Showing posts with label Vintage Knitting Patterns. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Vintage Knitting Patterns. Show all posts

Saturday, 27 June 2015

The Picot Bind-Off: It's a love-hate relationship

I'm in the process of finishing the Picot Pi and (as the name suggests) I'm binding off picot-style. At over one thousand stitches, this is a lengthy and repetitive process. But, the end result will be worth the wait.

Picot literally means 'small loop' and describes the bobbles at the cast-off edge, which are produced by adding more stitches immediately before binding off. Incorporating the picot bind-off will result in a very flexible, wider garment at the outer edge of the piece. In other words, it adds drape.

Picot Bind-Off Detail for Ammonite 

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In short, the project photography (though decent and undertaken with great care) is by modern standards outdated.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, 22 February 2015

A Pint and a Jumper: Knitting meets 70s Britain

What have I started?

My ever present urge to organise things has driven me to sort through a pile of retro knitting patterns, purchased quite some time ago in a charity shop in Canterbury. I started going through the bundle last week. Instead of discarding some of the patterns, in order to thin out the pile, as I had originally envisaged, I'm beginning to feel that I'm sitting on something akin to a social history of the British Isles in knitwear. 

My pattern collection went from trash to treasure in the space of an afternoon. It's now obviously impossible to throw any of them away. Far from it, I'm actually considering how best to preserve these glimpses into a not so distant past.

One of the most amusing pieces in my collection is the pattern below.

Handknitting meets Life on Mars 

Sunday, 15 February 2015

Knitting is a Slippery Slope

Welcome to the "wonderful" world of vintage knitting patterns, British vintage knitting patterns, to be precise...




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