Kristen Chambers, who offered the following:
“My favorite tip – Except for using dpn’s for items like socks and sleeves, I’ve given up straight needles and work exclusively with circular needles for all my knitting, including “flat” patterns. They are so much more comfortable and convenient to use: needles aren’t falling to the floor; stitches seldom drop off the tips; the bulk of the knitting is centered in your lap so your hands don’t tire as easily. I wonder now how I learned to knit with straight needles as a child.”
The laceweight yarn will be winging it’s way to Kristen today.
I selected the winner by assigning a number to each of the 86 emails I got before the deadline, and using a random number generator to pick the winning number.
The page of all tips received is here. This is a permanent page on my website, and will be linked from both my blog sidebar and my knitting page when I get to it, so you can refer to it whenever you like.
Thank you everyone who entered! I got a couple of late entries, and included them on the page as well.
Questions and Answers
Melissa asks: “I have never knit a Starmore. Is there no kind of facing for the junction of where the sleeve meets the body? What is your preference…. to knit the sleeves and then attach to the body or to pick up and knit down?”
In a traditional fair isle (like a Starmore), there is no provision for a sleeve facing. You pick up your stitches in-between the edge stitch of the steek and the first stitch of the body, and the steek lies down on the inside of your sweater, like a facing. When you are doing the finishing on your work, you can tack this down to the body. Though sometimes, I don’t even bother to do this. I’ve got fair isles that are 10+ years old that I didn’t tack down. From steaming and through time, the steeks have adhered to the inside of the sweater nicely.
As for my sleeve knitting preference . . . it’s a toss-up. When picking up stitches and knitting down, it’s nice that once you’ve finished a sleeve, you don’t have to sew it in the armhole. It’s done, except for weaving in any ends.
But it’s a pain to have the whole sweater flopping around on the needles while you’re knitting your sleeves. So knitting them separately and sewing them in does have its own appeal.
Johanne asks: “Wendy, when did you first become smitten with Starmore fair isle?”
I made my first Starmore fair isle in 1990 — the Wave Cardigan from her fair isle knitting book. And made a few other non-Starmore fair isles over the next several years. Then embarked on my long love affair with arans. It’s just in the past year or so that I’ve become besotted with fair isles again, and have knitted several AS ones.
Cheryl asks: “Have you ever done an AS vest?–I don’t remember seeing one on your finished page. No fondess for vests?”
Correct-a-mundo. I’m not a big fan of the vest. I have two or three (non-AS) vests that I’ve knitted. And never wear them. I’m not a huge fan of cardigans either, though I do have a few I’ve made . . . and wear every now and again.
Jo asks: (about my first steeking experience) “how was YOUR first time Wendy?????”
The answer is . . . ignorance is bliss. It never occurred to me to be worried about it, so I blithely cut my first steek with nary a care in the world.
I got half a sleeve done over the weekend.
Happy Monday, all!