Monday, September 15, 2008

Indulgence: Video knitting

After Barbara's enticing description of the Baby Surprise Jacket, I went in search of directions for an adult version thereof (mostly because I don't have any babies to knit for at the moment). In my hunt, I discovered this knitting video on I couldn't resist; I indulged myself by ordering it (along with the utterly delightful book A Place in the Shower Schedule, published by our colleague-in-blogging, Fran Baker).

What a treat it is to have Elizabeth Zimmerman's own daughter, the gentle-voiced Meg Swansen show us her mother's great invention step-by-step. Her unhurried speech, nimble fingers, and some great camera angles make the instructions crystal clear. Best of all, she demosntrates all sorts of nifty additional techniques and features, such as:

-- invisible cast-on

-- i-cord cast-off

--various shaped collars

--a matching bonnet with and without a flange

--button loops

--adding a continuous line as a design element

--and, of course, how to size up for the adult version.

Somehow seeing these techniques, as opposed to reading about them, makes them easier to learn.

Ms. Swansen also shows you some of the Baby Surprise Jackets her mother knitted in various colors and designs.

One camera trick amused me. I'm sure you've seen old movies where the hero and heroine sink onto the bed locked in a passionate embrace, and then the camera cuts to blowing curtains or breaking waves or some other metaphor for sex.

Well, in this video, when Ms. Swansen needs to do some boring old knitting back and forth before she gets to the next step of the pattern, the camera pans up to the autumn leaves fluttering on the trees around where she's sitting. She's invented a metaphor for doing garter stitch: fall foliage.

Does anyone else have a favorite knitting video? I'm hooked now.

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Blogger Nancy Herkness said...

Sorry about the weird spread-out format. Sometimes Blogger just does that and I can't figure out how to stop it. Sigh

11:26 AM  
Blogger Chris said...

Knitting Glossary, with both Meg and EZ, is pretty cool - lots of good info... although it's a bit sad, as you can tell EZ was not quite as with it as in earlier videos...

11:31 AM  
Blogger Sara said...

I don't have a favorite knitting video - but, I am tempted to get that one! I just think the Surprise Baby Jacket is an incredible pattern!!! And, talk about trust issues - if you have any - then this pattern isn't for you!

2:03 PM  
Anonymous Cathy said...

You should look for EZ's Knitting Workshop--the video that goes with the book. She talks with that delightful british accent, as well as teaches you how to knit a sweater. :)

8:26 AM  
Blogger Nancy Herkness said...

Thanks for all the recommendations of knitting videos. It's vicarious knitting for those times when I really don't want to start a new project but am kind of bored with the current one (like this endless lace scarf).

Seeing the needles in motion is incredibly helpful when I'm learning a new technique.

Sara, I hear what you're saying about trust issues but I'm the ultimate trusting knitter. If you give me clear, complete directions, I'll follow them to the letter without question. I assume everyone knows more than I do (because mostly they do!)

7:16 PM  

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