advertisement

Free EBooks

Topics

Tags

Simple Knits for Thoughtful Knitters

Mar 19, 2014

    
Box Pleat Scoop Neck from knit.wear
I got a brand new copy of knit.wear in the mail yesterday. As always, it's full of simple, elegant, fashion-forward designs that are fun to knit and easy to wear.

The Box Pleat Scoopneck by Jennifer Dassau, shown at right, immediately went in my queue. It's simple and I love the pleats at the neck. I'm a sucker for a simple stockinette project with a neat-o detail!

There are lots of wonderful designs and inspiration in this issue of knit.wear, from glam stripes, to contemporary lace, to pleats and funnelnecks. Here's Editor Lisa Shroyer to tell you all about it!

    
Mari Chiba's fabulous arm-knitted cowl

Thoughtful Knitting


I want to talk about arm knitting for a minute. This trend, and related coverage of it, made the rounds of social media and mainstream media alike earlier this year. My inbox filled up from friends, relatives, and colleagues emailing me links about it. I haven't rolled my eyes that much since middle school. I dismissed the whole thing with a haughty "That's not real knitting," and went about my business.

And then I had lunch with designer Mari Chiba one day. Lo and behold, she was wearing this really cool pink cowl, with giant stitches in a super bulky wool (at left). She told me she had arm-knitted (Is this a verb? I don't know.) it in about fifteen minutes!

It's one of those experiences we all need sometimes—a humbling, maybe-you-don't-know-everything moment. As creatives and artisans steeped in our craft, sometimes we have a hard time being open to new and unconventional ideas. And as an editor, it's my job to constantly filter for quality, for craftsmanship, for technical soundness. But it's also my job to promote innovation and ingenuity. Working on knit.wear really helps me with that part of the job, because this magazine's mission is to promote thoughtful and new approaches to the potentially stodgy pursuit of knit design.

     Carol Feller's Short-Row Vest
Sometimes this approach leads to striking, standout pieces, such as Carol Feller's Short-Row Vest (below right). And sometimes, it leads to more subtle reconstructions, such as Cathy Carron's Six Point Tee (at left), which rearranges yoke shaping and uses a chunky yarn to create shape and graphic elements at the same time.

    
Cathy Carron's Six Point Tee
Deciding when a design goes too far or depends on a gimmick is pretty subjective business. I know what's safe to o˜ffer in a pattern collection; I know, from experience, what knitters will find acceptable. It's not always so obvious what knitters will absolutely love. It's also safe to say that predictable projects can make for forgettable magazines.

Somewhere in the mix of all those considerations, this magazine has hit a chord with folks—the designs don't skew too far from comfort, but still intrigue the eye and the mind and resonate with a certain stylish sensibility.

It's important to be open to new ideas. Arm knitting is a valid craftform, spun out of the maker culture, and is now being embraced by our more formal yarn community. At the end of the day, if it excites you, is fun to make, and (bonus!) is enjoyable to wear and use, then it's valuable. I hope this issue excites you, gives you pause, and makes you think as you review the shapes and instructions. We can do so much with imagination, if we let it run.

    
FREE vest patterns eBook!
Get the Eco Vest by Katie Himmelberg, plus 4 more knitted vest patterns!
Get your spring/summer 2014 issue of knit.wear today, and cast on something that spurs your imagination.

P.S. Have you tried arm knitting? Leave a comment and tell us about it!
_______________________________________________________

Free pattern download of the day:


Related Posts
+ Add a comment

Comments

Kiyasarin wrote
on Mar 21, 2014 7:45 PM

Wendygoerl: The kind of cowl pictured is actually quite warm. I think it must be because the yarn is so heavy and there's so much of it! That said, I am not personally a great fan of arm knitting but I agree with those who said that anything that gets folks knitting is fine by me.

on Mar 21, 2014 5:15 PM

I tried it ans did not appreciate my results.  The one in the photo looks great!  I guess I have to try it again.

B Henderson

bpknits2 wrote
on Mar 21, 2014 12:21 PM

IS KNITWEAR MAGAZINE AVAILABLE AS A SUBSCRIPTION?

Kneedles wrote
on Mar 20, 2014 11:20 AM

I taught my 10 yr. old granddaughter to arm knit and she just beamed with pride.  Also taught three 17 yr. olds one who is not into handwork at all and they were all pleased.  Two of them plan on doing more scarves and teaching their friends.  Even though it maybe quirky, it is a good way to introduce young ones to the pleasures of working with yarn and knitting.  In todays world of instant gratification, how can you go wrong with arm knitting.

sabom wrote
on Mar 19, 2014 11:14 PM

I started knitting with needles because of arm knitting!  Trying the latter made the former seem that much more approachable since it was a quick way to determine if I really enjoyed making things, or just the idea of it.  Three months later, I've made many arm kniitted gifts, and am in the midst of several needle knitting projects!!

on Mar 19, 2014 9:12 PM

Arm knitting is a sad, sad fad that can't be over too soon.

blevine wrote
on Mar 19, 2014 6:36 PM

This comment is not about arm-knitting, it's about knit.wear. I hope you don't mind my going a bit off topic. I love the look of many of the knit.wear designs in each issue. I'm always dismayed to find that the patterns don't include my size so I never buy a copy of the magazine. Is there any way to encourage the editors or whoever makes those decisions, to please include a wider range of sizes so that ALL of us can make their patterns?

