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Evangelina: Stitch-Maps Charts

Today’s post comes from guest writer, JC Briar, developer of the Stitch-Maps charting tool. She’s written for us before, and her clever tool permits interesting and illuminating analysis of complex stitch patterns and their behaviour.


Checking out the charts in the latest Knitty, I was struck by the charts for Evangelina.

Victorian
Evangelina’s Victorian Stitch Pattern is so clean and pretty. Did its charts have to be so disjointed? In particular, was it really necessary to slip stitches across the beginning-of-rounds marker at the end of round 6 and at the beginning of round 8?

To better understand the stitch pattern, I drew a stitch map for its instep version – that is, the version that features edge stitches, in the form of purls worked at the edges of Evangelina’s instep.

instep-v1

With the stitch pattern’s original red repeat boxes overlaid on top, we can see where the repeat shifts at the beginning of round 7. At that point, markers placed between repeats have to shift one stitch to the left, out of the way of the p2tog on round 7.

But is this the only way to define the pattern’s repeat? Viewing the stitch map again with column guides tracing the stitch columns, it’s possible to visualize a more convenient repeat for the pattern.

instep-v2

Markers placed between these repeats would run between stitch columns, and would never need to shift.

Going a step further and discarding the edge stitches, we come up with an alternate way to work the pattern on Evangelina’s leg.

leg

Voilà! The beginning-of-rounds marker can stay put.

Truthfully? The more I play with stitch maps, the more certain I become that almost all stitch patterns can be worked in the round without ever having to shift the beginning-of-rounds marker. It’s all a matter of paying attention to the stitch columns, and defining the pattern’s repeat in accord with those stitch columns.

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WWW: The Gay Sweater Project; The Skein Minder; If You Were a Yarn…

A clear message, communicated in a fascinating way.

Like all good art, The Gay Sweater Project is unexpected, challenging, and thought-provoking. In a bid to make people think about the the use of the term ‘gay’ as a derogatory descriptor,  advertising agency Saatchi Canada collaborated with the Canadian Center for Gender & Sexual Diversity on a recent project.

In their own words…

The Gay Sweater project teaches us that words like ‘gay’ shouldn’t be used to describe anything negative. Please help the Canadian Centre for Gender & Sexual Diversity in continuing initiatives like these that work to eliminate bullying, homophobia, transphobia, and other forms of discrimination in schools and youth communities.

The Gay Sweater is indeed the only gay object in the world, in that it was created from the hair of over 100 people who identify as homosexual. The hair was spun and then knit into a sweater by two Toronto knitters, Amelia Lyon and Brenna MacDonald, at Lettuce Knit.


Oh, I like this: a Kickstarter for a tool called The SkeinMinder to automate yarn winding. It’s targeted at indie dyers, and those who need to wind multiple skeins of yarn in a small production environment. Although this technology exists for large-scale operation, engineer and knitter Carrie Sundra aims to bring the idea to small organizations, in an affordable way.


Also useful: Sally Holt, the developer of KnitCompanion, has just launched Pattern Genius, a charting tool for iPads.


It’s true. You can see everything on the NYC subway.

I have to be honest: I checked the publication date for this one, thinking it might have been April 1st.

An orphaned lamb has been taken in by a foster family in NYC, and has been enjoying life in the big city. Even if it’s not real, the photos are great!


Not news: knitting is good for you. But I do like that formal research studies are being done on the topic of “textile therapy”.


And for your amusement, designer Bristol Ivy poses a fun question on Twitter:

If you click on the time and date in the tweet above, you can see all the fun replies.

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The Stars and Stares Pillow

Have you seen the Stars and Stares eye pillow in our latest issue? One of the reasons I like this pattern for some many reasons: it’s a different way to use knitting, it’s uself, and it provides a great project on which to practice your colourwork skills.

Clever and fun! Just the sort of thing we adore.

The first-time Knitty designer, Ruth Roland, has written a series of blog posts about the design and the process of being published in Knitty.

She writes about the filling options for the eye pillow…  the pros and cons of different materials to create the stuffing, and various options for scent.

She writes about variations of the design….

And the process of being published. I blushed and chuckled about being referred to as “heroic”…

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WWW: Principles of Knitting website; Shetland Knitting Traditions; Lace in Fashion

Author and all-around knitting genius June Hemmons Hiatt has launched her new website, The Principles of Knitting. It’s named after her seminal book. The website contains the story of this masterpiece – about writing the two editions, and the long awful period when it was out of print. (You think I’m exaggerating, don’t you? I’m not. Read my review of the second edition . The website even answers my quibble about the renaming of various techniques – in a very calm and sensible manner.

