Knitting Classes, Lessons and Events

Learn to knit with The Chilly Dog: knitting classes, and private knitting lessons in Tucson, Arizona

2020 Events

Red Chilly Pepper Fiber Retreat at The Urban Grove, March 7, 2020: Take your fiber arts skills to the next level with lessons in color theory, the mechanics of knitting, felted fiber vessels and overlay crochet

Red Chilly Pepper Fiber Retreat

When: Saturday, March 7, from 9 a.m. - 4 p.m.
Where: The Urban Grove, 550 W Orange Grove Rd, Tucson, AZ
Cost: $125 - the day includes three 75-minute breakout sessions, class materials, lunch, and refreshments

This one day fiber retreat, hosted at The Urban Grove, a historic citrus grove, date palm oasis and event space, features instructional sessions with local artists, Ellen Thomas from The Chilly Dog, Sandi Kramer from SR Pepper Fiber Studio and Susan Sellers from The Big Red Skein.

The day will begin with a general color theory presentation followed by three, small group, breakout sessions with the artists. Lunch and refreshments will be provided by The Urban Grove.

At the end of the day, SR Pepper Fiber Studio and Grandma’s Spinning Wheel will be vending locally hand dyed yarns and fibers for the projects we are sure you will want to make with your new and improved skills.

Break Out Sessions

Students will be able to participate in up to 3 of the 4 sessions. Yarn/fiber will be provided for all of the sessions. 
  • The Mechanics of Knitting - Personal Stitch Analysis
  • The Mechanics of Knitting - Style and Method Exploration
  • Felted Fiber Vessels
  • Overlay Crochet
Students who would like to participate in Overlay Crochet or either of the Mechanics of Knitting sessions should bring their own US size F (3.75 mm) crochet hook and/or US 8 (5.0 mm) knitting needles.

The Mechanics of Knitting with Ellen THomas from The Chilly Dog

Ellen Thomas presents The Mechanics of Knitting. Learn how stitch formation, knitting style and knitting method effect your fabric so you can prevent common tension and gauge issues.

The Mechanics of Knitting - Personal Stitch Analysis is ideal for people who consider themselves to be tight or loose knitters or experience tension issues like rowing out. Students will evaluate their own stitch formation and identify small changes that can be made to create a more uniform fabric with properly sized stitches. 

The Mechanics of Knitting - Style and Method Exploration is for adventurous knitters. Students will practice a variety of knitting methods and styles (combination knitting, Portuguese knitting, the Norwegian purl, Continental knitting and English knitting) and discuss the pros and cons of each. Not only can the use of different methods and styles improve the texture of your fabric, they can also help you avoid the repetitive muscle injuries knitters often experience.

Felted Fiber Vessels with Sandi Kramer from SR Pepper Fiber Studio

Sandi Kramer presents Felted Fiber Vessels. Learn how to use a resist in order to make a 3-dimensional wet felted vessel.

Felted Fiber Vessels is for everyone.  Students will be making a wet felted vessel. The class teaches the basics of wet felting and the use of a resist in order to form a 3-dimensional vessel. Students will be given the opportunity to attach decorative elements to their vessel in the form of wet felted flowers, dyed curls, silk bits, yarn, ribbon and beads. It will be a fun way to explore creativity while learning a new skill.

Overlay Crochet with Susan Sellers from The Big Red Skein

Susan Sellers presents Overlay Crochet. Learn the techniques and stitch placement of overlay crochet by crocheting a square that can lead to a project.

Overlay Crochet is for an advanced beginner to intermediate crocheter. Knowledge of chain stitch, single crochet, double crochet, triple crochet and pattern reading recommended. The class will show you how surface stitch placement can create shapes and designs on the surface of your fabric.



Meet the Teachers


Ellen Thomas from The Chilly Dog

Ellen Thomas, from The Chilly Dog, is an independent knitting designer and teacher with a background in mechanical engineering and over 3 decades of experience in fiber arts. Her patterns, tutorials and KALs (knit alongs) are designed especially for knitters who want to take their fundamental knitting skills to the next level. Ellen teaches knitting and spinning locally in Tucson, Arizona, and virtually, with weekly lessons on YouTube.

Sandi Kramer from SR Pepper Fiber Studio

Sandi Kramer, from SR Pepper Fiber Studio, has been working with fiber since the age of 9, when she learned how to sew. Her art training was formalized at Maryland Institute of Art, graduating in 2000. From there she worked as lead designer at The Department of Graphic Design for the state of Maryland, Business Development. Sandi's large needle felted pieces have been shown in Austin, Texas, as well as Tucson, Arizona, at Grandma's Spinning Wheel, where she is the Artist in Residence. Besides teaching wet felting, needle felting, circular weaving and an occasional knitting class, Sandi is an indie dyer, creating yarn for local yarn shops. Her yarn was recently featured in Nomadic Knits, issue three, New Mexico and Arizona.

