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Back to School… Knitting School :)

Recently I’ve found myself studying again. Only thins time it’s not one of my MBA subjects, but Knitting.

Actually this blog post has been triggered by a guest who came home today. She asked me what I did all day, and I told her I knit, I design knitwear (actually, that was stretching the truth) and I teach knitting. Her immediate response was “so, you’re basically free the whole day! You don’t really have any work.” I was honestly taken aback. My family and friends are testimony to the fact that when I start knitting, I don’t have time for anything else, including housework! πŸ˜‰ And suddenly I was hearing a comment that kind of shook me with this perception. After a lot of discussion (read: monologue) she finally arrived at a happy conclusion: “You cook!” That apparently was acceptable “work”.

So I’ve been taking stock the whole day as to where I am with knitting. And I found that if it was possible, fiber arts could be a full-time formal education course! There is just so much to learn in fiber arts. Not just knitting, but crochet, weaving, even cross-stitch and embroidery! Anyway I don’t really have much talent (or time) for the others, so I’ll stick to knitting.

So i started jotting down what I would teach, if I was offering a formal course in Knitting 101:

  • Understanding Yarn: thickness, types. There’s so much to learn today in terms of blends, what can be blended, what cannot
  • This would also include what can be dyed, what cannot
  • Knitting needles – the sizes of needles, types
  • Knitting accessories
  • Starting to knit -This alone has so many sections!
    • different types of cast-ons
    • Knit, purl basics
    • increases and decreases
    • types of Bind-offs
  • Understanding gauge/tension
  • Knitting textures: knit-purl designs
  • Knitting textures: lace and cables basics
  • Knitting textures: twisted stitches, bobble
  • Knitting Textures: Edgings and beading
  • Garment structure
  • Garment basic design

This is something that has been on my mind for some time. I’m just hoping I manage to make it come true! Of course, with all the “practicals” interspersed with each of the sections, it probably would take close to 3-4 months for 1 course! πŸ™‚

Next I’ll come to what I want to learn: Garment Design. This also includes writing my own designs. And there’s so much to learn!!!

Starting from being able to design the garment of choice, to the patterns that I would use. And then comes writing it all down. This alone is a huge section. Earlier today I came across this website called Stitch Maps that looks at design is a very visual way. That’s such a different way of looking at design! I’ve always thought Knitting charts to be very linear, while crochet charts to be free-form. Now this site has managed to make knitting charts in free-form style!

After all this comes editing the said designing. I hadn’t heard about knitting requiring technical editing before. Tech Edit was something that techies did for their design documents. But, Knitting?! The answer is yes! Apparently there is a lot going into tech editing a knit design. Most design publications have their own teams of tech editors! Wow! That seems to be a whole new world!

The of course comes the selling, promotions and publication of designs. Whew!

What I haven’t covered are advance knitting skills such as Intarsia, Entrelac, knitting small circular items such as socks and mittens, Double Knitting, knitting with color, Fair Isle knitting, pockets… the list goes on.

I’m not really sure if I could possibly try everything on this list. But I’ll try at least one item in each.Β  here’s to wishing me luck! πŸ™‚

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Crossroads Hat

This was a lovely quick project! I started a couple of days back, and here I’m DONE! πŸ˜€

This pattern has been designed by Elena Nodel, and was contributed to the Project-a-Month group on Ravelry.The hat is made with 2 colors, and is a great beginner project for using different colors as well as cables. Made with DK weight yarn, it definitely knits up fast! Of course, I didn’t really buy DK weight yarn, I just went ahead and used 2 colors of fingering weight held double. What a wonderful way of emptying my stash! πŸ˜‰

It actually is paired with a cowl, which would help my chances of winning an exclusive dyed merino Skien from Elena, but I’ll have to forego that. I really don’t have the need for a cowl in sunny Bangalore! πŸ™‚

Here are the pics of this lovely knit!

close up of the cabled strands
close up of the cabled strands
the overall look!
the overall look!


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Works of Art: Midori OBI Bags

Hubby has just returned from the Land of The Rising Sun, and got me this wonderful gift. When thinking of Japan, we think Kimonos, kokeshi dolls and goegeous hand-made fans. But this was a gift a totally unexpected surprise!

The main reason I’ve mention this gift here, is because of the beauty of this handmade product.

OBI bag
OBI bag
The back panel in self-design silk
The back panel in self-design silk

This is a OBI Paccetto in handmade pure silk, made from vintage sash belts (obi). The upper pane features the design panel, while the rest of the bag is made in handmade black silk. The back of the bag is done is self-design black silk that feels absolutely decadent.

The Midori OBI Arts in Japan specializes in kimonos, and gifts made from the same materials geared towards tourists. So the bags are made from kimonos or, in this case, from the sash belts worn in the traditional japanese dress.

So now I’m off the enjoy my gift! πŸ™‚

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Left Bank Cardigan – WIP

I started this particular cardigan on 25th March, with a deadline of 27th April.

I’m not really sure why the designer has named this cardigan so, but am going with it for now. The design is a simple ribbing, and that is all that gives this cardigan an amazingly cool look.

Unfortunately I’m about 30% done at this stage, and that’s not likely to improve too much by deadline date. Happily though, the designer has agreed that the timeline was short right at the beginning of the project. So as long as I am able to test it, and find errors along the way, sticking to deadline isn’t much of a priority to her. Unfortunately, it is for me, andΒ  I just hate missing a deadline. πŸ™

Here’s my progress till date. Not much to go by, but the yarn looks great! πŸ™‚

Left Bank Cardigan
Left Bank Cardigan