Friday, June 24, 2011

Skirts?! - YES! Sneaky Fibre Adventure?! - YES!

(I know my eyes are closed, but here is our pre-DKC "cheers")

Last Wednesday Tamaralda and I gave our presentation to the Downtown Knit Collective. It was all about knit and crocheted skirts! We've been experimenting with the skirt for over a year and this presentation was all about what we have learned about fibre, tension, waistband treatment and bum sag!
Fruits of our labours:

Here is the official release taken from the DKC's Newsletter:

Alisa McRonald has been crafting since she was born. Making tube dresses for her Barbies and using her little brother and cat as dress models for her creations were some of her favorite activities as a young child (or at least until her little brother got bigger than her)! She has been teaching and exhibiting her work in North America and abroad since 1995. She currently maintains her blog ( and further develops her fibre fixation by immersing herself in the Ontario Handweavers and Spinners Guild handspinning programme.

Tamara Krievins has been fibre-crafting since the sixties… (yes, she even made macramé plant hangers). She has been the manager of the yarn shop Passionknit since 2009. Recently she submitted all of the hand-worked samples and lesson plans, as well as logged the
volunteer teaching hours required to receive her Teacher Certificate in Crochet from the Craft Yarn Council of America.

This month: Stylish Knitted Skirts (they don’t need to be dowdy or droopy!) Exploring thoughtful and creative fibre choices, meticulous gauge determinations, and best
practices for professional-looking garments.

These two DKC members generated quite a lot of interest when they modeled their skirts at our fashion show last December. In tonight’s presentation, they will share their skirt-making explorations with us—their successes, as well as their “learning experiences”.

Alisa and Tamara’s discussions will include: combining yarns and fibres in order to achieve desired fabric and gauge, fun and flattering colour choices, appropriate silhouettes for various body types, and technical tips for garment construction and care.

Quite a lovely introduction!

Kate Atherely, Fiona Ellis, Flo, Tamaralda and I after our presentation:

So why skirts? People we were encountering were having trouble choosing patterns and completing sweaters/cardigans that fit them! We were always hearing how annoying finishing is and how people complete a garment and then never wear it because it just doesn’t fit right. Making a sweater/cardi is a lot of work, back, fronts, sleeves, button bands – then you have to sew it all together!

Personally, I consider myself a “yarn artist” – not a knitter exclusively. I want my projects to be portable, beautiful and wearable. I was making scarves, shawls, arm warmers – never sweaters or cardis.

We started talking and decided that skirts – basically a tube (although there are difficult patterns out there), cover the same proportion/area of your body as a cardi or sweater and they are not (as) fiddly! Most often it’s one seam or done in the round.

This was our mindset when Tamaralda came running into the shop (on her day off) one day waving the Lansplitter pattern by Tina Whitmore. It was in the current issue of Knitty (Fall 2010) AND we had just received all the new colours in Kuyeron.

The planets were aligned for our skirt experiments to take off… and take off they did! We have an amazing body of work to show for it and so much more experience knitting, crocheting, altering patterns and finishing techiques!

We have compiled a wonderful resource list and if anyone would like it..... just email me or find me on Ravelry: alisamcr
Thanks for helping us set up Boomer!:
DKC members taking a look at our skirts:

Now to the Sneaky (mini) Fibre Adventure... it was the wonderful Boomer's birthday last weekend and she wanted to go to the Niagra area. Visit some vineyards, see the falls, eat good food - once we were in the car I announced my deisre to check out two wonderful fibre shops in Jordan! Hee hee! Her being as wonderfuly supportive as she is made the stops and enjoyed poking around and playing with the house dog at the Fibre Garden!

Fibre Garden is run by two wonderful and creative guys! One of which is in his 4th year of the Ontario Handspinning Programme (I got to pick his brain about homework and how much worse it gets :) ) I bought some wonderful handyed batts one for Boomer, one for me! (I'm so fair)...

Me in front of Fibre Garden:

Stitch was another beautiful shop with fabrics and yarns. It is visually heaven! Displays! Colours! I loved it! (No doggies for Boomer to play with though!) Also! Bee in Niagra-on-the-Lake!
Boomer and my batts from Fibre Garden:

My congradulations go out to the Toronto Spiders for winning the International Back to Back Wool Challenge for the 5th time! Here is a picture of their trophy! Two of the Spiders were at the DKC meeting telling their story of glory!

Not the best pic of the Spiders' trophy but - pretty impressive!:

1 comment:

  1. aww, i love the pictures of you guys with your batts! :) Hopefully we can find enough people to form our own team!!!!! Maybe the toronto crew will let us sit in on a practice or something so we can learn a little bit about what's efficient and what's not.

    Sounds like your presentation was awesome!