Friday, February 19, 2010

Freeform Workshop with Prudence in Philadelphia

Earlier this month I was able to attend the Freeform Workshop at the Nangellini yarn shop in Philadelphia, PA. Prudence Mapstone gives these workshops all over the world, but she is hardly ever on the US East Coast, so I was very excited to get a spot in the class. There just aren't that many opportunities to see Prudence this close to home! I drove up to Laura's house in DC on Thursday, then went to Philadelphia the next day for the workshop.

This picture shows the shop before the workshop began.

Nangellini yarn shop just before FF workshop

Many people at the workshop wanted to see how Prudence works the bullion stitch, a tricky crochet stitch that is so much fun to use in freeform projects. She grabbed some yarn, sat down on the floor so that everyone could see what she was doing, and started stitching.

Prudence at the FF workshop

FF workshop with Prudence

It was really fun to see the freeform sample garments that she brought along. I had seen all of these on line and in her books, but seeing them in person was wonderful. Prudence was very generous about allowing people to touch, try on, and photograph. Seeing the projects up close made me realize how much of the yarn used is fairly fine gauge compared to what I have in my stash. For wearable freeform garments, this seems like a great idea. Finer gauge yarns will give a lighter weight garment. Also noticeable is that there is more negative space in the garments (except for the red and purple cardigan). Lots of open work gives the piece more drape, less weight.

close up of Prudence's FF vest

Prudence's purple wrap

back of Prudence's FF cardigan

After demonstrating the bullion stitch, she showed us her current bullion project. Nothing but beautifully formed bullions here. So much fun!

Prudence's bullion project in progress

At the end of the workshop, I drove back to DC (to get snowed in at Laura's!) through their record-breaking snow storm. While that drive was particularly awful, I'm so glad that I went to the workshop. I have lots of ideas for freeform projects, now I just need to pick up the yarn, needles, and hooks!