Susan Guagliumi's Open Spaces

Instructions for this swatch can be found in Open Spaces (Ladders Module) Lesson 27 beginning 05:42. My variation is on a standard gauge machine using a pattern of 3 needles working and 2 needles out of work.

[This live event has passed. Click here to view the replay.]

I hope you're pleasantly surprised seeing a pretty sweater knit swatch at the top of this post! It's been a long time since you've seen a swatch I knitted on this blog, but I've recently been machine knitting swatches from Susan Guagliumi's new course Open Spaces. The course so far has been wonderful, intriguing, and fun, and I'm happy to say I'm an affiliate for the course. On Monday, December 30th at 5:00pm EST, I'll be interviewing Susan Guagliumi live. Yes, we'll be discussing sweater knits, and yes, we'll be talking stitches. Register here if you'd like to join us.

Though I don't consider my Crafting Fashion blog a machine knitting blog, in real life I am always researching stitches and hunting knitting inspiration. If you happen to be a sewist, who doesn't machine knit, I hope you'll find this post interesting. (Perhaps you'll take up machine knitting one day?) If you're a machine knitter reading this, I think you'll be as excited as I am about what this course has to offer.

Susan Guagliumi is not only a machine knitter; she is an educator, and author.  Her career in the machine knitting industry spans over 30 years. She's held positions with three knitting machine companies, culminating with the position of Education Director for Studio by White Knitting Machines. Susan's garment designs and technical articles have appeared in machine knitting magazines, including Machine Knitters’ Source, Knit Words and Machine Knit America; hand knit publications like Fashion Knitting, Knitters Magazine, Vogue Knitting and Family Circle Easy Knitting. Susan is my colleague at the Fashion Institute of Technology, and I'm happy to call her a friend.

As a teacher of machine knitting I believe that in order to truly understand the concepts of the machine knitting and stitch formation, nothing beats practicing and understanding hand manipulated, textural stitches. The course Open Spaces dives deeply into building openwork fabrics that are amazingly beautiful, sometimes challenging, and really fun to knit. The course is a companion to Susan's book of the same name, though the online course works well as a standalone. Knitting even a few swatches in each module will bring a deeper understanding to the knitter who has previously been machine knitting by rote.

I like having my tablet with Susan, her explanations, and suggestions for possible variations near, while I work at my machine. Recently, I learned of a knitter who enjoys video courses by watching, taking notes, and later tackling the knitting on her machine. A video course will usually accommodate your particular style of learning.
From Lesson 12, 00:45, I'm experiknitting with a 5-needle ladder variation of Susan's pattern.
Now don't laugh. Once I understand the overall concept of the stitch pattern and after I set up the needles, my favorite way to actually knit these repeating patterns of hand manipulated stitches is to compose a song. (Well, it's more of a chant, I suppose). My chant includes all of the steps needed to knit the stitch pattern. Sometimes my chants are long and a little hard to memorize; sometimes the chants are short and easy. Please tell me I'm not the only one who does this?

Charts are essential for grasping the sequences of knitting. Susan provides them as downloads in the last lesson of the stitching modules: Creating Eyelets, Ladders, and Super Slits.

Susan reviews the foundation techniques used in the lessons -- bridging and transferring stitches -- in the very first module. The course concludes with knitting machine patterns for six openwork sweaters! It's a complete program. Click here for further information.

And don't forget! I'm interviewing Susan Guagliumi live on December 30th at 5:00pm EST[This live event has passed. Click here to view the replay.]


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