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Thursday, 12 April 2018

Master Knitters in Dallas

DFWFiberFest 2018 was such an amazing event.  Anytime you have a large gathering of knitters, oodles of yarn, gadgets you didn't know existed, classes, lectures, hands on events, and a wealth of knowledge being exchanged, you KNOW it's a great place to be.  And since we were in Texas, everything was bigger, including the collection of yarn on the convention floor!  TKGA Masters Day was sold out to knitters working on their masters certification.  We managed to gather all Master Knitters together for a group photo at the end of the day.  We are tired from a long of day of teaching, learning and coordinating, but we smiling!  Yes, that's one happy group of knitters.  


For more information about becoming a Master Knitter or The Knitting Guild Association, visit 



Wednesday, 21 March 2018

Wendy Cardigan - Yes Summer is Coming!


The Summer 2018 issue of Creative Knitting is in mailboxes and store shelves, and the northeast is getting snow - again.  At some point we will finish up the thick wool turtlenecks and look for a lighter, warmer-weather knit.  

Wendy Cardigan uses eyelets against a background of stockinette in diagonals for a flattering look.  The open front makes finishing a breeze and the yarn is TO DIE FOR.  If you've ever avoided linen or cotton, or if you have hand/arm pain when knitting with stiff yarns, you really should try Plymouth's Nettle Grove.  It glides through your fingers effortlessly and has a nice crunchy feel.  It's a sport weight yarn (45% cotton, 28% linen, 12% nettle, 15% silk; 218 yds/50g per skein) shown in sapphire # 42.  Cardigan uses 5 (6, 7, 7, 8) skeins.










For more information, visit Ravelry or Annie's website. 

Pattern is available in print in Creative Knitting Spring 2018's magazine, or online from Annie's. 

This issue has 15 patterns and you can see them all 
here.

Happy Knitting!

DonnaEstinDesigns






Wednesday, 14 March 2018

Masters Day Class Schedule DFW FiberFest 2018


Here is the schedule of classes for Masters Day April 5, 2018:





If you are working on your Masters in Hand Knitting Certification or just thinking about it, but have not signed up the Master Day Courses, stop by The Knitting Guild Association’s booth to get more information, talk to the instructors, committee members, discuss swatches, and more.  The booth will be staffed with members of the review committee who will be glad to take a look at any swatches that you need a second set of eyes on, before submitting them.  



If you are attending, you have the freedom to visit any of the classes regardless of the level you are currently working on.  In addition, you will be given handouts on ALL of the classes, not just the ones you attend, so you’ll leave with a wealth of knowledge.  
  --  "Knowledge is power."  Sir Francis Bacon. 


I hope to see you there!



“The Knitting Guild Association is a 501c3 nonprofit dedicated to providing education and resources to knitters to advance their mastery of the craft of knitting. We support serious knitters in their efforts to perpetuate traditional techniques and keep the artisan aspects and high quality standards of the craft alive.”



For more information about the show, visit




For more information about The Knitting Guild Association, visit




Saturday, 24 February 2018

Book Review - The Art of Fair Isle Knitting


The Art of Fair Isle Knitting, by Ann Feitelson:  Loveland, CO, Interweave Press, 1993, 183 pages, ISBN 1-883010-20-9, $34.95.  Reviewed by Donna Estin.



Having a marketable product that the mass population links exclusively to you is the key to financial stability.  While no one knows the thought process behind the first Fair Isle design, Ann Feitelson begins her book with a historical journey examining the coalition of home based hand knitters and merchants who created a unique product that allowed Fair Isle and the rest of the Shetland Islands to flourish economically.


This book is divided into thirds; history, technique and patterns.  The history is crucial for understanding the importance of a simple, repeating design, (i.e. speed = quantity = money). Appreciation of the coordinated efforts of a group of islanders that raised sheep, created a style, hand knitted garments, promoted their product and created a sustainable economy for decades gives depth to the art of Fair Isle.  It leads you to knit with more knowledge and a deeper grasp of the art form you are continuing.  You must understand a tradition wholly, in order to carry it on, otherwise it becomes diluted, cheapened and forgotten.


Enlightened by the history, the author leads you by the hand into the science of selecting colors with the goal of teaching you to design your own Fair Isle sweater.  For the color-challenged knitter, this book gives sample color palettes in appealing combinations.  And if the comprehensive color shading, technique and design are just too much to absorb the first time around, the rest of the book provides over twenty patterns ready to knit. 