In addition, Ms Hemmons Hiatt provides a wealth of information about a favourite knitting method of hers: the “supported” method, and the knitting belt. Fascinating stuff.


A must-read.

The Shetland Tourist Board has put the winter 2014 issue of their magazine online, which features extensive coverage of Shetland knitting traditions, and the role of knitting in modern Shetland life. Great stuff! And such beautiful photography.


Knitting as therapy, but in a different way entirely. An interesting story about knitters making things they call “twiddlemuffs” for dementia patients. These are based on the old-fashioned “muff” handwarmers, but designed to provide tactile stimulation and comfort for patients suffering from severe dementia. They have buttons and other items attached, for patients to touch and play with.


File under ‘not strictly knitting but relevant and wonderful anyway‘: a slideshow on the Guardian website, on the history of lace in fashion


Neat: designer Joanne Seiff has just released the second in a series of short-story & knitting pattern combos. A short story and a related pattern – nice idea!

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Evangelina Socks

Yay Spring and Summer issue! Yay for summery knitting!

And delicate lace socks are just the thing for summery knitting! We loved Ruth Churchman’s Evangelina sock pattern the minute we set eyes on it.

Beautiful!

And then to learn of its wonderful inspiration – even better.

Ruth works at National Museums of Scotland library, and she found this book in the library collection: Scrivenor, M. Elliot. Collection of Knitting and Crochet Receipts. John Paton, Son and Co., Alloa, 1896.

The design is based on a Victorian baby’s Bootee pattern Ruth found in its pages… More about it on her blog.

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WWW: A Reality Show?; Not for Wearing; 1861 Mitten Pattern

The man himself, demonstrating his trademark style.

We are always amazed and entertained by designer, yarn shop owner and yarny entrepreneur StevenBe… and his latest idea may be his most amazing and entertaining yet: a reality show. He’s launched a KickStarter for it. Even if you’re not up for contributing, the video is a fun watch, exploring how you might build a reality show around a yarn shop and the personalities you find there! Plus zebra prints! :-)


Not strictly knitting, but I love this casual series on the Nerdist blog, ‘Behind the Costumes’, all about costume design for TV series. So far, they’ve covered Outlander and Agent Carter, both series I’ve enjoyed, and who have done really excellent work with period costumes.


Jade Harwood & Aurelie Popper, founders of ‘Wool and the Gang’

Yarn shop/knitwear designers Wool and the Gang, based in London, brings knitting to high fashion, and high fashion to knitting. They recently collaborated on an exclusive range of accessories for one of Britain’s big names in fashion at London’s esteemed Fashion Week.


If you’re on Twitter, you might have seen this making the rounds last week. Amazing directions indeed. Fascinating to see how the standard for knitting patterns has changed… you had to have a lot of skill to be able to read and execute these.


Indeed – not for wearing, but beautiful sculpture.

Great profile of knitwear designer John Brinegar, a.k.a. knitboy, focused on his show at New York’s Daniel Cooney gallery in New York. The objective of the show, titled “I Would Never Wear That“, is to separate the understanding of knitting from its “make to wear” origins, and explore it as a sculptural medium. Although many pieces begin as garments, they head off in different directions – some surprising, some comical, some fantastic. The show is available for viewing until March 14th.

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WWW: Dedicated Knitters; “Knit Me, I’m Irish” weekend; knitting for science engagement

Warm and welcoming.

USA Today’s “10 Best” site profiles Toronto’s Lettuce Knit - one of my LYSs!


Residents of a care home for the elderly in St. Alban’s, UK, pooled their efforts to knit a blanket for a furry friend – Jane the Golden Retriever, a retired guide dog.


Knitter and history buff Judith Brodnicki

Dedicated knitter Judith Brodnicki responded to a tweet asking for help with a knitting project, and found herself involved in the project of a lifetime: knitting WW1-era costumes for a film.


And Judy Graham is a dedicated knitting teacher. Her YouTube channel, Knitting Tips by Judy, is one of the great successes of the video website. She’s had more than 12.4 million views, and nearly 35,000 subscribers. Meet the face behind voice and the hands!


