Work Shop Preparation

Decorative Techniques Workshop


May 22nd and May 23rd 2010 10am – 4pm


Tutor Denise Musk


The day is aimed at encouraging a new approach to knitting and to challenge participants to think of their knitted fabric as a creative tool which can be used in many more ways than they thought possible. Machine knitters have a unique advantage over other craft workers. We make our own fabrics in a colour, weight and stitch of our choosing. Think of the workshop as a way of using up odd cones of fine yarn or yarn too thin to use on its own to make a garment.


The plan for each day is to begin with showing some of my garments using the mixed media techniques which will be taught at the workshop. There will be a short demonstration on each of the three topics. Participants will be asked to select which technique they would like to try. If the skills are spread evenly amongst Guild members then there will be a pool of individuals who will be able to pass on their new found skills to other members who are unable to attend.


The topics to be covered are


1 How to easily produce individual motifs without an embroidery machine. 


2 Using a twin needle to add interest to a knitted fabric strip


3 Make machine embroidered lace on water-soluble fabric to use as an insert in a garment


Things to do before the day


1 Check that your sewing machine is in full working order, oiled, if the manufacturer advises this and that the bobbin race is clean.


2 For making the individual motifs using a knitted fabric and an ordinary sewing machine with a zig zag stitch.

Knit two rectangles, about the size of an A4 sheet, in a fine yarn.  Hobby – Bright Acrylic – Cotton or a soft medium textured yarn are all suitable. The colours can be toning or contrasting to suit your taste. If you feel comfortable press the samples using a steam iron taking care to keep the rows and stitches in line.


3 For twin needle sewing on knitted strips.

Knit a two or three strips of fabric over 15 or 20 stitches in a fine yarn. 250/300 rows should be enough. If you feel confident lightly steam press the fabric retaining the alignment of the rows and stitches.


4 For making free machine embroidered lace there is no preparation. A sewing machine with a drop feed facility, an embroidery frame and a piece of cold water soluble fabric are all that is needed to get started.



Things to bring


For all techniques:-

·         A sewing machine and the relevant manual, spare sewing machine needles just in case! Remember the lead and the foot pedal. If you have a darning foot then it will help with the free machine embroidery.

·         Dress making and sewing scissors

·         Pencil and paper 


For making individual motifs from machine knitted fabric

·         A printed sheet of motifs

·         Two A4 pieces of knitted fabric in a fine yarn.

·         A piece of 2oz weight wadding

·         Ordinary sewing thread in a colour to match the background fabric plus a selection of machine embroidery threads in colours which either match, tone or contrast with the fine knitted samples


For twin needle sewing on knitted strips.

·         A 4mm wide stretch twin needle. If you have not used a twin needle before it may be advisable to bring spare needles

  • Two or three strips of fabric over 15 or 20 stitches in a fine yarn.


For making free machine embroidered lace

·         An embroidery frame which will fit under the machine foot. A 5” spring hoop embroidery frame is best as it is easy to move.

·         A piece of cold water soluble fabric to fit your embroidery frame. This will form the base of the free machine embroidered lace.


Optional Items


Small pieces of cold water-soluble fabric to stabilise your work would be useful.  Denise will bring scraps of cold water soluble fabric which will be available to participants.