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Anna Zilboorg
Anna’s Panels: Design-as-you-go construction
Camp STITCHES - Destination Coeur d'Alene

Now an Anglican Solitary living in the Blue Ridge Mountains, Anna shares her knowledge on embroidering your knits with Splendid Apparel (XRX Books). Her other books include Magnificent Mittens and Socks, Fancy Feet, 45 Fine & Fanciful Hats to Knit, Knitting for Anarchists, and Socks for Sandals and Clogs.

Most sweaters are made with a front, a back, and two sleeves. Anna’s workshop explores sweater-making and design possibilities in a new light—panel construction—where front and back panels attach to side panels as you knit. Little or no sewing is required.

The center panels can be worked with no shaping; we leave that for those side panels. This restores pleasure to the process, makes it easy to fit individual body shapes, and adds slimming lines to the sweater if you like.

Let it be clear: this method is fine for simple, straightforward, everyday sweaters in one color. But once you imagine the panels in different colors, textures, and stitches, the possibilities explode.

Best of all in this “ultimate procrastinator’s method,” you can design as you go. There’s no need to know what the sleeves will be before you make the body or what the top will be before you make the bottom. You can change your plan throughout the process.

So come to Coeur d’Alene, bring several balls of your favorite yarns and colors, and get started. We’ll practice the construction techniques, cover various style possibilities, then explore less familiar stitches that are particularly useful for panels and strips—twisted traveling stitches worked flat, two-handed stranded worked backwards, and clusters made on the fly.

Panel sweaters can reveal their heritage in multi-hues, assorted textures, stacked patterns, or opposed gradations—characteristics visible in many of the sweaters Anna Zilboorg made for Splendid Apparel—or they can keep their secrets hidden. 

You decide.