At the Fair Isle class that I taught last weekend we had lots of fun. The greatest shock to me was that of the 4 participants, 3 of them were continental knitters, that is to say that they hold their yarn in their left hand when knitting instead of the right hand method that most of us in North America were taught.
This was amazing in that we were going to investigate the 2 handed Fair Isle method of knitting where each hand holds a colour and stitches are worked using both continental and British methods. This is usually a stretch for many of us right handers as the continental method, although extremely simple to accomplish, is really hard to learn for us profound "North" paws. Continental knitters seem to have an advantage as it's usually easier to catch on to the right handed method. All did very well!
The highlight of the class was when I insisted that everyone have a chance to cut a single "steek"seam on one of the samples that I had knit to prove to the participants that the whole piece was not going to disintegrate before their very eyes. After the shudders, averted eyes and head shakes, I was surprised that when I asked who wanted to go first, all 4 hands went up. As Teira put it: "It isn't my knitting; I don't mind cutting it."
Last Tuesday at the Kingston Knitting Circle meeting at Chapters, I happened to hear the Siren of the magazine department calling to me and I found 2 new knitting magazines in their first issues: the first was Fons & Porter's Love of Knitting where on p. 24 they offered an excellent display of different methods of steeking and finishing the rough edges with fabulous pictures. I wish I had a chance to read the magazine before the class so that I could have shown it to everyone, but it might have taken away some of the WOW factor of the experience. Anyway, here is a link to the content page of this American magazine.
The other magazine that I picked up in its first edition is pricey, but that is exactly what intrigued me about it. I thought: "Who would pay $20 for a magazine???" But somewhere in its pages I read a quote that likened "The Knitter" to a quality coffee table book that would stand the test of time. I have to agree. It's absolutely beautiful - 12 exquisite patterns and lots of extremely interesting insights from the creme de la creme of the British Knitting elite.
Here is a link to an interactive introduction to what's inside. http://www.zinio.com/express3?issue=336872700
I'm not sure if Chapters has any more copies; I read on p. 89 that issue 2 was supposed to be hitting the stands in Britain on Feb. 7th and will feature Colour and Fair Isle work. I guess it will take a little while for this next edition to make its way over here, but meanwhile check this one out. It truly is a fine fashion magazine for the serious knitter who longs to learn more about the art and construction of his/her craft and its patterns.