After several years working as a PR consultant for architectural firms, I decided it was time to find a job related to my hobby, read obsession of, knitting. I found an ad in an Rowan Magazine where they advertised for Design Consultants. Luckily, I was called in for an interview and spent the next few days memorizing english knitting terms and abbreviations since I, at that time, only knew all the Norwegian ones. Well, I did get the job, first at Peter Jones department store in London, and no they did not ask me to list all the english knitting abbreviations!
During my time as Design Consultant, both at Peter Jones and John Lewis department stores, where I assisted customers, on yarn choice and pattern, and professional designers tutoring workshops, I developed my knitting technical expertise. With access to shade cards, free Rowan magazines and a direct line to the design department, I was close to ecstasy. The love I have for shade cards has only increased with time.
It is a great idea to order a shadecard first to see the real colour, always together with a magazine or some sample yarn to maximize the postage cost, before you order online. Most yarn producers have these for sale, especially in yarns with numerous colours like e.g. Spindrift (180 colours) made by Jamieson, www.jamiesonsofshetland.co.uk and they are beautiful just to look at.
Professional finishing, was a workshop tutored by Jane Crowfoot, see blogroll Janie Crow, and taught me a lot of new techniques and good tips I have later given to knitters attending my workshop, with the same name, at Loop. A few key tips are:
- Knit both sleeves at the same time on a circular needle. Cast on for one with one ball and pull them onto the cord, with a new ball cast on for the second one. When you need to increase you do it on both of them on the same row.
- Sew up as you go along: if you are making a sweater, join a shoulder when the back and the front is finished. You can pick up for the neck as well as work on the sleeves at the same time. It makes it a lot more exciting to finish your garment and minimizes the time spent of finishing at the end.
- Sew up stitch by stitch. Think about how you knitted it and that is how you should sew it up. What stitch you use does not make a huge difference but the size of the stitch does. A mattress stitch can create an invisible seam, depending on the pattern. I prefer crochet slip stitch but do occasionally chose mattress stitch.
- The best videos I have come across so far, this search never ends, are the ones on www.garnstudio.com Tips & Help, Tutorial videos, Knitting, (or Crocheting: slip stitch: go through both pieces instead of just the one.) choose language under column About our videos. There is no audio but they are clear without it. Try it!