Anna_Maltz_swatching

6 hour class: Designing Marlisle

Marlisle (combining marl and Fair Isle) is a simple, but unusual system of creating decorative texture and colour shifts in handknitted fabric with a particular focus on seamless knitting in the round. By separating out two yarns generally being held together to form a marl base, Marlisle allows patches of stranded colourwork to be scattered around a garment or accessory without the use of intarsia while avoiding unworkably long floats. It can be used to combine different weights of yarn, throw new light on your stash, overcome frustrations like jogging stripes and even to adapt existing patterns.

This class is an introduction to the technique of Marlisle and how, by understanding the method, you can come up with your own designs using it. You’ll start a circular swatch from your own stitch pattern created on stitch related graph paper. Suitable for a range of skill levels, but perhaps most exciting for confident and adventurous knitters who understand the limitations of standard circular knitting and colourwork techniques.

MINIMUM SKILL LEVEL
Intermediate

EXISTING KNOWLEDGE/EXPERIENCE REQUIRED
– Good experience of stranded colourwork.
– You must be totally comfortable knitting in the round and understand the terminology.

SKILLS COVERED
– designing a Marlisle stitch pattern chart on graph paper
– combining colours
– laying the foundations for a personal project
– casting on and off for Marlisle
– working a swatch in the round, including basic knotted steek
– deducing tension
– approaches to changing between colours
– managing floats and yarn

STUDENTS TO BRING
– at least two different pencil colours
– scissors
– ruler or tape measure
– 4ply/fingering yarn in 2 contrasting, but harmonious colours. At least 25gr of each.
Out of preference, opt for 100% wool, ideally not super wash treated for something a little ‘sticky’ and forgiving for colourwork.
– 3.25mm needles suitable for working small circumferences in the round (depending on personal preference and existing knowledge– aka it’s not a good time to try magic-loop for the first time!). Students can bring a range of sizes from 2.5mm to 4.5mm, if they wish to adjust for their personal tension on the fly.
Note: You can bring DK/light worsted yarn instead (or in addition) and corresponding needle sizes.

HOMEWORK
Work out which needle size works for you to get a DENSE garter stitch using two 4ply (or DK) yarns held together.

HOST NOTES
MAXIMUM CLASS SIZE
12

VENUE TO PROVIDE
– quiet space for teaching
– chairs
– tables
– light
– refreshments
– possible use of white/blackboard or flipchart – a big piece of paper of some sort will do.