I don’t want any knitter to feel that the knitting path he or she has chosen is “wrong”. That being said, I am revealing what my knitting style is.
I am mostly self-taught with the help of a variety of handbooks and magazines; my favorite is Vogue Knitting and their magazines. I haven’t taken many courses, but what helped the most was a class on designing sweater patterns. I have also been influenced by the amazing Kaffe Fassett, who revolutionized knitting in the 1980‘s. I attended a seminar of his, and have always been inspired by his colorwork. Having a clothing design background helped immensely with pattern writing. In my huge library of knitting books, there are two favorite “bibles” of pattern stitches, Barbara Walker’s A Treasury of Knitting Patterns and A Second Treasury of Knitting Patterns.
What I love about Vogue is their attention to detail, fashionable projects, articles, and well written pattern instructions. So with their help and my design education I learned to write patterns. Since I’m not the best sketch artist in the world, I usually draw out my ideas on graph paper; drawing a schematic of each piece including the stitch pattern, yarn choice, needle size, and other details; much like a clothing designer’s worksheet for manufacturing. The process begins with a swatch, your experimental playground, the basis of all knitting patterns. It is crucial to be flexible, as there are always issues to deal with, including inappropriate yarn choices or pattern stitches. I enjoy the design process, from concept to finishing the project. I am a technical knitter, writing everything down before I knit, meaning I don’t design as I am knitting as some designers do. This is my style, but not the only way. I like to challenge myself by trying new techniques. It is like cooking, when you find the right tool or method to do the job, you can’t imagine having gone without it.
Sometimes I just like to knit a project from a magazine or book. I always begin with the gauge swatch. It is crucial when beginning any project, particularly with garments, since obtaining the same number of stitches and rows per inch as the pattern instructions guarantees a great fit.
The act of knitting is relaxing for me and I prefer to knit alone, my private time. Although I enjoy being around other knitters, I find it difficult to focus on knitting. It is important that my knitting be skillfully executed. The item must be neatly sewn together (I love hand sewing), and look professional. I’m fond of details, such as perfect buttonholes with no gaping holes, pockets, buttons, and embroidery. My favorite stitch patterns are textured, simply combining knit and purl stitches.
I knit for myself most of the time now, usually structured garments. I am fond of scarves and wraps, like someone who loves shoes (which I also have too many of). Fashion is important to me, so I generally try to incorporate a trend into my wardrobe each season.
This summarizes the knitter I am. I would love for you to share your knitting style.