Open Spaces: Machine Knit Eyelets, Ladders and Slits

So much news this month – my head is spinning!

After more than four years experimenting, continually asking myself  “what if I…..?” and then following that path to the next great discovery (and a few disappointing disasters), The Book That Would Not End is finally done!

Following the required introduction, there are lengthy chapters on eyelets, ladders and slits – open spaces that are very different from your grannie’s lace of old! Many of these examples will produce gorgeous garments, but be forewarned that some of them absolutely must be worn over a camisole if you want to avoid being arrested!

The book is 225 pages and contains more than 300 swatch photos and charts as well as a number of inspirational garments by some of my favorite designers. You’ll notice that this book is a larger format than my previous three. Increasing the size from 8 x 10” to 8.5 x 11” saved about 40 pages, which translates into lower costs for us all. I guess I’ll just have to get used to the way they all look on the shelf together, with the new one a bit taller and wider.

 

 

You can download the free pattern for this slit topper on my web site.

There are already several free sweater designs based on material from this book available on my web site and I plan to add a couple more so do check the Free Stuff for practical applications of these techniques.

As with the previous three titles, the new book is available from www.guagliumi.com with free shipping or you can order from Amazon.com. It goes without saying that when you order directly from me, I enjoy a slightly higher profit than I do when you purchase through Amazon, which will probably survive nicely either way. Whether you order directly from me or through Amazon, please know that I sincerely appreciate your purchase and hope that you enjoy the new book and find it full of useful ideas for your knitting. I think it is a beauty, but I am probably a little prejudiced…..kind of like asking a mother what she thinks of her new baby.

While I’m on the topic of new additions, I want to introduce the newest specialty tool on my web site! This 4/5-prong transfer tool is for 6.5 mm mid-gauge machines like the Silver Reed SK160, SK860 and LK150 or LK140.

These individually crafted and smoothly finished wooden tools are available exclusively on www.guagliumi.com and they feel so much nicer in your hand than a hunk of plastic!

You can use either end (4 or 5-prong) to move groups of stitches for traveling stitch designs or to create wide full-fashioned decreases along a raglan slant (for example). If you move 10 stitches every time you need to decrease, you’ll have enough stitches to allow an edge stitch, a plain (or reformed) stitch along each side of a 3×3 cable and the decrease. It’s a lot faster to move five stitches twice than it is working with a 3-prong tool! With a pair of these tools and a bit of bridging, you can cross 4 or 5 stitch cables.

The individual, 4-prong and 5-prong tools are still available (and cost $18 each), but if you don’t have those (or only have one of each), this combination tool is considerably more affordable at $26. Click here to order yours!

Last, but never least, I have just finished a pattern for sewing a fabulous padded carrying case for the LK-150 or similar machines. With shoulder straps and pockets for everything, this case is much lighter weight and easier to carry that the gun cases I see people using. Besides, I know I would be arrested carrying a gun case into Grand Central Station in NYC and I plan to show my FIT students an LK-150 this fall.

The final pattern is the result of 5 prototypes, which were expensive to produce in terms of both time and materials. I really hope you enjoy this copyrighted pattern so much and find it so worth the $6 price that you encourage your friends to purchase their own.  Don’t forget, there are already lots of freebies at www.guagliumi.com when you sign up for the newsletter.

 

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Latchtool B/O Around the Needles

I almost titled this blog “LK150 Bind Off” because that is the machine I usually work it on. A few blogs back I showed you a latch tool B/O around the sinker posts (gate pegs), but hobby machines like the LK150 and the European machines (Passap and Superba) do not have sinker posts. They have what are called “flow combs” to divide the needles and help shape the stitches.

(You’re probably asking why I used a machine that does have sinker posts to demonstrate a technique I am recommending for a machine that does not.  Very observant of you! The truth is that right now my studio is a wreck and I just didn’t have room to set up another machine. See details that follow!)

So, instead of catching the yarn around the posts as you bind off, you need to return empty needles to working position and catch the yarn around them. Begin with all the needles in holding position and use the thumb of your left hand (assuming you are a righty – otherwise reverse everything) to manipulate the butts of the needles.

