Friday, January 16, 2015

I will be teaching for the first time! ♥

This is something I didn't expect...

I have always had mixed feelings regarding teaching.  I have not been asked many times whether I would teach a class... But when someone did ask me, I kept wondering to myself... 'What could I teach someone?  Everything I've learned, I've learned it from the internet...  What could I possibly know that someone hasn't already written about it?'

I am, however, the kind of person who really enjoys listening to people and learning from someone's voice and experience.  I believe that when something is written, it always sends out the same message, but when we learn from someone who has learnt something before, we can hear a few tricks here and there, and we are free to discover what their true perception about something is...

I am also the kind of knitter that believes we will never ever learn all there is to know about this art.  I still feel a beginner knitter for so many reasons... There are so many techniques I haven't tried, and I am not talking about complicated stuff... I haven't tried, for example, to steek a sweater...  And I have never learnt how to design a shawl with different lace patterns...

So whenever someone asked me if I would teach a class, I would normally answer 'No way!  There are still so many classes I need to take myself!..'

Well, life is full of surprises and in one of my latest trips, I was very kindly invited by Madtosh Crafts and Happy Knits to come to the US with my partner in crime Veera and do a series of events.  The main reason for this is that we are working on a new collaboration together (I'll post more about that in due time!!!), and they invited to feature it at their stores and host some Trunk Shows and Meet & Greets...
And, of course, the question was asked again: 'Would you teach a class?...'
I looked at Veera, who was there with me... I looked around... And without giving it much thought I said: 'Why, yes!'

So there you go, folks.  I am teaching not only 1, but 3 different classes, in 2 unknown to me cities, in a country very far away from home, in a foreign language, in just... 2 weeks.

There will also be some free events, so there's no need to sign up for a class if you don't feel like!  Veera and I will be there and we'll be showing Interpretations 2 for the first time!
Call the yarn stores to get the proper timetables for these.

So, in case you are in the area, and want to come say hi... Here are the topics I will be talking about.  I am not sure I can call these classes, I feel more comfortable calling them talks, or conversations.
Hopefully my theory is right, and I'll learn from the attendees as much as they'll learn from me.

Madtosh Crafts (Dallas): Wed, Feb 4th - 9 to 12 AM
Happy Knits (Portland, OR): Sat, Feb 7 - 10 AM to 1 PM

In this workshop we’ll discuss my sweater design process from start to finish.   This is a fun class for anyone thinking about designing their first sweater (for fun or for work), but also for those who are interested in knowing what goes on behind the scenes. 

We’ll talk about:
  • How to find inspiration (Pinterest, fashion designers, brands).
  • Following trends and adjusting them to what knitters want to knit. 
  •  Important measurements to consider when designing (shoulder span, full bust, sleeve circumference, hip measurement, etc).  Tables of measurements and their meaning. 
  • What is ease (garments don’t always need to be the same size as the table of measurements!). 
  • Making notes for knitters on how to customize their garments (e.g. sleeve length, body length). 
  • Overview of different sweater constructions and how to choose the one that best suits your idea. 
  • What makes a design unique (small little details that make a design stand from others). 
  • Discussing some samples and their construction techniques.
  • Basic concepts on grading patterns to different sizes. 
  • Using spreadsheets to grade a very basic pattern (converting it to different sizes instructions).

Madtosh Crafts (Dallas): Tue, Feb 3rd - 1.30 to 4.30 PM
Happy Knits (Portland, OR): Fri, Feb 6th - 3 to 6 PM

This is a fun class for anyone who’s been intimidated by this awesome way of shaping your knits, and also for those who want to better understand how to use them. We’ll discuss:
What are short rows and why do we want them in our knitting?
Different techniques for you to try: wrap and turn, German short rows, Japanese short rows, etc.
How to use wrap and turn effectively to customize your sweaters by adding:
  • bust darts
  • shoulder shaping
  • curved hems
  • collars that fold….
  • seamless top-down sleeves Circularly shaped sweaters that use short-rows as basic construction technique (Opposite Pole, Ecuador, Make a Wish, Meridien). 

Madtosh Crafts (Dallas): Mon, Feb 2nd - 9 to 12 AM
Happy Knits (Portland, OR): Sunday, Feb 8th - 3 to 6 PM

In this friendly workshop, we’ll talk about how to choose a sweater that will make you really happy after spending so much time knitting it. We’ll discuss:
How to choose the best shapes for your body.
How to take measurements of your body and choose the right size of the pattern you want knit.
How to customize a sweater to your own body according to your:
  • Waist length
  • Arm circumference
  • Bust measurement
  • Hip measurement How to add:
  • Bust darts
  • Waist shaping
  • Curved hems
  • Length to the back so that it doesn’t ride up 
How to choose the proper length for you.
How to choose the right yarn for a project.
A quick look at some of my samples and their sizes, shapes, lengths and styles.

In the meantime, I keep swatching and learning the few tricks I still needed to learn about short rows... ;)


LilEmy said...

Hey Congrats !! I wish I live in the US to have à chance to meet you (and Veera)
You are a very talented person, and I think sometimes you don t give yourself enough credit :) your designs are beautiful and elaborate, you seem to be the sweetest woman ever (the kind of one you want to be friends with), no wonder these shops asked you to teach :)
Trust yourself, I am sure you will rock!
Take care!

Chaitanya said...

Congratulations, Joji! I am going to be in your Sweater Design class at Madtosh Crafts, and am so excited to meet you and Veera!

Anonymous said...

Congratulations, Joji! Looking forward to meeting you at Happy Knits. I couldn't get into the class I wanted with you because of my schedule, but I will come to the trunk show and say hello!

I hope you love Portland. It is a beautiful city with a LOT of yarn shops!

Pam said...

I have other commitments the weekend you'll be in Portland -- Only 4 hours from me. So disappointed, but I hope you have a wonderful time. If you like books, I hope, when you are in Portland, they give you time to visit Powell's. It is one of my favorite Portland places (Happy Knits is another).

Angeluna said...

Sounds exciting. I will be in your Sweater Design class at MadTosh. Looking forward to it.

MadTosh is a wonderful environment by the way.

Anne said...

Joji, I took your "Sweaters that Fit"class, and I wanted to say again how delightful and informative you and the class was this morning. Your explanations were so clear, and I feel certain I will be able to improve the fit of my sweaters. I hope to take another of your class again in the future.
Sincerely, Anne

Francis said...

Joji, I took your class this morning and it was wonderful. I'm sure my next sweater will be better. Thanks again for coming so far to teach.

KJ said...

I'm signed up for your short rows class in Portland at Happy Knits. I'm so excited! Talk about feeling like a beginning knitter: I love your designs but have yet to tackle any of them because so many of them have short rows. I look forward to learning how and why you use them, and of course meeting you!

Jitters said...

Hi Joji! Thank you SO very much for teaching such a WONDERFUL class on short rows. I found I had been doing wrap and turns all wrong this whole time. I also found your formula for adding more shaping to your sweaters using short rows very valuable and fascinating! There are so many more possibilities now! I do hope that you get the chance to visit Seattle sometime! It was such a pleasure meeting you!

Katharina said...

Dear Joji,

Congratulations! I would like to take this opportunity and write a blogpost on you and your fabolous designs. Is there a "press kit" about your work you could send me or would you take the time to answer some of my questions via email? That would be most kind of you! Please let me know if you´re interested and contact me via

Thanks and have a great day!

endy smith said...

The training of this type will allow you to master the basic skills of creating a particular design. It will be much easier with a more detailed explanation

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