Swatch It! Winter 2013
by Clara Parkes
The premise of this column has always been that I would pick one garment, something that has piqued my knitterly curiosity for one reason or another, and see what happens if I bypass the recommended yarn and try something different. My goal has never been to tell you what yarns to substitute, but, rather, to get you thinking about yarns in a different, broader, more experimental way.
Sometimes, the projects Kate has assembled for an issue are all so tantalizing that it's painful, nay, impossible to choose just one. Which is why, instead, I'd like to share my thought process behind five projects I'd love to swatch in this issue.
Adventures in Knitting History
by Lee Ann Dalton
I Remember Three Yarn Shops
by Franklin Habit
It hadn’t rained for months, but the atmosphere of the shop was damp. Damp and still. Nothing moved when I came in. Not the gaunt figure behind the cash desk. Not the angular figures bent over the adjacent table.
I thought of Howard Carter poking his head into the tomb of Tutankhamun. Like Carter, I saw wonderful things, but no signs of life.
The figure behind the desk shifted slightly and spoke. “Yes?”
“I, well, I’m looking for, um, I was wondering…”
“I want to learn to knit.”
Fancying Framework Knitting
by Fiona Ellis
If you peruse the history of knitting by hand you’ll find that little evolution in the techniques we use has taken place. Knitting by machine is another story. Have you ever stopped to think about how the mechanization of the knitting industry began and evolved?
Framework knitting, as the early version of machine knitting is known, developed in the East Midlands region of England, which also happens to be where I grew up. If you were to visit the Ruddington Framework Knitters Museum, as I did on a recent trip to my hometown, you’d discover a rare gem. Dating back to the early 19th century, this tiny cluster of restored cottages and workshops is staffed by enthusiastic volunteers who do an amazing job of bringing this little bit of textile history to life. But the invention of mechanized knitting began centuries earlier, during the reign of Elizabeth I.
by Sandi Rosner
Many knitters are puzzled when they come across this sentence at the end of a pattern: "Block to finished measurements." Do you really have to block your work? Should you block before or after assembling the pieces? What is blocking anyway, and how should you go about it? In this article, we'll take a look at the transformative process, using examples from this issue.