Venessa Bentley grew up knitting and stitching and now works as an instructor, designer, and consultant in the needle, fibre, and textile arts, and as a full-time elementary teacher in the Intensive Fine Arts Program of her school district. Venessa knit her way through a Textile Arts Diploma Program from Capilano University, a Bachelor’s Degree, a Post Baccalaureate Diploma in Fine Arts Education, and a Professional Teaching Certificate from Simon Fraser University. Venessa provides instruction, and public education programs for adults, youth, and children in knitting, crocheting, spinning, dyeing, weaving, stitching, and surface design. Venessa is a practicing artisan and her programs are focused on the creative process. Building confidence and joy in hand work is as important as teaching the skills, she feels. A variety of fibre arts programs are taught, year round, at Venessa’s home studio, and at exhibitions, fibre festivals, and retreats. She has dedicated most of her life to this learning, and continues to explore and dissect each step of her fibre arts work, with a view to staying fresh and current in her teaching. Venessa has done knitwear design and construction work for the film industry, and has worked as a subject matter consultant in needle arts for a local publisher. She serves on the Board of Directors for Circle Craft, as the chair of the Gallery Committee, and produces original pieces that she sells through the Circle Craft Co-operative, Granville Island, Vancouver BC. If you’re interested in learning more about Venessa, go to her website venessabentley.ca
JULY 12 Day 1 (Full Day) ALL THINGS FAIR ISLE AND FACING THE STEEK:
Knitting your colour work in the round, including a margin of stitches that will later be cut apart, is a practical and necessary way to work. Many knitters flinch when the words 'cut' or 'scissors' are mentioned near their knitting. During this full day, hands-on workshop, students will work through the skills that many Fair Isle projects use. I-cord cast on, Applied I-cord cast off, Corrugated Rib, Vikkel Braid, Colour Stranding, and Tension issues will all be addressed in Part 1 of this workshop. During Part 2, knitters will work through the steps needed to prepare knitted fabric to be cut, then finished, with button bands and/or facings. Some homework preparation will be required before class.
JULY 13 Day 2 (Full Day) TEXTURED TEMPTATION – KNITTING CABLES:
Travelling cables wandering the surface of a knitted garment. Cabling and complex crossings, knitting rope, braids, diamonds, honeycomb, serpentine and bobbles. Consideration will be given to shaping in a cabled garment, gauge, and designing Aran panels. You’ll leave with the confidence to tackle those complex-looking cable patterns used in such knitting as Aran sweaters patterns.
JULY 14 Day 3 (Full Day) THOUGHTFUL BEGINNINGS AND FRIENDLY FINISHES:
First half of the day you will perfect your technique on issues such as choosing correct cast on techniques and when to use them, including provisional choices, tubular, German Twist, Turkish and tried and true methods. Second half of the day will include correct cast off techniques to complement specific knitting, stretchy, invisible, kitchener, tubular and working from a provisional cast on. Expect some fun thrown in here as well. Maybe some arm knitting!
Workshop fee: $70 per day. The yarns required for the above workshops can come from your stash, however, they should be on the finer side for Fair Isle. Comprehensive notebook binders are included in fees.
Come for one, two or three days; the choice is yours. Students will bring their own bag lunch. Tea and coffee will be provided. There is room on our acreage to stay over if you have an RV or enjoy tenting, plus there is a guest room in our home with three single beds if needed (for those who live far away). If overnight guests require meals, there would be additional fees. Workshop fees must be paid to reserve your space. Fees are non-refundable but you are welcome to find someone to fill your spot if you cannot attend.