I thought I knew Fair Isle, but this book illuminated all that I didn’t know and challenged some of my preconceived notions.  The book trained my eye to look upon a sweater and see not a random collection of colors, but a well-thought out scheme of complimentary colors shaded from light to dark with opposing contrasts between background and pattern.  And what I thought had been originally designed centuries ago to look artful, delicate and complex, was really designed to be simple, easy to memorize and knittable at great speeds to ensure commercial success.


Some of the looks are dated but in all fairness, many patterns are twenty years old.  For me, the return to varied, undyed wools and neutral colors is the most appealing.  Like a tide coming in and out, the popularity of this design has moved in and out of fashion.  But the flexible, warm fabric knitted to withstand weather seems to be forever connected to harsh weather climates and like the changing tides, is constant and always with us.  I have a new appreciation for Fair Isle and a much deeper understanding.  This book deserves to be read twice and holds answers to the how and whys of Fair Isle knitting that would benefit every knitter embarking on this style.

www.donnaestindesigns.com



Tuesday, 2 January 2018

Winter Cabled Socks


Sometimes you just want a soft, thick, squishy sock that’s fast to knit and one you’ll wear all the time.  When you want a pair to keep by the door and slip on every time you enter the house, this is the sock.  It’s great for wearing indoors on cold hard wood floors since it’s thick and spongy.  Knit with worsted weight yarn in mostly 2x2 ribbing, it keeps the cold out.  Pretty cables run down the center and are great if you’re new to cables, or just like the look of something pretty without too much work.  These socks knit up quickly, easily, and are really hard to make just one pair.  The pattern is written for mid-calf but you can easily make these knee socks by working 12-13” before beginning the heel, or ankle socks (to be worn like booties) by beginning the heel just after the ribbing is finished. 


Skill:  Intermediate

Worsted 
21 stitches and 24 rows = 4 inches in St st
Needles:  US 6 - 4.0 mm double pointed needles
Women's M/L 
This pattern is available for $2.99 USD

For Pattern Info - Click Here
To Start Knitting Now - Download PDF 

Pattern is written out and charted, with schematics.






Wednesday, 27 December 2017

On Your Way to the Masters Day 2018


If you're working on your Masters, sign up for Masters Day at the Dallas Fiber Fest!  There are so many great classes to help you on Level 1, 2, and 3.  Join me in either Pattern Design for Hats & Sweaters or Picking up Stitches & say hi!

www.donnaestindesigns.com

www.dfwfiberfest.org

Wednesday, 13 December 2017

Color Block Tunic

Color Block Tunic

Longer, tunic length sweaters are just so easy to wear.  They look good with leggings, long skirts or just about anything that is comfy. 

The dramatic color blocks provide a slimming profile and the lace waistband adds a feminine accent. The dual-colored cables on the sleeves twist thecolors into eye-catching stripes. I wanted a longer design that would be easy to wear and fun to knit. Despite the longer length, the majority of the garment is worked in quick stockinette stitch, but it incorporates enough elements of change to hold the knitter’s interest.

Sizes XS (S, M, L, 1X, 2X)

Finished Measurements
Chest at underarm:  32 (36, 40, 44, 48, 52)”/81 (91.5, 101.5, 112, 122, 132) cm
Hips at widest point:  44 (46, 50, 54, 58, 63)”/112 (117, 127, 137, 147, 163) cm
Length: 30 (31, 32, 33.5, 35, 37)”/76 (79, 81, 85, 89, 94) cm 

Materials and Equipment
Hikoo KENZIE (50g, 160yds, 50% New Zealand Merino, 25% Nylon,
10% Angora, 10% Alpaca, 5% Silk Noils) in the following colors: 
Color A # 1023 Wombat 4 (4, 5, 6, 6, 7) skeins
Color B # 1000 Pavlova 4 (4, 5, 6, 6, 7) skeins
Color C # 1011 Tamarillo  3 (3, 4, 4, 4, 5) skeins
Size 5 (3.75mm) needles
Size 7 (4.5mm) 24” circular needle 
Size 7 (4.5mm ) needles or size needed to obtain gauge
Cable Needle
Tapestry Needle
Stitch Marker
Waste Yarn

Gauge  20 sts & 28 rows = 4”/10cm over Stockinette Stitch on larger needles
To save time, take time to check gauge.
 
This pattern is available in Cast On Magazine, Fall 2017.   Visit  http://www.tkga.org 

For more patterns and information, visit www.donnaestindesigns.com


Happy Knitting!