Stephen West, knitwear designer and author of many books, and many, many (many!) patterns, was at Black Mountain Yarn Shop this weekend, and I was lucky enough to attend both of his classes. I found them particularly interesting because they were both hands-on. He presented many of his shawls (the exact samples photographed in his books, which was weirdly exciting), and talked through his design process and choices, and gave us insights into how he handles lots of design questions (I want a curved line here, or a dramatic increase there, how should I do it??), and then... we practiced. The first day with his basic techniques, but the second day by drawing a random shape and then brainstorming how to create it - and then casting on and seeing how it went. The whole thing was totally fascinating, and I can't wait to do it again.