When you bump into Charley Orlando at the Folk School, one can’t assume he is teaching Blacksmithing, though he’s been teaching it here since 1989.  This is because Charley also teaches Tin Can Art and Knitting.  Charley’s classes are usually full with students waiting patiently on the sidelines hoping to get in.  Maybe we should make two of him.  That’s why this week we’re just going to follow Charley around as he takes his class into the world of Gansey and Aran knitting.   Let’s see what we’ll be discovering as the week progresses.

Charley Orlando

Class description
This class is designed to help students learn how to identify the varied Aran and Gansey patterns, learn strategies for understanding individual patterns, reproducing them, and designing new and interesting patterns of their own; all without written directions.  You say it can’t be done!  We shall see.

Prerequisites:  All students have the pre-requisite skills of performing knit and purl stitches comfortably.

Rules for the class are the same as the overall focus of the Folk School:
– Enjoy the learning process.  Relax
-Learn by doing
-Learn from mistakes and find out why they occurred
-Compete only with yourself.  Learn what you are able to learn without being concerned with the progress of fellow students.
-Realize that if you find that a task is hard for you, it is only because you have never done it before.

Individual goals are:
-Learning the cable and bobble patterns so the student doesn’t have to read the book to do them
-Learn the history of traditional Aran and Gansey sweaters and the differences between these two sweater patterns
-Learn to read patterns and to correct errors in knitting
-Knitting tips
-Understanding knitting better and be more comfortable while knitting
-Learn new patterns and how to use them in sweater design

Let’s get started!

Emolyn Liden, Writer, Student & Instructor
About Emolyn Liden, Writer, Student & Instructor