Wednesday, August 15, 2007

What I learned at Stitches Midwest

In addition to all of the Stitches fun in the Market, I did actually take a couple of classes. I am glad it was only two because I am not sure I could have sat through more than that and really absorbed the information.

I took Russian continental knitting and Russian grafting. I thoroughly enjoyed both. The instructor was Galina Khmeleva . I loved her no nonsense teaching style. For those of you who do not knit continental or do knit German continental this knitting style is just another technique to add to your skills. I have tried to do German continental but have not been very successful but I did find the Russian style much more comfortable. I am a thrower from way back and can knit pretty fast so it will take me a bit of practice to get up to speed with Russian continental but I think I am going to like it. I think switching still will help my hand.

Additional tips and tricks Galina imparted:

Selecting the correct needle size for the yarn being used. Here it is in a nut shell.
  1. Double the yarn then give it a twist loosely.
  2. Lay the needle along side the yarn.
  3. The needle should be the same size as the twisted yarn. Basically, the needle should be twice the size of the strand of yarn.

To determine the length of yarn to begin casting on, for instance for a sleeve, wrap the yarn around the wrist then fold the yarn over that length twice. This should eliminate running short of tail yarn with doing a long tail cast on. This works for hats, sweaters, etc.

The Russian Grafting was great also. In Russia the knitters do not join seems using Kitchner stitch or any other form of sewing. They graft sock toe and sweater seams. The beautiful shawls the knit that have the fancy edging are all grafted. It make a seamless presentation and looks though it was knitted as part of the shall. Due to the weight of some of the shawls they are knitted in pieces then grafted. If you are interested I would suggest taking a class if available in your area. I can see were I will use this technique a lot.

Another little tidbit someone else shared that is one of those "why did I not think of that." You know how when you do a knit in front and back increase you sometimes be a bump like a purl? Well, here is the great tip. Knit in the front of the stitch then rather than knitting in the back, slip the stitch onto the needle. It makes a nice smooth finish.

That is what is so fun about going to an event like stitches. Knitters are such sharing people.

1 comment:

ChelleC said...

Your tips are very helpful. Thanks! I typed up some of my notes from the Valentina Devine workshop - it's over on my blog.