Workshops! What's on at Stitch Fest this year?
Each year at Stitch Fest there are a range of yarn and fibre related workshops to inspire and teach you new crafts and skills. The workshops are taught by experienced tutors who each have a passion for their craft and enjoy sharing their knowledge. Classes are priced competitively and usually include all the materials you need and you take away a finished project, or part finished with the knowledge to finish at home.
So, what’s on offer this year?
Professional finishing and Selbu mittens with Anniken Allis
Anniken Allis is a well-known knitwear designer and teacher. Anniken grew up in Norway, and is passionate about empowering knitters through her workshops and patterns. She has been designing knitting patterns and teaching knitting workshops on a variety of topics around the UK & online since 2007. She has designed for a variety of knitting magazines, yarn companies in the UK & US and has written two books and contributed to several others. She’s well known as a patient, friendly and knowledgeable teacher. She will be teaching Professional Finishing Techniques and Selbu Mittens from her native Norway.
Natural dyeing with Logwood and Unicorn Confetti yarn dyeing
Caroline is an experienced natural dyer. She runs Gorgeous Yarns, an online yarn company specialising in naturally dyed and undyed luxury yarns, dye products, workshops and kits. She has also designed a selection of knit and crochet patterns. She grows some of her own dyes, and creates an exciting and vibrant range of yarns, suitable for most yarn projects.
Caroline is publishing a book about Natural Dyeing this year, and writes regularly for many of the yarn craft magazines. She is an enthusiastic and encouraging teacher. This is her second year of teaching at Stitchfest. This year she will be teaching a natural dyeing class about logwood, and a new class using natural dye extracts.
Embellished felt bowl and Felt corsage
Natasha Smart has been wet felting for over 15 years and specializes in the felting on a ball resist technique, which she regularly teaches on workshops at her studio in Exmouth, Devon. She creates online courses and tutorials on wet felting and has written over 25 magazine project articles covering felting and textile craft. Her first book, Wet Felting, was published in April 2022. This is Natasha’s first year of teaching at Stitch Fest and she will be running workshops on embellished wet felt bowls and creating a flower corsage from felt.
As enthusiastic weavers Gillian and Emma weave on rigid heddle looms and a floor loom creating unique luxury scarves, cowls and accessories. They are passionate about encouraging others to weave and they make and sell small frame loom weaving kits using wool from British sheep. One of their most popular kits is a bookmark weaving kit where within a few hours a woven bookmark can be created. They have designed a workshop around this kit, and will be teaching this at Stitch Fest.
Beginner’s crochet and Tunisian Crochet
Diane Stewart is an experienced workshop leader having taught extensively for the last 10 years in the South Devon area, where she has taught many people to crochet. She has taught several times at Stitch Fest. She has an International Diploma in Crochet and is experienced in many different aspects and techniques of crochet and loves the flexibility and variety of stitches and effects that can be achieved with crochet.
Diane enjoys teaching people, seeing them grow in confidence and producing beautiful items for themselves, friends and family. This year Diane will be teaching Beginner’s crochet and Tunisian crochet which is a fascinating form of this yarn craft involving a long hook.
Natural Dyeing and Nuno Felting with Amanda Critchlow
Amanda has taught at Stitch Fest before and her classes are always interesting, informative and fun! This year she is teaching how to dye with things from your kitchen. She will be using kitchen waste and garden plants to create beautiful colours to dye yarn and fibre. She says “We all need to take care of our environment but without compromising on our creativity. There is an abundance of colour in our everyday scraps from the kitchen and garden usually destined for the compost bin. Pale pink, apricot, old gold, orange, yellow, pale green, light brown, golden brown. A variety of colours can be achieved with a little help from an easily obtainable modifier too.” Join Amanda and learn how to get beautiful colours naturally and easily without harsh chemicals or damaging processes.
In the Nuno Felt workshop you will create a piece of nuno fabric from a sumptuous palette of colours in merino wool and silk fabric. Using the techniques of felt making with water and soap and will collage your woven silk fabric and blend a selection of fine wool in beautiful colours to create a unique piece of fabric with which to create your special clutch bag.
Beaded wire knitting and crochet with Rosie Rees
Rosie has a lifelong passion for pattern, colour and texture which began when she discovered a little bead shop in Covent Garden over 40 years ago. This led her to start her business, Moon Beads which has a wide range of Japanese and Czech beads, wires, findings, clasps and more. Rosie is constantly trying new techniques and many feature in her patterns and kits for crochet, knitting and Kumihimo. In these classes you will learn how to make a crochet or knitted wire beaded bracelet, and basic knowledge of crochet or knitting is needed for you to get the most from the class.
Inkle Loom weaving
Ruth Morrell was bitten by the weaving bug and loves sharing her joy in watching woven fabric grow. She says that it has nothing to do with her career in the health service but everything to do with her sanity! In this class Ruth will teach you to warp your inkle loom, follow a pattern and weave, and finish a piece. Inkle Loom weaving creates straps which can be used for all sorts, including guitar straps, dog leads and collars, lanyards, shoelaces and more.
Crochet Mandalas with Emma Manson
Emma was at Stitch Fest last year as an exhibitor of her crochet mandala kits, and this year will be exhibiting again and teaching a workshop as well. She will be sharing her passion for vintage doily crochet and hand dyed yarns to create these mandalas. They are made on a hoop and are a lovely piece of yarn art for your wall. In Emma’s workshop you will be able to start to make one or two of these beautiful mandalas. Emma will teach you how to tension and size your work, how to block and how to attach the mandala to the hoop. You will then have everything you need to make your own, and the confidence to finish them at home.
Jane Lithgow, British Breed wool Taster and Afterthought heels.
Jane is new to Stitch Fest and has many years of experience teaching, she describes herself at a self-confessed wool geek! In her British Breeds wool taster session Jane will help you get to know the range and beauty of yarns that are available from the sheep of the British Isles. If you want to know your worsted and your crimp from your lustre, this is the class for you! Jane will also help you understand which wool base is suitable for which project, and
you will be able to see and understand the yarns and fibres available at the show in a whole new way. Jane will also be teaching @afterthought heels’ - a way to add different style heels to a sock tube. Ideal if you’re not sure of the sock recipient’s foot size, or if you are using a self-patterning yarn and want to place the heel in a good place in the colour pattern.
Lydia and Hannah – Weku Yarns
These sisters are new to Stitch Fest this year and will have a stand at the show as well as Hannah teaching two acid dye classes. Weku was started in 2021 by Hannah and Lydia who wanted to create the bright colours of Ghanaian fabrics on yarn. Weku means family in their native language Ga, and you will see colourways which reflect their Ghanaian heritage. Learn to dye with Hannah and create a skein of brightly coloured yarn, perhaps you will choose a colourway from your own family heritage, or be inspired by Hannah’s.
Whatever your yarn and fibre craft, whether you are a beginner, want to learn something new, or experienced in your craft, we hope there’s somehting for you to choose and enjoy.