Hook the latch tool onto a needle, move it back so that the stitch slides over the closed latch and onto the tool and then immediately return the emptied needle to HP with the tool to the left of it and the free yarn to the right of it. Catch the free yarn in the hook of the tool and pull it through to knit the 2 stitches on the tool into a single stitch and then just repeat across the bed. The loops around the needles support the weight of the work and also help you create an even edge. When you’re done, simply lift the loops off the machine…..or leave them on and begin knitting again as my student, Sissel Berntsen, did in Norway. You’ll be surprised at some of the effects you can create!

Just a side note here, I found this method really clumsy to do on a machine with sinker posts and can guarantee it will be easier on an LK 150 or other machine with flow combs!

So, why did I use the SK860 for the video and why is my studio such a wreck?? I have just finished all of the knitting, charts and writing for the BTWNE (the book that will not end) and am officially renaming it the book that WOULD not end because it is done. WHEW! The layout is nearly complete and copies are going out to the proofers in the next couple of weeks. I expect to have it available for the rest of you in April and will send out a newsletter through the web site – and post something here when it is.

Although TBTWNE is my tongue in cheek title for this very large book  – there are over 300 charts and swatch photographs! – the real title is:

Hand-Manipulated Stitches: Exploring Open Spaces

For once, I did not do the photography (with the exception of a few process shots) and turned the job over to a professional. I think you will be pleased with the clarity. I have also increased the size of the pages from 8 x 10″ to 8.5 x 11″ because I found that the production costs were the same for both sizes and I could save about 30 pages by doing this. That translates into lower costs for all of us, which is always a good thing!

I need a couple of weeks to get my life back, to label and store the samples so they are in order for upcoming seminars and such, to spend some time with my husband and “the puppy” (85 pounds now!) and to finally get back into the garden! Then I plan to do two very specific videos for the blog (hopefully before my hands have that “garden” look….). First of all, my LK150 needs a new sponge, which I have ordered and have ready to go. Many people have asked for help in changing the sponges on their LKs so that will be next up.

After that I am going to do a D E E E E P cleaning of my SK860. The bed is just plain cruddy after all the samples and prep that went into this book. I plan to remove the machine from its case and take it down far enough to get all the dust and debris out of the way. Scary stuff, but we’ll do it together!

Tentatively, in the fall I will be working with the photographer who shot all of the stills for the new book to produce a series of video lessons that will go cover to cover. The lessons will be available for a fee through Vimeo or one of the other video services. I’ll continue producing short, generally instructive videos for this blog, but this new project will entail hours of instruction and the only way I can afford the production costs is to offer them for sale at a reasonable (I promise!) cost. If it proves to be popular, I may also produce a series for some of my other books or combination of techniques from those books. There have also been requests for some project classes……

Just reaching the end of this book project – nearly 4 years in the making! – I’m not really able to make any promises yet on availability or cost for the lessons, but I wanted you to know these video lessons are in the works/thought process/planning stages. I’d love to hear your thoughts on this!

Almost through the winter, which wasn’t too bad, but I am chafing at the bit to get back into the garden!!

Latchtool B/O Around the Needles

I almost titled this blog “LK150 Bind Off” because that is the machine I usually work it on. A few blogs back I showed you a latch tool B/O around the sinker posts (gate pegs), but hobby machines like the LK150 and the European machines (Passap and Superba) do not have sinker posts. They have what are called “flow combs” to divide the needles and help shape the stitches.

(You’re probably asking why I used a machine that does have sinker posts to demonstrate a technique I am recommending for a machine that does not.  Very observant of you! The truth is that right now my studio is a wreck and I just didn’t have room to set up another machine. See details that follow!)

So, instead of catching the yarn around the posts as you bind off, you need to return empty needles to working position and catch the yarn around them. Begin with all the needles in holding position and use the thumb of your left hand (assuming you are a righty – otherwise reverse everything) to manipulate the butts of the needles.

