March 10, 2010

Busy busy!

So I've been obsessively reading the forums on Ravelry and ordered 4 books through inter-library loan and all of this has been about learning to be a designer.  I really want to beef up my skills on designing my own garments and learning to make the things I knit fit better.  The books I got from the library are Elizabeth Zimmermann's Knitting Workshop, Reader's Digest Knitter's Handbook by Montse Stanley, The Essential Guide to Color Knitting Techniques by Margaret Radcliffe, Sweater Design in Plain English by Maggie Righetti, and The Principles of Knitting by June Hemmons Hiatt.

I spent the afternoon browsing these books and I think the most helpful one is going to be the Sweater Design in Plain English.  It seems like a really straightforward guide to making garments that fit and work the way you want.  The other books certainly have value (The principles of Knitting had 30 types of cast on) but turned out to be in short supply of the things I really wanted to know.  I used reviews on Amazon to decide what to get from the library because I think I'll likely want to buy the ones that seem most useful. 

The Principles of Knitting is out of print and very expensive to get so I feel lucky that another library was willing to send it here so I could take a look.  It was very talked up but it seems persnickety (she is convinced that there is only one right way to knit) and somewhat dated.  It has a lot of information but most of it I already know and or have for reference in other books.  I'm glad I didn't shell out for in all honesty. 

Of the books I got I think the Color knitting book is the most useless.  There is a little info in there but I think I'd much rather have a book of stranded/fair-isle designs.  A lot of what is in the book is god-awful ugly and will make me not want to use it.  To be fair it did give me the idea to use shaping to make intarsia patterns more than cross-stitch looking.  That was worth walking it home from the library anyway.

On other fronts I've finished the back of Eli's vest and have a few inches done on the front. 

I have a few ends to weave in on the back still and of course the argyle lines to embroider on but this vest is very much actually the right size this time.  I measured.  And measured.  The first one I made came out 4" too big and looked like a really ugly argyle sack on the poor man.  Maybe I'll feel ok enought about someday to take some funny pictures.  

The Alexander McQueen tribute is on a bit of a hold while I wait for more yarn to arrive.  I'm terrible at estimating yardage, but it usually works out ok because I work at the Yarn Exchange and live a block away so I just run and get a bit more.  This time though I bought all 3 skeins that we had of the Lanaloft Bulky in Cottage White so I'll have to wait until we get more in.  I did have to frog a bit of it because of an irredeemable and complicated-to-explain mistake so I took some pictures of my progress off the needles.  Its coming along just like I planned!  What a good feeling despite the mistake.  It was a bit fun to frog it on the floor like that. 


carolyn said...

I'm glad to see you working on designing knitwear! Good for you. You sound happy. :)

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