Oak Hill Needle Arts School

While we often think of Heritage Preservation in terms of architecture, there is also a need to preserve and promote the more ephemeral aspects of our heritage, including traditional crafts and arts. Especially those areas often seen as “women’s work” have tended to be set aside and devalued by our society.  Preservation of our whole heritage needs to include preserving and passing on those skills, as well as buildings and old machinery.  In our hurried and isolated 21st century lives, many women and men wish they’d had opportunity to learn some traditional handwork—whether to make gifts or just to keep their hands busy while watching TV or attending children’s sports practices. Hobbies that produce functional and beautiful items have, historically, been valued and practiced in our geographic region.  Oak Hill Needle Arts School will be preserving and passing on traditional needle arts, while presenting them in contemporary applications. Class offerings will include knitting, crocheting, and embroidery, among others. Classes will be small in size (3-6 students per class), and meet for limited sessions, providing instruction from the most basic to more advanced skills and projects.  The goal is to foster love for needle arts, by providing encouragement, fun and useful projects, and expert technical instruction. 50% of all class tuitions will also help to support ongoing maintenance and programming at the Oak Hill School.

Saturday classes are open to anyone 12 years old or older, on a first-come, first-served basis, until each class is full. Pre-registration and payment of class tuition is required, to ensure small classes and optimal student to teacher ratio.

All classes will take place in the historic Oak Hill Schoolhouse, with the first “summer term” starting on Saturdays in June, 2013.  In an effort to make traditional arts accessible to all, tuition will be at the basic rate of $10 per 90 minute session, half of which supports Oak Hill School.

Deb Burger, founding teacher and Jonesborough resident, is a Heritage Alliance member, a Professional Member of the Crochet Guild of America, and a member of The Knitting Guild of America. She has published 2 books of crochet instruction and designs, and has over 20 years experience teaching various textile arts to all ages, including several years at the John C. Campbell Folk School.  The full schedule and class descriptions can be found below.

Schedule (dates and times are also included on the site”s calendar page)

June 8:

11AM-1PM (bring a sack lunch to eat during the half-hour break) Beginning Continental Knitting, session 1 of 2.

1:30-3:00 Intermediate Knitting: All About I-Cord (1 session)

June 15:

11AM-1PM (bring a sack lunch to eat during the half-hour break) Beginning Continental Knitting, session 2 of 2.

1:30-3:00  Beginning Crochet, session 1 of 3

June 22:

11AM-1PM (bring a sack lunch to eat during the half-hour break) Advanced Beginner Crochet: Granny Squares – 1 session

1:30-3:00  Beginning Crochet, session 2 of 3

3:15-4:45  Beginning Counted Cross Stitch Embroidery (session 1 of 2)

June 29:

11AM-1PM (bring a sack lunch to eat during the half-hour break) Advanced Beginner Knitting: Super Stretchy Cast-On and Super Stretchy Bind-Off

1:30-3:00  Beginning Crochet, session 3 of 3

3:15- 4:45  Beginning Counted Cross Stitch, session 2 of 2

Class Descriptions:

Beginning Continental Knitting—“Continental” is the style of  best online casino knitting used throughout Europe and Asia, in which the yarn is held in the left hand, requiring much less hand movement to make every stitch. It lends itself to efficient knitting, even tension, and makes colorwork techniques much simpler.  It’s a great idea for most knitters to be able to work both “English” style (yarn in right hand) and Continental, although English is what’s usually taught in America. This class, for both absolute beginners and English knitters who’d like to broaden their horizons, will consist of 2  90 minute sessions. Skills taught will include Long tail cast-on, knit stitch, purl stitch and binding off.  Each student will learn to read simple knitting patterns, and will make a ribbed neckwarmer, or “scarflette”. Tuition: $20, and plan to spend $10- 15 on needles and yarn. 2 sessions, 6/8 & 6/15; 11AM to 1 PM, bring sack lunch).

Beginning Crochet—This class for absolute beginners will teach the basic stitches and the language of written crochet patterns.  The class consists of 3 90 minute sessions, and includes: chain foundation, single crochet, double crochet, turning chains and edging.  Students will make an eyelet neck warmer, using all the basic stitches.  Both left- and right-handed students are welcome. Tuition: $30, and plan to spend $7- 15 on hook and yarn. 3 Sessions: 6/15, 6/22 & 6/29, 1:30 – 3PM.

Beginning Counted Cross-Stitch—An introduction for absolute beginners, this class will teach students how to read and use a cross stitch chart, stitch technique for single color and multi-color projects, and each student will create a sachet pillow with embroidered front and back.  Tuition: $20, plus $5 materials kit(paid separately to teacher). 2 Sessions, 6/22 & 6/29, 3:15 – 4:45PM.

Super Stretchy Cast-On and Bind-Off, for Advanced Beginner knitters (and above). This single-session class will revolutionize your knitting, enabling you to cast-on and bind-off edges that are as stretchy as the fabric you create between them—no more stiff, tight edges, reliable cuffs for socks and sweater sleeves, blankets that lay flat! Because we only cast-on and bind-off when beginning and ending projects, it’s easy to forget the details before next time they’re needed; so class handouts will provide a written reminder of the techniques taught and practiced in class.  No project, just a practice swatch.  Tuition: $10, no extra cost (you’ll use your scrap yarn and favorite needles). 1 Session, 6/29, 11AM- 1PM (bring a sack lunch).

Granny Squares for Advanced Beginner Crocheters—If you can do the chain stitch and double crochet you can master this most famous and beloved crochet pattern motif.  The class will teach the logic of working from center out, with corner increases, changing colors, and joining squares together. Each student will make a 5-Granny Hat. Class handouts will also give lots of other ideas for projects with Granny Squares. Tuition: $10, plan to spend $10-$15 for yarn. 1 session: 6/22, 11AM to 1PM, bring a sack lunch.

All About I-Cord for Advanced Beginner and Intermediate Knitters—I-Cord is one of those techniques that seems scary and difficult….. until you learn the simple knack of it. Then a world of possibilities (drawstrings, purse handles, jewelry,tailored sweater edgings…) opens up!  We will first learn to make plain i-cord, in several stitch diameters, and then an applied i-cord edging or bind-off for “finishing” other knitted projects. The class project is a set of feltable coasters with i-cord edging, and i-cord loops for hanging up neatly. Tuition: $10, expect to spend $7 to 10 for yarn. 1 Session, 6/8 1:30 – 3PM.