BlairJ wrote
on Mar 19, 2014 6:29 PM

I have not tried arm knitting, but a member of our local Fiber Arts Guild tried it. I was not impressed, and think it's gimmicky. My non-enthusiasm may be due to the fact that I have cats, and that looks like something they will take apart in a minute, if they get their paws on it.

robroeb wrote
on Mar 19, 2014 6:10 PM

I've tried arm knitting, and while I'm not an intermediate type of knitter, I found this a bit challenging, as I kept twisting the yarn the wrong way, and added several stitches...also, unless you are very nimble, this can get tiring on the arms, wrists and hands, as I found the close twisting of my wrists a bit much. I do have to confess though, I will try it again, as it was a fun change from my simple knitting that I do. I like trying new things, and this one certainly fit that bill! You also don't want to get something started, if you don't have the time to complete it in one sitting...ie; if you  have to use the bathroom, do so first! Your arms travel with you...lol..and so does the project!

Carol@83 wrote
on Mar 19, 2014 5:52 PM

I tried arm knitting at my LYS.  Then I bought a bunch of chunky yarns and taught the 4-6 grade students in the after school program at my school.  They all made a scarf using 2 strands of yarn and had a great time!  One of the kids even taught his grandmother!  It was a big hit with everyone and a quick and easy project.

gbs426 wrote
on Mar 19, 2014 5:26 PM

I went to a class at my local craft chain store as I couldn't quite figure it out from the online video I had seen. It was such fun to do and so silly. The afternoon brought me a lot of joy in just looking at my favorite activity in a new way. I came away with a cowl which I wore to work the next day. It did keep me warm although not like some other ones of denser knit. Another use for it would be a fishnet type tote bag with a lining. If you made it out of a supple twine or thin rope, it could be fun. Will I do it regularly? Probably not. But, I enjoyed the out of the box thinking it generated. BTW, if you must be interrupted during your arm knitting, have a hair spray can or other cylinder to slip it on!

gbs426 wrote
on Mar 19, 2014 5:26 PM

I went to a class at my local craft chain store as I couldn't quite figure it out from the online video I had seen. It was such fun to do and so silly. The afternoon brought me a lot of joy in just looking at my favorite activity in a new way. I came away with a cowl which I wore to work the next day. It did keep me warm although not like some other ones of denser knit. Another use for it would be a fishnet type tote bag with a lining. If you made it out of a supple twine or thin rope, it could be fun. Will I do it regularly? Probably not. But, I enjoyed the out of the box thinking it generated. BTW, if you must be interrupted during your arm knitting, have a hair spray can or other cylinder to slip it on!

BarbaraK@57 wrote
on Mar 19, 2014 5:05 PM

I, too, had rolled my eyes when I first saw a video about arm knitting. But when one of our 6th grade students came up to the library checkout desk wearing a cool arm knit cowl she herself had arm knit, I changed my opinion! I would love to see patterns for things besides cowls, though - my neck is never cold. How about a rug?

wendygoerl wrote
on Mar 19, 2014 4:10 PM

I've always been a "function first" type and I get annoyed with designs that put a "look" head of a thing's function. Sure, arm0knitting is knitting. But it's USELESS knitting. The point of a cowl is to keep your neck warm where a coat might not cover. With all the air between 5-inch stitches, an arm-knit "cowl" COMPLETELY FAILS the requirements of a cowl. It's a ridiculously-oversized necklace. That's the only description it qualifies for. The only way I'd use arm-knitting is if I had an ordinary-gauge "lining" to work as a windbreak. Then it'd at least be MARGINALLY functional.

anna gales wrote
on Mar 19, 2014 4:00 PM

I've heard lots of comments about arm knitting and even watched a 5 minute YouTube video about it.  Following that demonstration a friend knitted a cowl in less than 20 minutes!  The super bulky braided yarn she used lent itself to this technique.  But I haven't tried it yet and am not sure if I want to knit something so large as I live in Florida. :)

JudyBNJ wrote
on Mar 19, 2014 3:56 PM

Thank you!! As a knit/crochet instructor, I was getting lots of questions about arm knitting – I did the 'eye-roll' too, until I tried it for myself. It's fun, fast and may be the best thing EVER for getting people to try yarn-crafts without all the fear of "it's too hard, I'll never be able to...(fill in the blank)"  

Now, when somebody says 'what's the deal with this so-called arm knitting?' I explain that I love it and am willing to try anything that gets people excited about trying new crafts.