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TGIF wherein we giveaway a bookie September 2, 2011

Every day, several times a day a *shout* comes in to Studio Chic Knits. Loud and clear, an email SOS lands in my mailbox. A knitter, somewhere in time, somewhere on a WIP, has hit a wall and needs to be rescued.

Usually, a little first aid goes a long way from here to there.

But sometimes, it gets stalled by what I think of as the Internet Effect.

Many of us, especially in the last five years or so have enjoyed an explosion of information online. There is content galore; blogs, social networks, videos, picture sites and more where we all can edify and illuminate Any Subject under the Sun. But of course, Knitting has enjoyed a particular heyday with this phenom.

I have met, virtually, quite, many knitters who have learned everything they know about knitting from the Internet. I bow to these knitters; they are fearless and game and creative in a way I never was sitting at my Grammie’s knee knitting my first mitten with its mismatched thumbs. BRAVA/BRAVO the new milleniums!

But even with all the incredible resources out there, I’ve found one thing to be mightly true: nothing beats a human touch. It always breaks my heart to tell someone that unless I could be there in person, I cannot diagnose their knitting in the Cloud, that sometimes they just have to reach out and find a real time demo.

And second to this hand hold? A Good Book.

There’s many knitting references out there that we turn to all the time, even after all these years of knitting. But here’s one that goes beyond a couple of paragraphs or columns and shows actual garments being constructed.

Through a series of still pictures and clear explanations, this tome titled: Knit Simple Knitting Workshops (Carla Scott) shows just how some of the most basic projects look as works in progress. In the grand tradition of “Things you wish you knew when you started…”, this book breaks it down for many topics that many knitters might come across.

After a short introductory section, with the typical tools and knit/crochet stitch nods, the book gets very interesting.

Now, you find actual patterns for essential projects (some in multi-sized, multi-gauged versions). Within these pattern pages, as you a making the item, are nuggets that help pull you along the road to an FO.

You make a hat, then some mittens, finding some easy ways to embellish a simple project to take it higher and make it truly yours. Then starts what I’m thinking is the true value of this book.

There is a great explanation of how to read a chart, called “All About Cables.” Now, in the realm of really pronounced preferences, there’s the ongoing tug-O-war between chart and written out instruction lovers.

I’m a chart gal myself, preferring the visual clues as a fast-track shorthand for what’s going down on the needles. I include the written instructions for stitch patterns as well in Chic Knits designs, for clarity and completeness.

But it’s the chart I use when I’m going great guns on the couch watching that 57th episode of Bones. ;p

Here’s something that helps explain the goobley-gook that must appear to those who shy away from graphical instructions.

There’s a great section on socks as well. You see the whole breakdown of casting on with double points, positioning the stitches, turning the heel. I like! I’ve had a dysfunctional relationship with DPN my entire knitting career and this just might cure me!

There are simple sock patterns to accompany this magic and a nice flat series of pictures showing the stitch architecure of what goes on during the dreaded Kitchner portion of sock making.

One of my main missions in knitting is to inspire knitters to Read Their Knitting, to really see it, in both the big, and the little picture. Once you *get it*, nothing remains the same, then you can soar! It’s like that indefinable moment of learning to ride a two-wheeler bike where only an immersion and user committment gives you a fundamental understanding of the almost weightlessness of balance. It’s something individual to you alone although many, many people have discovered its magic.

In knitting, it is understanding what that stitch is doing, how the loops actually work together to form the fabric.

I think because it’s done with sticks and usually bunched together in the making, we lose the individual energy and movement of the string along its path.

Looking at it from above, in a nice flat, non-moving picture, you can trace that road the yarn takes and begin to see.

This book, with its sections and projects for the basics then all the way to jewelry, buttons, shaping, increasing, seaming, i-cord, and lest we forget, pompoms, just might be what you need to see clearer, see more.

Truly TYWYK…

So to celebrate the start of the weekend (TGIF!) and to maybe inspire you to learn something new (or even something new about something old you already know), leave a comment below on what you’re working on and what technique you’d like to know better.

We will randomly draw a winner to be announced next Friday, the 9th.

Happy Knitting!

