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Knitting in the Old Way

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Knitting in the Old Way: Designs & Techniques from Ethnic Sweaters
by Priscilla Gibson-Roberts & Deborah Robson
February 2004
Nomad Press
ISBN 0-9668289-2-5
312 pages, 619 b/w illustrations, hardcover, $39.95

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“Knitters rejoice! . . . Knitting in the Old Way is back—bigger and better. This extensively revised edition deserves a prominent spot on every knitter’s bookshelf.”
—Ann Budd, author of The Knitter’s Handy Book of Sweater Patterns and The Knitter’s Handy Book of Patterns, and managing editor of Interweave Knits

Knitting in the Old Way brings the power of independent, creative garment-making to knitters who have basic skills. Each section of the book could support years of fascinating discovery in the craft. It’s a lifetime resource.

“Knitting in the old way” means knitting by thinking, not by following instructions. Knitting in the Old Way unfolds a process that connects today’s knitters with deep textile wisdom from around the globe. For centuries, folk knitters created unique, well-fitted sweaters without using line-by-line patterns. So can twenty-first-century knitters! The component skills are within reach of anyone who has the ability to knit, purl, read, and experiment a bit.

Knitting in the Old Way begins by demonstrating how sweaters evolved from their origins as undergarments to their current status, as both everyday wear and heirloom clothing. The fifteen basic shapes can be combined and modified in limitless ways, the fabric embellished with color, texture, or both.

The pages of this book are packed with ideas, designs, and techniques from around the world, along with commentary on what we do—and don’t—know about the migration of knitting across space and time, about its quiet passage from one person’s hands to another.


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Summary table of contents:

Introduction 19
1 Origins 22
2 Traditional Yarns 26
3 Equipment 39
4 Knitting Methods 42
  Knitting in the round, stitch mount, open and twisted stitches; Eastern, Western, and combined approaches to making fabric.
5 Techniques 51
  Casting on, finishing edges, joining seams, short rows, details.
6 Tools for Planning Sweaters 69
  Gauge, the percentage system, charts and diagrams, “growing” a sweater.
7 An Evolution of Shapes 80
  Plans 1 through 15: Basic Blouse, Basic Gansey, Steeked Jersey, Shaped-Steek Jersey, Sweater with Locked Turning Stitches at Edges, Sweater with Laddered Openings for Sleeves, Sweater with Square Armholes, Sweater with Gussets and Saddle Shoulders, Sweater with Straight Saddle Shoulders, Sweater with Shaped Saddle Shoulders, Sweater with Raglan Sleeves, Sweater with Full Yoke, Sweater with Shoulder Yoke, Shaped Vest, Shaped Sweater.
8 Style Alternatives 116
  Cardigans. Necklines.
9 Color-Stranding 131
  Norway, Sweden, Great Britain, Iceland, Faeroe Islands, Samiland, Cowichan, American Folk Art.
10 Intarsia 199
  Four methods.
11 Texture 220
  Denmark, Great Britain, The Netherlands, Ireland, Norway, Austria and Germany.
12 Geometric Patterning 278
  Danish, Scottish, Finnish.
13 Crochet-Enhanced Knits 292
Bibliography 303
Index 307

Description and summary of table of contents for Simple Socks





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