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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! ;)

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125 responses to “TYWYK June 24, 2011”

  1. Sharon says:

    Intarsia has me beat, I have looked on the net and cannot find any proper information on how it’s done.

  2. Ellie says:

    Anything that requires seaming leaves me cold!

  3. Sarah says:

    Seaming, it feels very hit or miss whether or no I’ll get it right.

  4. Dina says:

    Finishing!!! makes my handknits LOOK like handmade…ugh

  5. Judy says:

    I think duplicate stitch is the thing I just can’t get excited about–I appreciate it on finished things, but just can’t work up the interest to actually DO it.

  6. Christina says:

    Like so many other readers, finishing! I hate that I put so much love and energy into a gorgeous piece and then I ruin it with that amateur-homemade disaster look at the end :(

  7. Kathleen says:

    Fair Isle–just can’t figure out the Fair Isle–crave the mittens, etc, but just can’t get the knitting hands to co-operate.

  8. monbouton says:

    definitely entrelac!!

  9. Deb in PA says:

    I really don’t like SSK. I’d much rather do SKPSSO. To me, it’s easier (except when I forget to PSSO).

  10. kit says:

    I’m so very visual that i have to reread and sometimes rewrite instructions! My latest frustration was knitting one side of a shrug front and then the pattern says, reverse pattern for other side – OMG!

  11. jessicac says:

    The sewn cast off leaves me cold… I have tried and tried again, maybe one of these times it will click!

  12. Carolyn says:

    For me it is a tie between seaming and finishing!

  13. Judith says:

    Magic loop – I hate dangling surplus bits of my circs when knitting regularly with them and can’t see why to do magic loop when DPNs work so nicely.

  14. marylou says:

    Pick up and knit is very hard for me. Also, recovering a dropped stitch when knitting garter stitch.

  15. robinvk says:

    I am the worst at putting pieces together! I finally started making sweaters when I discovered top down!

  16. Ellen says:

    I’d have to say seaming and all the other finishing details. I love your top-down patterns for this reason. I’ll wallow a wad of sweater in my lap anyday over knitting the pieces separately and then assembling.

  17. Valerie says:

    Adding beads leaves me in the arctic.

  18. Gina E says:

    Seaming leaves me cold! I have only made one sweater with seams – the rest have been in the round!

  19. Jules says:

    Setting in sleeves. All other seaming I’m okay with… but oh lord, anything to avoid setting in sleeves. Ugh. Won’t do it.

  20. Ania Bloch says:

    Oh to pick just one thing! Looking at my pile of unfinished to partly finished work, it must be finishing.

  21. Carolyn Madsen says:

    Provisional Cast-on… I can NEVER get it right so that I have the right number of stitches when I pick up again!

  22. Leslie Schroeder says:

    Getting sleeves to fit properly. It seems I never get them in evenly.

  23. Michelle Hutcheson says:

    Sleeves. I hate the finishing on sleeves. The seaming, the attaching-all of it. It’s vests for me!

  24. Veronica says:

    Setting in sleeves is tough for me. Rounded sleeve caps joined to stitches that both horizontal and vertical. How do you line them up???

  25. marina says:

    short rows never seem to work out right for me!

  26. Lauren Baldwin says:

    I have knit for many years. I have taught knitting. I have worked as the help person in a yarn shop — helping other knitters fix mistakes and figure out patterns. And I facilitate a yearly knitting retreat. So I am embarassed to say that I struggle with the most elemental task in knitting — calculating where to place increases or decreases when the pattern states, “Decrease [or increase] 5 stitches evenly spaced across the row.” I still must draw out the sections for myself to calculate the number of stitches between each dec or inc. Perhaps I need a little math lesson (and I am good at math!). The other comments left here make me want to teach a finishing class or at least recomend to those who struggle with finishing to go immediately to your local yarn store and sign up for a finishing class. It is a skill that can be learned! I did, from some very knowledgable and more experienced knitters!

  27. Julie says:

    Grandmother taught me how to knit when I was 7 years old — I’m now 57, and still can’t knit a sweater that I end of wearing. I love to knit with beautiful yarns. I take my time with gauge and do everything before tackling the pattern, but once finished and blocked. . . it’s like “what did I do wrong”. I think this book will be the HOLY GRAIL for me.

  28. Gail P says:

    I’m knitting my first sweater and the setting in of sleeves has me intimiated! I’ve sewn before but seeing others comments about sleeves has me biting my nails. Also I wish there was more instruction on fitting sweaters. This book sounds very helpful!

  29. Amie F says:

    Ugh Kitchener stitch. I cannot do it without help.

  30. Pat S says:

    Seaming is my big problem. I have a cardigan right now that all it needs to be finished is the seaming and I can’t bring myself to even start. Hopefully by Fall I can get it finished properly.

  31. Stephanie C says:

    Seaming is on my short list of things to master.

  32. Deanna says:

    If I can avoid it, I won’t use dpns.

  33. Carol says:

    Magic loop – I really don’t mind using DPNs (I actually like them & they sure impress the heck out of non-knitters!) My goal this year is to do entrelac & learn to knit it well (forward & backward.)

  34. Midge says:

    Short row heels!!!!! Can’t get over the hump on the learning curve!

  35. Ann says:

    Knitting the second of anything be it a second sock, sleeve, mitten, etc. Takes me a bit to get going on the copy of anything.

  36. Ann Lim says:

    Seaming & kitchener stitch – I can’t seem to do a good job of either one of these techniques so I always knit in the round.

  37. Diana H says:

    I guess the thing I dislike most is when I finish knitting something and I have to decide on the next thing to knit. There are so many wonderful possibilities. I love to knit, but I’m just not good at decision-making.

  38. Stella says:

    Love reference books…stuff seems to have randomly fallen out of my brain so I’ve given up being frustrated with trying to remember and just LOOK. IT. UP. This looks like a great one!

  39. affiknity says:

    Intarsia gives me cold feet and I hate finishing – weaving in, seaming and attaching buttons.

  40. Pam says:

    Magic loop – I just can’t even make myself try it — seems like there are easier ways.

  41. Janene says:

    I’m really wanting to knit a sweater…..have started and frogged so often I am going to have to start a new skein. I’m just really intimidated by it all! I don’t want to be scared anymore!

  42. enidb says:

    I still can’t get my head around “knit in the stitch below.” I know that if I do a brioche or some other pattern calling for it, I’ll have to have someone demo it for me over and over.

  43. Linda says:

    Fair isle: no matter what I do, it still puckers hopelessly and I haven’t found a key to make it stop.

  44. Patty says:

    I cannot seam to save myself! I think I even emailed you once to get permission to crochet a sleeve it – which I’ve done a few times now. God forbid those seems get pulled! :-)

  45. Julie says:

    Any kind of sleeve set-in. I only do seamless sweaters just to avoid them, and I’m missing out on some great sweaters.

  46. Anna says:

    Any colorwork more complicated than stripes just throws me. My finishing isn’t fantastic, but oh well! It suffices. My DH bought me a book about color knitting, bless him–but I promptly “buried” it under the couch!

  47. Anna says:

    @ Pam — I never knit hats any other way! Love me the Magic Loop!

  48. Mary says:

    I don’t mind finishing, color work or any of the other things that freeze most people. I just get chilled thinking about making myself clothing that fits. I would rather knit a 5,000 yard shawl.

  49. Debi says:

    Great idea for a construction, help book

  50. MaryB says:

    This may be exactly what I need to overcome my fear of set-in sleeves…..looks like great illustrations.

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