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TYWYK June 24, 2011

One of the most certain ways to spark a debate online is to deconstruct the Language of Knitting.

From SSK to Reverse All Shaping to even Work even, someone, somewhere, is scratching their head wondering why. So when the folks from Soho Pub sent us this new volume of something called the KNITOPEDIA, we knew exactly what we needed to do: send it along to one of you with that itchy finger!

“… Knitopedia is organized as an A to Z encyclopedia with numerous cross-references that make it easy to find information. This remarkable resource contains over 400 individual articles and is lavishly illustrated and beautifully designed, with hundreds of color photos, technical illustrations, charts and maps.”

Here’s a small sampling of the contents:
• explanations of all commonly used abbreviations
• explanations and illustrations of all important knitting techniques, such as casting on, binding off, shaping and picking up stitches
• historical and cultural background information on all ethnic knitting traditions
• articles on the design process, fit and ease and other design-related topics
• overviews of today’s knitting world (the Internet, blogs, magazines, podcasts)
• over 100 basic stitch patterns, with photos and charts

THIS. Is a really great edition to a knitting library. It has topical entries (hence the “opedia”) instead of full chapters allowing for a more diverse sampling of techniques, definitions, and even history.

Along with the text copy, there are photos and graphics that richly describe many of the processes or styles.

My favorite, since I’m on a mission, are the pages about: SLEEVES.

Many of us, without a sewing background, are without those touchstone moments that come with putting together a fabric garment from the ground up. We are without architectural reference; not only do we not understand the basics, we might not have insight into why they are shaped the way they are for different types.

This cyclopedia gives a great breakdown of the many styles and renditions and the section is representative of why having a book like this is a great idea.

SO: we’re going to send this one out to a happy knitter!

Just leave a comment below on What is the Techinique or Thing That Really Leaves You Cold! We will draw for the book, at random next Friday!

Maybe, we’ll all even learn a thing or two!

TGIF! ;)

125 responses to “TYWYK June 24, 2011”

  1. Robin F. says:

    Oh , well someone has to go first. I do have a sewing background but some knit designers don’t and their patterns are tough to work with. Love my Chic knit patterns.

  2. Anne says:

    Ah, well, what leaves me cold is unlikely to be solved by this book! It’s when I’m told to repeat *…* until I have, say, three stitches left. So just because I can be compulsive that way, I count the number of stitches on my needles, figure out how many repeats I will have of *…* and, oh, no, I’ll have 6 stitches left. Blood runs cold every time.

    The book looks like a great one to have!


  3. Jennifer says:

    Finishing strikes fear into me every time. I want my finished item to reflect the effort I put into it, and I always seem to come up short.

  4. Eleyne says:

    Provisional cast-ons with thinner yarns kill me. I’ve redone and torn out and redone and scrapped many feet of yarn trying to get a provisional cast-on going not only correctly, but looking clean.

  5. aliceq says:

    I am thoroughly intimidated by intarsia, and I’m not totally in love with picking up stitches, though, believe it or not, practice has helped me there!

  6. Joan says:

    I have to say, Entrelac. I mean, why?

  7. Lauren says:

    Realizing the yarn is not suited for the project. It usually takes me being in the thick of another one until I have the heart to frog and reassign.

  8. Rose says:

    Coming to the end of a really large project sends a shiver my way. I’m always worried the intended recipient might not totally love it and appreciate the work that went into the project.

  9. Vicki says:

    Wow, that looks like a great book! I struggle with finishing — achieving proper ease when seaming or setting in a sleeve, in particular.

  10. Cori says:

    I’m currently being stumped by the ‘invisible ring cast on’. Just when I get excited about the new techniques I’ve learned, I realize I have so many more to learn!

  11. Janie says:

    Setting in sleeves. Really freaks me out!

  12. Ann says:

    I would love the book, as I’ve outgrown my little Vogue Knitting Quick Reference. I always have to look up M1s. Is it lift back to front, or front to back, and should I use a different increase altogether?…

  13. Connie says:

    Kitchner! I still haven’t conquered that one.

  14. Vicki says:

    Sleeves?????? I always get stuck on knitting them. I think I need this book!!!!!

  15. Robin says:

    Cables. I love them – making them, looking at them, squishing them, everything. But I can’t “read” them. When I make a cabled project, I have to use a row counter or keep a physical tally on a piece of paper, which really cramps my style as a knit-everywhere-while-doing-everything kind of knitter!

  16. Francesca says:

    Seaming. I like as little seaming as possible. I feel like my poor seaming skills risk ruining my finished project!

  17. Dorothy says:

    Short rows for shaping. I just don’t get how they work, despite that I see them work on sock heels all the time.

    Don’t get it.

  18. Yvonne says:

    Picking up stitches to make a smooth round neckline from angular cast off edges. I have an almost complete cabled sweater that is waiting for me to take the plunge.

  19. Debbie says:

    Intarsia. I can never get the tension correct– it’s either too tight so it’s pulling in the knitting or it’s too loose and my fingers get all tangled up in the backside.

  20. jocelyn grayson says:

    I’m with Debbie above. Cannot work out intarsia.

  21. Elena says:

    Charts. I still have to convert them to line by line written instructions.

