October 29, 2019

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Stephen West’s shawl designs and innovative use of colour have helped him become an internationally recognized and respected designer. Join him on Wednesday 22nd April 2020 at Countess Ablaze in Manchester, UK 

Shawl Evolution 
Join Stephen West as he takes you on a shawl journey that begins with his very first triangular shawl pattern called Boneyard Shawl. We will experiment with stripes, short rows, and increases to transform our triangles into shapely shawl evolutions. Ten years later, Stephen is still creating adventurous shawl shapes that transform from simple architectural forms into more complex splashy displays of colour.
Emphasis will focus on experimenting with elements like colourful stripes, Westknits shortcut rows, and yarn overs. Bring needles and 5 – 10 leftover bits of colour to play with shawl construction. After playing with different techniques, you will have the opportunity to cast on one of the projects from Shawl Evolution with Stephen's help, or to mix up your favourite elements into your own shawl mashup. 
Bring yarn and your chosen Westknits shawl pattern to cast on and enjoy an invigorating workshop filled with colour and texture.
 
 
Materials: Bring 5 – 10 colours to play with and yarn to cast on a pattern of your choice. Mohair and alpaca yarns are encouraged to add some texture to your project. Bring wound yarn and pattern to cast on during the class.
 
Wear your Westknits! Don’t forget to bring your Westknits or other favourite knitted projects to show off and wear during the workshop.
 
Skill Level: Adventurous Beginner - Advanced
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Meet & Greet
 In 2019 we’re celebrating 10 years of Westknits with the launch of Westknits Bestknits 3: Shawl Evolution. Come witness the colourful world of Westknits and try on samples from Stephen’s most popular designs.  Stephen will give an inspiring presentation on how he works with yarns, textures, and shapes followed by a book signing of all Westknits Bestknits books. After the book signing, Stephen will be available to help you shop for colours and yarns for your next Westknits project.
 
Wear your Westknits! Don’t forget to bring your Westknits or other favourite knitted projects to show off and wear during the workshop.

 

About Stephen:

Stephen was born and raised in Tulsa, Oklahoma. He studied dance at the University of Illinois, where he encountered his first local yarn store, Klose Knit in Urbana. The creative atmosphere of that local shop spurred Stephen to start designing patterns, and he was soon featured in Knitty’s fall 2009 issue with his Colonnade Shawl. Not long after, he moved to Amsterdam, publishing more patterns and launching a series of pattern books under the name Westknits. He continues to produce pattern books and hosts several online knit-alongs each year. His simple, clean, architectural designs have now been knitted by thousands of knitters all around the world.

Stephen has taught workshops throughout the United States and internationally in Finland, Denmark, Germany, Italy, France, Israel, Iceland, UK, and Amsterdam where he co-owns Stephen & Penelope, a yarn boutique in the city center. 2019 has been a busy year for Stephen. He celebrated 10 years of designing with the launch of his new book Westknits Bestknits 3 Shawl Evolution, and Stephen and his business partner Malia Mae Joseph realized a long-held dream by launching their first yarn brand, West Wool.

Photos are copyrighted, Darren Smith

 

About Countess Ablaze:

Countess Ablaze is an established, independent yarn dyer since 2011 and has a three floor dye studio and retail boutique in the Northern Quarter of Manchester city centre. There are two showrooms on the ground and first floor. The building is DDA compliant with a lift and wheelchair access throughout. The ground floor is dedicated to sock yarn and fingering weight and the middle floor is dedicated to everything else.