Hook the latch tool onto a needle, move it back so that the stitch slides over the closed latch and onto the tool and then immediately return the emptied needle to HP with the tool to the left of it and the free yarn to the right of it. Catch the free yarn in the hook of the tool and pull it through to knit the 2 stitches on the tool into a single stitch and then just repeat across the bed. The loops around the needles support the weight of the work and also help you create an even edge. When you’re done, simply lift the loops off the machine…..or leave them on and begin knitting again as my student, Sissel Berntsen, did in Norway. You’ll be surprised at some of the effects you can create!

Just a side note here, I found this method really clumsy to do on a machine with sinker posts and can guarantee it will be easier on an LK 150 or other machine with flow combs!

So, why did I use the SK860 for the video and why is my studio such a wreck?? I have just finished all of the knitting, charts and writing for the BTWNE (the book that will not end) and am officially renaming it the book that WOULD not end because it is done. WHEW! The layout is nearly complete and copies are going out to the proofers in the next couple of weeks. I expect to have it available for the rest of you in April and will send out a newsletter through the web site – and post something here when it is.

Although TBTWNE is my tongue in cheek title for this very large book  – there are over 300 charts and swatch photographs! – the real title is:

Hand-Manipulated Stitches: Exploring Open Spaces

For once, I did not do the photography (with the exception of a few process shots) and turned the job over to a professional. I think you will be pleased with the clarity. I have also increased the size of the pages from 8 x 10″ to 8.5 x 11″ because I found that the production costs were the same for both sizes and I could save about 30 pages by doing this. That translates into lower costs for all of us, which is always a good thing!

I need a couple of weeks to get my life back, to label and store the samples so they are in order for upcoming seminars and such, to spend some time with my husband and “the puppy” (85 pounds now!) and to finally get back into the garden! Then I plan to do two very specific videos for the blog (hopefully before my hands have that “garden” look….). First of all, my LK150 needs a new sponge, which I have ordered and have ready to go. Many people have asked for help in changing the sponges on their LKs so that will be next up.

After that I am going to do a D E E E E P cleaning of my SK860. The bed is just plain cruddy after all the samples and prep that went into this book. I plan to remove the machine from its case and take it down far enough to get all the dust and debris out of the way. Scary stuff, but we’ll do it together!

Tentatively, in the fall I will be working with the photographer who shot all of the stills for the new book to produce a series of video lessons that will go cover to cover. The lessons will be available for a fee through Vimeo or one of the other video services. I’ll continue producing short, generally instructive videos for this blog, but this new project will entail hours of instruction and the only way I can afford the production costs is to offer them for sale at a reasonable (I promise!) cost. If it proves to be popular, I may also produce a series for some of my other books or combination of techniques from those books. There have also been requests for some project classes……

Just reaching the end of this book project – nearly 4 years in the making! – I’m not really able to make any promises yet on availability or cost for the lessons, but I wanted you to know these video lessons are in the works/thought process/planning stages. I’d love to hear your thoughts on this!

Almost through the winter, which wasn’t too bad, but I am chafing at the bit to get back into the garden!!

Reduce Your Finishing Time!!

I really love finishing and handwork, but I don’t like what I call “stupid finishing” where I could have saved myself the work right from the start. So, whenever I can, I weave in my yarn ends as I go. Because I use mostly hand knitting yarns that do not come on big cones, I often have have a lot of ends so this is a huge time saver!

When I reach the end of one ball of yarn, I push a group of 8-10 needles (or more if my hand catches them) out to Holding Position and weave the yarn end over and under the shafts of the needles, close to the bed. 8-10 needles usually translates to about 2″ in the fabric and that is more than enough to secure the ends. I re-thread the carriage from the new ball or another color and then I let the needles knit back to Working Position with the next pass of the carriage. Then, before knitting the second row of the new color/strand, I weave it in the same way.

Depending on how thick the yarn is, I sometimes end one yarn and begin the next at the same time. Then, when the work is off the machine I just clip the yarn close and I am done. Pretty slick, huh?! Altho the photo below left shows me cutting the yarn while the fabric is still on the machine, I seldom do that unless there are a lot of ends hanging down and tangling because it is just too easy to cut a live stitch. Trust me, I know from experience!

