Knitting Outside The Swatch

One of the really nice things about being in this biz for [mumble] years is that I get to make a lot of wonderful friends!

The latest from Interweave/F+W Media; $24.95 Click here to order!

The latest from Interweave/F+W Media; $24.95
Click here to order!

Designing hand knits and crochet can be solitary at times, so when we get together at knitting conventions it’s great to see sister (and sometimes brother) designers and share our victories and war stories.

I am SO looking forward to this aspect of my upcoming trip to Interweave Knit Lab in San Mateo Oct 31 – Nov 4

Sadly, I won’t be seeing my friend Kristin Omdahl there, and I love to see her pretty face!

Happily, I can drown my sorrows in the pages of her new book, Knitting Outside The Swatch

Infinity Loop

Infinity Loop

I’m an unusual knitter (aren’t we all, in our own ways?) and I love the approach this books takes in exploring new techniques to create unusual knitted motifs.

One of the cooler motifs was the “Infinity Loop”, which is shown in several incarnations (St st, garter, lace) and uses short rows.

I find myself wondering if it would be possible to join the ‘points’ of the piece as I work, instead of stitching them later – something to ponder on my plane trip out to San Mateo!

Mia Brioche-Stitch Scarf

Mia Brioche-Stitch Scarf

Once you’ve mistressed* the ins and outs of the individual motifs (many of which are worked from the center outward) Kristen provides 10 patterns you can use to show off your new mad skills!

My favorite pattern was the Mia Brioche-Stitch Scarf which utilizes small scallops worked together on a brioche-stitch spine, a lovely effect!

So, Would You Like This Book?

Leave a comment below telling me what your favorite knit technique, or knit fabric, is. It can be as simple as “Garter Stitch” or as complex as, “Triple-drop stitch short row shaping”

I will choose a comment at random, and F&W Media will send the winner their very own shiny copy of Knitting Outside The Swatch!  This contest will run until Saturday, so get your comments in!

*In a craft where 94% of the practitioners are women, I WILL use the term mistressed!

54 thoughts on “Knitting Outside The Swatch

  1. I love stranded colorwork, but I am always intrigued with new ideas like the ones you showed above. I was never really good in geometry. My father had to make all my exhibits of the different shapes, etc. So when I see things that people do like this, I am boggled. Back in the olden days a friend of mine wanted to major in math, but she was told by her advisor that women don’t do well in the math field! Now she is doing the most crazy knitting stuff using all her math skills to the max. Thanks for the chance.

  2. I love cables. Simple 2×2 cables or those complicated cable motifs that span most of the front of a sweater. I love them all. Plus they’re potato chip knitting for me – I keep telling myself I’ll just knit one more cable crossing before bed. Next thing I know it’s nearly dawn.

  3. I love garter stitch and all its permutations, and the many patterns I’ve worked with it! Thank you for the chance to win this book — it looks fabulous, and I love to see Kristin on Knitting Daily.

  4. Annie, my first love was cables (way back mumbly years ago when I knit cardigans without patterns) but I seem to have become a lace by the chart knitter these days and certainly from the center out is a lovely approach to almost anything. The kidlets want toys, however, so I have big and little things to knit all the time. I’m a big Kristen Omdahl fan, too, after watching all the reruns of Kntting Daily TV my DVR has been recording for me now that we got cable about a year and a half ago.

  5. I was going to say garter stitch, but then I remembered the sweater I started over 20 years ago. It is all garter stitch. I really like it & want to wear it, but I get SO bored! I am afraid I will never finish it. Also I really like stranded colorwork. Also relatively easy lace knitting. Lots of things I haven’t tried yet that look like fun. OK – garter stitch in smaller amounts than a whole sweater. It would be much easier for me to tell you what I don’t like to knit.

  6. Yes,knitting is math all the way. Thank you for tips of this book and the opurtunity to win it
    My favorite knitting is lace or cables. I iften have “problems” following a pattern, it iften ends with adding to the piece for my need or a personal idea to, for me,add the little extra.
    Decreasing in a wide cabling to make a volang in a skirt is something I have done, and I found it very interesting and my goal was to let the decreasings invisible.

  7. My favorite knitting technique lately has been Contiguous sweater construction, as created by SusieM on Ravelry. Using her techniques I knit the first top down sweater that left me happy with not only how the shoulders fit, but also the rise of the back of the neck and the fit of the arms! I have a skinny, forward leaning neck that was often cold on the back with traditional sweater patterns, and broad shoulders and skinny arms. I thought I had to either have tight shoulders or loose floppy arms, but no more. I can knit to fit me, top down. I love this method!

  8. My favorite is knitted lace from the very fine to the very big. Love how it makes anything a little extra special.

  9. I love lace, especially with really fine yarn. I usually have at least 1 lace project on small needles among my WIPs but most of my knitting is now sock weight or heavier. Even in worsted weight yarn, a couple of columns of fagotting adds a pleasant lacy touch.

  10. Thank you for your giveaway. My new favorite technique is using a tubular cast on for ribbing. So elegant. I also love kitchener stitch (I know some people will groan as they read that…). I don’t always love executing it, although I really don’t mind it too much. It’s more that I love the magic of it. Two separate sets of knitted stitches suddenly become one seamless piece! Abracadabra!

  11. I’m enjoying working slipped-stitch colorwork right now, and looking forward to learning new things. 🙂 Thanks for the opportunity to win this book!

  12. I have only been knitting for a couple of years but I love anything that’s challenging. For me, right now, that is knitting backwards and knitting with yarn in both hands! I’m a “picker” who wants to be a “thrower” too! I am so intrigued by this book – especially the infinity loop swatch pictured.

  13. While I haven’t knit anything beyond sample swatches, I have really come to enjoy brioche stitches. The basic brioche makes a wonderful squishy fabric. And the colored stitches are fun (and challenging) too!

  14. I have loved the brioche – known to me then as English stitch – since I learned to knit, so it is very gratifying to see it so popular, and with so many variations.

    Another long-favorite of mine, the linen stitch, has also become very popular recently.

    Go Annie!

  15. I love garter stitch– especially when there are stripes involved. It’s not so much that it’s easy to knit (it can get boring), but the look is one I just adore.

  16. I have done everything from intarsia to entrelac, twisted to twined, stranded to slipped, lace to linen, cabled to corded rib and yet I find the most wondrous stitch of all to be the stockinette stitch. Making loops upon loops and watching them turn into fabric fascinates me still. Stockinette stitch is humble yet beautiful; a utilitarian workhorse. I love it.

  17. Favourite technique at the moment, is playing with increases and decreases to shape knitwear. I’ve just realised that masses of stocking stitch is fun when there’s the chance of a K2tog or P2tbl or M1R or M1pL.

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