Knitting Tiffany: Soft Transitions

Ilisha Helfman

Saturday All Day

This is one in a series of classes based on knitting inspired by the beauty of Tiffany glass.

When we think of elements of design, we tend to focus more on the shapes themselves (flowers in this case or leaves) than on the spaces between them. In this class we will look for ways to circumvent the boundaries between decorative elements and background shapes by softening edges and encouraging color to seep from one shape into the next. The softening of textures and edges can give an effect much like the softened edges of worn fresco walls... Think of colors shifting through a piece of stained glass, of the gradation of color in flo blue china, of watercolors gently blending into each other… Using intentional pooling, we will make Jazzknit shapes with carefully concentrated colors for petals and leaves, and we will make other shapes that gently disperse the colors of our main elements for using between them. These background shapes especially, will have subtle color shifts which will give a gentle flow and softened appearance to our work. In addition to piecing techniques, we will look at ways to soften edges and create color flow in intarsia and fairisle.

You will be able to use the concepts we will explore in class for choosing yarns and developing strategies for use with patterns by your favorite designers, as well as for the creation of your own designs.

There will be inspirational slides during class along with knitting experiments and technique exploration.

Skill level: Intermediate, must be able to knit, purl and do a long tail cast on, all other stitches and techniques will be taught in class.

Material Fee: $10 for yarn samples and handout.


Student Supplies: Bring several handpainted sock yarns to experiment with, ideally with some color passages approximately 6-8” long. Bring a small amount of mohair yarn if you have it. Yarns can be left in skeins or balled. They can be singles or plied. We will use size 0-3 dpns in class depending on your comfort level and yarn weight. You don’t need to bring every size but a good mix will give you options. Several sizes of blunt tapestry needles will be useful but are not mandatory. A small scissors will come in handy.

Homework: None