Monday, July 30, 2012

Monroe Seminar

Just back from the Monroe, Michigan Machine knitting seminar this weekend. What a fabulous time!  Demonstrators for 2012 were Marcia Hauser and Teena Crawshaw. 

Marcia demonstrated techniques for making jewelry with fine-gauge wire, and also techniques for knitting beads into your normal knitting.  She threw so many hints and tips out during her demonstration I am sure I did not catch them all.  Marcia emphasized that "there are no rules", the machine is just a tool and your brain is the source of the ideas.  She shared techniques for  several beautiful garments made from woven (on the machine using knitweaving, of course) fabrics,  some techniques for edgings including fringe on pie crust and other techniques for simulated crochet shrugs.  She brought displays of three-dimensional trims and rag knitting.

Teena used her time with us to give us the basics of calculating the stitch and row requirements for making garments from geometric shapes in any size and any gauge.  She shared the formulas she uses to calculate a garment made from rectangles, like a bog jacket; and several beautiful circular sweaters and vests with shawl collars and ruffled peplums.  The placement of the arm holes within the circle determines the relative length of the collar and the peplum. 

A bog jacket is a traditional shaped jacket that originally was made on a weaving loom. You may remember Elizabeth Zimmerman's "percentage system" for calculating the dimensions of the bog jacket.  The article in the link shows how it can be made from a piece of 45" fabric with little or no waste. Here is another example with pattern from a quilting community.   Teena's knitted adaptation requires two pieces of  knitted fabric, the sleeves being the  one piece and the lower back the other. Because the pieces are separated, the knitter is free to make adjustments as needed for sizing or just styling, and to knit the pieces in any direction.

 Teena's long flowing electric blue lace vest was striking, and emphasized her long, lean shape.  I was surprised when she mentioned she was only 5'7", only 3 inches taller than me.  I would have guess she was a model over six feet tall just from the visual impact of the vest.  Her style is engaging and we were all fascinated by the "math class".

Many, many thanks to Cathy Reaume for organizing this event every year.  Food was wonderful, as usual, and the door prizes were quite varied.

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