Although this method is usually invisible on the knit side of the fabric, there are times when you cannot weave in the ends as you knit. First of all, it won’t work if you plan to use the purl side as the right side of your garment because the weaving always shows on the purl side. Too bad because I usually prefer striped fabrics on the purl side. You also cannot rely on this if you are knitting patterned stitches because pulling needles to Holding Position over-rides the pattern cam settings and interrupts the pattern. You can use this technique with intarsia where there are always too many ends to finish later. In that case, you need to nudge the needles back to Upper Work Position after you weave the end through the shafts. Make sure the needles’ latches are open and ready to work the next row.

I’m happy to report that I have finally finished all the knitting and all of the initial directions for The Book That Will Not End and THE END is in sight!!! I still have some editing and rewriting to do and not all of the charts are done for the last section, but I’m confident that the end IS in sight! I am really pleased with the way this book is shaping up, although I am a bit worried that it is running long which translates into increased printing costs and a higher price tag. Getting the page count down is Job One for me right now. There are about 300 swatches with charts and directions so it is going to require some tight editing and probably more abbreviations that I usually like to use. I know none of us is interested in a smaller font size!

After all the knitting – the experiments and the re-dos and the final swatches – I can tell you that my SK860 is grubby and in need of a deep, deep cleaning. The kind where I need to remove the bed from the case to get at the inside of the machine. I think that process may make a useful post for an upcoming blog! If it continues to be cold and snowy here in Connecticut, I’ll probably have more than enough time to clean the machine and finish the book. Looks like 2018 is off to a great start!

I couldn’t resist showing you how Arlo spends his winter mornings looking for bird and SQUIRRELS!!!! from a comfy chair in the sunroom. This is what a year old lab looks like – all 85 pounds of him. Still a thief and a mischief maker, but he has stolen my heart. Mr. Blue would have loved him too…..and wondered why Arlo is allowed on a chair he could never sit in!

Peonies, Puppies and DVDs!

Tree Peonies are one of my favorites.

Finally! Spring has arrived in CT. No, wait! We didn’t get any spring, it jumped right into summer with a 90 degree day. Hard to believe we had the heat on just last week because it was so cold!

 

 

I still have some videos to edit (and more to shoot) but for now, thought I would share a couple of things with you.

First of all, I am thrilled to tell you that my first Craftsy class, “Machine Knitting: Essential Techniques” was just included in the first group of classes available on DVDs for those folks who don’t like streaming directly. If you go to the Craftsy site and click on the class, the DVD option comes up on the page that describes the class. There are currently 60 classes available on DVD with more to be added continuously. So far no special offers for people who already have the streaming, but I will be sure to let you know if there are any specials in the future. Right now, there are more than 6100 students in this class, which astounds me!

This handy mast clip will keep your notes or pattern right up front!

I had a great time teaching a two-day seminar at The Knitting Cottage in Waynesboro, PA this month. One of the knitters who attended the workshop produces pattern-holding clips that mount to the tension mast on most machines. They fit the mast on Brother, Toyota, Artisan and older model Silver Reed machines. The newer Silver electronics all use a much thicker mast so the clips will not fit those machines. The cost, including shipping, is $10 with additional masts in the same package costing $7. For questions, contact Lynn Jones at LT51990@yahoo.com.

 

Introducing Elena Luneva!

Elena Luneva sent me links to more of her classes on You Tube and once again, they are terrific! I love that she is sharing with us and that machine knitting transcends international boundaries and differences.

 

 

 

1) https://youtu.be/XtVHE-C0BWQ (knitting half of front + neckline decreases)                                                                                                        2) https://youtu.be/Ob7qpJHOKTY (knitting back + bevel shoulder)             3) https://youtu.be/s6nZsxwG8iY (knitting fronts placket)                         4) https://youtu.be/SHwBPp0j6eo (knitting sleeve + internal decreases)    5) https://youtu.be/JG8XXmlJbrU (summary + nuances)

“It may be better if You look part 5 as the first. Because in some ways this part is the summary of previous parts includes the details and my thoughts about the possibilities of this technology.

With best regards,

Elena”

Just 4 months old and full of beans! Babies are a LOT of work!