  22. Kathy says:

    AT THE SAME TIME – always throws me off. Oh and intarsia – haven’t found a real need to ever learn this technique.

  23. CindyCindy says:

    Toe up sock knitting right now. I’m determined to conquer it, but so far, I just suck.

  24. Thao says:

    Steeking! I’m afraid of steeking!

  25. Barbara says:

    Converting a square shaped drop-shoulder sweater, that has a color pattern, into a more fitted and stylish set in sleeve sweater while keeping the color pattern relatively in sync.

  26. Julie says:

    Looks like an awesome addition to my knitting library!

  27. Sherry says:

    I’m with the other person who said “at the same time”. Nothing like telling me “at the same time” after you already gave me five full lines of instruction…..

  28. MaryAnne says:

    I would have to say I am still not happy with picking up stitches as for neckbands and cardigan fronts….I’m improving….but it is still never as neat looking as I would like. What a wonderful book…..and how generous for you to share!!! Thanks for the “contest”.

  29. Suzanne says:

    The technique I struggle with is entrelac. I’m fine when I’m sitting with someone I can follow, but am completely flummoxed when sitting at home working on it alone.

  30. Sue Tierney says:

    I’m getting better at this but one stitch that always gives me problems is KTBL or Knit through back loop. Or even worse SkSKTBL or skip stitch and Knit through back loop of second stitch. YIKES, I drop me some stitches doing that … :-)

  31. Roseanne says:

    This book would be a wonderful reference!

  32. Sharon S in San Diego says:

    I need help on customizing patterns to my own body, that is more fitting when necessary. Along with that is the concept of negative ease, somehow having a hard time getting my brain to really understand it when it comes time to pick a size to knit in a pattern with it. I love a good reference book and I am sure that this is updated from my Vogue Knitting Book (not an updated version). Would love to have it! Happy knitting to all!

  33. Jackie says:

    That looks like a wonderful book! I tend to shy away from anything where I’ll have to measure and determine my own guage . . . . math, ugh! I want to knit not have to think.

  34. Jamie says:

    Finishing cardigans with buttonholes or installing a zipper intimidates me. I could use some handholding.

  35. Merna says:

    Even though I can do it, sewing parts together is something I put off so long that I now avoid patterns that need that. Top down or bottom up, it’s seamless all the way for me!

  36. Aimee says:

    Written out instructions are the kiss of death– I love charts!

  37. nikkapotamus says:

    Knitting Math. Some patterns call to measure, swatch, check gauge, add 2 and divide by 7 and take that measurement and add it to the length of the sock on your right foot and voila! you have the length of the finished garment. Yikes! Please, just spell it out for me without math.

  38. Cindy says:

    It would be so nice to be able to substitute in/replace the ONE thing that makes me not like a knitting pattern! I really, really dislike choker crew necks and boat necks! I would love to not be a slave to a pattern!

  39. Heather says:

    Finishing, and I have 40+ years of sewing under my belt! That and I have yet to dip my toe into the Entrelac pool.

  40. Pat says:

    Just thinking about this makes my head bang! The thing that really makes my veins shiver is a pattern with inconsistent directions. So, e.g. I’ve finished most of an unusual sweater construction and have struggled with it all along, and then find that the remaining instructions are totally wrong. Oh, and this…trying to contact the designer who has disappeared without a forwarding adddress! Disappeared! No help…not ever!

  41. MJ says:

    I can knit constantly, it’s the finishing that throws me everytime. I’ve spent money on nice yarn and have all these beautiful pieces that now need to be sewn together. I do it, and the garments look fine, but I just don’t have the confidence in myself.

  42. lorraine says:

    i guess short rows..ive avoided them so far but ive missed out on trying some awesome patterns because of it

  43. Jayme says:

    I’d love to learn how to size patterns up and down properly. Is there a formula somewhere for this sort of thing?

  44. lisa says:

    I would have to say that the biggest turnoff to a pattern is unnecessarily having 10 pages worth of directions that are written line by line. I realize that some knitters need directions this way for lace, but having them combined with a chart as well would make me more likely to knit a design. Also, when those pages are extremely detailed but still they are incorrect… ugh! Have NEVER found this to be the case with ChicKnits patterns!!! YAH!

  45. Diane in Northern Calif says:

    I am terrified of steeking! Although I’ve got more that 35 years of sewing experience (yes I did start as a child in 4-H) and I understand that by sewing through the yarn you will minimize/eliminate the issue of unraveling, the idea of CUTTING through the knitwork that I’ve just completed has me avoiding this technique at all costs.

    Diane in Northern Calif.

  46. Ruthanne (Seattle) says:

    I hate “reverse all shaping” instructions. A sure way for a project to get dead-ended! I do have a sewing background which does help when needing to do shaping.

  47. Nina says:

    What leaves me cold and terrified to even think about … is colorway (?) not sure of the term.. but its knitting with 4 or more different colors to make a pattern and using graph paper for the pattern and counting… ouch ouch ouch….

  48. Tracy says:

    Finishing!!! Scary, scary stuff

  49. Christine M says:

    p3tog through the back loop. Need I say more?

  50. Deb says:

    CHARTS!!! ARRRGH!!!!

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