicking here to see all his patterns and designs on Ravelry.

Based in London, England Nathan has a varied life and hardly has a moment to spare with everything he is involved with. Apart from his knitting commitments which include designing, teaching and commission work he is also well known as an actor, singer, lyricist and even a sounding board for his composer husband Ben. But perhaps it is his video podcasts on youtube which have helped to increase his visibility in the knitting community on a global scale. You can watch his you tube channel by clicking here and discover just how talented and charming he is.

His mission is now about to bring him all the way to New Zealand in late August of this year and luckily for us it will include four workshops in the South Island, two in Arrowtown and two in Dunedin. All the information about the workshops and how to book are listed below.


Workshops kindly hosted by The Stitching Post

But held at the Lakes District Museum, Buckingham Street, Arrowtown.

Wednesday, August 29th,  9.30am - 12.30pm

Workshop 1: Demystifying Double Knitting

This is a class for knitters who want to explore the wonderful world of double-knitting (DK). That’s the two-sided technique, not the yarn weight!
DK is a versatile and wonderful way of creating stunning effects in reversible, two-sided knitting, so no more wrong sides, no unsightly floats, and best of all, two garments in one, as whatever beautiful pattern is displayed on the front, shows on the back too, but with the colours reversed. Magic!
In this class we will be exploring how the basic mechanics of DK work: looking at the structure of the fabric, and how the two sides interact with each other to create the interlocked, reversible beauty that only DK can give you. We’ll talk a little bit about what is possible in the technique, to give you a flavour of where this foundation can eventually lead you, but we’ll mostly be concerning ourselves with getting you familiar with what yarn goes where!

Thursday, August 30th,  9.30am - 12.30pm

Workshop 2:  “Strantarsia” – Stranded Intarsia

We all know that intarsia can’t be done in the round. (Well, you can do some sorts of things that involve working back and forth, and seaming up the side, but it’s not really possible to do it properly.)
You CAN, however, work a panel of stranded (think fair-isle) knitting in the round, where the colour work does not go all the way round the piece, but is only worked in one specific area.

This is a technique is pioneered by Nathan and it’s really fun to do. Its applications are many and various. You can, for example, put a contrasting motif on the ankle of a sock, or a sports logo on the front of a hat. Fancy working a patch of colour work into the breast of a jumper knitted in the round? Thought you could only achieve it with duplicate stitch after the event? Not anymore! Now you can add little patches of stranded colour work anywhere you like in your in-the-round projects.


Workshops kindly hosted at The Valley Project Rooms,                                        262 North Road, North East Valley, Dunedin.

Friday, August 31st, 1.00pm - 4.00pm (Fred Hollows Room)

Workshop 3:  “Strantarsia” – Stranded Intarsia

A repeat of the Arrowtown workshop, please see above for the content detail.

Friday, August 31st, 6.00pm - 9.00pm (Te Putake Room)

Workshop 4: Double Knitting Shaping - The Future of Double Knitting

Double-knitting is a fantastic technique for creating reversible, double-squishy fabric with no unsightly wrong sides, and can be used for many different purposes. If you want to take your double-knitting to the next level, you are going to need to know a little bit more than how to make the standard stocking-stitch-on-both-sides fabric that we all know and love. Nathan will show you how to execute a variety of different types of both increases and decreases, and tell you where you might want to use each of them to their best effect.
The class covers two different types of yarn overs (both connected and unconnected forms), along with the Make One increase (both left- and right-leaning). For decreases, we’ll discuss the idea of matched pairs, and learn about right- and left-leaning single and double decreases, as well as the Centred Double Decrease, and a whole variety of others. Time permitting, we’ll even learn how to do German Short Rows in DK, so that you can send your double-knitting round corners! Once you get to grips with what is possible, the possibilities are endless. This really IS the future of double-knitting!

