Textiles group critique

Machine Knitting: Shaping While Making

In this introductory course, students gain an in-depth understanding of the use of the knitting machine, including a core grasp of pattern drafting and construction techniques. Students initially focus on the “grid” found in most textile structures, and then explore what makes knitting unique–that it can be shaped during the making process, and it stretches. Emphasis is placed on understanding the expressive qualities of color, texture and pattern inherent in knitting, and how to utilize those qualities to explore personal concepts. Students begin with an in-depth study of color, including how landscapes can inform stripes and how a collection of motifs can be integrated into color studies. Students then move on to learn a series of machine knitting techniques, culminating in a rich and comprehensive vocabulary of methods and an extensive personal library of materials and samples. A discussion of the history of knitting and an introduction to methods of finishing are also included. The final project, usually a completed garment, interiors piece or fine arts piece, is an exploration of the multitude of ways one shapes the knitted fabric during the knitting process. Students are given the opportunity to coordinate and display their work as part of the program fashion show and open studios, held on the last day of Summer Programs, Friday, August 2. No previous knitting/textiles experience is required. The tuition provides access to the RISD Textile Department’s extensive yarn collection for sampling.

Course #1944
Emily O’Neil

Schedule A
June 24–July 30, 2019
Mondays + Tuesdays
9 am–4 pm

Tuition $2,975
Tuition for RISD Alumni and Students $2,380

3 Credits


Emily O’Neil

Emily O'Neil received her BFA in textiles from Rhode Island School of Design and went on to work in the studios of Liz Collins and Norah Gaughan. She has been a designer and photo stylist for Berroco Fine Yarns and production knitter for Mischa Lampert and Virginia Sin. Emily is a freelance designer in the knitwear industry and has created a line of personalized jewelry inspired by the sea. She has researched and created her own eco-friendly dyes using locally foraged flora and teaches this method in workshops. She currently teaches machine knitting in the Textile and Fashion Design Department at Maine College of Art.