A Couture Knitting Weekend in NYC

Posted on | January 19, 2014 | No Comments

IMG_1189Last weekend I spent most of my time in the most amazing class at Vogue Knitting Live, The Basic Techniques of Couture Knitting with Catherine Lowe. It’s not a secret that I am a very technical minded knitter, so for me, this class was truly a mind blowing experience.

Catherine has developed a special set of techniques that solve and perfect many knitting dilemmas. No detail is too small to her expert eye, even the humble slip knot has been reworked to her exact specifications.IMG_1165

We learned a tremendous amount about blocking, swatching, selvages, buttonholes, joining seams, picking up stitches, and two cast-ons; tubular and a modified long-tail. These may sound like simple topics, but when you dig deeper and really examine knitting structure, these techniques sometimes verge on the academic.

While some of the techniques we learned are not necessarily for every day use, Catherine explained why she felt it was necessary for them to exist. In garment construction, the dressmaker has many techniques to choose from. For example, a seam can be finished with pinking shears, a ser ger, A French seam, or binding. However, for knitting, there aren’t many finishing choices available. Creating these special techniques has now given knitters finishing options that can elevate your knitted garments to a whole other level.

The technique pictured in this post is a binding technique of sorts. In the machine knitting world, we would call this tubular jersey, but I’m not really sure what it would be called in the hand knit world. Obviously, if this were to be worked on a project, it would continue all the way around the piece edge that needed to be bound. Also pictured in this swatch (tiny contrast line in upper left hand corner) demonstrated Catherine’s joinery technique. Instead of working seams with a mattress stitch, she actually joins the two edges together with knitting.

I have owned Catherine’s journals for many years now, but until I had taken this class, I never fully realized each technique’s full potential. I am excited to start incorporating these techniques into my personal knitting projects, and enjoying the results applying this knowledge will bring to my craft.

If you’d like to know more about Catherine and her yarns, check out her website: catherine-lowe.com. At the time of writing this post, her website seemed to be down. It’s certainly worth coming back at a later time to check it out.

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