94 responses to “TGIF wherein we giveaway a bookie September 2, 2011”

  1. Jennifer says:

    I do color work, but I feel like I still don’t know it very well. What amazes me about knitting is that you never stop learning.

  2. Sheri says:

    …. Learning to read Japanese Charts right now instead of written patterns. <3 Them!

  3. katie says:

    I recently started knitting sweaters and am now addicted to them. I feel comfortable with the basic sweater structure and cables, but I would love to learn Fair Isle and intarsia. Books are my go to for all of the basics, but the internet is really a great resource. There’s nothing better than reading a description of a new concept in a good book and then turning to YouTube to watch someone actually making the movements. My favorite part is pausing and rewinding so I can study the movement the 7-12 times I need to while holding the needles in my hands.

  4. Phoebe says:

    I am always inspired by people who can steek…the thought of cutting my knitting terrifies me to the core. Also fascinating to me are the endless possibilities to cast on and cast off, and how they can enhance as well as destroy knitting if not chosen wisely.

  5. Maria says:

    I’m working on a big lace project right now and loving it. I think I’d like to learn better finishing techniques.

  6. Knittingdancer on Ravelry says:

    I am working on the Azzu’s Shawl. I would like to learn how to knit from charts better.

  7. Jessica says:

    I’ve been mostly a small project knitter (socks! socks! socks!) but my goal has always been a (grown-up) sweater. After many starts and unravled endings, I switched to baby sweaters and have a few under my belt. But I’m still not sure I have the confidence to translate that into a full-sized sweater. Oh, the commitment! I’m working on my first pieced together baby sweater and then maybe I’ll take the leap?

  8. Elle says:

    Working on my first lace project that contains nupps. It is SLOW and frustrating, and due to the nature of lace-knitting, I don’t know how it’s really going to look until I block it. Block my swatch, you say? What swatch?

  9. Sherry says:

    Would love to learn to read charts! My mom says that’s the way to go, but they seem so complicated!

  10. Roseanne says:

    I too am knitting lace and would like to know more about knitted on borders. Thanks for the chance to win a great book!

  11. Heather says:

    I’m currently working on my first Japenese pattern and knitting what feels like a really fine cobweb. This one is teaching me patience! Next on the want-to-learn list are socks and entrelac. Supplies (aka yarn) has been purchased for socks and will be casting on once lace scarf is completed.

  12. Judy Carey Nevin says:

    I am working on a fair-isle sweater that needs crocheted trim…that’s certainly not my strong suit. Other than that, seaming isn’t my favorite…

  13. Fleur says:

    At the moment I am working on a poncho for a friend who is allergic to all kinds of textiles, so this one is a 100 % cotton. It will have cables. Personally there are two things that I love to knit: cables – can’t have enough different sorts!; and stitches/patterns for allover knitwear, – like the bee stitch, moss stitch, sand stitch, etc. About both subjects there are always plenty things to learn about!

    Ciao, Fleur (Fleurtje-Eliza at Ravelry)

  14. Rebeka says:

    This weekend I’m trying to get several UFOs done so that I can start on a sweater that’s I’m determined is going to fit me beautifully and be sooo comfortable — probably a custom top-down raglan. I *think* I understand the basics of top-down raglan shaping well enough, but I’m still stuck on how to get the exact neck shape I want so it doesn’t fall off my shoulders or strangle me, and that’s what I need to research next.

    If that goes well, I may put a motif of stranded colourwork motif around my shoulders, too — though the last time I attempted stranded colourwork it gave me some serious gauge trouble, so I think I should practice with some great tips on a smaller project first.

    But first, I need to figure out how to add buttonholes to an otherwise-finished cardigan that needs a few more of them to suit my figure, but the button-band was already knitted as part of the fronts and I don’t want to have to redo that much if there’s any alternative. Meanwhile, it’s been waiting since last October.

  15. Shay says:

    At the moment I’m working on a cowl to match a pair of fingerless mitts I finished recently. But the ribbing I did at the start is bunching the cowl too much, so my next “level up” needs to be learning how to remove the cast-on and first inch or so of work (cutting yarn! eek!) and then replace them with something that works better.

  16. ExecutiveKnitter says:

    I had this book and gave away as a present to a new knitter! Please pick me! Would be good karma coming back.