Looking for a getaway? Consider the “Knit Me, I’m Irish” package for the St. Patrick’s Day weekend at the Caldwell Inn in the Hudson Valley, NY. A local shop, The Cornwall Yarn Shop, is offering a lesson in knitting an “Irish scarf” as part of a B&B weekend.

The Inn has an interesting history: The house was once a refuge to an Irish family fleeing the British during the 1798 Irish Rebellion. The Caldwells, including a dozen children, crossed the Atlantic to arrive in New York City in the early 1800s, and the house was part of a massive estate they built in the then-“wilds” of New York state.


Dr. Tina Chowdhury, , professor of Bioengineering at Queen Mary University of London, has received many accolades and awards for her engaging and innovation teaching style. She’s currently working on a program to engage school-age children in science, and she’s seeking knitters to help her, to knit samples of cells and a bioreactor. More info here.

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Thinking of Summer

I know I can safely speak on behalf of the entire Knitty team in saying that we’re tired of winter. It’s been a cold and snowy one, and we’re all getting a bit grumpy.

To cheer myself up, I went cruising through our back issues to look for a spring-themed projects. It might be a while before I can wear them, but I can at least start the knitting…

Because I’m tired of my scarves at this point, I think a glamorous new shawl would be wonderful. Cold Mountain is big enough to wear now for warmth, and yet still lacy and light enough to wear on early summer days over a dress.

Make it in a really cheerful springy color!

And because even when the snow goes, there will still be cold winds… perhaps a new pair of fingerless mitts? These Queen City ones are chic and interesting to knit, but will go quickly.

A change is as good as rest. You might still need to wear mittens, but these are at least fresh and new!

There’s the Carnaby skirt, which I think would be a fantastic transitional piece… still warm, but with hints of springy flirtiness and fun.

Heavy tights now; lighter tights or even bare legs later!

In hopes that I might get to expose my arms again at some point, there’s the Petrie Shell

So chic.

And how could you not feel summery making a gorgeous Elenka dress for a little girl in your life?

So great!

And remember what Denny says: no knitting with grey or brown in February and March. Knit the colors that are missing from your life in this dull and muddy time of year: choose greens and reds and pinks and purples and oranges. Cheer yourself up!

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WWW: Knitwear model hits the big-time; charity knitter hits milestone.

Pic courtesy Rowan Yarns.

Oscar winner Eddie Redmayne started his career as a model; and not just any model… he was the featured model for Rowan Yarn’s Denim People booklet, published in 2004.

To celebrate his win, Rowan has made the Brooklyn sweater pattern available for free download.


Sibling’s Fair Isle dress. LOVE this.

I love this time of year in the fashion world… all the fashion shows for Fall and Winter provide some excitement and inspiration for cold-weather dressing, just as I’m starting to get tired of my own winter clothes.

UK designer Sibling showed some rather clever uses of Fair Isle knits. Full slideshow here.


A true labor of love.

Knitter Anna Taylor of Virginia is celebrating a rather wonderful milestone: in the past 9 years, she has knitted and donated 1000 children’s sweaters to a local charity.




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WWW: Hugs and Boobs; Spring Fibery Getaways

Image from The Guardian website.

Knitting as an aid to breastfeeding. Really. Knitters from the Isle of Lewis in Scotland have come together to knit 250 yarny ‘models’ for use in a government-funded breastfeeding campaign. The slightly silly nature of the models eases nervousness and aids the discussion…

“Popular with midwives and health visitors, they are used to show the best way to get a baby to latch on properly and how to mould or hold your breast to get the nipple in the right position for the baby’s mouth. They’re also used to teach how to express milk and how to deal with problems like blocked ducts.

Brilliant!


A lovely profile of knit designer and artist Rachel Matthews, in a larger discussion about the mental and physical benefits of knitting. Can you knit a hug? The answer is a resounding yes!


A video piece on the BBC about knitting in Sanquhar, Scotland. Sanquhar is known for distinctive and beautiful geometric colourwork patterns, notably used in gloves.


Spring is coming (I hope!), and with it news of a bunch of knitting events.  Fancy a fibery getaway?

Kate and Jillian are both teaching at Interweave’s Yarn Fest, April 16-19 in Loveland, Colorado.
Kate is also teaching at the Strung Along retreat April 9-12, in Port Ludlow, WA, at the Toronto Knitter’s Guild Frolic, the weekend of April 25 & 26, and at the Squam Arts Retreat in New Hampshire is the first weekend of June.

Remember, there’s always a list of events on the Knitter’s Review website.

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