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And those knitting wheels keep rolling along...

Here are two handy little tools for those knitters who want to do their own knitting garment recipes. They’re called the “Sweater Wheel” and I got these on ebay recently. One wheel is for raglan sleeve jumpers, the other for inset sleeves.

The original packaging for the raglan sleeve jumpers gives the following:

“Knitting instructions for 360 raglan sweaters – just turn the dial and select your size. When dial is set instructions for entire sweater are shown. 3 styles: cardigan, round neck pullover, V-neck pullover. 3 wool weights: fingering yarn, sport yarn, worsted. Sweaters for the entire family (sizes range from baby to men’s 48.“

It is by Bea Freeman Enterprises of Bryn Mawr, PA. The wheel is a good size, 11.5” across and is 2-sided. Each wheel is divided into three parts: Back, Front, Sleeves. The instructions are clear and easy to understand. One just dials-in the size for whichever sort of person (man, woman or child) the jumper is for and presto – all the directions are there! Although these are for flat knitting, I still can use them as a reference when I’m trying to decide the decreases for a set-in sleeve or a neckline.

I enjoy vintage knitting items, especially those I can use. There are certainly many ways to create a knitting garment recipe but this is a fun item – just wanted to share it. BTW: some nice MWK member told us about knittingfool.com and that's where I first learned about these. Thank you!

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"Selbuvotter" - The book

Yesterday in the post I received my latest knitting book. It's called "Selbuvotter - Biolgraphy of a Knitting Tradition" by Terri Shea in Seattle, WA. The book is a result of her work at the Seattle Nordic Heritage Museum, cataloging Nordic knitted garments. In that project, she charted the designs of the mittens and gloves she was cataloging. The book has 30 patterns for the Norwegian black and white stranded knitting patterns for mittens and gloves. There is a nice section on the history of this style of knitting as well as some practical how-to advice. The graphs are large and easy to read and there are photos of each style knitted up. I ordered the book directly from the author and she is lovely to deal with. Check out the website:

http://www.selbuvotter.com/

My thanks to JPaul for telling me about this book!

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Grafting Question - Help!

I'm currently knitting the "Scalloway Yoke" jumper from the book "The Art of Fair Isle Knitting" by Ann Feitelson. Those who may have this book can check out the pattern. When attaching the sleeves to the body, the pattern calls for grafting live stitches and then continuing to graft live stitches to a selvedge line. I can Kitchener without problems, but I don't know how to graft to selvedge. Does anyone have any experience or knowledge with this? Any links to on-line tutorials? This recipe is a bit more complex than I'd expected. The stranded pattern is not difficult but the method of doing the yoke is news to me. Ah, the challenges of life!

Any assistance will be greatly appreciated! Cheers!

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Funny Dutch Cartoon

Go to: http://willswools.blogspot.com/ and scroll down to March 9, 2007 to see the cartoon of 2 men knitting in a bar.

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First Stranded Knitting Jumper

I’ve spent the first part of this year knitting scarves and beanies (dog forbid I should ever again find myself doing these again), all the while thinking about doing some multi-colour knitting. After reading, reading, & reading about it, I finally got up the courage to give it a go. I first experimented on a smaller version (see pics of the 16” doll and jumpers), figuring that if it all went pear-shaped there was a minimal loss of time and materials. Bloody hell, things seemed to go pretty well and I took the plunge and made a jumper pattern I’d been admiring for some time. It is called “Fonn” (that’s with an umlaut!), whatever that name means; maybe Lars can translate?, from the “Reynolds Lopi” Volume 25. Although seamless/circular sans steeks, I was keen to try this recipe because the yoke is done with the decreases spread around rather than done as a raglan decreases (is there a name for this method?) Let me say here that stranded knitting was like learning to knit all over again! I fumbled with the needles, fabric and 2 strands of yarn. And what about tension/gauge? I did the stranding with both hands and discovered that I have difficulty keeping the left hand strand looser than the right. Actually, this wasn’t much of a discovery since I knit faster with the left and I knew that when I knit rapidly, I knit more tightly. So, there was a significant amount of tinking and even so, I do have some puckers that didn’t come out in the washing and drying (blocking) process. I was actually grateful that I didn’t have smocked yoke at the end! Now, to confess just in case some of you have this pattern book and notice my big screw-up: I did the pattern opposite so that it is a photographic negative image – in other words, the stars should have been white and there shouldn’t have been white bands. I’d like to say that it was done purposefully and with artistic license but it was really just a screw-up – aren’t the white boxes on the graph supposed to be white wool? Guess not.