Arlo is entertaining himself and us nicely – chewing everything in sight and plunging into his little wading pool. Only Buster is less than amused as he has not been able to convince the puppy that cats are ferocious creatures to be avoided, not chewed. Hoping that this phase passes. Arlo was a mere 19 pounds when we brought him home at the end of March and now weighs in at about 45 pounds. The vet thinks we are just about half grown and judging from the feet we think he is right.

I’ll get back to editing and filming more of those video lessons, but if you know me at all, you know that right now the garden is sapping every spare moment……that and trying to prevent Arlo from nipping off every bud or blossom he sees.

 

 

Some New Russian You Tube Videos

Last week I got an email from a Russian machine knitter named Elena Luneva, asking if I would take a look at her You Tube videos and share them here on the blog. I think they are terrific! She has had the text translated into English on-screen titles and although I would love to have heard that rich Russian accent speaking English, the titles are probably easier for most of us to manage.

If you go to Elena’s You Tube page, make sure you click “Like” so that you are the first to know about any new classes she adds.

In the first class, Principles of Knitting Terry Cloth, Elena uses a ribber comb to work a hand-manipulated, purl-side looped fabric on a single bed.  

The following class, Knitted Baby Cap with PomPom from Terry Fabric, has patterns to use the looped fabric.

Her third class, The Principles of Formation of Elongated Loops, is about creating giant stitches and ideas for using them.My kind of fun!

Elena’s fourth class, Woven Insert,  features a truly unique way of weaving ladders right on the machine. I found this one particularly interesting because I am currently/still working on a chapter about ladders for TBTWNE (The Book That Will Not End) and can honestly say it never occurred to me to do what she does here. Truly innovative!

With all of the US/Russia controversy in the news these days, I really like the  fact that knitters all,  ultimately, speak the same language! Thanks for sharing, Elena!

More Free Downloads!

Tucks and Twists is one of my all-time favorite sweaters.

I’m really happy to tell you that Knitter’s Magazine just gave me permission to share all of the patterns I did for them back in the 90’s. I have been busy scanning and have finally got them all added to the free downloads on my web site.

I think that most of the patterns have stood the test of time quite well. Just be aware that the yarns will most likely no longer be available and you will have to do some substituting. There is a wide variety of techniques to be learned from these patterns and many of them were done for the LK150. As always, you need to be registered for the web site newsletter to enjoy all the freebies. Also, feel free to share these patterns with your knit clubs and friends, but please make sure my name and the credit to Knitter’s Magazine remains on any copies.

“Back in the day” when I was with Studio, we used to advertise in Knitter’s (and other hand knit magazines) so they were much more open to featuring machine knit patterns than they might be today.

These are the patterns I just posted:

24 Gold Carrots – a multi-color tuck stitch pullover with 24 appliqué’s gold carrots that was the inspiration for the issue called Fakes and Funnies.

Basket of Flowers

Basket of Flowers – a really gorgeous hand-manipulated stitch that uses woven stitches to create an undulating fabric.

Little Girl Blue – a child’s cardigan with smocking.

Mozambique Mosaic – a fabulous LK150 two-color tuck stitch (AKA Tuck Mosaic) worked on the LK150. There is also a Tips & Techniques download on mosaic stitch and, of course, a whole chapter in Hand Knits by Machine.

Peacock Tails – is a light weight, open mohair cardigan that uses a unique hand transfer method that, in fact, I am revisiting in the ladder chapter of the current book project. This is a great technique to stretch your yarn further because the fabric is more air than stitches!

Sideways Vest – I designed it as a women’s vest, but they wanted more men’s patterns for the magazine and decided that this one qualified as uni-sex. This one features sideways construction and a neat little added detail at the beck.

Tucks and Twists – This was one of my favorite sweaters ever. It is a lush combination of tuck stitch, twisted stitches and the Judith Duffy cabled edging.

Royal Hawaiian – this one uses a narrow short rowed zig-zag band for the edging.

I also uploaded the pattern for an intarsia vest, “Como se Llama?” that I did for Knit ‘N Style Magazine, which has been out of publication for years.The entire vest is worked in intarsia and the charts are all included.

Lastly, Gini Woodward sent me the original directions that used to come with the garter bars (or, rather the “garter stitch accessory” as they called it back then). I have added that with the Tips & Techniques.

