I have always relied on the kindness of strangers

Success! After ripping out the sleeve more times than I can count on this western shirt I’m designing, I finally have one that looks like a winner. I still think it looks slightly odd around the armpit, but only when it’s folded flat. When you put the sweater into its 3D shape (as if a little body were in it), it looks great.

This victory comes courtesy of Priscilla Gibson-Roberts and Deborah Robson’s Knitting in the Old Way, which has fabulous, clear instructions about how to make a top-down, set-in sleeve on pp. 114-15. Brilliant.

I’m actually perversely glad that I tried and failed to do this on my own so many times – I think it was about 12 failed attempts. Short of taking a whole slew of design courses (which I just can’t do at the moment), I think that the only way I’ll learn is through some combination of books and trial-and-error.

books I love

Speaking of fabulous books, I checked out the exhibit catalog for “Radical Lace and Subversive Knitting” that was at the Museum of Arts and Design in NYC last year. (It’s now at the Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art.) I don’t use the word “inspirational” a lot, because I am a little short on the effusive scale, but this is truly inspirational stuff.

The piece that really took my breath away was actually not in the exhibition itself, but made by one of the artists who contributed other pieces to the exhibit. It’s Janet Echelman’s enormous knitted net that hovers over a traffic circle in Porto, Portugal (which you can see in a great, short video here).

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