Susan Sellers from The Big Red Skein

Susan Sellers, from The Big Red Skein, has been crocheting as well as doing various other fiber arts for 31 years. She is the owner of the Etsy Shop Curio Find Designs. Susan has taught beginning crochet, circular and small loom weaving, and basket coiling classes at the Sheep Thrills Retreat, Grandma’s Spinning Wheel, and private lessons.

2020 Knitting Classes and Lessons with The Chilly Dog

If you like The Chilly Dog's knitting tutorials and videos, you'll love my in person instruction. Get help with the skills or techniques that you or your group are most interested in. From casting on to binding off and everything in between. I offer small group classes and private lessons locally in Tucson, Arizona. For more information or to schedule a class/lesson, e-mail me.


Not in Tucson? I occasionally take my show on the road to yarn shops, guilds and knitting groups. E-mail me with your teaching requests.

Knitting 101 (3 hours)

Prerequisites: a desire to learn how to knit
Description: Learn the fundamentals of knitting starting with an overview of different types of yarn and needles, styles of knitting and some basic terminology (right side, wrong side, front and back). Then pick up your needles and yarn to practice the long tail cast on, the knit stitch and the purl stitch.

Drop Spinning 101 (2-3 hours)

Prerequisites: a desire to learn how to spin yarn with a drop spindle
Description: Learn the fundamentals of spinning your own yarn starting with an overview of different styles of drop spindles, how wool fiber is prepared for spinning and some basic terminology (staple length, drafting, singles, s-twist, z-twist and plying). Then pick up a spindle and practice spinning your own yarn.

Any Gauge/Any Size Toe Up Socks

Live Toe Up Sock Knitting Class or Lesson with The Chilly Dog in Tucson, Arizona

Prerequisites: must be able to knit and purl, experience working in the round is helpful, but not mandatory
Description: Learn how to knit a pair of socks from the toe up using star toe shaping and a short row heel. The sock recipe given in this class can be used to knit socks in a variety of sizes with yarns that range between sock weight (1-super fine) and worsted weight (4-medium).

Lesson 1 (2 hours): overview of different methods of sock construction, how to take foot measurements for well fitting sock, the importance of gauge, circular cast on, toe shaping, knitting the foot

Lesson 2 (2 hours): short row heels using the shadow wrap method, knitting the leg and cuff, binding off

Any Gauge/Any Size Top Down Socks

Live Top Down Sock Knitting Class or Lesson with The Chilly Dog in Tucson, Arizona

Prerequisites: must be able to knit and purl, experience working in the round is helpful, but not mandatory
Description: Learn how to knit the most common style of socks from the top down using a flap and gusset heel and wedge toe. The sock recipe given in this class can be used to knit socks in a variety of sizes with yarns that range between sock weight (1-super fine) and worsted weight (4-medium).

Lesson 1 (2 hours): overview of different methods of sock construction, how to take foot measurements for well fitting sock, the importance of gauge, casting on in the round, knitting the cuff and leg, knitting the heel flap

Lesson 2 (2 hours): shaping the turn heel, picking up gusset stitches, shaping the gusset, knitting the foot.

Lesson 3 (2 hours): shaping the toe, finishing with the Kitchener stitch

Möbius Cast On (1 hour)

Live Mobius Cast-on Knitting Class or Lesson with The Chilly Dog in Tucson, Arizona

Prerequisites: must be able to knit and purl
Description: Learn a clever cast on that allows you to knit a true Möbius, a piece that only has one side, the right side, and one edge, the bound off edge. This cast on can be used for cowls, infinity scarves and shawls that are worked in the round and have a decorative half twist.

Add-On Lesson Option 1 (1 hour): learn how gauge effects the size of a Mobius and begin casting on an Ohmo Shawl (pattern included)

Add-On Lesson Option 2 (1 hour): learn how gauge effects the size of a Möbius and design your own basic ribbed cowl, scarf or shawl in the yarn of your choice

Kitchener Stitch & Finchley Graft (1 hour)

Prerequisites: must be able to knit and purl
Description: Learn two ways  to graft two pieces of knitting with live stitches together, the Kitchener stitch and the Finchley Graft
Name

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The Chilly Dog: Knitting Classes, Lessons and Events
Knitting Classes, Lessons and Events
Learn to knit with The Chilly Dog - Events, knitting classes and private knitting lessons in Tucson, Arizona.
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