Additional class information

Duration - Three hours (please arrive a few minutes early)
Cost - $67.00 per class
  • A smile and an open mind
  • Yarn - Bring two contrasting solid colours of yarn. Please avoid variegated colours.
  • Yarn type - The yarn should be smooth to help show off stitch definition.
  • Yarn weight - Your own choice but DK/8 ply is most common. Please avoid novelty yarns.
  • Needle size - Appropriate to your yarn choice
  • Needle type for Demystifying Double Knitting - Straight or circular
  • Needle type for Double Knitting Shaping - Straight or circular
  • Needle type for Strantarsia - Circular or DPN's (You'll be knitting in the round)
  • For the Double Knitting Shaping workshop you must already know how to double knit
  • For the Strantarsia workshop you must already know how to knit in the round
  • Notebook and pen

Booking Information

To book your place on any of the workshops and to arrange payment just send an email to indicating which workshops you would like to take. Payment details will then be provided and your place(s) will be confirmed once payment is received.

You can take more than one workshop if you wish to but the number of places in each workshop is limited so please book early to avoid disappointment.

(Double) Knit in Public with Nathan

If you are not able to make any of Nathan's workshops, fear not, you will still have an opportunity to see him in Dunedin.  If you have been lucky enough to have taken a workshop with Nathan you will have one last opportunity to see him before he heads to Wellington.

Saturday September 1st, 8.30am - 9.00am you are welcome to join Nathan outside the Dunedin Railway Station for a (Double) Knit in Public event. Bring along your double knitting and add to the colour of the day and knit out loud. 


Sunday, 3 September 2017

New Dawn, New Day - Michael Buble

Time moves on... some things change and yet other things remain the same. 

I used to be an active blogger but stopped a few years ago. I decided to close down the Fibre Alive blog because I felt that I had lost my voice and no longer had anything of relevance to say or contribute. It didn't help that life was throwing more than a few challenges my way at the time and I was struggling on many fronts. That was how I genuinely felt at the time so I found it a little strange when on a couple of occasions at fibre events this year people have come up to me to say how much they used to enjoy my blog and how they miss it. It was lovely of them to let me know that the blog had been appreciated for what it was. 

After some consideration I'm dusting off the cobwebs and tentatively stepping back into blogging again. I'm the same person I was yet I've changed in many ways so I'm sure that this blog will have some similarities to Fibre Alive but it will also head off in it's own direction.

So welcome to Kiwi James, my new blog... I hope you enjoy the ride.

Winter has lost it's grip on Scarlet Oak Cottage at last and we're happily moving into Spring. I decided to celebrate the season change by jazzing up one of my trees. After a quick rummage through my yarn stash I chose a pink tweed yarn and spent a couple of evenings knitting three bows. Now that the tree is dressed and tressed it's putting smiles (and a few looks of consternation) on the faces of people walking by. The Spring weather has seen my blossom trees start to bloom, early cheer flowers have popped up in the garden and I'm looking forward to warmer days with more sunshine hours to top up my vitamin D levels. However my annual balancing act between enjoying myself outside and managing my hay fever is about to begin. Having said that it's still nice to sit by a roaring fire and relax into the evening with a knitting project on my needles and Miss Jaffa on my lap... evidently it's called middle aged domesticity.

Speaking of which my current knitting project is a cushion cover. It's a fun piece of colour work featuring the tumbling blocks pattern and it is knit using the intarsia technique to create a smooth surface to the knitting. Once completed it will end up being a surprise gift for a good friend of mine. Surprise gifts are always fun but I tend to be better at giving gifts than receiving them.

I finished reading Fifty Fifty by James Patterson and Candice Fox a few days ago. Hmmm well... what does one say about this type of book. It is what it is... a page turner with words arranged on a page. It won't change the world and my life is no better or worse for having read it. Being set in Australia and having a strong female protagonist certainly perked up my interest. Perhaps I'm a little biased as I used to be a big James Patterson fan until I discovered that he's more of a marketing guru than an author. His name goes on the cover despite the fact that he doesn't actually write them but because his name is on the cover the novels sell in the millions. I'm sure he is laughing all the way to the bank but good on him, he's created a very successful business where many people fail. I suggest you borrow his books from a library instead and save your pennies for other literary temptations.

Next up on the bedside table is my latest book club title 'As The Earth Turns Silver' by Alison Wong. It's a novel about Chinese immigrants to New Zealand in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Looks quite interesting but I need to get a wriggle on with it as the book group meeting is next week!

'SOCKMATICIAN' Nathan Taylor's 2018 South Island knitting workshop tour, August 29 - 31

Nathan wearing his hugely popular Il Burato double knit scarf Nathan Taylor is a knitter on a mission... to convert every knitter into...