Showing posts with label Knitwear Designer. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Knitwear Designer. Show all posts

Tuesday, 26 May 2015

The First Sock is the Hardest: Turning Those Heels...

Gently inserted into everyday conversation, the mere mention of sock knitting tends to provoke remarks about its apparent difficulty and a comment on the intricacy of heel turning will undoubtedly be thrown in here and there as well. Even non-knitters or those only loosely connected to the fibre sphere will appear to sound like experts on the topic of sock knitting and inevitably convey a sense of a awe when they utter that ominous phrase: 'turning a heel'. 


And all of a sudden it seems that everyone has heard about how immensely difficult it is to turn a heel. "Turning the heel', i.e. the part of the knitting when you shape the heel of the sock and work your piece on several needles whilst decreasing, seems to simultaneously instil feelings of awe, fear and amazement whenever it is mentioned, especially if non-knitters join the conversation. It sounds somewhat magical, surgical and therefore terribly advanced. 


Sock Knitting Heel Detail

Saturday, 23 May 2015

A Tribute to Elizabeth Zimmermann's Pi

In an earlier post on Elizabeth Zimmermann's Knitter's Almanac, I outlined why I believe that Zimmermann's no-frills paperback should be considered a very special publication indeed, despite its somewhat bland appearance and apparent lack of project photography. 

First up, a few words on the low-cost nature of the paperback edition: The Almanac features instructions to over 15 patterns (including 4 sweaters) on approximately 150 pages, making this a densely packed publication. With the exception of the book cover, the project photography is in black and white throughout, thus lacking the visual appeal and photographic detail of contemporary knitwear publications. 

In short, the project photography (though decent and undertaken with great care) is by modern standards outdated. As a result, those of us, who derive inspiration from ogling an appealing finished object before casting on, will undoubtedly be disappointed.  To really get in the mood for knitting a Zimmermann pattern from the Almanac, it might be best to start off by trawling the web for pictures of finished Zimmermann projects and adaptations of her original designs. At this point, her true genius will be revealed. The Pi Shawl pattern provides a perfect case in point.  

Zimmermann's Pi Shawl design and instructions have inspired countless knitters to produce a multitude of design variations based upon Zimmermann's original design. The Pi Shawls featured below are merely a small selection of the many outstanding projects on show across the  web. 

Special thanks go to MadKnits, Terhi, Aisling Doonan and Glenna C aka crazyknittinglady  for allowing me to showcase their most amazing, finished Pis here on the blog. Thank you so much! 

For even more Pi inspiration, please visit my Pi Shawl board on Pinterest.


Terhi's Pi, Yarn: Wetterhoff Sivilla and Fiberphile Merino 

Sunday, 12 April 2015

From one opinionated knitter to another: Revisiting Elizabeth Zimmermann's Knitter's Almanac

Almost three years ago, I had Elizabeth Zimmermann's Knitter's Almanac on loan from my local library. Had I written my review of the book at the time, it would probably have sounded very different from my assessment today. Frau Zimmermann - at least as far her Almanac is concerned - is certainly not aiming her designs at beginner knitters; and I would have described myself as one at the time. Consequently, when I first laid hands on Zimmermann's Almanac, I didn't find it too appealing. The patterns appeared somewhat tired and outdated; and her occasional digressions into anecdotes, though intriguing, distracted from the instructions. When it was time to return my borrowed copy to the library, I did so without attempting to retain any of the instructions for future projects. It seemed as if the Almanac had nothing on offer for me. 


Elizabeth Zimmermann


Sunday, 2 March 2014

Catching up with the Finished Objects...

Hane Scarf, Yarn: Rowan RYC Bamboo Soft


For the first time, I find myself in the position of having to catch up on blogging about my finished objects, as my knitting activity seems to have increased dramatically over the last six months; and there are a number of projects that deserve to be included on the blog.

On average, it appears that I manage to complete a project every fortnight. No doubt, this is a result of my rigorous knitting activity whilst going about my daily commute. (If I didn't use the needles to knit, I might feel tempted to try them out on fellow commuters...)



Hane Scarf, Yarn: Rowan RYC Bamboo Soft


Friday, 11 March 2011

Everybody loves Urchin ... or Can one get addicted to a knitting pattern?

Ysolda Teague is one of Ravelry's best known independent designers and deservedly so.

Apart from the fact that I consider her patterns well written, intelligent, well - presented and stylish, I also think that her career to date is both mind - blowing and utterly inspirational.


Strangely enough, I first came across Miss Teague in a Times Article whilst browsing the web and not, as one would expect, on Ravelry.



Outside Ravelry, Miss Teague can be found on her own website / blog, which is available here:



Amongst her free patterns are the (by now) famous "Urchin" beret, which was featured in Knitty's Fall 2007 issue and the garter stitch mittens (both are available here: http://ysolda.com/patterns/patterns/ ).

Even though I don't think that there are many knitters left, who haven't yet knitted one or the other, I urge anyone, who hasn't, to give Ysolda's patterns a try. If there is such a thing as "getting addicted to a pattern", then Urchin had that effect on me.
I am sure I speak for many others, who feel the same.

All in all, I have knitted 4 Urchins so far, and I am sure there will be more...

Pictures will be following shortly...


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