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Weekend Workshop with Gwen Bortner

May 17, 2014 - May 18, 2014

Gwen Bortner

The Windy City Knitting Guild is pleased to welcome Gwen Bortner for a weekend workshop.

Gwen Bortner is the author of Entrée to Entrelac and a popular teacher and designer. Her designs have been published in Knitter’s Magazine, Creative Knitting, among others. She teaches knitting techniques at workshops and conferences across the country. Gwen lives in Le Grand, California.  For more information visit her website

Class 1: Knitting in Both Directions

Saturday, May 17, 2014, 9:00 AM – 12:00 PM (3 hours)
Class size: 20
Student Skill Level: Students should be very comfortable with both knitting and purling.

Workshop Description
Most of us knit in one direction, but what would happen if you could knit in EITHER direction? Bobbles would pop out faster, entrelac would be even more fun, edgings would be added more quickly, and your yarn would be less tangled. Some call it knitting back backwards, but regardless of the name, it is a great skill to have in your knitting arsenal. You can learn the basics to knitting (and purling) in “the other direction” regardless of the way you knit now! All it takes, as with most things, is a little bit of practice.

Class Activity: Students will gain insight on how to teach themselves to knit and purl backwards in the same manner that they knit and purl forward.

Supply List: 1 oz of smooth worsted weight yarn and appropriately sized needles.

Class 2: Entrelac Basics

Saturday, May 17, 2014, 1:30 PM – 4:30 PM (3 hours)
Class size: 20
Student Skill Level: Knitting basics, comfortable working on double pointed needles.

Workshop Description
Have you always wanted to learn entrelac but thought it would be too hard? Whether a beginner or advanced knitter this class is for you. During this class, each student will have the opportunity to knit a small project to gain hands-on experience in the entrelac technique. Participants will learn the seamless entrelac technique and basic entrelac construction techniques. A discussion of other project possibilities will also be included.

Class Activity: Students will create a small entrelac project to learn entrelac basics.

Supply List: 1 oz each of two different colors of worsted weight wool (non-machine washable, feltable) and 5.5 mm (US #9) set of 5 DPNs (wood or plastic), 6” – 8“ long.

Homework:  With one of the two colors cast on 36 sts onto DPNs divided evenly between 4 needles and join without twisting. Work 3 rounds of purl and leave on needles.

Class 3: Advanced Double Knitting

Sunday, May 18, 2014, 9:00 AM – 12:00 PM (3 hours)
Class size: 20
Student Skill Level: Must already be familiar with traditional two-color double knitting.

Workshop Description
Take your double knitting to a whole new level. If you have played with traditional two-color double knitting, you know there are limitations. Not everything looks correct when reversed. However, it is possible to create a double knit fabric with two different patterns. Learn the secrets of creating different patterns on each side of the work. Explore options for using two or three colors. Gain insights on creating your own double knit designs with different patterns on each side.

Class Activity: Students will create a swatch of double knitting with different patterns on each side.

Supply List: 25g each of a light and dark yarn in similar weight (DK or worsted recommended) and needles appropriate to yarn selected. Optional: a third contrasting yarn in the same weight.

Homework: Cast on 20 pairs of sts., Work in 4 stitch x 5 row checkerboard for 10 rows total., Work 2 rows of plain double knitting. Leave on needles.

Class 4: Brioche—The Basics and Beyond

Sunday, May 18, 2014, 1:30 PM – 4:30 PM (3 hours)
Class size: 20
Student Skill Level: Must be comfortable with yarnovers, manipulated stitches, and reading a pattern.

Workshop Description
Brioche is a category of stitches that is often overlooked by many knitters, but it has several characteristics that make it great for lots of projects. It is a great choice for scarves or blankets as it tends to lay flat and is attractive on both sides. Learn the basics of brioche, including the classic construction as well as alternative construction techniques while creating a sampler of several brioche patterns. Gain an understanding of this unique fabric that just might become one of your favorites.

Class Activity: Students will create a brioche sampler to gain insights and understanding of the technique.

Supply List: 1 oz each of 2 colors of DK to worsted weight yarn (wool recommended), circular or pair of DPN needles 1 size smaller than what would typically be used with the yarn.

Homework: None.

Pricing & Registration

You may register online below or download the registration form to print out and mail in. Workshop prices are $50/workshop for WCKG members and $60/workshop for non-WCKG members. WCKG members  may register for the weekend workshop package (all 4 workshops) for the reduced price of $180.

If you’d like to take advantage of WCKG pricing, you can join the guild first and then register.


All classes will be held at The Admiral at the Lake929 W. Foster Ave., Chicago, IL. If you need assistance getting there please contact Elisabeth Malthouse ( for assistance.

Food and beverages are not provided at the workshops. There are several restaurants nearby or you may bring your own food and beverages.

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Price: $180.00

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May 17, 2014
May 18, 2014


The Admiral at the Lake
929 W. Foster Ave., Chicago, IL 60640 United States
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