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Seaters From Camp - Book

"Sweaters From Camp - 38 Color-Patterend Designs from Meg Swanson's Knitting Campers", 2002.

As you know, Meg Swanson is the daughter of famous knitting guru Elizabeth Zimmermann who founded the Wisconsin Knitting Camp in 1974. This book showcases the winners of a contest offered to all former and current campers to design on all-over patterned garment in Shetland wool.

Here are my opinions of this book:

1. I liked the techniques chapter. Some of the items were new to me so I learned from reading it. It was the first time I was able to get my head around the mathmatical formula for increasing stitches evenly in a row. I found some interesting new cast-on techniques and the purl-when-you-can technique is very intriguing. The book was worth the money just for this reference chapter.

2. I definitely want to try knitting in Shetland wool very, very soon! The colours are beautiful and I like the idea of the steeks felting themselves without sewn reinforcements.

3. Thankfully, there were no chapters on the history of Shetland knitting or the basic how-to of knitting!

4. I was most gratified to see in print some of the seamless/circular techniques (such as armhole reductions with a steek) that I'd laid awake at night trying to suss out. I'm happy to know that I'm connected to the greater pool of knitting wisdom!

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Knitting With A Smile - Book

"Knitting With A Smile - The Compact Book with Over 39 Original Swedish Knitting Patterns" by Inger Fredholm, 2005. This is a fun knitting book by the lady who owns Gunga Din, a knitting shop in Stockholm, Sweden; maybe some of our Scandanavian members know of this lady? There are patterns for some rather plain but practical garments in addition to lace patterns (such as the "Tango Dress") and colourful multi-coloured garments. I bought this book for the mutli-coloured patterns and I was not disappointed. The garments have a very Scandanavian look, both in style, pattern and colours. She includes some Fair Isle patterns, too. My favourite is the "Stella Polaris" pattern which I am keen to try. All patterns are done in the round and cut. The sleeves are done separately and then knitting to the body by the 3-needle bind-off!

A fun aside to this book is that a gentleman knitter proof-read, corrected the English and also knitted many of the patterns.

I like this book as a part of my knitting reference library and I think others would enjoy owning a copy, too. It is not a book for someone just beginning to do stranded knitting as the instructions are sparse. But, it's wo

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Knitting Belt

I'm just finishing up my first stranded jumper and I've been thinking about trying the Shetland style knitting belt and long DPN's. I'm wondering if any members here have tried it in the past or use it and what the comments about it might be.

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1,000 Great Knitting Motifs - Book

This book by Luise Roberts (2004) is loaded with nothing but great charted patterns (in colour) for stranded knitting. There are no garment recipes but there is a short chapter on Intarsia and Fair Isle techniques as well as a section on choosing, and positioning motifs

The best way to give an idea of the wide range of content is to list the sections and chapters:

1. Traditional knitting motifs
- Fair Isle, Scandinavian, Lapland, Western Europe,
Eastern Europe, Around the Mediterranean Sea, Asia
South America

2. Traditional pictorial motifs
- Native American, Homestead America, Aztec & Inca,
Celts, Africa, India & Tibet

3. Modern pictorial motifs
- Alphabet, Zodiac, The world around us, Animals,
birds & insects, Floral, Toys & Nursery

This book has something for everyone. The fact that the charts are in colour makes it easier for me to visualise the design - I want to use them all!

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The Art of Fair Isle Knitting - Book

"The Art of Fair Isle Knitting: History, Technique, Color and Patterns" by Ann Feitelson, 1996, has quickly become an essential part of my knitting library. Included is the history of Shetland/Fair Isle knitting up until the present day. The chapter on FI techniques is great and she makes a great case for using the long needles with the knitting belt. A variety of different ways of throwing the yarn are shown along with a fantastic page demonstrating and explaining why one colour is carried consistently over the other and how the decision which yarn to carry where makes a huge difference in how the pattern looks when completed. She gives such a good lesson on changing colours, finishing ends and of all things, increases and decreases in a FI patterning (I was surprised). The chapter on colour in FI knitting is extensive and very helpful for me who is rather colour-challenged. The garment recipes are lovely and for the first time I've found FI jumpers that I'm keen to make for myself.

I highly recommend this book for someone who is interested in stranded knitting. Be warned: it's rather addictive!

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