Classes


The 2018 Class List is in the works!
Here are the classes we will be having at the 2018 Stitches, S'mores & More Retreat. Instructor profiles are below the class descriptions.

Beginning Portuguese Knitting: Introduction to Portuguese Knitting will teach you a different way to knit that is easy on your hands and wrists. The yarn is tensioned either around your neck, using a pin on your shoulder or a pendant on a necklace. Knits and purls are made by flicking the yarn over the needle with your thumb. Not only is it more ergonomic than throwing/English or picking/Continental knitting, it is faster! We will cover knitting, purling, increases, decreases, and more as time allows. Join this class and learn how to save your wrists and hands and knit faster. Taught by Penny Wilson.

Crochet for Knitters:
What can a crochet hook do for those who prefer two needles? Simplify and beautify! Besides being a handy tool to pick up a dropped stitch, a crochet hook can also be used to seam, pick up stitches along an edge of a knitted garment, or knock out that curl of stockinette stitch in just a few rows rather than a few inches. In this class, we will work on a knitted swatch to complete a variety of edgings that form different textures, from lace to cluster patterns or ruffles. Taught by Stephanie Carcano.

Fair Isle Headband:
One of my favorite knitting techniques is color work. I truly love Fair Isle, also known as stranded knitting. Fair Isle is the technique I will be teaching. In my class we will be using two contrasting colors to make a head band/ear warmer. We will be making a design using the two colors. You will learn how to hold the yarn and carry the strands, also known as floats. You will learn how to tack your strands and how to read a graph for Fair Isle knitting, as well as other tips. Taught by Cheryl Dowdy.

Feldenkrais: This is a method of bringing awareness to how we move, and also improving how we move. And as with so many of the good things in life, what we discover about ourselves along the way is the truly delightful aspect.As knitters, there’s not much we like to do better than to sit and knit. There’s something so satisfying about using our hands and some very simple tools to create an infinite variety of objects. And there’s the rub. We use our hands and these tiny tools, and we make some of the same motions over and over again. After a while, our hands or neck and shoulders can get tired or achey, and perhaps our backs and knees get stiff. In this workshop we’ll explore some simple, easy things that we can do to make sitting and knitting even more enjoyable and sustainable. We’ll go through a series of gentle, mindful movements that help us to be kinder to our bodies—and make it easier to enjoy knitting longer. Taught by Gika Rector.

Field Trip ClassesWe are working on a day trip to the Independence Fiber Mill! You'll get to tour the mill and see how it works. We will also have the two classes below at the Mill.

Machine Felting: Have you ever done needle felting? Want to learn more about it? Then this class may be just for you! Letting the machine do the work for us, we’ll play with some fun ways to make felt. Possibilities include inlay, resists, pockets, and embellishment with kid mohair. This workshop will take place at Independence Farmstead Fiber Mill, using their wet felting machine. Lisa Rose and Gika Rector will guide you through some basic techniques for making felt, and also explore what’s possible—or at least easier—by using the machine. Taught by Lisa Rose & Gika Rector.


Hand Painted Yarns: Using low-impact acid dyes we will produce Hand Painted Yarn. There will be a lot of colors to use and everyone will leave with a skein of unique, multi-colored yarn. We’ll also talk about the different types of dyes and do some sampling to see how the same dye produces slightly different colors on different fibers.  

Teachers!

Stephanie Carcano: Stephanie learned to crochet from a good friend. From her, Stephanie developed her love of teaching (because in all honesty her friend was a rather impatient teacher) and her love of the fiber arts. Since that transforming moment, Stephanie has added knitting, weaving, felting, and a bit of spinning to her skill set. She now runs Froggy Fibers and Gifts in Lufkin, Texas. 

Cheryl Dowdy: I was born in Texas and live in Texas, but spent time in many other states. I learned to knit with my mother, when I was 10 years old, from some friends of hers. Therefore, I have been knitting for many years. My favorite colors are jewel tones and my favorite things to knit are socks, scarves, shawls, and hats. I love to teach! It is very rewarding for me to share my knowledge with others. I have been involved with Stitches, S'Mores and More from the beginning, and have taught classes four different years at this event. Something about me that some of you don't know is that I have been playing the Mountain Dulcimer for 25 years. It is my second passion after knitting. My advice to anyone learning a new skill is to be patient, enjoy the journey, and don't be hard on yourself when you make mistakes! None of us start a new skill as professionals! 


Jo Poindexter: Jo came to her first Stitches, S’Mores and More Fiber Retreat six years ago as a new knitter (and spinner and dyer). She’s been a crocheter all her life, learning from her grandmother, mother and aunt. A lifelong learner, she is learning weaving and has just completed a beginning tapestry class. Her favorite thing to knit is lace shawls. Jo’s first teaching experience was a natural dye class at a Stitches, S’mores and More Fiber Retreat. Her dye classes have become a popular part of our programs. Her favorite part of teaching is to see what great products the students turn out.
Gika Rector: A feltmaker for over 20 years, Gika loves to explore and share felt-making techniques and ideas. She also enjoys weaving, spinning, knitting and sewing—just about anything related to fibers, especially natural fibers. Gika is also a Guild Certified Feldenkrais practitioner and a personal coach. Her specialty is helping people find ways to do more of what they love.

Lisa Rose: Living in Texas since 2000, Lisa Rose moved to Spring in the autumn of 2012. An accomplished fiber artist, Rose began crocheting at her grandmother’s knee at the age of six. With a love for all natural fibers, she spins, weaves, knits and felts the colors of the earth. Influenced by the surrounding elements and her children, she creates one of a kind pieces for the body and the home.

Penny Wilson: I was born in Albuquerque, NM, grew up in the area around Waco, TX, lived in Houston for years and now live in Vail, CO. I discovered Stitches, S’mores & More through a flyer at WC Mercantile. I went once with a friend to the second one and have only missed once since. I’ve been knitting for about 15 years and spinning for 6 or 8. Spinning started at Stitches, S’mores & More, too. I’m a self-taught knitter and spinner -at least starting out. I’ve taken a lot of classes now. I love knitting everything! As long as I’m knitting, I’m happy. I started teaching at the 2017 Stitches, S’mores & More. Since then I’ve become a Level 1 Certified Knitting Instructor through the Craft Yarn Council. I love sharing knitting and spinning with others! When you’re learning a new knitting skill I encourage people to give themselves time. You’re learning something new - a new way to use your hands, and a new way to think. It takes time to master something new.