Silver Needles Electric Cone Winder

A couple of weeks ago, Barb Bankord contacted me and asked if I was interested in trying a Silver Needles electric cone winder. I have had a Simmet ball winder for years and was skeptical about whether or not I would use a cone winder, but I asked her to send it along so I could check it out. I am so glad that I did because right now I am going through yarn like “Grant through Richmond” working on The Book That Will Not End (TBTWNE) and all of the yarn, Cascade 220 worsted, comes in skeins that need to be wound into balls. Up till now I have been using the electric ball winder with a couple of little problems:

The ball winder requires me to tension the yarn through my hand and right now, in the dead of winter, the air is so dry that I keep building up static electricity that gets discharged when I turn off the unit. Ouch! The other issue with the ball winder is that it winds the yarn into a fairly tight ball and I usually have to re-wind each  ball to get a working tension on the yarn. I still love my electric ball winder, but I am also smitten with the cone winder and here is why:

First of all, it is hands free so no more shocks! The unit has a sturdy, non-skid base that keeps it in place even when winding directly from the umbrella swift. You can increase or decrease the tension on the yarn depending on how you thread the guide and there is also a knot detector. I didn’t bother using that feature to wind the Cascade because I almost never find a knot in their yarn (really) and I was afraid that it might put too much tension on the yarn as it came off the umbrella swift, but I’m not sure I needed to worry about that.

There is a little guide on the side that makes sure the cones fill evenly from end to end. You can use that stash of cones you have been saving (sorry, no more donations to the local nursery school unless cones are the wrong size) or you can order re-usable plastic cones with the unit. There is no comparison between the way yarn knits off a cone or a ball. I’ll take a cone any day, but up until now, none of the yarns I use had that option.

This little video will give you a good idea how the winder operates. You’ll also get a look at my studio space, which is next on the list for a good spring cleaning now that I have finished the charts for all 160 swatches in the 2nd chapter of TBTWNE. Just have to finish winding the yarn for the third and final set of swatches…….so the end is in sight.

I am really happy to recommend these cone winders. There are so few companies out there who cater to machine knitters’ needs. Silver Needles is a small, family owned business that has managed to stay in business since the 90’s. The winders are not inexpensive, but this time I think you will get what you pay for.

Contact info: Barb Bankord, PO Box 2722, Carefree AZ 85377-2722

Email: SilverNeedlesWI@aol.com     Phone: 480-488-2620

 

News, News, News

I have 4 things I want to talk to you about today – seems like everything happens all at once! – (1) The formation of a New England Machine Knitters’ Guild, (2) A class I am teaching in April, (3) A seminar in Minnesota and (4) some great used equipment for sale.

New Machine Knitters’ Guild!   

There are machine knitters all over New England and the Northeast and many (perhaps most) of them have few machine knitters in their area. Shops and clubs have mostly disappeared and people are on their own. If we all unite to form a single, large club/guild to meet twice a year, I think we could provide support and education for each other and help to keep machine knitting alive and well in this corner of the country.

With that in mind, I have reserved a meeting space for April 22nd at the Northford Recreation Department, 1332 Middletown Avenue, Northford, CT 06472 from noon to 3:00. Depending on how many people attend, we can assess whether there is serious interest in having such a group and move forward – or not. Northford is about 6 miles outside New Haven and fairly easy to reach from anywhere.

If we decide to meet again in the fall, we need to choose a governing board for the group. I am happy to get things started and to act as the conduit for this meeting space (a mere $20/hour for town residents!), but I do not want this to be the Susan Guagliumi knit club. I will be happy to see others step up to the plate and take on the roles of president, VP, secretary, treasurer, program, hospitality, etc. The membership may also have other ideas for a meeting space and that would be fine too. We need lots of input!

I really hope that as many of you who possibly can do decide to join and attend the meeting. We need to discuss what the most pressing needs are and plan our fall meeting accordingly. I would love to see some workshops for newbies and experienced knitters, to think about renting table space to vendors to bring in yarn and supplies, to work towards a full fledged New England seminar a few years down the road. How much can we charge for annual dues? Do we want to provide coffee? Lunches? Workshops in the morning before a general meeting – hopefully with a speaker or demonstrator? How would a club like this best serve your needs?

