1/28/18 - Designing Knitted Tessellations: The Deluxe Edition (6 hours) with Franklin Habit -10am-5pm

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Tessellations–repeating motifs which lock together without gaps or overlaps–are as old as design itself. They can be found in the some of the most ancient examples of human design, and were famously used in the modern era by the artists William Morris and M.C. Escher.

In this intense but playful full day class, we will discuss and practice the basic techniques for creating tessellated patterns in hand-knitted fabrics. In the morning, the focus is on creating interlocking tessellations–individual shapes that, when repeated, seamless join together to make a pattern. In the afternoon, we will play with eleven varieties of symmetry–the fundamental building blocks for creating vigorous “endless line” and “wallpaper” motifs.

Students will leave with the know-how to begin designing their own tessellated fabrics.


Students will not be required to swatch in class; but students who wish to do so may work in knit/purl textures in the first half. The patterns designed in the second half are most easily expressed in two-color stranded knitting, so students wishing to swatch should be adept at it. The method used for swatching is the student’s choice: in the round, flat, or speed-swatching are all suitable. Whichever method is selected, the student must be adept at it as knitting and swatching techniques are not taught in class. A sense of humor, a reasonable ability to concentrate, and a taste for adventure are strongly advised.


Yarn: Choose solid or semi-solid colors with little or no halo/fuzz to obscure visibility or make ripping back difficult. Two balls in highly contrasting colors if you wish to work in stranded colorwork; one ball if you choose to work in knit/purl texture patterns. (If the latter, white or a light solid color is preferred.)

Needles: Select needles of a size appropriate to the yarn(s) selected. A circular needle of 16”-24” length is found by most students to be useful.

Notions: Stitch markers, scissors that will cut paper, notebook, pencils (not pens) and erasers for sketching, charting, and note-taking. A roll of cellophane (i.e., Scotch) tape. Two or more 8.5x11 sheets of graph paper ruled in squares at 4 squares/inch. This paper is easily procured from shops or can be printed, free, at such Web sites as http://www.printfreegraphpaper.com/.


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