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Meet Vicki Square (and learn a new yarn joining method)

Oct 27, 2010

    
Vicki Square, author of The Knitter's Companion
We've just come out with a DVD for The Knitter's Companion by Vicki Square, where Vicki demonstrates the techniques in the book; almost 4 hours of demonstration! It's truly wonderful.

I've used The Knitters Companion for years. I swear, 99-percent of the time I find the answer to whatever question I have—and I usually find some other helpful tidbit when I'm looking up my original question. Reminds me of looking up something quickly in the encyclopedia (remember those?) and ending up reading all about ancient Egypt or the history of silverware.

I recently had a chance to talk to Vicki about knitting, and here's what she had to say!

Kathleen: What was the first thing you knitted that made you love knitting?
Vicki: I loved knitting from the first time I picked up needles and yarn and got right after it. I made a real sweater in about fourth or fifth grade that I wore quite a bit when my family went skiing. That seemed to solidify everything and gave purpose for my knitting in everyday life.

K: What's the most fun knitting experience you've had?
V: I've been knitting for "a thousand years," and it's still fun to learn a technique new to me, or a new and different way to use a technique I already know. Being willing to learn from fellow knitters keeps things fresh and creative.

K: Has your knitting taken you on any travels?
V: A number of years ago, I was the "guest artist" on a tour through Ireland. When we landed in Shannon, Ireland, there was mist and fog, beautiful stone fences, and green like you've never seen. I taught a cable knit bag for our project during the ten days we traveled. We'd knit in the evenings or at odd quiet times during our days' schedules. We saw Ireland's glorious beauty, including The Cliffs of Mohr, and a knitting mill on Inishmaan, one of the Aran Islands. The knitting was fun and the camaraderie was wonderful.

K: What's your favorite thing about knitting?
V: The artistry that can be achieved with warm, tactile quality of fiber going through my hands . . . well, it doesn't get any better than that!

K: What's the tip or trick that changed your knitting most?
V: My own personal knitting jumped galaxies when I switched to the Continental style of holding the working yarn in my left hand. Although I've seen English style knitters work blazing fast, Continental was my speed track to knitting multiple garments in the season for which they are meant to be worn!

K: What's your favorite tip to pass on to new knitters?
V: To relax and enjoy the journey. When relaxed, a new knitter will have an easier time of getting a worthy gauge, and they will enjoy the knitting process more when they are not fighting with tight tension. Do I have to choose just one tip? I also encourage new knitters to use good yarn, because it DOES make a difference to the quality of experience, to the end result, and to the longevity of the knitted piece.

K: How did you come up with all of the info in The Knitter's Companion?
V: Having a history of working with some couture sewing techniques, I was experimenting to achieve the same handsome results in my knitting. I had already been teaching knitting for a number of years and I saw a need to teach some finishing techniques. (You know who you are, you who knit beautifully and then don't finish . . . ) I started a notebook of techniques, some that are used most often and with success, that could be taught in a reasonable class length. From there it just snowballed into my eventual proposal for The Knitter's Companion. The format was integral to my idea to have the techniques at hand when you need them. As an artist, I could meld my illustrations with text to be as clear as possible, and the rest is history! It is such a blessing to know that The Knitter's Companion meets knitters' needs.

K: What do you think makes your new DVD special?
V: There's nothing like having a friend show you how to do a technique. I hope the DVD is me being that friend to guide the way. My thanks to all knitters who have Knitter's Companion, and to all those who will enter into the fold of knitters who will enjoy the book and the DVD.

Joining Yarn by Splicing

I try to join new balls of yarn only at the edges, but sometimes that means wasting a long length of yarn. If I'm short on yarn, I hate to waste any of it just to avoid a join in the middle of a row. Enter Vicki Square and a great way to splice yarn together so you can join in the middle of a row.

Vicki says, "Splicing forms an invisible join that can be used anywhere in a row. It secures the two yarns together without adding bulk or know, is easy to accomplish, and eliminates the need to work in ends."

Here's Vicki to demonstrate the yarn-splicing technique for you:

This splicing method works on wool, llama, or alpaca yarns—basically on any yarn that will felt a little bit. So some of the blends will work, too. If you're working with a blend, you'll have to try splicing it to see if it'll work well.

The Knitter's Companion is a wealth of information, and now The Knitter's Companion DVD adds to the riches. Get yours today, while we still have some in stock!

Cheers,

 


Featured Product

The Knitter's Companion DVD

Availability: In Stock
Price: $19.99

DVD

On this 2-disc set, Vicki Square shares every single technique featured in the best-selling book Knitter's Companion Delux Edition.

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Comments

dBetty Zima wrote
on Dec 30, 2011 6:49 PM

I want to know how to knit the way Vicki does when she goes from one color to another in a line of knitting. She performed it well on Series 5, the 502 program, but I need to see it written down before I can master  and it. It isn't the splicing method.  Yes, I am an old lady of 77, almost 78, and even though I taught school,  I find learning complex methods require my extreme attention. Thanks, Betty Z.

on Oct 28, 2010 6:06 PM

Hi KathyAnneW. Go to Youtube.com and put something like "continental purling" in the search box. I think you'll probably find tons of videos that'll help you master the purl stitch in the continental method.

Good luck,

Kathleen

KathyAnneW wrote
on Oct 28, 2010 4:40 PM

Hi, Kathleen,

Despite that I've been a knitter for YEARS, yesterday I checked out the link to Vicki Square's DVDs, along with the several videos there, and learned that Vicki talks about teaching the Continental method. I'm wondering if that teaching also includes teaching about purling via the Continental method? In the past, I have quite successfully taught myself how to knit continental-wise, but I find it difficult to purl that way, so I give up and return to throwing!

Thanks for your input!

McKennaO wrote
on Oct 27, 2010 4:58 PM

Ron@3 wrote:

"Now I cannot use wool and would like to know a way to unite acrylic and cotton yarns."

Search for videos on the "Russian Join", and Vicky Square may well have included this technique in her DVD.

Although it will not render the flawless finish of a well-done splice, once mastered it's a close second and suited to all fibres types as well as all but the most excruciatingly fine yarns. This technique is frequently employed in knitted lace, when only adding a new skein at the beginning of a row will waste a lot of otherwise wonderful yarn and often defeats the intended colourway.

Best.

McKennaO wrote
on Oct 27, 2010 4:45 PM

Kathleen wrote:

"This splicing method works on wool, llama, or alpaca yarns—basically on any yarn that will felt a little bit. So some of the blends will work, too. If you're working with a blend, you'll have to try splicing it to see if it'll work well."

I've found a minimum of 70% animal fibre a good rule of thumb when it comes to splicing (and felting).

Best.

Ron@3 wrote
on Oct 27, 2010 1:46 PM

Does this spliced yarn technique work on all types of yarn? My mother taught me to join yarn that way when I was just learning, but it only seems to work with wool. Now I cannot use wool and would like to know a way to unite acrylic and cotton yarns. Perhaps Vicki's method with the water works better.

Love all the videos. I am definitely a visual learner.

on Oct 27, 2010 9:29 AM

I grew up in Fort Collins, and still live here. Crocheting and knitting have been part of my life since I was very little when grandma taught me. In home ec class at Fort Collins High School (this was 1981) I remember a beautiful woman with long black hair came to our class to demonstrate knitting techniques, and I couldn't belive how fast she could knit with the working yarn in her left hand. That was Vicki Square! I still haven't mastered continental knitting, but I will never forget that classroom visit.

Thank you Vicki!