When I wrote More Hand-Manipulated Stitches for Machine Knitters, Colleen Smitherman allowed me to include her clever, clever method of making a “Make-Do Garter Bar” (MDGB). When I started knitting the sweater in the photo above I further adapted one of my MDGBs for a Make-Do Needle Pusher. If you have a copy of More-Hand Manipulated Stitches, you already have the directions, but if you do not own that book yet, I have included a PDF files of the directions with this posting.
This sweater (directions will appear in an upcoming issue of Machine Knitting Monthly) was inspired by some of the stitches in Open Spaces and is one of those fabrics that cannot be done with a lace carriage. It just requires lots of hand-manipulations and to speed up that process I simply cut out some of the prongs from my MDGB to turn it into a MDNP!!
While I was working on Open Spaces: Machine Knit Eyelets, Ladders and Slits, I actually found a little time here and there to get some real knitting done. I fell in love with this effect when I was writing the chapter about slits and knitted all the pieces for this sweater (and half of another one!) at a knitting retreat I attended with members of the San Francisco Machine Knitting Guild in the early spring. I packed up my yarn, borrowed an LK-150 and spent two wonderful days knitting dawn to dusk , visiting with other knitters and discussing clothes, wine and everything under the sun while we worked. The weekend was perfect and complete with hummingbirds and delicious meals at the Sonoma Orchid Inn. I could get used to that life!
I’ve added a pattern for this sweater to the Free Stuff on my website. Be sure to use the link you were sent when you registered for the newsletter to bring you right to the downloads page – it is the only way to get there!
The pattern includes all the stitch and schematic charts and basic knitting directions. You can knit this fabric by using bridging and bridge bars, holding position to knit each side separately or intarsia to work both sides at the same time. Without re-writing the whole chapter on slits, I’ve tried to give enough direction to help you knit your own sweater. I recommend that you try a sample first to get used to the method and immodestly suggest that you check out the chapter on Slits if you need more guidance and specific information. You’ll discover lots more great ideas in all three chapters!
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.
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.