More preparation: Festival Twist!

So last time I talked about preparation for the Tour de France KAL (pictures to come soon). Another load of preparation on my plate is for this August’s Festival Twist. I’m teaching 3 courses at Twist, and I’m putting the finishing touches on my notes, making more mini-samples to pass around and running test classes by friends to make sure it all still makes sense!

If you’re not familiar with this amazing festival, it’s quite a few days of courses in all different disciplines of the fibre world and 3 days (Aug 17-19) of a show with amazing vendors, local food, art exhibits and more. It’s located in Saint-André-Avellin, Québec. It’s about an hour’s drive from Ottawa (a little more from the outskirts) and about 1.5 hours from Montréal. I’ve been attending for years, and I’m so excited that this year I get to share some of the things that I love about knitting with others. I’ll be teaching in English, but my French comprehension is pretty good, and I expect to be doing a bit of work in both official languages.

On Saturday August 18th, I’m teaching a full day of Knitting with Beads. You bring fingering weight yarn and appropriate needles, and I’ll bring the beads, sequins, and scales and we’ll explore a whole variety of ways of attaching objects with holes to your knitting.

Knitting with Beads

As we work our way through making samples, there will be lots of time for show and tell of existing pieces and discussing the merits of different methods of working with beads.


On the morning of Sunday August 19th, I’m teaching something very dear to my heart: Knitting Lace Basics.


If you have been too afraid to try to knit lace or if you’ve tried but you’d like some help, I’ll walk you through how I see lace. Using worsted weight wool to make things bigger and easier to see, we’ll work though some basic stitches, building up a stitch vocabulary together. We’ll focus on learning to read both our knitting and lace charts. The class notes have both charts and written instructions (just like most of my patterns), but I want to show you how a good chart and reading your knitting can help let you know if you’ve gone wrong somewhere.

Dominion Building Shawl by Natalie Servant (in Cariboubaa by Indigodragonfly)

We’ll also discuss (and try) lifelines, stitch markers, and other ways to make knitting lace easier when you’re just starting out. I can’t wait to encourage more lace knitters!


Finally, on the afternoon of Sunday August 19th, I’m teaching a class on Shawl Shapes. I have so much fun designing shawls, and I’m going to break down how to knit a variety of basic shapes.

Shawl Shapes

I have got class notes and mini-samples that cover more than we could possibly work on in one class, so I encourage students to try to knit the mini-shapes that they are most interested in during class, and we’ll deal with any questions that come up.


We’ll also look at many of my samples, and I’ll explain why I did what I did and how I tweaked the basic shapes taught in class to get exactly what I wanted.

Sunflower Field Shawl

I want people to leave this class feeling confident they can tackle a new shape and understand what they’re doing, whether they’re working from a pattern or creating their own design.

Gavrinis by Natalie Servant (West Yorkshire Spinners Signature 4 Ply)

Looking forward to seeing you at the Festival Twist in August!

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