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knitting from generation to generation…

Today at the Madrona Fiber Arts Festival I took a class from the Yarn Harlot, Stephanie Pearl-McFee, ¬†called “Knitting for Speed and Efficiency”. We studied¬†various ways of knitting and strategies¬†to maximize the efficiency of each.¬†First, Stephaine suggests¬†that there are only two kinds of knitters…. wait for it… think what they might be…



… those who knit for money and those who don’t. (Well what did YOU think the two kinds were? Leave your answer in the comments, I’m curious.) ¬†So of these two types, to whom¬†should¬†we look to for excellent models of speed and efficiency? Hmmm… Seems most logical¬†to look to the knitters whose livelihoods depend on speed, efficiency and the ability to continue to knit without destroying their bodies¬†from repetitive strain injury…


Stephanie then describes three main types of knitting: picking, throwing and lever knitting and the strengths and drawbacks of each style. Then we delved into the magical world of lever knitting, a technique that is the least used and most promising for efficiency-seekers. These are techniques used by our knitting predecessors who carried their knitting work throughout the day, completing an enviable volume of garments.


So we learn from generations past to enrich our practice today.


Aunt Gloria was my Grandma Julie’s sister.¬†When Aunt Gloria died I inherited her colorful collection of metal knitting needles as neither of her daughters was a knitter. I’ve grown my collection of more modern needles, so I don’t use the long straight needles very often. They live in a beautiful jar created by my friend Melissa, and¬†I have¬†used them¬†to teach many people to knit over the years. Well, guess what you need to use for lever knitting? Long, straight needles.

A few weeks ago, my cousin Rochelle mentioned she was missing her mom. and that a hand-knit item made using those needles would feel like her mother’s embrace. So you see where I’m going with this?


Tonight I cast on a project using lever knitting, a technique from the generations, to knit a scarf for my cousin with¬†her mother’s knitting needles. Thanks to Stephanie for giving me new, old tools.


Lever knitting project for Cousin Rochelle on Aunt Gloria’s needles.

A photo posted by pamela grossman (@pamelamama) on

Armpit knitting is happening #nofilter #pajamas #progress #leverknitting

A photo posted by pamela grossman (@pamelamama) on

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