    I struggle with buttonholes. there are so many…which one is best?

  17. lorraine says:

    im knitting a million things lately..finishing a sweater and knitting a hat in a kal..and trying to get started on this granny hexagon afghan for my head is swirling..i would really like to know how to do broomstick lace…and i think before the end of the year i have to learn how to short row..ive been avoiding it for too long :) thanks for the giveway!

  18. Rhonda says:

    Currently working on a tank top that needs just a few more rows before its done. Then I get to do the dreaded finishing. My seaming usually isn’t as good as I’d like and would love to learn more to get a more professional look.

  19. Patty says:

    I always said that my sister-in-law was such a better knitter than I was because she could SEE her knitting. I think after all these years I’m finally seeing it but it’s not intuitive at all! My technique that soooo needs to improve – finishing! Have a nice weekend!

  20. Mary P says:

    I’ve successfully knit one sweater for myself but I have a lot more to learn about fit and finishing. Thanks for the opportunity to win this book!

  21. Andrea W says:

    I am presently working on a sweater for my grandson for Christmas. I would love to be able to put a boat on the front of it, but I just don’t know how to do it. Suggestions?

  22. caroline aka FiberTribe says:

    Sweet giveaway, thanks! I confess to needing some sock knowledge even though I’ve been knitting for-ev-ah.

  23. elaine says:

    i’m working on some fingerless mitts-good to wear while knitting at the rink for my daughter’s hockey practice!

  24. paisleyapron says:

    The best part of knitting for me is that there is always something new to learn and practice. Thanks for the giveaway!

  25. Barbara Seiver says:

    I’m knitting the Big Girl Bohus in LSU colors – purple main color, with gold and oatmeal as the yoke colors. This will be my first steek (eek!) and I certainly need to know more about steeks.

  26. Kathy says:

    I am currently working on a tee using a cotton yarn and would love to know more about sizing of garments. How yarns work with patterns to make a better size, should you go down a size when using cotton because it may stretch or knit to a tighter gauge. Plus I would like to know more about finishing a project whether it be putting all the pieces together and then sewing: stuff like that.

  27. Anne says:

    I am working on socks. 2-at-a-time toe-up, but I’m having trouble finding a really straight-forward pattern. I have frogged a couple of times. Really want to make this a simple, carry-along project!

  28. Margaret says:

    I am working on my first shaped sweater for myself (Velynda) and I really hope it fits when I’m done! I want to learn more about sizing and fitting and adjusting patterns so I don’t have quite so much “will it fit” anxiety.

  29. marylou says:

    I’m just starting a sweater, and would love to know more about ‘short-row shaping’, particularly in regard to shoulders.

  30. Kendra says:

    Right now I’m working on a sweater of my own creation with short row sleeve caps. I now love short rows after making a short row heal, before I hated them and just didn’t get them. Next I really want to try double knitting, but have already been putting it off for a while now. Knitting two layers of fabric at once with two separate balls seams a bit intimidating.

  31. Dee says:

    With that book, I could learn all sorts of new things. It sounds great!

  32. Kathleen says:

    Just finished a child’s sailor collar sweater from Modern Priscilla circa 1916? It is all garter stitch, so I had to learn garter mattress stitch for the side seams and another way for the sleeves-thank you, You Tube! I’m knitting wool socks for my 2-year old gr. grandson, a scarf using “Ripple” ribbon yarn for my sister, a jumper for my 2-year old niece, and a tot’s sweater. I’ve done cables and multi-stitch patterns, made a tot’s guernsey from my own pattern (with gussets and sleeves picked up around the armhole), and do a variety of knitting. I’m always open to learning new (if improved) techniques.

  33. Amanda from Purls and Pugs says:

    I’m working on cleaning up my WIPs, which the Ribby Pulli is among them. I just need to get going on the sleeves and get that thing done! While I get and understand short rows (and how used them successfully), I’d like to know how to do them better in a pattern rather than stockinette. Then I could modify patterns from flat sleeves to top down.

  34. annelena says:

    Working on a color work sweater and wondering just how much more there is to learn about knitting

  35. enidb says:

    I am working on a top-down cardigan – not exactly a raglan. The increases are worked into the eyelet pattern of the cardigan. I haven’t been too interested in colorwork until recently, but am thinking about giving it a go, with the right pattern.

