This weekend I had the great fortune to take a class with Stephen West and his friend Ragga. They were fantastic!!! The class was called RagaWest Idea Tank.

I was at the Fancy Tiger in Denver a while back and they told me about the class coming up. I signed up immediately. The last one sold out before I even heard of it so I wanted to make sure I got a seat.

My dear friend Martha and I has just spent a week of vacation participating in various fibery things- one of which was to visit the Loopy Ewe in Ft Collins. While there, I found some amazing fiber from Dragonfly.

I started to spin the fiber and, as tends to happen as I'm sitting at my wheel hour after hour, an idea emerged. Why not design a dragonfly shawl? So, I balled my yarn and headed down to Denver to learn how to create my dream.

see dragonfly photo

Much of the class focused on how to find inspiration. It was really fascinating to see how Stephen and Ragga's process went. Their techniques are going to be wildly useful as I begin to design and publish a few of my own patterns. I can't wait!!!

Now, our brilliant professors kept talking about a surprise twist that they were going to throw at us. Toward the end of the three hour journey into creation, they finally told us what they were going to do. They instructed each of us to take the design work that we had so carefully been slaving over and pass it to the person on our left.

I couldn't have been luckier. The woman to my left had been knitting about 20 years longer that I'd been alive. She was, in her words, "a master technician and knitting guru" or something to that effect. It wasn't that she lacked humility. She just knew that she was that good. She took a look at some of my sketches and put the finishing touches on them. She made some of the compromises that I'd been nervous to do and added a couple of details that I had imagined but could not quite manage with my current knowledge. Here's the final result.

see dragonfly sketch photo

I'll have to make some final decisions on what stitch I'll use where, but the general shape and pattern is there. I think the final product will be quite stunning. It will take some time. I've got a strange knitters ethic that only allows me to have two projects on the needles at the same time, and I currently have three. Four would be completely unacceptable, so it will be a bit before I'm able to start the dragonfly, but once I do, I think it will be amazing!!! Wish me luck.

See Stephen West Photo

Image icon dragonfly.jpg1.47 MB
Image icon dragonfly sketch.jpg1.31 MB
Image icon Stephen West.jpg1.12 MB


Joe-in Wyoming's picture

Congratulations on the design. It looks very promising and I'm glad you enjoyed the class and got so much positive help and feedback.

Books, knitting, cats, fountain pens...Life is Good.

SAPBrown's picture

Beautiful yarn, can not wait to see what you do with it.

Nehkhasi's picture

The same goes for me!


MMario's picture

I am officially jealous!

MMario - I'm not divorced from reality - we're having a trial separation