Monday, November 8, 2010

Stitch 'n Bitch Superstar Knitting

Debbie Stoller was in town yesterday to promote her new book, Superstar Knitting. It covers more complicated techniques like cabling, lace and colorwork. I'd had a chance to look it over since my parents got me a copy when they were in town, and I've been eagerly waiting for projects to be added to ravelry so I can at them to my queue!

So yesterday afternoon we headed to Powell's where Debbie Stoller would be talking about the book. (Yeah, I took Chuck along. I've tried several times to get him into knitting, but I think it's pretty official that it won't be happening. But he did enjoy the event well enough anyway.) I could not miss this event, since I've been a long-time reader of Bust Magazine, which she is the editor of, and her first knitting book was a big part of what got me motived to knit in the first place! Debbie talked about her background in knitting, covered the layout and techniques in the book, and passed around several of the projects.  

Steeks and Stones, pictured on the left, was among the projects presented.  Debbie suggested every knitter try doing steeks. This project involves cutting your knitting, which still sounds scary to me. I was eager to take a look at that piece up close & Chuck really liked the weight of the garment, the zipper and the overall shape...although didn't quite see himself in the skull pattern...but it is pretty cute. Next time I'm up for a big gift project for sounds like I may have to consider something with a zipper. 
There were also two  designers from the book in attendance at the event, Serena Murphy who designed The Life Aquatic Sweater (not yet up on ravelry, but it's a really cute stranded colorwork yoked piece) and Jana Pihota who designed the Baby Corn dress pictured on below on the left. 


Overall Debbie was very encouraging, and was happy to explain techniques using her legs and volunteers from the audience to discuss how the yarn should be sitting on the needle, much like she does in her books. I was motivated by her struggles with intarsia, and how she had struggled with getting the edges to look perfect. I have had the same issue with it, but may now be willing to give it another try. My mom enjoys colorwork, and was partial to the lotus bag, pictured on the right above, when she flipped through the book. 

Although I left feeling motivated to try new things, there are several projects that use skills I have experience with already which I was really drawn to. The Sea and Surf Sweater was there, and it's going right into my queue as soon as it's up on ravelry. It uses Blue Sky Alpacas Dyed Cotton and was inspired by Cookie A.'s Pomatomus Socks. The Beatrice Gloves (left) were also there, and technically that would be learning a new technique, since I've never tried adding beads to a project before. 

The book is about half and half technique and patterns, and it's thick. 41 patterns, a section on how to design your own sweaters, and covers lots of technique. There are still some more stops on the book tour (Seattle was next!) and you can find out about those here.

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