  36. Lauren says:

    I’m working on lots of things, liesel, socks, baby things, but most of all today I started teaching knittng to a small group of 10 and 11 year olds at my kid’s school. This looks like a great resource to take to school and show the kids.

  37. Becky says:

    This weekend, I’ll start a Mondo vest after oggling it for a long, long while (with Malabrigo yarn to boot!). I’ve been working on a lot of socks lately, so it will be nice to have a bigger project in my hands. I’m looking forward to working on a provisional cast on, which I’ve never done but will have help from my sister. We’re each making Mondos in a duo-KAL – she’s never done cables, so I’m helping her with that. It’s great to have someone to share tips with!

  38. Virginia says:

    Im knitting hats for charity and wish I knew more about knitting a sweater, making changes to fit me-small shoulders w/larger bust.

  39. Hester from Atlanta says:

    I working on 1. finishing a hat; 2. sewing the buttons on a baby sweater; 3. finishing a cowl for a friends 90th birthday; 4. starting a sweater just for me; finishing a sweater for a friend in alpaca tweed; thinking about Christmas presents: PROBLEM

  40. Hester from Atlanta says:

    My biggest problem is FINDING THE TIME TO FINISH THINGS (as well as not accidently posting a comment before I’ve finished it!!). Seriously, I want to make all these presents as well as things for myself – never enough good concentration time to get everything done. Best – Hester

  41. Connie says:

    I am currently working on the hat Ruckle, from Knitcircus, for my daughter. I would love to learn more about colorwork.

  42. Rose Scott says:

    I would love to learn nupps and to add beads to my lovely shawls.

  43. Samantha Edwards says:

    I would love to learn more about picking the right yarn for a project. I have only recently began knitting gauge swatches for projects. I have knit for years and years without doing that! I am trying to decide which yarn to use for my next project and I am having such trouble deciding. I am going to knit a shawlette next but I can’t start until I figure out which yarn and needle size to use. I would like to use a bulkier yarn than what is called for but I don’t want my project to end up too big. Thanks for a chance to win this great looking book!

  44. Deb says:

    There are two techniques that I would like to learn. Actually they are related. I would like to work on learning to read charts and I would love to start my first lace project

  45. Karen says:

    I’m just learning to knit, so I spend a good deal of time Googling answers to everything under the sun :) I’d say for each project I do, 50% of the time is spent looking at techniques.
    Knitting actually a lot of fun and highly addictive. I do feel like I’m jumping all over the place though, so perhaps I could learn some patience and try to master techniques instead of flitting around from one thing to another.

  46. Rachael says:

    I am knitting a cardigan right now. I would like to learn double knitting technique and knitting with beads.

  47. Merna says:

    Currently I’m knitting socks with Cat Bordhi’s really clever latest Tomato heel. A sweater comes next. I Need to know more about how to transition from lace or cables to stockinette and keep the shaping I want overall.

  48. Donna says:

    I am currently working on two cardigans…Cerisara sleeves for one, and 3/4 length sleeves for Cecily’s Leaflet cardigan…sleeves in the round…and I have half a sock on the dpns and yes, I think I would like to get better knitting with dpns since I always “feel” awkward with dpns and am sure I would be knitting WAY faster if I could maybe learn magic loop or some better way of holding dpns for smaller circumfrences. And yes, I’ve picked up a lot of great tips and tricks from the internet, and from your tip section (on fit)! Thanks Bonne Marie!

  49. Mary Kaye says:

    My senior in high school son is an avid sports fan. While his personal sport is basketball, he will be at every football game this season. He made his first knitting request to feed his fan frenzy and asked for a pair of navy and grey knee socks with the name of his high school down the leg. The socks are going well but after advice from several sock knitters I decided that stitching the name down the side was better than having all the carries of knitting it in. Never mind that every time I have done a stitch on it looks like crap. I have just one week to finish the socks and master or at least improve my stitch on!! Go Riverhawks!!

  50. Carrie says:

    I’m currently knitting the Saroyan, I’m alsmost done! I learned how to make M1 L with this scarf. I would like to learn how to read charts.

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