If anyone has any ideas about a short program we could offer on the 22nd in addition to all the business and organizational stuff, just let me know. I have asked the rec center to set up 50 chairs – I am an optimist! Please email me (Guagliumi@comcast.net) if you plan to attend the meeting so I can ask for more chairs if need be and so I have some idea whether I will have company on the 22nd. I hope to see lots of you there!

Machine Knitting Sweater Workshop

I have had a  number requests from begining knitters who want a step by step sweater class to get them started – so, here it is!

May 20 & 21,  Sat. & Sun., 9:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. STW Community Center, Northford, CT
Fee: $150 (includes lunch)
Description: This class will focus on all the steps of knitting a sweater by machine from charting and planning right through finishing. The instructor will advise students on suitable yarn for their machine and then students will purchase and gauge their yarn prior to the course. The instructor will assist in charting an individualized pattern for each student based on their own measurements and yarn gauge. Students may add embellishment or patterning to their sweaters based on experience and prior approval from the instructor.
Registration is through the North Branford Recreation Department, 1332 Middletown Avenue, Northford, CT. phone: 203-484-6017. Registration will not begin until March 20th.
Questions? Email Susan at Guagliumi@comcast.net

 

Minnesota Seminar March 24 & 25th!

I will be teaching a two day program for the Machine Knitting Guild of Minnesota and they have made space available to non-members on a first-come-first served basis. Click here MKGM Seminar for the registration info.

Used Equipment for Sale!

I don’t want this to become a bulletin board for selling used equipment, but a former student is no longer able to use her machines and I offered to list them here. You can contact her directly for additional info. The machines are located in Norwich, CT and can be picked up or buyer pays shipping. Click here for the list of Used Equipment.

2017 Retreat with Deborah Newton!

Deborah Newton

 

One of my all-time favorite knitters happens to be a hand knitter – Deborah Newton. I’ve known (and adored) her since we were both authors working on our first books for Taunton Press back in the 90’s and when I tell you she is bright and funny and incredibly talented, I am not exaggerating one bit. I know I am a little star-struck when it comes to Deb, but she really is the best and I am fortunate to count her among my friends.

A recent design from Vogue Knitting is perfect for a mid-gauge or bulky machine!(copyright Sixth & Spring)

You can hardly scan an issue of Vogue Knitting over these many years that doesn’t feature one of Deborah’s designs and, beginning with Designing Knitwear she has produced a trio of books that should be in any knitter’s library because what she has to say transcends needles or machines!

 

This is one of the garments from Finishing School.(copyright Sixth & Spring)

Finishing School: A Master Class for Knitters, her second book, is my favorite go-to book for finishing details and techniques (and a dozen great patterns). Her newest book, Good Measure: Knit a Perfect Fit Every Time is loaded with gorgeous illustrations to support the purls of wisdom she shares on how she designs sweaters – and tells you how to do it yourself! There are also 24 patterns included in the book.

While Deborah carefully explains various necklines and garment shapes, she also details design considerations for specific body types and fitting problems. I found it refreshing that some of the models are somewhat more normal sized women (i.e. not size 3!) which gives me a much better idea what the garments might look like on me and helps to illustrate some of her tips on fit.

I especially love the swatch photographs in Good Measure because they tell you so much about what the final sweater will look like. Deborah works out all the details on each swatch before she begins any project. If you are familiar with Deborah’s work, you know that perfect fit is the hallmark of her designs and it starts with the switching process. If you are a hand knitter, you are probably familiar with Deborah’s designs. But if you have only knitted by machine and tend to avoid hand knit patterns and books, you owe it to yourself to take a look at these books because she will open new worlds for you!

The inn on Block Island

OK. So – the books are fabulous and her work is the gorgeous and I am clearly #1 fan. Here is the best news – Deborah will be teaching a workshop for North Light Fibers in September on gorgeous Block Island, Rhode Island. Space is definitely limited so if you’re interested in giving yourself a special gift, use this link to get the details and to sign up for the retreat! Four days on an island with Deborah Newton sounds a little bit like heaven to me!